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FBI joins investigation of murder of Minneapolis real estate agent

Plus: Shoreview celebrated for permeable pavement program; Health Partners workers authorize strike; Aldo Moroni’s last work; and more.

Monique Baugh
Monique Baugh

Feds coming in. The Star Tribune’s Libor Jany reports:The FBI has joined an investigation into the New Year’s Eve slaying of a Minneapolis real estate agent, which authorities now believe was part of a “murder-for-hire” plot, according to new court documents. … Authorities have already charged four people in connection with the death of 28-year-old Monique Baugh, who was lured to a phony home showing in Maple Grove, kidnapped and gunpoint, and later found dead in a north Minneapolis alley, according to police and court records. … But a series of search warrant affidavits released on Thursday painted a troubling picture of Baugh’s death, suggesting that the plot that led to her killing was more calculated that previously thought.”

Showing concrete signs of improvement. In Next City, Cinnamon Janzer writes: “In 2007, water quality concerns in one lake among the (far) more than 10,000 that Minnesota is known for would become the spark that led to the largest stretch of permeable pavement in North America by 2009. Now, officials are hyping permeable pavement — a type of pavement that lets water flow through it rather than pooling on top of it — as a potential way to reduce ice without using road salt. … What started as one project to improve water quality in Lake Owasso in Shoreview, Minnesota, a Twin Cities suburb, has since blossomed into a more common practice in the city, landing Shoreview in the international permeable pavement spotlight.”

Strike authorized. The Star Tribune’s Jeremy Olson reports:Nurses, lab techs and other caregivers at HealthPartners clinics voted to conduct a seven-day protest strike, beginning Feb. 19, if their demands regarding health care benefits aren’t met. … Announcing vote results Friday morning, leaders of SEIU Healthcare Minnesota said that HealthPartners wants its clinic workers to accept steep cuts in health benefits, even though the health system is posting strong revenue.”

A little inspiration. MPR’s Euan Kerr reports: “Minneapolis artist Aldo Moroni is dying of pancreatic cancer. He’s known for his ceramic architectural sculptures which can range from single buildings just inches tall to entire room-filling civilizations. Moroni is now working on one final epic piece, which he may not finish. …  It’s a huge landscape built of clay, wax and mastic. It represents part of the North American continent all the way down through Central America and deep into South America.”

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