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Federal judge orders Dakota Access Pipeline shutdown during environmental review

Plus: CAIR decries St. Paul Starbucks employee writing “ISIS” on Muslim customer’s cup; economic impact of Minnesota dairy industry; U engineering researchers studying COVID-19 air flow; and more.

Members of the Standing Rock Sioux Nation and Indigenous leaders
Members of the Standing Rock Sioux Nation and Indigenous leaders shown participating in a protest march and rally in opposition to the Dakota Access and Keystone XL pipelines in Washington, D.C., on March 10, 2017.
REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

Pausing the pipeline. The Bismarck Tribune’s Amy R. Sisk reports:A federal judge has ordered the shutdown of the Dakota Access Pipeline while a lengthy environmental review is conducted of the project opposed by environmentalists and the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe. … The move was requested earlier this year by Standing Rock and three other Sioux tribes in the Dakotas who fear environmental harm from the oil pipeline and sued over the project four years ago. North Dakota officials have said such a move would have ‘significant disruptive consequences’ for the state, whose oil patch has been hit hard in recent months by falling demand for crude amid the coronavirus pandemic.”

Yikes. WCCO reports: “The Minnesota chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations plans to call out a St. Paul Starbucks store after an employee allegedly wrote ‘ISIS’ on a Muslim customer’s cup. … CAIR-MN says the incident happened at the Starbucks store inside the Midway Target last week. The woman who got the cup says she gave the employee her name, but when she got her drink, ‘ISIS’ was written on it.”

Dairy industry analysis. The Fargo Forum’s Noah Fish reports: “The average dairy farm in Minnesota generates more than $1 million for the state economy, according to a newly issued report from the University of Minnesota Extension.  … The analysis showed, on average, 2019 was a ‘much-needed turnaround for some Minnesota dairy farmers,’ while other operators ‘experienced a sixth-year of consecutive losses.’

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Important research. The Star Tribune’s Jeremy Olson reports: “Engineers at the University of Minnesota are studying how the coronavirus that causes COVID-19 floats in the air and where hot spots for infection risk exist in spaces as small as elevators or as large as orchestra halls. … Simulating the flow of particles — big enough to carry concerning levels of virus, but small enough to hang in the air — the researchers found that ventilation and the places in which people sit or stand can increase transmission risks in different indoor environments. The research also assessed the amount of virus that could be spread by people simply talking or breathing — rather than coughing or sneezing.”

Returning too soon? MPR’s Catharine Richert reports: “Back in March, when the first cases of coronavirus in Minnesota started to trickle in to the news, people with desk jobs made an exodus to their home offices. … Now that businesses are slowly reopening, some of those people are being asked to return to their offices to work. … But that’s left some workers, uncomfortable with the potential coronavirus exposure that a return might bring, caught between keeping their jobs — or speaking up and risk losing their work in the middle of a pandemic.

In other news…

In response to the killing of Philando Castile:Driver’s manual will have new instructions for drivers with firearms who are stopped” [Star Tribune]

With a prominent mention of her time at the Star Tribune:As the nation struggles with racism, CBS News veteran Michelle Miller gets personal” [LA Times]

More movement against police in schools:Students seek removal of Duluth school resource officers” [Duluth News Tribune]

In St. Paul and Bloomington:As students, they never had Somali teachers. Now they’re Minnesota’s first Somali public school principals.” [Sahan Journal]

A week before Canada Day, no less:Two Minnesotans charged with violating Canada’s Quarantine Act” [WDIO]

Well, OK:Mankato, MN, Republican Elizabeth Bangert says ‘the Devil’ is attacking her campaign” [City Pages]