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More Minneapolis cops seeking disability benefits

Plus: storms knock out power across central Minnesota; group ID’d as white supremacist organization buys church in Swift County; civil rights icon Rep. John Lewis dies; and more.

The Star Tribune’s Jennifer Bjorhus and Liz Navratil write: “The continued surge of Minneapolis police officers seeking disability benefits after the George Floyd unrest is heightening concerns of a police staffing shortage amid a wave of violent crime. Ron Meuser Jr., the lawyer handling the claims, said his office met with an additional 43 Minneapolis cops this week who have retained him. That’s in addition to the estimated 150 officers who Meuser said at a July 10 news conference had retained him.”

For MPR, Andrew Krueger reports:A line of severe storms swept across Minnesota late Friday into early Saturday, bringing damaging winds that knocked out power to thousands of homes and businesses. Xcel Energy reported more than 20,000 customers without power early Saturday in its Minnesota service area — with most of those outages in the Twin Cities, where the National Weather Service reported wind gusts of close to 60 mph.”

In the Pioneer Press, Frederick Melo writes: “Big changes are coming to Ayd Mill Road, and so is a lengthy closure. On Aug. 1, St. Paul Public Works will close the rutted highway connector to all traffic from Interstate 35E to Selby Avenue through November. The goal of the $7.5 million project is to install a new pedestrian and bicycle trail on the east side of the road while creating a smoother driving surface.”

Also in the Star Tribune, John Reinan writes: “A Nordic heritage group that religious scholars have identified as a white supremacist organization is sinking permanent roots into this Swift County town. For $45,000, the Asatru Folk Assembly (AFA) bought an abandoned Lutheran church and is creating its third “Hof,” or gathering hall, joining others the group operates in California and North Carolina. …Word of the deal spread in the past week after the political blog Bluestem Prairie reported it.”

In the New York Times, Katherine Q. Seeley writes: “Representative John Lewis, a son of sharecroppers and an apostle of nonviolence who was bloodied at Selma and across the Jim Crow South in the historic struggle for racial equality, and who then carried a mantle of moral authority into Congress, died on Friday. He was 80.”