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DEA sees increase in counterfeit pills entering Minnesota

Plus: Myron Frans leaving Walz administration; a timeline of events that led to the burning of the Third Precinct; a different kind of college pledge; and more.

Pills in, ODs up. KSTP’s Josh Skluzacek reports:Minnesota agents have recovered about 46,000 counterfeit pills in the first seven months of the year, nearly four times what was seized in all of 2019, the DEA said. … The counterfeit pain pills and sedatives have flooded the illegal drug market and are leading to a significant number of overdose deaths, the DEA said. The DEA said Minnesota’s counterfeit pills have been hidden in coffee beans and candy, smuggled underneath cars and shipped through mail services.”

Moving on. The Star Tribune’s Jessie Van Berkel reports:Myron Frans, the state’s top finance official, announced Wednesday that he is leaving the Gov. Tim Walz’s administration to take a senior leadership position at the University of Minnesota. Jim Schowalter, who previously served in Gov. Mark Dayton’s administration, was named as Frans’ successor.”

Inside CUP Foods. The Spokesman-Recorder’s Analise Pruni reports: “Although [Mahmoud “Mike”] Abumayyaleh has stood in solidarity with the community since Floyd’s death, providing supplies at the memorial, reaching out to Floyd’s family and expressing remorse for the police being called in the first place, accusations of improprieties and illegal activities involving CUP Foods have hounded the store for most of its 30-year history in the neighborhood.”

A timeline of the events that led to the burning of the Third Precinct. The Star Tribune’s Liz Navratil, Anna Boone, and James Eli Shiffer report: “Records recently released by the city of Minneapolis document the decisions within City Hall and the Capitol that led to Mayor Jacob Frey’s order to abandon the building. The mayor said protecting the building wasn’t worth sacrificing another life. But Frey and Gov. Tim Walz have traded accusations over why a mission to deploy the National Guard was delayed until after the Third Precinct was lost.

A different kind of college pledge. KARE’s Sharon Yoo reports: “[UW-Eau Claire] decided, first and foremost that they are going to ask all students and staff to sign what they’re calling the Blugold Fly Right Pledge. ‘It really involves three things,’ Anderson explained. ‘One is a pledge to protect yourself, making sure you’re washing your hands, using hand sanitizer, wearing your face mask. The other is a pledge to protect others, again, wearing your face mask or socially distancing, doing everything you can to protect those around you.’”

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In other news…

“Freedom of expression without judgment”: “Trying to fund, and found, a venue for ‘radical freedom of expression’ in Minneapolis” [MPR]

Risky business: “Metro bus companies looking to hire hundreds of bus drivers” [KARE]

Much-deserved: “Celebs come together to get MN actor James Hong a Walk of Fame star” [City Pages]