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Minnesota Department of Commerce to appeal Line 3 decision

Plus: Minnesota AG Ellison joins lawsuit seeking to block postal service policies potentially affecting 2020 election; north Minneapolis residents sue city over crime; Kanye files papers to appear on Minnesota ballot; and more.

Final Line 3 Replacement Project route
Final Line 3 Replacement Project route

MPR’s Dan Kraker writes: “Gov. Tim Walz’s administration is wading deeper into the contentious, long-simmering debate over the proposed Line 3 oil pipeline replacement project. The Minnesota Department of Commerce announced plans Tuesday to appeal state utility regulators’ decision earlier this year to approve Enbridge Energy’s proposal to replace a deteriorating pipeline that crosses northern Minnesota with a new, larger pipe along a different route. In a statement released late Tuesday, the Commerce Department said its decision was consistent with previous agency actions.”

In the Star Tribune, Jim Spencer and Randy Furst write: “Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison joined 12 other state attorneys general Tuesday in a lawsuit to block U.S. Postal Service policies that they say could keep mail-in ballots from being counted in time for the upcoming presidential election. The suit was filed around the time that U.S. Post Master General Louis DeJoy announced that he was suspending those policies until after the election to ‘avoid even the appearance of any impact on election mail.’ Ellison’s move joins Minnesota to a suit led by Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson ….”

WCCO-TV’s Reg Chapman reports: “The state’s largest city faces a lawsuit for a crime spike amid calls to replace the police department.…’Every single night on any block on this neighborhood you can hear gunshots every single freaking night,’ Cathy Spann said. A crime wave has hit the streets of Minneapolis and people who call the north side home, say it is disproportionately affecting their neighborhoods.… Cathy Spann is one of eight north side residents to file a lawsuit against Minneapolis, claiming city council has made Minneapolis a more dangerous place to live, especially for people who live in higher crime areas.”

KSTP-TV’s Eric Chaloux reports: “Audio recordings from former Minneapolis police officer Thomas Lane’s June interview with investigators regarding George Floyd’s death were released Tuesday. Lane answered the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension agents questions nearly a couple of weeks after Floyd’s death in late May. In the nearly 90 minute interview with investigators, Lane was asked about details from that evening at East 38th Street and Chicago Avenue where Floyd was eventually handcuffed and put face down on the ground.”

A FOX 9 story says, “In a new filing in the case against a now-fired Minneapolis police officer involved in the killing of George Floyd, the officer’s attorney alleged that Floyd overdosed on fentanyl while resisting arrest and in doing so contributed to his own death, arguing the charges against the officer should be dropped.  Thomas Lane is charged with aiding and abetting second-degree murder and aiding and abetting second-degree manslaughter in connection with Floyd’s Memorial Day death. In July, his attorney, Earl Gray, filed a motion to dismiss the charges against Lane, arguing there is not enough evidence to establish probable cause that the former rookie officer committed a crime.”

WCCO-TV’s Jeff Wagner reports:The Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board states 34 parks now have homeless encampments across the city. Several plans are underway to find housing or build new shelters for them, and there’s one unique idea that’s taking a tiny, yet big approach. Sheila Delaney is a community advocate whose effort to help the homeless find housing started with the Drake Hotel fire last Christmas in downtown Minneapolis. … Her mission continues through the idea called “Indoor Villages,” a community of tiny houses that would be built inside an empty warehouse at 1251 N. Washington Ave. Delaney says a lease agreement for the property is in the works.”

The Star Tribune’s Glenn Howatt says,Investigators from two state agencies descended on a newly opened behavioral health residential treatment facility for children last week after it was cited twice for failing to report that a patient stabbed himself and for not following state clinical care regulations. It is unclear whether the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) or the Department of Human Services (DHS) will take further action against Cambia Hills of East Bethel, which opened in March as a new type of treatment option for children who often cannot get intensive mental health care in the state, forcing placement in facilities hundreds of miles away.”

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At USA Today, William Cummings writes, “Anderson Cooper tore into My Pillow founder Mike Lindell for touting an unproven drug as a potential ‘cure’ for COVID-19, calling the prominent supporter of President Donald Trump a ‘snake oil salesman’ in a CNN interview. Lindell has been advocating for the use of oleandrin, an extract from the oleander plant, as a treatment for the coronavirus. Lindell helped Andrew Whitney of Phoenix Biotechnology land an Oval Office meeting in July where they pitched the drug to Trump, according to reports from The Washington Post, CNN and Axios. … Lindell, who has a financial stake in Phoenix Biotechnology, told Cooper that he learned about the drug from a friend.”

Also in the Star Tribune, Torey Van Oot reports, “Kanye West has filed papers to appear as a presidential candidate on Minnesota’s November ballot. A spokeswoman for the Secretary of State’s Office confirmed that representatives for the rapper submitted voter signatures in hopes of qualifying before Tuesday’s filing deadline. Election officials have up to 10 days to review and verify the paperwork before finalizing the lineup. West, who previously professed support for President Donald Trump, announced in July that he planned to run for the White House himself as an independent candidate.”