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Park board begins clearing final homeless encampment in Minneapolis

Plus: parking lot made famous by Prince photograph sold to developer; Minnesota protections for wolves remain as federal designation goes away; judge considers disciplinary referral for Minneapolis lawyer involved in Trump suit; and more.

The last encampment. The Star Tribune’s Eric Roper reports:The dwindling population of the last homeless encampment in a Minneapolis park has another three days to pack up, even as the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board began clearing the site. … As the sun rose over Minnehaha Park Tuesday, a backhoe and a Bobcat scooped up trash and uninhabited tents from the encampment just off Hiawatha Avenue. After the Park Board issued a Dec. 31 order to leave within three days, people living there had expected the camp to be disbanded Tuesday.”

Today in beloved parking lots. Also in the Strib, Dee Depass reports:The Minneapolis parking lot made famous by Prince and adjacent to the notable musical score on the Schmitt Music building has been sold to Houston-based Hines and is expected to eventually become a high-rise office building. … According to property records, the $8.4 million sale involves two parcels on a 0.8-acre site in the heart of downtown. … Prince posed in front of the parking lot’s famed musical score in 1977.”

Wolves still protected in Minnesota. The Duluth News Tribune’s John Myers reports: “While federal Endangered Species Act protections for timber wolves officially ended Monday across the Lower 48 states, wolves still remain mostly protected under existing Minnesota laws that now kick in again — unless the wolves are killing livestock or pets. … Minnesota has not yet proposed any wolf hunting or trapping seasons. But the state Department of Natural Resources on Monday reminded residents that a still-valid state law does allow more leeway on when troublemaking wolves can be killed now that federal protections have been dropped.”

A regrettable local angle. At Bloomberg, David Yaffe-Bellany writes: “A federal judge in Washington dismissed as meritless a lawsuit seeking to block Congress from certifying President-elect Joe Biden’s election victory and said he was considering referring the lawyer who brought the case for disciplinary action. … U.S. District Judge Jeb Boasberg said Monday the suit filed by Erick Kaardal, a Minneapolis attorney for the Amistad Project, a conservative group representing voters in the swing states of Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Georgia and Arizona, was riddled with errors and allegations based on debunked conspiracy theories.

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In other news…

Public data:ACLU claims victory, settles suit with St. Paul over police data” [Star Tribune]

Chronic obstacle:Push To Legalize Marijuana In Minnesota Gains Momentum, But Faces Opposition In Senate” [WCCO]

Hops springs eternal:Larger Craft Brewers Push Minnesota Lawmakers To Change Restrictions On Growlers” [WCCO]

A true landmark:Mickey’s Diner meets fundraising goal” [KARE]

Zamboni optional:The art (and science) of making outdoor ice rinks in Minnesota” [Star Tribune]

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