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St. Paul landlords file suit over city’s new tenant protections

Plus: thousands more Minnesota students head back to the classroom; Greater Minnesota sees big jump in home sales; SD Gov. Noem facing scrutiny over use of state airplane; and more.

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MinnPost photo by Corey Anderson
In the Pioneer Press, Frederick Melo writes: “With a new renters’ rights platform days away from taking effect in St. Paul, a coalition of St. Paul landlords has filed suit against the city in federal court alleging that the residential tenant protections embraced by the mayor and city council are unconstitutional. The 50-page lawsuit, filed on behalf of approximately 20 plaintiffs, takes aim at St. Paul’s “just cause” mandate intended to prevent non-renewals of apartment leases, new tenant screening guidelines and the advance notice of sale of affordable housing. It seeks declaratory and injunctive relief that would put St. Paul’s new tenant protection ordinance on pause prior to a jury trial.”

WCCO-TV’s Kate Raddatz reports: “Thousands of Minnesota students will head back into the classroom Tuesday. The focus has been on getting the youngest students back first. Now, many middle and high school students will return to the classroom for the first time in months.”

Says Jeremy Olson for the Star Tribune, “More than 900,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been administered in Minnesota, giving it the 22nd fastest rate of vaccine administration when compared by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to other states. Minnesota on Monday reported that 675,329 people have received at least first doses of two-dose COVID-19 vaccines, and that 238,104 of them, or 35%, have completed the series.”

Also in the Star Tribune, Jim Buchta reports, “Second-home buyers and people who are embracing their ability to work remotely are helping fuel double-digit gains in home sales in outstate Minnesota. That’s according to a January report from Minnesota Realtors (MNR), which said there were 4,788 home sales across the state last month, a 16% increase over last year. Those figures include the seven-county Twin Cities metro, which saw a nearly 14% increase in sales. That gain, however, was outpaced by much of northern Minnesota.”

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The AP reports, “Wisconsin’s Republican U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson downplayed the storming of the U.S. Capitol last month, saying on conservative talk radio Monday that it ‘didn’t seem like an armed insurrection to me.’ Johnson’s comments on WISN-AM in Milwaukee came after he voted Saturday to acquit former President Donald Trump in his second impeachment trial. Johnson said in the interview that Trump’s attorneys ‘eviscerated’ legal arguments made by Democrats seeking to convict Trump for instigating the insurrection.”

Also from the AP: “Wisconsin’s wolf hunt will begin next week with up to 200 animals to be harvested, the state Department of Natural Resources Board determined at a hastily called meeting Monday in reaction to a court order requiring a hunt this month. The unanimous board vote came even as the state was asking an appeals court to stop the hunt by putting last week’s court order on hold. The state Department of Natural Resources and the board, represented by the Wisconsin Department of Justice, filed the motion Friday in state appeals court.”

Also from WCCO-TV: “The University of Minnesota’s newest apple has a name. Formerly known as MN 1980, the Triumph apple is ‘a firm fruit with red skin and a slightly tart flavor’, according to the university’s Department of Horticultural Science. It’s a cross between Honeycrisp and Liberty apples.”

Says Justin Rohrlich at The Daily Beast, “South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem used a state airplane to shuttle her around the country to right-wing political events, racking up huge bills on the taxpayer dime as the GOP darling traveled to events hosted by, among others, the National Rifle Association, Turning Point USA, and a Las Vegas confab put on by the Republican Jewish Coalition. … From a legal perspective, wrongful use of the plane goes well beyond an ethics violation, as state-owned aircraft are only supposed to be used for official state business. Fines for improper travel can reach 10 times the cost of the flight.”