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Minneapolis Council panel votes against indemnifying former MPD union head Kroll in lawsuits

Plus: judge says DNR has to reconsider hard rock mining rules; Minnesota middle schoolers already signing up for COVID-19 vaccine appointments; former Vikings coach Jerry Burns dies; and more.

Police Officers Federation of Minneapolis President Lt. Bob Kroll
Police Officers Federation of Minneapolis President Lt. Bob Kroll
MinnPost file photo by Ibrahim Hirsi

Says a KSTP-TV story: A Minneapolis City Council committee has voted not to use city resources to help former police union head Bob Kroll in a number of lawsuits he is named in. After protests last summer, Kroll faces several lawsuits related to his leadership in the union. Kroll retired from the union in January. The Policy & Government Oversight Committee voted not to indemnify him, meaning the city will not provide him an attorney or other services. If the council passes the resolution, Kroll would have to pay those fees himself.”

In the Star Tribune, Jennifer Bjorhus writes: “Minnesota regulators must reconsider old and largely untested rules for hard rock mining to see if they are adequate to protect the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness, a judge says. Specifically, the state Department of Natural Resources (DNR) must determine whether sulfide-ore copper mining is so polluting that it should be banned in the Rainy River headwaters, an area in northern Minnesota that drains into the Boundary Waters. Ramsey County District Court Judge Laura Nelson on Wednesday remanded the mining rules matter to the DNR over the objections of Twin Metals. Twin Metals is owned by Chilean mining giant Antofogasta, which is trying to develop a copper-nickel mine just outside the Boundary Waters.”

For MPR, Dan Kraker says, “Middle schoolers across Minnesota are already signing up for COVID-19 vaccine appointments, anticipating that by the end of this week, they’ll be newly eligible to take their first big step toward life as they used to know it. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration authorized the Pfizer vaccine for emergency use in 12- to 15-year-olds earlier this week. The authorization still needs the recommendation of a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention vaccine advisory group, which is set to meet Wednesday. But in the meantime, for some Minnesota teens, the excitement is palpable — a momentum that many health professionals hope to sustain.”

Also in the Pioneer Press, Chris Tomasson writes: “Jerry Burns, an NFL innovator as the Vikings’ longtime offensive coordinator and later as their head coach, died Wednesday at his home in Eden Prairie. He was 94. Known as ‘Burnsie,’ he was Minnesota’s offensive coordinator from 1968-85 under hall of fame coach Bud Grant, and helped the team to four Super Bowls. He later served as head coach from 1986-91, compiling a 52-43 record and leading the Vikings to the NFC Championship Game after the 1987 season.”

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For the Forum News Service, Dana Ferguson reports: “Gov. Tim Walz and Democratic lawmakers on Wednesday stood alongside two dozen community and faith leaders and business owners to renew their calls for policing law changes at the state Capitol. The push comes as the 2021 legislative session enters its final days and as lawmakers scramble to wrap up a state budget and several policy proposals. So far, the issue has split lawmakers on party lines with Democrats saying the package is essential to protecting Black and Indigenous Minnesotans, while Republicans said it was ‘anti-police.’”

For FOX 9, Bisi Onile-Ere writes: “As Hennepin County moves to make Juneteenth, the day that commemorates when the last U.S. slaves were told they were free back in 1885, an official holiday, Minneapolis city leaders could follow suit as calls grow to make the day a paid holiday. ‘This is a holiday of significance to all Americans,’ said Minneapolis City Council Vice President Andrea Jenkins. In Minneapolis, City Council Vice President Jenkins is leading the charge. … Marking the end of slavery in the U.S., June 19th commemorates Black Americans’ independence.

Another KSTP-TV story, this by Tommy Wilta says, “A Minnesota corrections officer involved in a profane confrontation with protesters who sought more serious charges in Daunte Wright’s death is no longer employed by the department. The Minnesota Department of Corrections stated on Wednesday that the Office of Professional Accountability has completed its investigation into the complaints against former Minnesota Correctional Facility-Stillwater Sgt. Paul Gorder and opted to part ways with Gorder due to his actions.”

The Star Tribune’s Erin Adler writes: “Rosedale Mall has debuted a prayer room for Muslim shoppers in time for Eid al-Fitr, in what may become a permanent feature at the Roseville shopping center. Eid al-Fitr, a religious holiday that marks the end of the month of Ramadan, can be celebrated for up to three days, though “the big prayer time” is the morning after Ramadan ends, said Rammy Mohamed, a local fashion designer.”