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Minnesota Senate passes voter ID bill

Plus: plywood comes down in downtown Minneapolis; northern Minnesota landowners file PUC complaint over old pipeline; Wisconsin casino shooter identified as fired restaurant worker; and more.

Capitol staffers preparing the Minnesota Senate chambers on Monday.
MinnPost photo by Peter Callaghan
Minnesota Senate
At MPR, Tim Pugmire reports, “The Republican-controlled Minnesota Senate has passed a requirement that voters show a photo ID, even though opposition from DFL Gov. Tim Walz and House majority Democrats makes it unlikely to become law this year. The vote for the Republican-backed bill was 34-32 and fell along party lines.  Supporters say the voter ID measure would protect election integrity. Critics argue that it would suppress the vote. The debate has gone on for years, and Minnesotans rejected a voter ID constitutional amendment in 2012.”

For FOX 9, Rob Olson reports, “Two weeks after the verdict in the Derek Chauvin trial, plywood and fencing downtown Minneapolis are nearly gone and businesses in the skyways are starting to reopen. But, they say it’s going to be a long time before they see customers at pre-pandemic levels. … Steve Cramer, of the Downtown Council, says there were about 218,000 workers downtown each day before the pandemic. It was about 5 percent of that through much of 2020. It’s now inching up in 2021 to nearly 15 or 16 percent.”

Mike Hughlett writes in the Star Tribune: “Some northern Minnesota landowners say Enbridge is not following through with a pledge made to allay opposition to its new Line 3 oil pipeline. The company in 2018 said it would remove the old pipeline — on its own dime — or drain and clean the old pipe, paying landowners to keep it buried. Now some landowners claim Enbridge has failed to provide enough information to make an ‘informed decision,’ including how much they would be paid if they retained the old pipeline on their property. ‘Enbridge has more or less phrased it as a take-it-or-leave-it offer,’ said Evan Carlson, an attorney representing landowners who filed a complaint late Friday with the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission (PUC). He declined to say how many landowners are involved in the complaint.”

Also for FOX 9, Tim Blotz says, “An experimental emergency housing village in Minneapolis is starting to see results. Avivo Village opened up 100 tiny homes in March near downtown Minneapolis and already, a number of residents have found permanent places to live. Inside the typical-seeming downtown office building are the one-bedroom tiny homes for people with no home. Monday, U.S. Sen. Tina Smith learned how it’s working so far. ‘What impressed me the most about this place is the sense of respect and dignity and just humanity in the way that people can live here,’ Smith said. Each home gives a person their own space. They can lock their door and even keep a pet.”

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For KARE-TV Emily Haavik writes, “No appointments are needed for a COVID-19 vaccine at the Minnesota State Fairgrounds, at least through Tuesday. According to the Minnesota Department of Health website, walk-ups are welcome at the site through May 4. The state fairgrounds community vaccination site is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily. No insurance or vaccine is required. Anyone who wants a vaccine just has to confirm their first name, last name, date of birth and home address.”

In the Star Tribune, Chao Xiong writes: “A juror in the Derek Chauvin murder trial attended the March on Washington anniversary last summer, which is drawing online speculation about his motives for serving on the trial and could become grounds for an appeal. In recent days, a photo of Brandon Mitchell that was originally posted on social media around the Aug. 28 event commemorating Martin Luther King Jr.’s ‘I Have a Dream’ speech began circulating online and on multiple news sites. … The matter is likely to be cited by [defense attorney Eric] Nelson as one of many bases for an appeal, said a law professor and defense attorney. ‘If [Mitchell] specifically was asked, ‘Have you ever participated in a Black Lives Matter demonstration,’ and he answered, ‘No,’ to that, I think that would be an important appealable issue,’ said Joseph Daly, emeritus professor at Mitchell Hamline School of Law.”

Also from BringMeTheNews, “A North Dakota State University track and field athlete had his scholarship offer revoked after he posted offensive videos on TikTok. First reported by the NDSU student newspaper The Spectrum, Noah Cvetnic, a transfer from the University of Minnesota, posted a series of videos on TikTok that gained attention after they were posted by a campus Black Lives Matter Instagram page. In the videos, Cvetnic jokes about campus sexual assault, pedophilia, drug use and other topics. Cvetnic will reportedly not compete for NDSU or receive the athletic scholarship he was originally offered.”

A KSTP-TV story by Jessica Miles says, “RoundtableRX is the only medication repository in Minnesota, and it’s now open for business. ‘This is an example of a box where you had medications that are donated’, says third-year University of Minnesota pharmacy student Eva Carlson. The repository is essential ‘Minnesota’s medication matchmaker,’ taking unused and safe prescription medications and dispensing them to patients in need for free or at little cost.”

The AP reports: “A man who shot and killed two people and wounded a third at a northeastern Wisconsin tribal casino restaurant had been fired from the eatery and ordered by a court to leave his former supervisor alone, according to court records. Bruce Pofahl, 62, walked into the Duck Creek Kitchen and Bar in Green Bay on Saturday and shot Ian Simpson, 32, and Jacob Bartel, 35, at a wait station at close range with a 9 mm handgun as dozens of patrons looked on, Brown County Sheriff Todd Delain said Monday during a news conference in Green Bay.”