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Charges to be dropped against truck driver who drove into protest on I-35W last summer

Plus: Wisconsin stop on the “convention circuit of delusion”; much of Minnesota under red flag warning; James J. Hill’s personal rail car headed to Minnesota Transportation Museum; and more.

A tanker truck drives into thousands of protesters
REUTERS/Eric Miller
A tanker truck drove into thousands of protesters marching on I-35W during a protest last summer.
No charges. The Star Tribune’s Rochelle Olson reports:The Otsego truck driver who drove into a massive protest on the Interstate 35W bridge last summer in the aftermath of George Floyd’s murder will see the two criminal charges against him dropped if he remains law-abiding for the next year. … Bogdan Vechirko, 36, entered into what is called a ‘continuance without prosecution’ agreement with Hennepin County prosecutors before District Judge William Koch on Friday.”

The AP checks in from Magafest, Wisconsin. Jill Colvin writes: “For a few hours last weekend, thousands of Donald Trump’s supporters came together in a field under the blazing Wisconsin sun to live in an alternate reality where the former president was still in office — or would soon return. … Clad in red MAGA hats and holding ‘Trump 2021’ signs, they cheered in approval as Mike Lindell, the MyPillow creator-turned-conspiracy peddler, introduced ‘our real president.’ … In the nearly five months since Trump’s presidency ended, similar scenes have unfolded in hotel ballrooms and other venues across the country. … Taken together, the gatherings have gelled into a convention circuit of delusion centered on the false premise that the election was stolen.

Big fire danger for much of the state. WCCO reports:Due to extreme wildfire conditions, a red flag warning has been issued for much of central Minnesota, including the Twin Cities. … National Weather Service issued the warning for Aitkin, Anoka, Benton, Carlton, Carver, Cass, Chippewa, Chisago, Crow Wing, Douglas, Hennepin, Isanti, Kanabec, Kandiyohi, Lac Qui Parle, McLeod, Meeker, Mille Lacs, Morrison, Pine, Pope, Ramsey, Renville, Sherburne, St. Louis, Stearns, Stevens, Swift, Todd, Washington, Wright and Yellow Medicine counties.”

It’s a beauty. The Pioneer Press’ Deanna Weniger reports: “The Minnesota Transportation Museum is expecting a late arrival a week or two from now — rolling in from the late 19th century. … The A-18, a personal business rail coach of empire builder and St. Paul giant James J. Hill, was located in California and purchased by Hill’s great grandson. On Thursday, it began its long trek back home to become a centerpiece in the museum.”

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A new wall for the state’s biggest walleye? The Duluth News Tribune’s John Myers writes: “LeRoy Chiovitte apparently didn’t put anything in his will about his most famous possession. … Nearly two years after the Hermantown angler’s death at age 82, the walleye he caught in 1979 sits — stuffed, enclosed in a glass case — on a desk in his wife’s apartment in Hermantown. … It remains the largest walleye ever caught on hook and line and registered in Minnesota, where the walleye is the official state fish: 17 pounds, 8 ounces, 35 ¾ inches long and 21 ¼ inches around the belly.