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Hundreds protest Line 3 project in northern Minnesota

Plus: Minneapolis crews make another attempt to open 38th and Chicago to traffic; Ramsey County sheriff pulls deputies from federal fugitive task force until they’re permitted to wear body cameras; Minnesota unlikely to reach July 1 vaccination goal; and more.

Indigenous leaders and activists participate in a prayer at the Mississippi headwaters on the third day of the Treaty People Gathering, an organized protest of the Line 3 pipeline, in Solway, on Monday.
Indigenous leaders and activists participate in a prayer at the Mississippi headwaters on the third day of the Treaty People Gathering, an organized protest of the Line 3 pipeline, in Solway, on Monday.
REUTERS/Nicholas Pfosi

Dave Kolpack writes for the Associated Press: “Hundreds of protesters vowing to do whatever it takes to stop a Canadian-based company’s push to replace an aging pipeline blocked a pump station Monday in northern Minnesota, with some people chaining themselves to construction equipment before police began making arrests. … By evening, at least 30 people were arrested by state police and sheriff’s officers, but the number “is growing rapidly,” Ashley Fairbanks, a spokeswoman for Treaty People Gathering, told The Associated Press. … Protesters said the Treaty People Gathering was the largest show of resistance yet to the project.”

KSTP-TV reports: “For the second time in less than a week, Minneapolis city crews are trying to reopen the area around 38th and Chicago to traffic early Tuesday morning. Minneapolis city crews at around 4:50 a.m. were removing items from George Floyd Square as an attempt to reopen 38th and Chicago to traffic. Last Thursday, 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS were at 38th and Chicago as crews, and the community group removed concrete barriers blocking off the square, but activists quickly moved in after and blocked off the roads again with makeshift barriers.”

Mara H. Gottfried writes in the Pioneer Press: “The Ramsey County sheriff said Monday he pulled five deputies from a fugitive task force until they’re permitted by the federal agency to wear body cameras. Bob Fletcher announced on Monday that the U.S. Marshals Services in Minnesota agreed to allow deputies to use body-worn cameras, but he said the Minnesota director then told him it couldn’t happen right away. … On Thursday, two deputies — from Ramsey and Hennepin counties — serving on the U.S. Marshals Service North Star Fugitive Task Force fatally shot Winston Boogie Smith Jr., of St. Paul, in Minneapolis’ Uptown. The Minnesota Department of Public Safety announced Friday that there was no body camera footage of the shooting, which prompted some to question why the task force was allowed to operate without body-worn cameras.”

Also in the Pioneer Press, Nick Woltman writes: “The stepfather of a Maplewood teenager shot to death outside a Woodbury graduation party Saturday night is accused of starting the gunfight that killed the boy. Keith Dawson, 35, of St. Paul allegedly fired several shots at an SUV outside the party as he drove by, prompting the SUV’s occupants to return fire, according to a criminal complaint filed against him Monday in Washington County District Court. Dawson told investigators he is the stepfather of 14-year-old Demaris Hobbs-Ekdahl, who died in the shootout, Woodbury police said in a news release. Dawson faces four felony counts, including drive-by shooting, illegally possessing a firearm, and two second-degree assault charges.”

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Andy Mannix writes for the Star Tribune: “A U.S. District judge sentenced the last of four men who have pleaded guilty to torching a Minneapolis police station last summer to two years and three months in federal prison and ordered him to help pay $12 million in restitution for the damage. In court Monday morning, Judge Patrick Schiltz called Bryce Michael Williams a ‘good person who made a terrible mistake,’ which is why he rendered a prison term lower than prescribed by federal sentencing guidelines for the 27-year-old father and former college basketball player. But Schiltz rejected Williams’ request for probation, describing him as a leader — ‘not a follower’ — in the violent mob that torched the south Minneapolis Third Precinct police station during riots that engulfed the city after the murder of George Floyd.”

For KARE-TV Gordon Severson says, “Just a few months ago we were talking about ice on the road, now it’s road buckles. Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) spokesperson Anne Meyer says road buckling happens every summer in Minnesota, but we rarely see this many.… Since last week, MnDOT crews have fixed 28 road buckles in the Twin Cities metro alone. Meyer says there have been several other road buckles reported across the state as well.”

At FOX 9, Cody Matz reports, “The first week of June has been anything but typical. While we can get some brief heat this time of year, with record highs in the 90s and triple digits, it’s RARE that we get long lasting persistent heat. Well, 2021 decided to be different, and will go down as the longest stretch of heat so early in the summer season. … This long stretch of heat before the middle of June has never happened before, dating back to 1872. The longest stretch of 90 degree or higher days so early in the season is six.”

This from the Star Tribune’s Jeremy Olson: “Minnesota is on pace to fall just short of its goal to provide COVID-19 vaccine to 70% of people 16 and older by July 1 — despite new incentives to boost interest and new evidence that the shots prevent viral transmission and reduce the severity of illness. Nearly 3 million people 12 and older have received some vaccine in the state, but the seven-day rolling average of new recipients per day has fallen to 6,203. While the pace could pick up, Minnesota needs to provide more than 8,000 first doses per day — just among people 16 and older — to reach its goal.”