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Minneapolis crews attempt to open George Floyd Square for vehicle traffic a second time

Plus: Omar requests broader DOJ investigation of Minnesota law enforcement; hiring crunch in northern Minnesota; Line 3 protesters’ legal strategies involving treaty rights; and more.

A new fist sculpture stands in George Floyd Square.
A new fist sculpture stands in George Floyd Square.
REUTERS/Nicole Neri

Still closed. The Star Tribune’s Susan Du and Tim Harlow report:Minneapolis city crews returned to George Floyd Square early Tuesday to remove makeshift barriers blocking streets, the second attempt in less than a week to open the intersection of 38th Street and Chicago Avenue to traffic. … Crews moved in with front-end loaders and brooms just before 5 a.m. to move ‘debris and trash piles’ out of the way, said city representatives. They were on scene for about half an hour. … The workers did not disturb the pop-up gardens and memorial artifacts scattered throughout the intersection. As of noon, three sides of the square were mostly reopened, with the exception of the large fist sculptures standing in the middle of the street, a few cars wedged horizontally and small traffic signs repurposed as roadblocks.”

Investigation requested. Also in the Star Tribune, Stephen Montemayor writes:U.S. Rep. Ilhan Omar and a group of nearly two dozen Democratic elected officials are asking the Justice Department to expand its review of the Minneapolis Police Department to include seven other state and local police agencies. … In a letter obtained by the Star Tribune, Omar asked U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland to widen his department’s investigation in Minneapolis to include the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, Minnesota State Patrol, Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office and police departments in Brooklyn Center, Richfield, Edina and St. Anthony.”

The Northland’s hiring crunch. The Duluth News Tribune’s Laura Butterbrodt reports: “Fitger’s Inn manager John Klemme is having trouble finding housekeepers. Although the Duluth hotel position isn’t exactly in high demand in a normal year, he hasn’t been able to find any applicants to fill the job openings for the tourist season this year as things begin to reopen after the COVID-19 pandemic. … ‘We are currently about five housekeepers short for what we anticipate to be probably the busiest summer we’ve ever had,’ Klemme said. … To try to attract workers, the job’s starting wage is now $15 an hour, an increase of $3.50 per hour.”

On treaties and the rights of Line 3 protesters. At Truthout, Candice Bernd reports:A number of federal treaties with Chippewa nations in what is now Minnesota, including that of 1837 and 1854, expressly guarantee tribal access to ceded lands in order to hunt, fish and gather, including rights to do so off reservation. Although these rights are not expressly stated in an 1855 treaty, Bibeau says the right was understood to be included by tribes signing the agreement at the time — a principle upheld by the Supreme Court in 1999. Moreover, courts have also upheld the idea of the reserved rights doctrine, meaning that any rights that are not specifically ceded or otherwise addressed in a treaty are reserved to the tribe.”

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In other news…

Water hazard:Lifeguard Shortage Leaving Some Minnesota Pools, Beaches Unsupervised” [WCCO]

Large scale problem:Goldfish are invasive problem in Twin Cities lake” [WQOW]

Pine River does not recognize Oklahoma, Arizona, New Mexico, Hawaii or Alaska:45-star US flag found in attic being preserved for display in Minnesota town” [Bemidji Pioneer]

Getting in gear:St. Louis Park Moves Up To Silver Level As A Bicycle Friendly Community” [Patch]

Too hot for teacher: