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One dead after car crashes into Uptown protesters

Plus: many Minnesota districts dropping mask mandates for summer school; four drown in separate water-related incidents over weekend; two Twin Cities charter schools vote to unionize; and more.

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Photo by David von Diemar on Unsplash

Matt Sepic and Tim Nelson report for MPR: “A protest in Uptown Minneapolis near the site where Winston Smith was shot by sheriff’s deputies turned tragic late Sunday night when an SUV crashed into the crowd, injuring two people, one of them fatally. A witness said the eastbound SUV was moving at a high rate of speed as it approached just before midnight, and that the driver appeared to accelerate as they got closer to the demonstrators who had blocked off Lake Street near the intersection with Girard Avenue. The driver struck a vehicle parked across one of the traffic lanes on Lake Street, apparently positioned to protect the crowd. That second vehicle then hit people.”

Erin Golden writes for the Star Tribune: “Minnesota students and teachers returning to classrooms for summer school will still find extra hand-washing stations and desks spaced for social distancing, but they may see one clear shift in pandemic precautions: fewer people wearing masks. … Districts are pivoting to a new rule book that comes with more recommendations than requirements, passing the hard decisions about things like mask requirements or quarantine timelines to local school leaders. Many districts are dropping their requirements about mask wearing — at least for school staff and older students, who are eligible for vaccination — but holding on to other additional safety measures meant to prevent the spread of the virus.”

WCCO-TV reports: “The owner of Juut Salonspa says the Uptown Minneapolis location will close due to ‘continued escalation of crime and violence in our neighborhood.’ ‘I would be heartbroken if any of our team or clients got hurt,’ David Wagner wrote on Facebook. The salon has been at Hennepin Avenue and Lake Street in various incarnations since 1986, according to Wagner. It officially became Juut Salonspa in 1999. ‘We loved being part of the daily dynamic that an urban location provides, however, it has become more and more evident that Uptown continues to struggle with store closings, social unrest, crime, and street closures,’ Wagner said.”

Also in the Star Tribune, Chris Serres reports: “It was a tragic and deadly weekend for some Minnesota families who sought refuge from the heat in lakes and rivers, as water-related incidents claimed four lives and left one seriously injured. In separate incidents, from lakes in northern Minnesota to the St. Croix River near the Twin Cities, authorities have recovered the bodies of three men since Friday who drowned while recreating with friends and family. In Anoka County, a 2-year-old was airlifted to Children’s Minnesota Hospital in Minneapolis on Saturday evening after being found unresponsive in a pond. Another man had to be resuscitated and flown to a hospital after he lost control while water skiing on a lake and suffered a serious blow to his head.”

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A KSTP-TV story, by Gina Roe, says, “More than a week of 90 degree temperatures is affecting Minnesota lakes. The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency says the heat and little rain this June are making lakes look more like August when it comes to algal blooms. The agency has already received a number of reports of toxic blue-green algae on lakes. ‘A lot of sunlight, a lot of high temperatures, that’s what the algae really feed off of,’ Pam Anderson with the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency explained. Typically algae found on lakes is harmless, but blue-green algae can be harmful for pets and young children.”

Says Anthony Lonetree in the Star Tribune, “Educators and staff members at two Twin Cities charter schools have voted to unionize with the aim of taking a bigger part in school decision making. The moves to create bargaining units and then negotiate contracts were backed by wide margins by employees at Great River School in St. Paul and the Hiawatha Academies network of schools in Minneapolis. … Great River has 106 staff members now eligible to join Education Minnesota. Results announced last week at Hiawatha Academies involve 205 educators.”

MPR’s Paul Huttner says, “Sunday was our 10th day this June with a high of 90 degrees or warmer in the Twin Cities. A check of Twin Cities weather records revealed just six other Junes with 10 or more days of 90 degrees or warmer … . Twin Cities metro area highs are projected to reach the mid 80s Tuesday, followed by upper 80s Wednesday and lower 90s on Thursday. Temps retreat a bit on Friday, with highs in the mid 80s. An early look at next weekend points to highs in the lower 80s. How about beyond next weekend? Temperatures the following week could average out near normal.”

For the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Patrick Marley reports, “Four Wisconsin lawmakers toured the site of a controversial audit of Arizona ballots on Saturday alongside Eric Greitens, the former Missouri governor who stepped down three years ago after admitting to an affair and facing a blackmail allegation. What the four Wisconsin Republicans planned to do with the information they gleaned from Arizona’s ballot examination remained unclear. Their visit coincides with the Wisconsin Assembly hiring former law enforcement officials — including at least one with a partisan past — to review how the presidential election was conducted.”