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Ramsey County commissioners open to letting sheriff’s deputies provide security for Minnesota State Fair

Plus: contingent from U.S. Assembly of Catholic Bishops visits George Floyd square; Minnesota AG’s office oversees new conviction review unit; Wolves lose first-round draft pick; and more.

Minnesota State Fair entrance
MinnPost photo by Peter Callaghan

Matt McKinney writes in the Star Tribune: “Ramsey County commissioners agreed Tuesday to consider using Ramsey County sheriff’s deputies to provide security for the Minnesota State Fair, which finds itself without a police force two months before opening day. The agreement came only after board members aired their disappointment with Sheriff Bob Fletcher, who forced the issue by negotiating last month to take over fair security without first telling the board. Among the board’s many questions: Who will be liable if something goes wrong? How will the Sheriff’s Office meet its other obligations? And why should Ramsey County alone be responsible for an event with statewide appeal?”

In the Star Tribune, Alex Chhith writes: “As the Rev. Jerry McAfee, a Baptist preacher and longtime Minnesota civil rights activist, preached to about 60 people Tuesday night at George Floyd Square, familiar refrains rang out: The occasional ‘Hallelujah!” and “Amen!’ wafted from the small, solemn crowd gathered by the barriers, memorial items and flowers that still mark the site in Minneapolis where Floyd died last year under the knee of former police officer Derek Chauvin. But those responses came from a group that isn’t particularly known for them — Catholic priests. The priests, in Minneapolis for the annual meeting of the U.S. Assembly of Catholic Bishops this week, were visiting the intersection of 38th and Chicago to honor Floyd’s legacy and to learn how they might do more to counter racism, both as individuals and as an institution — and to face their own church’s past in upholding systemic racism.

Says John Croman at KARE-TV, “The Republican-controlled Minnesota Senate Tuesday found itself in the awkward position of undoing something that had passed just four days earlier with strong bipartisan support. Senators stripped away language that would’ve required oil refinery workers to go through union-style apprenticeships. The Senate had voted last Friday to add those provisions, known as the Refinery Safety Bill, as an amendment to the jobs bill. In total 50 out of 67 state senators had originally agreed to the language. That included Democrats, Iron Range independents and many Republicans. But Tuesday the Senate voted to strip the refinery safety amendment and pass the jobs bill without it. ‘They want to say they support blue collar workers and their families’, Tony Poole, the business manager for the Steamfitters and Pipefitters Union Local 455 in St. Paul, told KARE. ‘Well, today they had a chance to show that and they didn’t do it.’”

At MPR, Dan Gunderson says, “President Joe Biden said he wants American farmers to be the first in the world with net-zero greenhouse gas emissions. How they might achieve that goal is still unclear — but one idea getting a lot of attention involves paying farmers to store carbon in the soil. It’s called carbon banking, and some see it as one way to reduce the level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. While the concept has been around for decades, it’s still finding a foothold in ag-heavy states like Minnesota. ‘It’s definitely a change in management. And it definitely requires more management,’ said A.J. Krusemark, who farms with his wife and parents near the southern Minnesota town of Trimont, about an hour southwest of Mankato.”

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At BringMeTheNews, Melissa Turtinen says, “More than a dozen properties in Minnesota have been added to the National Registry of Historic Places this year.  The National Registry is the country’s official list of properties that have been identified as worthy of preservation because they’re significant in American history, architecture, archaeology, engineering or culture.  In Minnesota, there are more than 7,000 properties on the registry. And of those, more than 1,600 are listed individually (the rest are located within a National Register-listed historic district), according to the Minnesota State Historic Preservation Office. Twenty properties in Minnesota have been added to the National Register of Historic Places so far this year, with several others being considered.”

For KARE-TV Emily Haavik reports, “Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison is leading the charge on the state’s new conviction review unit (CRU). It’s only the fourth one in the country to be run through an attorney general’s office. Ellison is forming a board that will re-investigate cases submitted to them for review. Minnesota’s CRU is being launched in partnership with the Great North Innocence Project, thanks to a $300,000 grant from the Department of Justice.”

FOX 9 reports: “A county sheriff’s office in northern Wisconsin says it has taken more than 700 accidental 911 calls this year, which it attributes to an iPhone feature that can be accidentally triggered while boating or riding ATVs.  According to the Langlade County Sheriff’s Office, more than 159 accidental 911 calls have been reported in June alone. More than 700 accidental calls have been received in 2021.  According to the county’s dispatch supervisor, the majority of accidental calls from iPhone’s Emergency SOS Auto Call feature. When it is on, 911 is called when you touch your side button five times. It can be turned off in the settings. The Sheriff’s Office says people riding in trucks, ATVs and boats have accidentally hit their button five times, triggering the calls.”

Also in the Pioneer Press, Jace Frederick writes: “One year after the Lottery Gods smiled down on Minnesota, there was no such luck to be found for the Timberwolves on Tuesday night. The Timberwolves did not move into the top three, meaning their first-round pick, No. 7 overall, conveys to Golden State, completing the D’Angelo Russell-Andrew Wiggins deal made in February of 2020. Detroit will have the top pick in the July draft, while Houston will pick second and Cleveland will select third. Minnesota, meanwhile, is currently without a selection in the upcoming draft.”