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Brooklyn Park man pleads guilty in St. Paul nutrition store fire last May

Plus: Minneapolis council approves more funding for housing program; Mayo doctor issues dire warning about delta variant; Twin Cities suburbs embracing market gardens; and more.

More legal proceedings from the aftermath of the killing of George Floyd. The Pioneer Press’ Nick Woltman reports: “A Brooklyn Park man pleaded guilty Tuesday to one count of conspiracy to commit arson for his role in setting fire to a St. Paul nutrition store in the rioting that followed the police killing of George Floyd last year in Minneapolis. … Samuel Elliot Frey, 20, was one of several people involved in igniting a blaze that damaged the Great Health Nutrition store at 1360 W. University Ave. on May 28, 2020, according to court documents. A sentencing date for Frey has not yet been scheduled.”

Funding housing. WCCO reports: “The Minneapolis City Council on Wednesday approved $14 million to create 104 affordable homes in the city. … The program, called Minneapolis Homes, will construct 62 new houses, while 42 additional units will be acquired and repurposed. … The goal of the program is to help eliminate racial disparities in homeownership in the city, as the state has one of the highest racial homeownership gaps in the country.”

Reminder: Get vaccinated. WCCO’s Esme Murphy reports: “Dr. Gregory Poland of the Mayo Clinic is one of the nation’s leading experts on vaccines. He says he is still wearing a mask even when he steps out of his Mayo office. …‘It’s a serious warning for us in Minnesota,’ he said. ‘We are seeing the Delta variant really take over.’ … Poland shared a particularly dire warning for those still unvaccinated for COVID. … ‘Don’t be deceived that “I got this far and I am OK.” This is a very different variant. It will find you,’ he said. ‘This virus will find everybody who is not immune.’

Suburbs growing. The Star Tribune’s Erin Adler reports: “Dawn Gaetke wanted to grow and sell mushrooms from her suburban yard for some extra income. … After a year of working with Inver Grove Heights officials to change local rules, Gaetke’s wish was granted this month — and she already has a modest crop of mushrooms sprouting from logs on her property. … ‘Having suburban market gardens is going to make our food system more resilient,’ she said. ‘What I’m doing is part of the local food movement.’ … Across the metro, suburban communities are allowing — and in some cases encouraging — residents to grow produce in community spaces or their own yards.

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In other news…

Congrats:St. Paul DFLers endorse Mayor Melvin Carter, three school board candidates” [Star Tribune]

Do unto others:U.S. to continue restricting visits by Canadians” [WDIO]

The MPCA has an app you can download to get air quality info:MPCA’s Air Quality Index App” [WCCO]

A relief to parents:Children’s Minnesota pilot program allows parents to take premature babies home sooner” [KSTP]

Good press for Peace Coffee:How This Fair-Trade Coffee Company Built a $10 Million Brand With a Mission-Driven Model” [Inc.]