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Minneapolis asks state Supreme Court to take up police staffing case

Plus: state health officials say unvaccinated Minnesotans are ‘extremely vulnerable’ to delta variant of COVID-19; Rep. John Thompson says he won’t resign; new season of “The Bachelorette” full of Minnesotans; and more.

The Minnesota Supreme Court dais in the State Capitol building.
The Minnesota Supreme Court dais in the State Capitol building.
MinnPost photo by Corey Anderson

Liz Navratil writes for the Star Tribune: “Minneapolis officials are asking the state Supreme Court to intervene in a legal dispute as they challenge a judge’s ruling ordering them to hire more police officers. City attorneys are asking the state Supreme Court to take the unusual step of granting ‘accelerated review’ as they challenge an order requiring Minneapolis to hire at least 730 police officers by next summer. … If the justices grant the emergency request, the city’s case will bypass the Court of Appeals and head straight to the state’s highest court. Minneapolis’ minimum police staffing requirements have become a key issue in debates about how to transform public safety and in the November elections, when the future of the Police Department, the mayor’s office and all 13 City Council seats will be on the ballot for the first time since George Floyd’s murder by an officer.”

An MPR story says, “While Minnesota’s current upswing in COVID-19 is relatively mild compared to earlier surges, state officials are warning that the pandemic is not over yet and that those who are not vaccinated are especially vulnerable to a rapidly growing variant of the disease. Briefing reporters for the first time in nearly two months, state public health leaders didn’t unveil any new policy changes but they placed a heavy emphasis on the need to boost vaccinations to head off the highly contagious delta strain, which they said is now driving 75 percent of new cases. That growth ‘means trouble for people who never got vaccinated,’ Health Commissioner Jan Malcolm told reporters. … Malcolm noted state data showing that through July 15, 99.9 percent of Minnesotans who are fully vaccinated have not contracted the virus.”

The Star Tribune’s Stephen Montemayor reports, “Rep. John Thompson said Monday that he will not resign amid reports of previous domestic abuse allegations that his wife and a group of supporters denied in a news conference outside the State Capitol. … Thompson’s wife, who referred to herself as Lea Austin-Thompson but whose legal name is Aleatha, told reporters that they ‘no longer have the permission’ to publish details about her and her family’s life. But she then proceeded to discuss her reaction to recent news coverage on public records related to police calls that described multiple cases of alleged choking and punching by Thompson, at times in front of children, in three cities between 2003 and 2011.”

For KARE-TV, Danny Spewak reports: “The Ramsey County Board of Commissioners is expected to vote Tuesday morning on a measure that would hand over security duties at the Minnesota State Fair to the Ramsey County Sheriff’s Office, one month before the Great Minnesota Get-Together returns for the first time since 2019.  The Joint Powers Agreement outlines a 24/7 security coverage plan, tasking officers to work either eight-hour or 10-hour shifts. It follows more than two months of discussion between Sheriff Bob Fletcher, the state fair, and other county leaders, prompted by the elimination of the state fair’s police force in May due to the retirement of the department’s chief.”

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A WCCO-TV story by Marielle Mohs says, “An 11-year-old Minneapolis boy is fighting for his life in an East African hospital after he fell sick on vacation with his family. Zakariya Hassan has been in the hospital for 29 days. Doctors aren’t sure exactly what is ailing him, but the boy’s family is working to bring him back to the Twin Cities for treatment. A GoFundMe page is aiming to raise $250,000 to evacuate Zakariya from Nairobi, Kenya, and bring him to Children’s Hospital in Minneapolis. Since the page was created over the weekend, it’s raised over $25,000.”

FOX 9 reports: “Police are investigating after a shooting left a man dead Monday in St. Paul’s Macalester-Groveland neighborhood. According to St. Paul Police Spokesperson Steve Linders, at about 1:30 p.m., officers responded to a shooting on the 1700 block of St. Clair Avenue. When they arrived, they found a man in a car, suffering from multiple gunshot wounds. He was transported to the hospital where he later died.”

Also in the Star Tribune, John Reinan writes, “Days after an Iowa racetrack fired him for a racist rant, track announcer Lon Oelke was back behind the microphone at his longtime regular gig, calling the Friday night auto racing card at Fairmont Raceway in this southern Minnesota city. And he’s not going anywhere, according to the track promoter, who’s standing by Oelke amid the controversy over his Iowa remarks. ‘I think perhaps the whole thing is taken a little out of context with social media these days,’ said Fairmont track promoter Jon McCorkell, adding that he’ll ‘stick by my guy.’”

At BringMeTheNews Joe Nelson reports, “There could be a whole lotta Minnesota flavor in the upcoming season of ABC’s The Bachelorette. Not only will Woodbury native Michelle Young be the Bachelorette, but she’ll have a couple of men with Minnesota ties possibly in contention for her love. ABC unveiled 35 potential candidates for Season 18 of the show, including former Gophers basketball standout Joe Coleman and ex-Vikings offensive lineman Bryan Witzmann.”

Scott Bauer of the AP reports: “The Republican head of the Wisconsin Assembly elections committee said Monday she will ensure there is a ‘comprehensive, forensic examination’ of ballots cast in the 2020 presidential election at the same time the state’s nonpartisan audit bureau conducts a review. The broadened investigation comes amid pressure from former President Donald Trump and other national Republicans to take a closer look in Wisconsin, a state President Joe Biden won by just over 20,000 votes. There is no evidence of widespread fraud and courts rejected numerous lawsuits filed by Trump and his allies attempting to overturn the outcome. Democrats have derided calls for more investigations as feeding into conspiracy theories and lies that Trump actually won the state.”

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