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Minnesota to receive $50 million from settlement of lawsuit against opioid manufacturer Purdue Pharma

Plus: vigil for man killed by police in Olivia disrupted by pickup trucks; video of crash that killed Leneal Frazier released; Minneapolis Fed will require vaccines for all employees; and more.

REUTERS/George Frey
OxyContin bottles
Drug money. KSTP’s Tommy Wiita reports: “Thursday morning, Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison announced a resolution of the state’s lawsuit against the Sackler family and the company the family controlled, Purdue Pharma, the manufacturer of the opioid drug Oxycontin. … The resolution of Minnesota’s lawsuit against Purdue and the Sacklers, along with those of other states and localities, will make public tens of millions of documents related to Purdue’s role in the deadly opioid crisis. … In addition, it requires the Sacklers to pay $4.325 billion over nine years for prevention, treatment and recovery efforts in communities across the country, in one of the largest amounts that individuals have paid to resolve a law enforcement action in U.S. history. … According to a release, Minnesota’s share of those payments is expected to exceed $50 million over nine years. The spending will be overseen by the state’s Opioid Epidemic Response Advisory Council.

Must be that small-town neighborliness we are always hearing about. MPR reports:A vigil for an Olivia man killed by police was disrupted in an apparent show of intimidation. … Around 50 people remembered Ricardo Torres Jr., 32, where he was shot, in an alley near a main street in the western Minnesota town Wednesday evening. They described him as a man who would ‘take the shirt off of his back’ for anyone. … Relatives and friends came from Olivia and towns nearby, but others drove in from the Twin Cities about 85 miles to the east to chant his name and pray. … About 10 minutes into the vigil, drivers in pickup trucks drove near the vigil, stopped and revved their engines, spewing exhaust. Others drove aggressively. Some mourners confronted the people in the trucks, and the sides yelled obscenities at each other for around 20 minutes. Police mostly stayed back, but then directed some trucks to move on. ”

Scary. WCCO reports:WCCO-TV has obtained surveillance video of the Minneapolis police chase Tuesday morning that ended with the death of an innocent driver. … The early morning crash at the intersection of Lyndale and 41st avenues killed 40-year-old Leneal Frazier of St. Paul, a father of five. He was also the uncle of Darnella Frazier, the teenager who recorded the viral video of George Floyd’s death last year.”

Related:Ben Crump Retained To Represent Family Of Leneal Frazier” [WCCO]

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Fed up with vaccine hesitancy. Also from WCCO:President of the Minneapolis Federal Reserve Bank Neel Kashkari announced his decision to require COVID-19 vaccinations from employees Thursday. … According to a press release from Kashkari and the bank, the new policy will require all employees to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by the end of August to continue employment. The bank said that exceptions will only be made for those who cannot get vaccinated due to medical conditions or those with sincerely held religious beliefs.”

A true profile in courage here. The Bemidji Pioneer’s Matthew Stolle reports: “In a sometimes raucous town hall meeting Wednesday, July 7, Rep. Jim Hagedorn defended his decision to object to the counting of electoral votes from Arizona and Pennsylvania on Jan. 6, the same day supporters of former President Donald Trump stormed the Capitol to disrupt the counting. … ‘Here’s why I voted against the electors on Jan. 6: I took the stand on constitutional grounds,’ Hagedorn said. … Hagedorn also said that when Congress met to certify the election, there were not enough votes to overturn it. Biden was going to be certified the winner, so he used his vote to register his objection to [changes in voting procedures], he said. … ‘Everybody knew that,’ Hagedorn said about the number of votes. ‘The Republicans didn’t control the House. I voted that way in order to make the point that I wrote in a statement that night. In the United States of America, we follow the Constitution.’ … ‘We didn’t have the votes,’ he repeated. ‘The country wasn’t going to fall apart.’

Judging words. The Star Tribune’s Chao Xiong reports: “A judge’s assertion that there’s no evidence that four girls were traumatized by witnessing George Floyd’s murder last year is being challenged by the Minnesota Attorney General’s Office, which prosecuted the case. … Attorney General Keith Ellison filed a letter with the court late Wednesday asking Hennepin County District Judge Peter Cahill to delete portions of a June 25 document he filed in the case outlining his thought process for giving former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin 22 1/2 years in prison for Floyd’s murder. … Ellison criticized Cahill for apparently dismissing the trauma suffered by the girls; three were 17 and one was 9 at the time.

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In other news…

Moore doc:New documentary celebrates Lynx star Maya Moore’s off-court mission” [Star Tribune]

Paws:No wolf hunt in Minnesota this year” [MPR]

A Dairy State original:Colby angles to be Wisconsin’s big cheese” [MPR]

Lost allure:Minnesota fishing license sales down from last year” [Duluth News Tribune]

Hitting the big time:Hilal Ibrahim launches sustainably-made luxury hijab line with Nordstrom” [Sahan Journal]

Big  mouth:Minneapolis teen shows off widest mouth gape in the world on ‘Jimmy Kimmel Live’” [Star Tribune]