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St. Paul police release video of state Rep. John Thompson’s traffic stop

Plus: MPCA investigating spill of drilling fluid during Line 3 construction; TSA worker accused of taking photos of women passing through MSP Airport; Duluth Central High School finally set to be sold; and more.

State Rep. John Thompson, DFL-St. Paul, said at a press conference Walz needed to “show some testicular fortitude” and was giving Black lawmakers and their constituents “lip service” rather than leadership in cutting a deal with Senate Republicans.
MinnPost photo by Peter Callaghan
State Rep. John Thompson
Mara H. Gottfried and Dave Orrick write in the Pioneer Press: “Police released body camera footage Tuesday after a St. Paul legislator said last week he was racially profiled during a traffic stop, as critics continued to question the legality of Rep. John Thompson having a Wisconsin driver’s license as an elected official in Minnesota. The video, which included two short interactions between Thompson and a sergeant, showed Thompson telling the sergeant to stop racially profiling Black men. The officer, who is white, told him he was not profiling. … Police Chief Todd Axtell released the video under a provision of state law that says information, such as body camera footage, that wouldn’t typically be public can be released to ‘dispel widespread rumor,’ said Steve Linders, a police spokesman. He consulted with the city attorney before doing so.”

Kristi Marohn writes for MPR: “The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency is investigating a spill of drilling fluid into the Willow River in Aitkin County last week during construction on the Line 3 oil pipeline. About 80 to 100 gallons of drilling fluid, or mud, were inadvertently released on July 6 at a construction site near the town of Palisade, Minn., the MPCA said. Enbridge Energy is drilling beneath the Willow River to install a new crude oil pipeline to replace the existing Line 3. It’s one of several river crossings along the 340-mile pipeline corridor across northern Minnesota. The MPCA said the drilling mud was a combination of bentonite clay, water and xanthan gum, which it says is not toxic and commonly used as a food additive. … Environmental groups opposed to the Line 3 project criticized the release, which they call a ‘frac-out.’ They voiced concern that the fine particles in drilling mud could impact aquatic life.”

The Star Tribune’s Dee DePass writes, “A key lender of the Dayton’s Project on Nicollet Mall now wants to auction off the loan to the highest bidder, a move the project’s developer along with the city of Minneapolis and downtown boosters plan to fight in court. New York-based Monarch Alternative Capital purchased the original $78 million mezzanine loan on the iconic, but mostly vacant, former Minneapolis department store from investor Angelo Gordon in February. In recent weeks, however, Monarch informed the developer and owner of the Dayton’s Project, 601 Minnesota Mezz, that it considers the collateralized loan in default because it missed key leasing targets and deadlines. Monarch said it intends to auction off its equity stake in the loan as part of a foreclosure sale now set for Aug. 23.”

Also for MPR, Paul Huttner writes: “A few isolated thunderstorms will drift across southern Minnesota Tuesday evening. … But this week’s main weather event arrives Wednesday. A low-pressure wave will cross southern Minnesota Wednesday. The system will trigger more widespread rain and thunder starting in southwest Minnesota Wednesday morning, then moving eastward across southern Minnesota Wednesday. For the Twin Cities, rain chances will increase rapidly by around midday, with scattered storms likely into Wednesday evening across southern Minnesota. The Canadian model shows the low and rain waves crossing southern Minnesota Wednesday.”

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WCCO-TV reports: “A TSA worker is accused of taking dozens of photos of women passing through MSP Airport. Prosecutors say 37-year-old Bjorn Broms used his phone to take pictures of the airport’s surveillance video. Investigators found 42 photos, all of young women wearing revealing or tight clothing. The investigation started when a child slipped past security, and Broms allegedly leaked the video to Minnesota Public Radio.”

In the Star Tribune, Jana Hollingsworth writes: “The former Duluth Central High School, which last graduated a class in 2011, is finally set to be sold for $7.4 million, about half its original asking price from a decade ago. St. Louis Park’s Saturday Properties, operating as Saturday Central Heights, entered into a purchasing agreement Tuesday for the front 55 acres of 800 E. Central Entrance. It’s the same developer that in October agreed to purchase Historic Old Central High School, the 129-year-old former high school that has been school district offices and alternative education classrooms in recent years, for $3 million.”

Also in the Pioneer Press, Kai Sanchez writes: “The median sales price for homes in the Twin Cities rose to $355,000 in June, a 12.7 percent increase from a year before, according to data released Tuesday by the Minnesota Realtors Association. Meanwhile, pending home sales rose 0.4 percent to 5,663 in the seven-county metro area in June while closed sales jumped 20.6 percent to 6,185 for the month. The number of new listings rose 10.5 percent to 7,000. The median of days homes spent on the market in June was 20 days, a drop from 32 in June 2020. In an unprecedented milestone, sellers statewide were getting 103.2 percent of their asking price, pushing the average sales price to $367,753 — 9.3 percent above 2020. In the metro, sellers were getting 104.3 percent of the asking price.”

FOX 9 reports: “First lady Jill Biden will no longer be visiting the Twin Cities this week, according to an update from the White House. On Sunday, the White House announced Dr. Biden would be traveling to the metro on Friday. However, Tuesday night officials sent an update stating that she will no longer be traveling to the area. No further explanation was given.”