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Walz, DFL leaders call on Rep. John Thompson to resign following abuse allegations

Plus: U of M neighborhood sees highest number of criminal incidents in at least a decade; officials issue expanded closure order for BWCA amid growing concerns about Canadian wildfires; rural Minnesota seeing farmland prices surge; and more.

FOX 9 reports: “After a FOX 9 report outlining uncovered past domestic abuse cases against Rep. John Thompson, top DFL officials are calling for him to step down. In back-to-back-to-back statements sent on Saturday, Governor Walz, Lt. Governor Peggy Flanagan, House Speaker Melissa Hortman, and Majority Leader Ryan Winkler, along with DFL Party Chairman Ken Martin all called for Thompson’s resignation. The past abuse allegations against the House representative were uncovered by FOX 9 as our investigators looked into questions over his residency — which came under scrutiny following a traffic stop in St. Paul earlier this month. In our investigation, police reports showed Thompson had faced four past domestic violence allegations from 2003 to 2010.”

Ryan Faicloth and Jeff Hargarten write in the Star Tribune: “A Star Tribune analysis of police department data shows criminal incidents in the neighborhoods surrounding the U reached the highest point in at least a decade this past academic year. From Sept. 1 to May 31, there were about 2,100 criminal incidents reported across university-area neighborhoods, up 40% from the nearly 1,500 tallied in the prior academic year. The spike near the university came as reported criminal incidents decreased slightly citywide. Violent crimes, such as shootings and homicides, rose across Minneapolis during the same span, however.”

Bob Shaw writes for the Pioneer Press: “It appears the coronavirus pandemic had a lasting impact on Minnesota’s nonprofits. During a 12-month period from April 2020 to March 2021, 186 nonprofits ceased operations, according to information from the Minnesota Attorney General’s Office. Organizations representing causes ranging from religion, disease, poverty, climate change and education were among those that ended operations. … Dawne Brown White, director of COMPAS, said the tally of nonprofits that closed disguise a deeper problem. She said that hundreds of other nonprofits have slashed services to almost nothing.”

Andrew Krueger reports for MPR:Superior National Forest officials on Saturday night issued a new, much larger temporary closure order for the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness north of Ely amid growing concerns about the threat posed by wildfires burning just across the Canadian border. The newly expanded order, which takes effect Sunday, includes 12 more BWCA entry points and the area around Lac la Croix, in addition to the areas around Crooked and Iron lakes that had previously been included. … The closure orders are being prompted by wildfires burning unchecked just across the border in Ontario’s Quetico Provincial Park, that could cross into the BWCA.”

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Also in the Star Tribune, Patrick Condon writes: “Rising prices for farmland across Minnesota helped Greg Schuman and his siblings decide it was finally time to sell off 160 acres in Chippewa County that his family owned for nearly a century. … The four siblings sold the farm between Clara City and Maynard to an investor for an amount Schuman wouldn’t reveal except to say that ‘all of us were very happy with the outcome.’ Near-record high corn and soybean prices over the last year are the biggest driver in a farmland value surge that, if it continues, could emerge as rural Minnesota’s version of the Twin Cities real estate boom.”

For the Forum News Service, Erich Fisher writes: “Over the past 40 years, whenever Dale Haigh and his family traveled, one of his first stops was a grocery store — and it wasn’t for groceries. He would scour the aisles until he found the cereal. Then he’d look for that classic orange Wheaties box, hoping to find an edition he could add to his collection back in Rochester. His collection now includes over 400 boxes. … Haigh recently posted his collection on Facebook Marketplace, offering to sell about 300 of his Wheaties boxes for $300. He said couldn’t bring himself to get rid of the entire collection.”