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Woman with Winston Smith when he was killed is suing local authorities

Plus: Severe thunderstorms hit northern Minnesota; Dakota County’s Spring Lake Park Reserve to get herd of bison; Vikings ‘in discussions’ with offensive line coach who has refused to get vaccinated; and more.

From the AP: “A woman who was with a St. Paul man when he was shot and killed in Minneapolis by members of a federal task force is suing local authorities and has signaled her intent to sue the U.S. Marshals Service, saying she was emotionally traumatized and her civil rights were violated, her lawyers said Friday. Norhan Askar was on a date with Winston Boogie Smith Jr. and was sitting in an SUV in a Minneapolis parking ramp on June 3 when Smith, who was Black, was fatally shot as authorities tried to arrest him on a weapons violation.”

MPR reports: “Severe thunderstorms that swept across parts of northern Minnesota on Friday evening downed trees, knocked out power to thousands of homes and businesses and forced the cancellation of Ely’s annual Blueberry/Art Festival. …The National Weather Service reported that one storm cell produced a wind gust of 64 mph in the Duluth area just after 5 a.m. Saturday. As of 5:30 a.m. Saturday, utility companies were reporting more than 12,000 customers without power in central and northern Minnesota — including large outages in the Brainerd Lakes area, and just north of Duluth.”

In the Pioneer Press, Molly Korzenowki writes: “Dakota County was once covered in prairie wildflowers, and bison grazed through the tall grasses. Today the giant beasts of the west are few and far between. Dakota County officials are planning to bring a herd of about 30 bison to the Spring Lake Park Reserve by fall 2022. The park, located along the Mississippi River northwest of Hastings, would join a handful of locations in Minnesota, such as Blue Mounds State Park near Luverne, Minneopa State Park in Mankato and the Belwin Conservancy outside Afton, in hosting a bison herd.

The AP also reports: “Three former hockey players — including former Pittsburgh Penguins goalie Frank Pietrangelo — have joined an existing federal lawsuit against multiple organizations and a college and youth coach who allegedly sexually abused them during the 1980s, according to a civil complaint filed on Friday. … They’ve accused Thomas “Chico” Adrahtas of repeated sexual assault, abuse, molestation and harassment while they played on his teams at various levels of the sport. Many of the alleged victims, all male, were minors at the time.”

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MPR’s Laurel Poole writes: “The thick wildfire smoke that choked much of Minnesota earlier in the week has largely dissipated. But while measurements of particulates in the air have receded from record-high levels, the air quality still isn’t great across Minnesota as the state moves into a weekend of hot, humid conditions. And as wildfires continue to burn in Canada and the western United States, the Midwest may see more plumes of wildfire smoke drift in through the rest of the fire season — so experts say Minnesotans should stay aware of air quality.

Also from the AP: “Workers discovered three bodies early Friday at the entrance to a quarry in far western Wisconsin, and authorities said they are investigating the deaths as a triple homicide. La Crosse County Sheriff Jeff Wolf called the deaths a “targeted act” but declined to tell reporters how the three died, WXOW-TV reported. Wolf said the bodies were discovered shortly before 5 a.m. by two workers of the Milestone Quarry near West Salem, about 14 miles northeast of La Crosse, which is along the Minnesota border.”

In the Star Tribune, Andrew Krammer and Ben Goesling write: “The Vikings begin training camp next week, and it appears unlikely offensive line coach Rick Dennison will be on the field with players. The team is in discussions with Dennison about the COVID-19 protocols, according to a statement released Friday in response to an ESPN report that said Dennison was off the staff after he refused to get vaccinated. That move had not been made as of Friday afternoon, according to a league source. ”