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Carnahan out as Minnesota GOP chair

Plus: Frey says he will veto language on Minneapolis public safety ballot question over lack of explanatory note; judge to decide soon on allowing guns at State Fair; Black-owned full-service bank to open branch in Twin Cities; and more.

Briana Bierschbach and Alex Chhith write in the Star Tribune: “Minnesota Republican leaders forced Jennifer Carnahan out as head of the state party on Thursday, turning a page on a scandal that threatened to consume GOP politics ahead of a pivotal election year. Carnahan leaves as chair of the party amid allegations that she created a toxic workplace environment …. The party’s 15-member executive board voted 8-7 to give Carnahan a severance of three months salary, roughly $38,000, to leave her role. Carnahan, who attended the meeting virtually, was the deciding vote to give herself severance on the way out.”

FOX 9’s Rose Semenov reports: “Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey announced he intends to veto the language of the public safety ballot question ‘as it stands’ after the Policy and Government Oversight Committee approved the ballot question without an explanatory note. The ballot question asks voters if they are in favor of updating the city charter to replace the police department with a public safety department. Mayor Frey argues a note is needed because the question does not state how approving the measure would remove the police chief, remove mandatory staffing minimums for police officers, and have the new department head report to the mayor and all council members instead of just the mayor.”

Says Matt Sepic for MPR, “Ramsey County judge Laura Nelson says she’ll decide before the Minnesota State Fair opens Aug. 26 whether people who have gun permits may carry their firearms onto the Falcon Heights fairgrounds. In a hearing conducted by telephone Thursday, attorneys representing the Minnesota Gun Owners Caucus and the State Agricultural Society, the entity that operates the fair, each presented opposing interpretations of a Minnesota firearms law, and a statute that deals with the State Fair.”

Also in the Pioneer Press, Ava Kian writes: “First Independence Bank, one of only 18 Black-owned full-service banks in the U.S., filed an application with the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation Thursday to open a branch in the Twin Cities with hopes of lessening racial disparities. The ‘full service’ bank is expected to open a branch at 3430 University Ave. SE Minneapolis in early November. Another location, at Lake Street and Hiawatha Avenue, may open by the middle of 2022, First Independence Bank chairman and CEO Kenneth Kelly said at a news conference Thursday.”

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Nicole Mitchell of MPR says, “Severe or greater drought now covers 88 percent of Minnesota, with expanding areas, especially in eastern and southern Minnesota over the past week. Half (49.77 percent) of the state is now in at least extreme drought, with 8 percent of that area in exceptional drought. Those highest categories have seen the largest growth in northern Minnesota. Fortunately, a wetter pattern is making a comeback, and Friday’s rainfall in particular could target some of the hardest-hit drought areas.”

Says Neal Justin in the Star Tribune, “WCCO Radio has decided not to broadcast live from the Minnesota State Fair. In a statement to listeners, station manager Brad Lane and program director Lindsay Peterson said the decision came after learning that the Great Get Together won’t require visitors to wear masks or show proof they’ve [been] vaccinated.”

Related. Pafoua Yang reports for WCCO-TV: “This year’s Minnesota State Fair experience may not be what fair-goers are used to. After releasing its COVID-19 guidelines Wednesday, many vendors and exhibitors are making a tough decision. Fair Spokesperson Danielle Dullinger said about 150 to 200 vendors and exhibitors will not be returning. She said in pre-pandemic years, the fair lost about 50 to 100 vendors and exhibitors. The fair has not been finding replacements to give more room for attendees.”

WCCO-TV reports: “A tour bus carrying the band Blues Traveler crashed on a highway in southeastern Minnesota Thursday morning. According to the Minnesota State Patrol, the bus was headed west on Interstate 90 near Wilson Township when it lost control and crashed in the center median ditch just before 6:30 a.m. John Popper, the band’s lead singer, was hospitalized with injuries. He posted on Facebook he was “largely fine” and that everyone on the bus was ‘very grateful to be alive.’”

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