Nonprofit, nonpartisan journalism. Supported by readers.


Lawsuit seeks to toss Minneapolis public safety ballot question

Plus: judge to consider suspending Minnesota’s new deadly force law; state officials can’t say when they’ll start sending tax refunds on unemployment benefits; Minnesota sees 300 traffic deaths before Labor Day for the first time in more than a decade; and more. 


Liz Navratil writes for the Star Tribune: “​​Three Minneapolis residents — including a couple who last year sued over the city’s police staffing levels — brought a lawsuit Monday seeking to have ballot language for a key public safety proposal tossed out. Attorneys for Don and Sondra Samuels, as well as Bruce Dachis, argued that the language city officials approved earlier this month is ‘misleading’ and fails to inform voters of key aspects of the proposal.… Attorneys for Dachis and the Samuelses also say it’s misleading to say the new agency is ‘replacing’ the Police Department, because there isn’t a guarantee it will have police.”

Says Brian Bakst for MPR, “A Minnesota judge said Monday he will decide soon whether to suspend a new police deadly force law or dismiss a challenge to the stricter standard the Legislature passed after George Floyd’s killing in Minneapolis. The lawsuit is the first major test to policing changes approved after Floyd’s 2020 death in Minneapolis police custody. Ramsey County District Court Judge Leonardo Castro heard more than 70 minutes of arguments over the way the law was crafted and whether officers had enough time to adapt to the requirements.”

Theo Keith reports for FOX 9: “After two months, Minnesota revenue officials cannot say when they’ll start sending out checks to 550,000 taxpayers owed refunds on 2020 unemployment benefits and payroll loans. The Legislature approved the tax breaks in late June, providing relief to Minnesotans who’d been laid off during the COVID-19 pandemic and were left with an income tax bill on their jobless benefits. … But the Minnesota Department of Revenue has not sent out the refunds — worth $454 million for the payroll loans and $234 million on unemployment benefits — and blames the delay on a system change.”

The AP reports: “Minnesota reached 300 traffic accident deaths before Labor Day for the first time in more than a decade, prompting state public safety officials on Monday to issue a plea for people to slow down. The state reported its 300th fatality on Saturday, which is the earliest the state has eclipsed that threshold since 2007, according to data from the Minnesota Department of Public Safety’s Office of Traffic Safety.”

Article continues after advertisement

A KSTP-TV story says, “The Minnesota State Fair saw the most visitors so far for the 2021 event on Sunday. According to the fair, 149,247 people visited the State Fairgrounds Sunday, breaking the previous day’s record for this year. However, fair attendance still remained below average in comparison to previous years.”

Writes Brooks Johnson for the Star Tribune: “A national environmental group is urging ‘swift PFAS cleanup’ at six Great Lakes military installations contaminated by the toxic chemicals, including the Duluth Air National Guard base where the chemicals were used in firefighting foam. ‘The potential threat to Great Lakes wildlife from PFAS contamination at (Department of Defense) sites is a local example of a national problem,’ the national Environmental Working Group said in a report released Tuesday. The cancer-linked ‘forever chemicals’ contaminating groundwater at the base have been found in some Lake Superior fish, but no public drinking water supplies have been compromised, Minnesota regulators say.

A KARE-TV story by Shelley Strindberg says, “In Northeast Minneapolis, volunteers use ancient techniques to build a pavilion in Logan Park meant to last several lifetimes. The idea is to create a space for picnics, music, and performances. ‘I heard some people talk about Shakespeare in the park’, recalled Mike Ferrin, the pavilion project manager. The pavilion is in the timber-frame style, and constructed using the same technique builders did thousands of years ago. At Logan Park, volunteers carved the timber ends to fit like puzzle pieces. They also used tools dating back centuries.”

KSTP-TV’s Tommy Wiita reports: “Minnesota Rep. Erin Koegel (District 37A) is recovering after three of her fingers were cut off in a power saw accident. According to a GoFundMe set up by the family, on Aug. 22 while using a power saw, Koegel lost control of the machine and cut off her middle, ring and pinky fingers. … Koegel was transported to North Memorial by helicopter. She then had emergency surgery to try and save her fingers. She was able to have her middle finger reattached. Her ring and pinky fingers were lost, according to the post.”

WCCO-TV reports: “​​Former WCCO sports director Mark Rosen says that his wife Denise has died, three years after being diagnosed with brain cancer. … Minnesotans welcomed Mark Rosen’s sports coverage into their homes for nearly 50 years prior to his retirement in 2019. Chief among his reasons for retiring was his desire to spend as much time as possible with Denise.”

Article continues after advertisement