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Judge asked to block Minneapolis’ updated public safety ballot question

Plus: 12-year-old boy dies following shooting in Minneapolis; Minnesota Senate Republicans elect Jeremy Miller as majority leader; Jack-O-Lantern Spectacular back at the Minnesota Zoo; and more.

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Photo by David von Diemar on Unsplash

Liz Navratil writes in the Star Tribune: “The latest legal twist over a ballot question determining the future of the Minneapolis Police Department prompted attorneys to renew arguments over whether a judge should scrap the latest version. In a letter filed Wednesday, attorneys for a trio who sued the city over its ballot language asked Hennepin County Judge Jamie Anderson to block election officials from using the updated question, saying it’s too similar to one she struck down the day before. … Lawyers for the city of Minneapolis and Yes 4 Minneapolis, the political committee that wrote the proposal, blasted the request.”

WCCO-TV reports: “Minnesota Senate Republicans elected state Sen. Jeremy Miller Wednesday night to serve as majority leader, replacing former leader Paul Gazelka as he runs for governor in the 2022 election. Miller, R-Winona, has served as Senate president since 2019 and was first elected to the state Senate in 2010. ‘It’s an honor and a privilege to be elected by my peers as Leader,’ Miller said, in a statement, adding: ‘As we head into a bonding year, we will invest in the top priorities for the state and create a fair and transparent redistricting process for the next election.’”

At MPR, Matt Sepic reports: “Police are investigating after vandals damaged the front of the Hmong Cultural Center Museum in St. Paul early Wednesday morning and spray-painted a slogan associated with a white supremacist group. The museum recently expanded its exhibits on Hmong culture, history and contributions to the United States. It was about to hold a grand opening.”

Says a KARE-TV story: “A 12-year-old boy has died following a shooting Wednesday afternoon in north Minneapolis. According to Minneapolis Police, officers were called to 8th Avenue and Aldrich Avenue at around 3:40 p.m. on a report of a shooting. Police say early investigations show it was a ‘neighborhood dispute that turned violent’. The victim was transported to a local hospital and later died. Family identified the victim as London Michael Bean. Police say the suspect fled the scene. Witnesses tell KARE 11 they saw two children fighting when another person ran up with a gun and started shooting.”

WCCO-TV also reports: “A St. Paul man pleaded guilty Wednesday to threatening a member of the United States House of Representatives. The U.S. Attorney’s Office says 32-year-old Jason Robert Burham Karimi left a voicemail for a California representative in January, in which he communicated ‘graphic threats of violence’ against them. U.S. Capitol police traced the call to Karimi, which led the FBI to set up a meeting to speak with him near his home in St. Paul the next day. Karimi admitted to leaving the voicemail, saying he’s a marijuana industry lobbyist, and he wanted to inflict “political pain” on the lawmaker’s career.”

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Also in the Star Tribune, Andy Mannix reports: Two prominent Minnesota political activists volleyed lawsuits back and forth this week, the latest development in the messy fallout over GOP donor Anton Lazzaro’s indictment on child sex trafficking charges. Republican operative William Grant is suing independent journalist Rebecca Brannon and DFL strategist Justin Perpich, claiming they defamed him with remarks on Twitter tying him to Lazzaro. In response, Perpich filed a countersuit Wednesday, alleging Grant is trying to silence him ‘with respect to a matter of substantial public concern.’ ‘If the case proceeds, we’re salivating at the thought of getting all of the e-mails, text messages and recordings,’ said Perpich’s attorney, Chris Madel. ‘Billy Grant is going to be sorry he sued Justin Perpich.’”

MPR’s Dan Gunderson reports, “Don Wyse has long been an evangelist for perennial crops. The University of Minnesota professor, who leads the U of M Forever Green Initiative, now thinks the potential of those crops is beginning to be realized. … Perennial crops can help reduce the environmental impact of agriculture, and they fit well with the regenerative agriculture movement that focuses on soil health. The largest crop yet of Kernza was recently harvested. Research shows Kernza improves water quality by reducing fertilizer pollution of water, and it can efficiently store carbon in the soil, helping reduce carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas. It also requires less fertilizer and pesticide than many traditional crops.”

Says Melissa Turtinen for BringMeTheNews, “ The Jack-O-Lantern Spectacular will be back at the Minnesota Zoo this fall. Thousands of carved pumpkins will light up a trail at the Apple Valley zoo nightly from Oct. 1 through Nov. 7.  This is the third year of the Jack-O-Lantern Spectacular after taking a year off in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.  This year’s event will feature about 5,000 pumpkins and a new theme — ‘ABC’— and new designs, including a ‘rotating selection of expertly carved’ pumpkins, including some that took more than 30 hours to create.”

For the Forum News Service, John Myers reports: “The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources announced Wednesday that the agency has certified a new catch-and-release record northern pike: a 46 1/4-inch fish caught June 19 on Basswood Lake by Brecken Kobylecky, 15, of Geneva, Illinois. The previous catch-and-release record was a 45 1/4-inch northern pike caught on the Rainy River in 2018. Minnesota’s record for biggest kept pike also comes from Basswood Lake: a 45-pound, 12-ounce monster caught in 1929. The DNR also certified a 57 1/4-inch musky caught and released July 23 on Lake Vermilion by Todd Kirby, of Hudson, Wisconsin, that tied a 2019 musky also caught on Lake Vermilion.”

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