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Ruling expected on Minneapolis public safety ballot question

Plus: St. Paul firefighters want to embed social workers with first responders; 46,000 Minnesotans age 12-17 vaccinated in weeks before school start; St. Paul city attorney asks state to suspend Rep. John Thompson’s driving privileges; and more.

Photo by Bill Oxford on Unsplash

Ballot question still in question. The Star Tribune’s Liz Navratil reports: “Lawyers made impassioned but conflicting pleas Monday morning in a case that is raising concerns about whether a ballot measure determining the future of the Minneapolis Police Department could be kicked off the November ballot. … The arguments, made during an hourlong virtual hearing before Hennepin County Judge Jamie Anderson, came four days before early voting is set to begin in what many expect will be a historic election. Ballots are already being printed. Early voting is set to begin Friday. … Anderson didn’t say when she would issue a decision, other than to say it would be ‘as soon as possible.’ The side that loses could appeal.”

A hot idea. The Pioneer Press’ Frederick Melo reports: “In an effort to better serve the homeless, the mentally ill and others in crisis, the St. Paul Fire Department is proposing an outside-of-the-box solution. … Social workers, both embedded and on-call from local shelters, would roll out with first-responders at all hours to meet the city’s most vulnerable residents. Organizations such as Catholic Charities, Listening House and the Union Gospel Mission would provide in-the-moment support — at an annual cost to city taxpayers of roughly $600,000.”

Where all the children are above average (for vaccination rates). WCCO reports: “In the weeks leading up to the return to the classroom, more than 46,000 Minnesota students between the ages of 12 and 17 received their first COVID-19 vaccine dose, Gov. Tim Walz announced Monday. … In a statement, the governor said that Minnesota currently leads the Midwest in the percentage of adolescents fully vaccinated, among states reporting demographic data.”

Back in the news. The Star Tribune’s Stephen Montemayor reports:St. Paul’s city attorney is asking the state to suspend Rep. John Thompson’s driving privileges for failing to pay a fine associated with his July 4 traffic citation. … Thompson, a St. Paul Democrat, sparked a summer of concurrent controversies after the early morning traffic stop in St. Paul, when he accused an officer of racially profiling him. Thompson received a citation for driving under suspension. The officer reported pulling Thompson over because he did not have a front license plate. Thompson then presented a Wisconsin driver’s license, but said in a July statement he planned to get a Minnesota license.”

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