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Former Minneapolis police officer Mohamed Noor to be resentenced Oct. 21

Plus: strike possible after St. Paul snowplow drivers, laborers vote down two-year contract offer; Ramsey County Board approves nearly $40 million for development of Purple Line BRT; staffing shortages force Twin Cities Caribou Coffee locations to curtail hours; and more.

Mohamed Noor
Mohamed Noor
REUTERS/Adam Bettcher

An AP story says, “The former Minneapolis police officer who fatally shot a woman who called 911 to report a possible rape behind her home will be resentenced later this month on a lesser charge, after the Minnesota Supreme Court threw out his murder conviction. Mohamed Noor was initially convicted of third-degree murder and manslaughter in the 2017 death of Justine Ruszczyk, a dual U.S.-Australian citizen. He was sentenced to 12 1/2 years on the murder count and has been serving his time in a prison out of state. But the Supreme Court ruled last month that the third-degree murder statute wouldn’t apply in Noor’s case. Noor is still convicted of manslaughter and will be sentenced on that count on Oct. 21.”

Frederick Melo writes for the Pioneer Press: “A coalition of unions representing St. Paul snowplow drivers, water workers and other city laborers on Tuesday voted down a two-year contract offer from the city, setting the stage for a possible strike. Members of Laborers Local 363, Teamsters 120 and Operating Engineers 49 — about 280 employees of St. Paul Public Works, Parks and Recreation, Sewer and Water Services — authorized a strike action, which would not need a subsequent vote to commence. If the unions file an intent to strike with the Bureau of Mediation Services, state law requires a 10-day cooling off period.”

At KSTP-TV Tom Hauser says, “There really is no such thing as ‘free money,’ but $377 million the federal government sent to Minnesota to help small cities and townships comes pretty close. So far, more than $18 million of it remains unclaimed. … So far only about 60% of Minnesota’s 2,600 eligible local units of government have applied for money. That leaves about 113 cities and 568 townships that haven’t applied for the remaining $18,014,183 the federal government sent to Minnesota.”

Also in the Pioneer Press, Nick Ferraro writes: “Ramsey County is rolling along with plans for a 15-mile bus rapid transit route connecting downtown St. Paul to White Bear Lake. The Ramsey County Board on Tuesday voted to commit $39.9 million of county funding needed to help fuel a two-year development phase of the Metro Purple Line, which formerly was referred to as the Rush Line. The development phase is the third of five stages in a federal process to complete the Metro Transit line. Ramsey County Commissioner Victoria Reinhardt called the board’s action a ‘momentous occasion.’”

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Zoë Jackson reports in the Star Tribune: “Twin Cities landlords and property managers are urging Minneapolis and St. Paul voters to reject rent control proposals on the ballot this fall, saying the measures would decimate an already tight housing market. While supporters of the distinct proposals in the two cities say rent control would bring stability for low-income renters — who may see sharp year-to-year rent increases that force them to find a new place to live — opponents say housing supply is the biggest barrier to affordability and that rent control would limit or discourage new construction and investments in existing properties.”

At BringMeTheNews, Shaymus McLaughlin reports, “Stopping at a Twin Cities Caribou Coffee for a caffeine pick-me-up has felt a bit like spinning a roulette wheel lately. … A quick glance at the hours for many Twin Cities locations shows closing times of noon, 1 p.m. or 2 p.m. — much earlier than the late afternoon or evening closing times customers have been accustomed to in recent years. … Like many other businesses, Minnesota’s most conspicuous coffee chain is apparently coping with a worker shortage. Caribou, in a couple of Twitter replies, cites ‘staffing needs’ and ‘staffing issues’ for the abrupt, temporary closures of some stores.

Another MPR story says, “Major League Soccer has set St. Paul as the host of its 2022 All-Star Game on Aug. 10. The game will be played at Allianz Field, home of Minnesota United, the league announced Tuesday. The league’s stars will play an opponent that will be announced later. They’ll be led by Adrian Heath, the head coach of Minnesota United.”

The Star Tribune’s Neal Justin says, “A 20-year-old Minneapolis artist got past the blind auditions on the latest edition of ‘The Voice.’ Libianca, who lives in Minnesota, wowed new judge Ariana Grande, who was the first to spin around in her chair shortly after the contestant launched into SZA’s ‘Good Days.’ ‘I’m obsessed,’ the pop star said after the performance. ‘You sound divine.’”

At Salon, Zachary Petrizzo writes, “After numerous failed attempts to overturn the results of the 2020 election, now-infamous pillow mogul Mike Lindell has a new plan of sorts: He’s begun meeting with Republican lawmakers in deep-red states and plans to send out door-to-door canvassers aiming to prove the election was faked. Josh Merritt, a former member of Lindell’s ‘red team’ at his August ‘cyber symposium’ in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, told Salon that Lindell is funding a last-ditch door-knocking effort based on rumors that there are many ‘phantom voters’ — people who have died or moved away — on official rolls. This claim is not new, and has been thoroughly debunked.”