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St. Paul Police Chief Todd Axtell stepping down next June

Plus: The Minneapolis Ward 6 race gets ugly; a memory researcher shares why we can’t stop talking about the Halloween blizzard; Sun Country Airlines to be official carrier of Major League Soccer; and more.

St. Paul Police Chief Todd Axtell
St. Paul Police Chief Todd Axtell
MinnPost file photo by Peter Callaghan

Hanging it up. WCCO reports: “St. Paul Police Chief Todd Axtell announced on Wednesday that he won’t be seeking a second term in June 2022. In a Facebook post, Axtell said that the decision was made after ‘deep reflection’ over the last few months. ‘I trust my instincts. I believe in the women and men of the SPPD. And I know that it’s time to move on to serve my community in another manner,’ Axtell said. Axtell said ‘this isn’t goodbye’ and much work still needs to be done.”

Minneapolis Ward 6 race gets ugly. Sahan Journal’s Becky Z. Dernbach reports: “With one week to go before the Minneapolis city election, some voters in Ward 6—the heart of Minneapolis’ Somali community—have received some unsettling messages. One email, blind carbon copied to voters, contained documentation of challenger Abdirizak Bihi’s criminal record. Another voter received a series of text messages from someone supporting incumbent Jamal Osman that included a pornographic photo. Both sets of messages were sent through unofficial channels, not claiming affiliation with any candidate or political committee. And both appeared to support Jamal, while casting doubt on Abdirizak.”

Why we keep talking about the… you know. MPR’s Nancy Yang reports:People tend to remember distinctive experiences in their lives that are sensory, emotionally positive and bring people together. That’s why people who lived through the Halloween Blizzard continue to talk about it 30 years later, said University of St. Thomas psychology professor Greg Robinson-Riegler. ‘I liken it to … a “perfect storm” for memory,’ said Robinson-Riegler, who researches memory and emotion. ‘Everything that would make something memorable was happening at that time.’ The storm certainly checked those boxes, reinforcing Minnesotans’ self-identity as a hardy people — trick-or-treating through the snow, helping dig out neighbors, swapping stories of wind and drifts.”

Bad feng shui. The Star Tribune’s Paul Walsh reports: “Frizzell Furniture Gallery, with stores in Bemidji and Walker, … has agreed with the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) to provide training for its staff and revise company policies regarding discrimination based on sex and gender identity, the agency announced Tuesday. … An investigation by the EEOC’s Minneapolis concluded that Frizzell Furniture rejected the applicant for a sales position because he is transgender. A hiring official informed him he would not ‘mix well with the customers,’ the agency announcement read.”

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In other news…

The pilots can still use their hands: “Sun Country Airlines to be official carrier of Major League Soccer” [Star Tribune]

Related: “Fans celebrate US Soccer legend Carli Lloyd’s retirement game in Minnesota” [KMSP]

Kudos: “Minneapolis city employees with LiUNA Local 363 accept new labor contract, averting strike” [Star Tribune]

Time off for good boy behavior:Animal Humane Society to temporarily pause services Nov. 1-7” [KARE 11]