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Judge orders Lazzaro must remain in jail

Plus: few Minnesota county jails require COVID-19 vaccines for employees; the Twin Cities bikers protecting protesters; Brother Ali on his move to Istanbul; and more.

Anton Lazzaro
Sherburne County Jail
Anton Lazzaro
Just a class act all the way. The Star Tribune’s Andy Mannix reports: “A federal judge says GOP political-strategist Anton Lazzaro must remain in jail as he prepares his defense against sex-trafficking charges, citing ‘very troubling’ testimony that Lazzaro made veiled threats to law enforcement and prosecutors after being arrested earlier this year. … While being transported by police, Lazzaro told Minneapolis officer Brandon Brugger he knew where he lived, and that he’d tried but failed to find personal information about an FBI agent — whom Lazzaro called a ‘ghost’ — according to Brugger.”

As if jail weren’t bad enough. MPR’s Kirsti Marohn reports: “Unlike state prisons, which are operated by the Minnesota Department of Corrections, jails are under the authority of county sheriffs, who set their own policies. … Since September, employees at Minnesota’s state prisons have been required to show proof of vaccination for COVID-19, or submit to weekly testing. … But only two Minnesota counties — Hennepin and Ramsey — have a similar requirement for county employees.

All about BRAPB. For Racket, Zachary A. Bohlman reports: “Since the murder of George Floyd, the rumble and buzz of motorcycle engines from Twin Cities streets has provided a bass line for a chorus of protesters demanding change. They call themselves Bikers Riding Against Police Brutality (BRAPB). … Miguel Hernandez, the elected director of BRAPB, says his group works with organizers to block intersections with their motorcycles as demonstrations pass through. Their goal? To protect marchers on the streets from drivers in cars who might try to disrupt or drive through protesters—a disturbing trend in recent years.

Nice Brother Ali interview. At American Songwriter, Jacob Uitti reports: “Madison, Wisconsin-born rapper Brother Ali lives in Istanbul, Turkey. When asked, the acclaimed musician and lyricist said there are a number of reasons for his transition from where he and his wife were living in the Twin Cities region of Minnesota to the historic city in the Mediterranean, from religious to financial to personal. … Both Ali and his wife are Muslim converts and she had visited the region in 2014 to study. Upon her return, she predicted that they’d one day find themselves there but they thought it would be around retirement age. Yet, the shift happened more recently due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the restrictions it put on Ali’s career as a touring musician. They began to rethink what life could be. So, they moved. The new surroundings have given Ali the first occasion in his life to think about who he was and what he wanted from a longer-term perspective, which has both contributed to new music he released recently—like his new Brother Minutester record—and to the way he thinks about his place in the world.”

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In other news…

Seeking more options:University students and staff push for the adoption of multi-stall gender neutral bathrooms on campus” [Minnesota Daily]

An honor, perhaps:Minnesota authors land on list of 850 books targeted by Texas lawmaker as ‘distressing’ for students” [Star Tribune]

Alabama:Judge Booted From Bench After Mouthing N-Word, Saying George Floyd ‘Got What He Deserved’” [The Daily Beast]

Time to book:Holiday air travel prices rise, and Sun Country execs say flights are filling” [Star Tribune]

Looking on the bright side:Wild defenseman Dmitry Kulikov feels ‘lucky’ after getting hit in head by puck” [Pioneer Press]