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Closing arguments set to begin in Potter trial

Plus: seven people found dead in Moorhead home; some incoming Minneapolis council members approaching rent control with caution; suburban mayors form coalition to respond to crime; and more.

Kimberly Potter breaking down in tears as she testifies during her trial.
Kimberly Potter breaking down in tears as she testifies during her trial.
Pool footage/Handout via REUTERS

KARE-TV’s Alexandra Simon reports: “After eight days of testimony, closing arguments are set to begin Monday in the trial of former Brooklyn Center police officer Kim Potter. Potter, who shot 20-year-old Daunte Wright while officers tried to arrest him during a traffic stop in April 2021, is charged with first-degree manslaughter and second-degree manslaughter. In addition to closing arguments, Judge Regina Chu will give the panel of jurors their instructions for deliberation. …The state rested its case on Thursday, Dec. 16.”

WCCO-TV reports: “Seven people were found dead Saturday night inside a south Moorhead home, including three children. The Moorhead Police Department says they responded to the 4400 block of 13th Street South at about 7:50 p.m. Family members called 911 after finding the deceased during a welfare check. Officials with the Moorhead Fire Department said Saturday that there were no signs of violence or forced entry at the residence. Police are still investigating, but say “there is no known threat to the public.” The Ramsey County Medical Examiner’s Office is working to determine the causes of death.”

In the Star Tribune, Faiza Mahamud reports: “With soaring rents and a looming eviction crisis, Minneapolis voters told the City Council last month that the city should adopt a rent control policy. But a majority of the City Council, including newly elected members, say they want to proceed with caution and design a policy that protects vulnerable tenants but is also workable for developers and landlords. ‘The people have spoken clearly that there has to be some type of rent control or rent stabilization, and we were elected to thread the needle,’ said Council Member-elect Michael Rainville, who unseated incumbent Steve Fletcher, a proponent of a 3% cap. ‘I just look across the river at our friends in St. Paul and I just think maybe they went too far.’”

In the Pioneer Press, Frederick Melo writes: “At the outset of November, a three-way coalition of labor unions representing snowplow drivers, heavy equipment operators and manual laborers ended 11 months of contentious negotiations with City Hall by voting to support a new labor contract. The two-year agreement, which averted an authorized strike, has had ripple effects, effectively raising wages for nearly a dozen trade, technical and professional unions that had previously negotiated their own contracts with the city. The St. Paul City Council is scheduled to vote upon the newly-revised agreements on Wednesday, two weeks after approving the city’s 2022 budget.”

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Also from WCCO-TV, Esme Murphy reports: “After attempted carjacking at Lunds & Byerlys stores in Edina and St. Louis Park earlier this month, five metro area mayors met and have formed a coalition to fight crime. In a letter announcing the pact the mayors are promising to share their police resources, including investigation information. Edina Mayor Jim Hovland, one of those mayors, was a guest on WCCO Sunday Morning. … The other cities in the coalition are Bloomington, Eden Prairie, Minnetonka and Plymouth. In their joint letter, the mayors say ‘when one city experiences an increase in crime it affects all of us,’ and that as mayors, they are committed to protecting citizens and preserving the high quality of life they deserve.”

Also in the Star Tribune, Neal St. Anthony writes, “The key to the Dayton’s Project $375 million renovation is the former downtown Minneapolis department store’s addition to the National Register of Historic Places — and developer 601W’s savvy at using the designation to boost financing. New York-based 601W is fueling Dayton’s second life with debt, more than $40 million in equity contributed by 601W and limited partner investors and about $70 million so far in net tax credits. The historical certification enables the developer to sell up to 20% of the value of the project as federal and state tax credits to limited partners, typically financial institutions.”

FOX 9’s Mary McGuire reports: “Josh Engle loved adventure. … The loves of his life were family and friends, and he was spending time with some buddies on November 21 at the Packers-Vikings game at U.S. Bank Stadium. After finding their seats in the 300 level, Josh got up to get concessions with a buddy during the first quarter. At some point, he fell down the stairs in the seating section, hitting his head and suffering a traumatic brain injury. He was rushed to Hennepin Healthcare. … After more than three weeks in a coma, his family made the difficult decision to say goodbye last week. … But in death, Josh gave others the gift of life through organ donation. Hospital staff organized an honor walk to pay tribute to the selfless act.”

At MPR, Carly Quast says, “What’s visible in the night sky shifts with the seasons — and winter has some telescope-worthy events starting to unfold overhead. The most exciting things to see in the sky that you can count on regularly are planets,’ said Sally Brummel, the planetarium director at the University of Minnesota’s Bell Museum. ‘We have three planets visible as you’re going out right at sunset.’ Venus, Jupiter and Saturn will be shining in the sky this winter. Brighter than any star, the planets will be visible to the naked eye on a cloudless winter night through the majority of January.”

In the Pioneer Press, Chris Tomasson writes, “For those who missed out on looting Met Stadium, there are still places to go. Just do a search on Craigslist or eBay. Want a piece of one of the goalposts? Some fans had brought hacksaws to the final game and cut off sections. A one-foot section that features the signatures of Purple People Eaters Alan Page, Carl Eller, Jim Marshall and Gary Larsen (who all were retired by 1981) can be found on eBay for $3,500. For a much cheaper item, there is a floodlight said to have come from Metropolitan Stadium available for $100 on Craigslist.”