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Walz proposes sending checks to 2.7 million Minnesota households

Plus: jury seated in federal trial of three former Minneapolis police officers; Florida man charged with human smuggling after four found dead just north of Minnesota-Canada border; Walz joins calls for Hennepin County Sheriff Hutchinson to resign; and more.

Gov. Tim Walz
Gov. Tim Walz
MinnPost photo by Peter Callaghan

Jessie Van Berkel writes in the Star Tribune: “More than 2.7 million Minnesota households would get checks of $175 or $350 from the state under a spending plan Gov. Tim Walz unveiled Thursday, with money channeled to front-line workers and caregivers as well. … The state has a projected $7.7 billion budget surplus …. The unprecedented scale of the expected surplus has opened the door for state leaders to consider sizable spending to supplement the $52 billion two-year budget they approved last year.”

For the AP, Amy Forliti and Steve Karnowski report: “A jury of 18 people who appeared mostly white was picked Thursday for the federal trial of three Minneapolis police officers charged in George Floyd’s killing, a case that the judge told potential jurors has ‘absolutely nothing’ to do with race. The jurors chosen to hear the case against former Officers Tou Thao, Thomas Lane and J. Kueng appeared to include one Asian among the 12 jurors who would deliberate if no alternates are needed, and a second person of Asian descent among the six alternates, with all others appearing white. The court declined to provide demographic information.”

Adam Kurtz writes for the Forum News Service: “Four people, including an infant, were found dead just north of the Canada-Minnesota border, authorities announced Thursday, and Florida man has been charged with human smuggling in relation to the incident. According to a news release from the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, the bodies of an adult man, woman and infant were discovered at approximately 1:30 p.m. Wednesday. The body of another male, believed to be a teenager, was discovered shortly thereafter. All of the victims were located some 40 feet from the U.S.-Canada border on the Canadian side just east of Emerson, Manitoba.”

Also from the AP: “Enbridge Energy said it has stopped the flow of spilled artesian groundwater that began a year ago when workers installing the Line 3 oil pipeline in northwestern Minnesota punctured an aquifer. … The company told the state Department of Natural Resources that it stopped the uncontrolled leak on Tuesday. The DNR said it will monitor the repair and the investigation remains ongoing. The agency is looking at further restoration, mitigation and penalties.”

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Caroline Cummings reports for WCCO-TV: Gov. Tim Walz on Thursday said that Hennepin County Sheriff David Hutchinson should resign from his post following new case files that detail the drunk driving crash in which he wrecked a county-owned vehicle driving speeds in excess of 120 miles per hour. Walz is the highest ranking elected official who said he should step down, calling it a “breach of trust.”

In the Pioneer Press, Dave Orrick writes: “‘Crazy like a fox. Mike Lindell knows exactly what he is doing, and it is dangerous.’ Those are the first words of a federal defamation lawsuit filed this week in Minneapolis against Lindell and his Minnesota company, MyPillow, by Smartmatic, a voting technology company Lindell has often targeted with false conspiracy theories around the 2020 presidential election.

Related. An AP story says, “Idaho officials have sent MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell a cease-and-desist letter and a bill of more than $6,000 over the businessman’s repeated accusations of voter fraud in the state. Secretary of State Lawerence Denney and Attorney General Lawrence Wasden sent the cease-and-desist letter to Lindell on Tuesday, the Idaho Statesman reported. The letter demands Lindell ‘promptly remove all false statements about Idaho’s elections from your website’ and ‘refrain from making similar statements in the future’. Denney and Wasden also want Lindell to pay the state for the $6,558.83 it spent proving Lindell’s allegations wrong.”

This from MPR’s Paul Huttner, “As our temperatures moderate Friday, a low pressure through trailing from a low in Canada will sweep across Minnesota Friday night. A band of snow moves into the Red River Valley Friday afternoon and pushes southeast across Minnesota through Friday night. … Overall snowfall totals with Friday’s night’s system likely range from 1 to 3 inches across Minnesota, with the heaviest totals favoring the northern half of our state.