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Ex-MPD officer Lane pleads guilty to aiding and abetting manslaughter in murder of George Floyd

Plus: Minnesota State schools expected to increase tuition by 3.5 percent; plans unveiled for a 29-story office tower in downtown Minneapolis; Rochester woman tries to flee police by driving through wet concrete; and more.

Thomas Lane arriving with his attorney at the Hennepin County Family Justice Center for a court hearing on September 11, 2020.
Thomas Lane arriving with his attorney at the Hennepin County Family Justice Center for a court hearing on September 11, 2020.
REUTERS/Nicholas Pfosi

Rochelle Olson writes in the Star Tribune: “Ex-Minneapolis police officer Thomas Lane pled guilty Wednesday to aiding and abetting manslaughter in the murder of George Floyd two years ago on a south Minneapolis street, avoiding another trial next month in Hennepin County District Court. Lane entered the plea in front of Judge Peter Cahill early Wednesday in the same courtroom where Derek Chauvin was convicted of Floyd’s murder a year ago. A count of aiding and abetting second-degree murder was dismissed. In exchange for the plea, Lane agreed to a sentence of three years, to be served concurrently with his federal sentence for violating Floyd’s civil rights. That sentence has yet to be handed down. Sentencing for the manslaughter count is scheduled for Sept. 21.”

For MPR Brandt Williams and Matt Sepic report, “The city of Minneapolis will pay $1.5 million to a man who accused police officers of using excessive force during an arrest in 2020. Jaleel Stallings filed a federal lawsuit, after he was acquitted by a jury last year. Prosecutors charged Stallings with eight felonies, including the attempted murder of two Minneapolis officers in the aftermath of the police killing of George Floyd. Stallings rejected a plea deal in exchange for a 12-year sentence. At trial, his attorney played video that contradicted officers’ claims that Stallings resisted arrest. The jury believed Stallings’ assertion that he acted in self-defense.”

Josh Verges writes in the Pioneer Press: “Almost every Minnesota State college and university is expected to increase tuition by 3.5 percent next year, system officials said Tuesday. Budgets aren’t due to the system office till next week, but Bill Maki, vice chancellor of finance and facilities, said almost every campus plans to raise tuition by the maximum allowed by the Legislature.… The 3.5 percent figure happens to match what University of Minnesota President Joan Gabel has proposed for the Twin Cities and Rochster campuses, while Duluth, Morris and Crookston want 1.75 percent.”

At KSTP-TV, Jay Kolls reports, “A staffing shortage at the Minneapolis Emergency Communications Center (MECC) has reached an ’emergency’ level, according to city officials. … A current MECC employee said the staffing levels are considered among staff to be at a ‘crisis’ level. The 911 employee, whose identity KSTP agreed to protect, said nearly every MECC dispatcher and 911 operator is working six or seven days a week, and it’s caused many employees to leave their jobs due to burnout.”

This from Jim Buchta of the Star Tribune: One of the nation’s biggest real estate developers unveiled plans for a 29-story office tower in one of the last undeveloped spots in downtown Minneapolis. With the project, the firm Hines will test the economic health of Minneapolis at a moment when office vacancies are near historic highs as workers trickle back to their cubicles and companies re-evaluate their space needs. On Tuesday, the Houston-based company submitted an environmental assessment worksheet for a tower with 719,000 square feet of office space, 21,000 square feet of retail/restaurant space and a three-level underground parking ramp.”

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At Bring Me The News, Christine Schuster reports, “Anton’s Restaurant, a popular supper club on the Sauk River in Waite Park, closed over the weekend after flood waters overtook the parking lot and swept through the building.  Anton’s Restaurant shared a series of photos Sunday afternoon, stating ‘now we wade…’.  A flood warning remains in effect on the Sauk River. On Tuesday, hydrograph data indicated the river crested Monday morning in moderate flood stage at 7.92 feet.”

Also in the Pioneer Press: “Police officers who shot and killed an armed carjacking suspect inside a Mounds View liquor store in November were justified in using deadly force, the Ramsey County attorney’s office announced Tuesday. An investigation by the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension found that 21-year-old Noah Douglas Kelley was pointing a handgun at police when two officers fatally shot him at Merwin Liquors on the evening of Nov. 28, 2021. No criminal charges will be filed against Officer John Thomas of the New Brighton Police Department or Sgt. Michael Hanson of the Mounds View Police Department, both of whom fired their weapons during the incident.”

Nick Longworth reports for FOX 9: “Less than five months after firing more than 700 employees who failed to be vaccinated against COVID-19 by its self-imposed deadline, Mayo Clinic is facing a lawsuit from one former employee. …  Former employee turned plaintiff Shelley Kiel has filed a complaint to demand a jury trial, alleging Mayo Clinic didn’t have any case-by-case analysis or individualized interactive process to consider religious exemptions, and that their terminations were pre-determined.”

A WCCO-TV story says, “A new bakery featuring goods from a north Minneapolis entrepreneur was burglarized just 24 hours after it opened. Hundreds turned out to welcome Lutunji’s Palate, only to be angered after the owner posted pictures on social media of three suspected burglars.”

The Forum New Service’s Erich Fischer writes: “A 53-year-old Rochester woman caused between $30,000 and $40,000 worth of damage after she drove through a barricade and got stuck in wet concrete after a police officer attempted a traffic stop in northeast Rochester Monday … The officer watched the driver continue at a high rate of speed, strike a construction sign and drive approximately 150 feet into wet concrete on Seventh Street Northeast between North Broadway Avenue and First Avenue Northeast. … the department has had at least nine incidents involving the woman since May 11. Moilanen said the department has received multiple complaints about the woman’s driving and her using a bullhorn to yell at people. In her words, she is ‘spreading the word of god,’ according to Moilanen.”

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