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Advocates for disabled Minnesotans push for funding amid wave of group home closures

Plus: Man injured after shots fired inside Oakdale movie theater; Minneapolis City Council expected to attempt to overturn Frey veto; food shelves in greater Minnesota seeing more demand; and more.

Walker in a nursing home
REUTERS/Yuki Iwamura

At MPR, Susan Gelbard reports,Minnesotans with a range of disabilities face a worrisome future as a wave of group home closures hits the state, driven by staff shortages and low wages for direct support professionals, advocates say. More than 170 group homes across Minnesota have closed since the fall, said Sarah Abbott, a director at ACR Homes, which serves residents who need wheelchair-accessible housing and individualized medical care. … Abbott joined staff, parents, family members and disabled residents at a rally Friday outside the governor’s residence in St. Paul to get their concerns in front of Gov. Tim Walz and press for a special session for more funding.”

FOX 9 reports: “A man was injured Tuesday night after shots were fired inside a movie theater in Oakdale, Minnesota, police report. Oakdale police responded shortly after 10 p.m. for a reported shooting inside the Marcus Oakdale Cinema along 5677 Hadley Avenue North. Inside theater 17, police found a 23-year-old man with gunshot wounds. He was transported to Regions Hospital for treatment. His condition is unknown as of midnight.”

KSTP-TV’s Callan Gray reports: “Minnesota Department of Corrections Commissioner Paul Schnell is calling for more investments in housing as a state report shows about a quarter of those released from prison enter into homelessness. … The report shows that in 2021, there were more than 1,100 releases from Minnesota prisons to sheltered or unsheltered homelessness from the state’s 11 prisons. According to the report, some people may have been released more than once in a given year, so the data accounts for the total number of releases but not the total number of individuals who exited Minnesota prisons.”

In the Star Tribune, Tim Harlow and Katelyn Vue report: “The Minneapolis City Council is expected to attempt Thursday to overturn a Jacob Frey veto after the mayor nixed the current design to rebuild Hennepin Avenue and said no to a plan to have bus lanes in operation 24 hours a day. The City Council on June 16 approved plans for the first major reconstruction of Hennepin Avenue through the Uptown neighborhood in more than 65 years with an 8-5 vote. But the next day, Frey rejected two of four resolutions associated with the project that calls for reducing the bustling thoroughfare to one travel lane in each direction and adding bike lanes, bus lanes and wider sidewalks.”

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For the Forum News Service, Tom Olsen reports: “A woman admitted Tuesday to helping a friend dispose of a homicide victim’s remains in Lake Superior last summer. Tommi Lynn Hintz, 32, of Duluth, pleaded guilty as an accomplice after the fact to felony murder, agreeing to cooperate in the prosecution of two co-defendants charged in connection with the killing and dismemberment of Richard ‘Ricky’ Anthony Balsimo Jr.”

KSTP-TV’s Joe Mazan reports: Some Minnesotans are struggling to put food on their table. This includes areas in greater Minnesota where food shelves are seeing more demand now than they did during the height of the pandemic. Community Pathways of Steele County in Owatonna has seen a 65% increase from last year. ‘We’ve been seeing about 250 families each week this time last year’, Zach Roberts with Community Pathways of Steele County said. ‘Over the last six weeks, we’ve been seeing about 420. Last week was our highest week ever at 485. It’s very busy.’”

In the Pioneer Press, Federick Melo writes: “With the University of St. Thomas eyeing land at Highland Bridge for a series of new sports facilities, the St. Paul Planning Commission has scheduled a public hearing in early August for related changes to the former Ford site master plan and zoning code. … In what some have described as a planning curveball, St. Thomas recently proposed constructing a sports complex on 23 acres of land in the southeast corner of the site west of Cleveland Avenue, some of which is still owned by Canadian Pacific Railway.”

At KSTP, Krystal Frasier says,Police are asking for your help in finding a stolen vehicle that belongs to the Minneapolis Fire Department. According to police, the vehicle was broken into shortly before 2:30 p.m. Monday afternoon near West Chestnut and Morgan avenues, and when officers arrived, two people left the scene in the department’s Ford Explorer. The SUV is a red 2013 Explorer, has no rooftop emergency lights, has tinted windows and has black rims with a chrome center.”