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Minneapolis Park Board proposes $79 million levy

Plus: Son of Penumbra Theatre founder Lou Bellamy found dead in Hennepin County Jail; daughters of slain Minnesota writer want father’s name added to charges against Mexican drug lord; former Twins Kaat, Oliva, Ortiz inducted into Baseball Hall of Fame; and more.

Minneapolis Park & Recreation Board building
Minneapolis Park & Recreation Board building
MinnPost photo by Peter Callaghan

This from Erin Adler of the Star Tribune, “The Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board this past week voted to support a 2023 tax levy increase of 6% in an effort to improve safety and security, care for park assets and continue investments in youth programming. The total levy request amounts to $79,025,000, according to Park Board documents. The Board of Estimate and Taxation still must approve the levy amount. Last year, the Park Board sought a 7.75% increase over the 2021 levy. Previously, the average property tax increase over the decade had been 4.5%.”

Adam Uren writes for Bring Me the News: “The son of the founder of St. Paul’s Penumbra Theatre died in Hennepin County Jail in Minneapolis. The Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office confirmed Sunday evening that a 41-year-old man was found ‘unresponsive’ in his cell on Thursday afternoon, and was pronounced dead after lifesaving efforts. He has since been identified as Lucas John Bellamy. No details are available regarding the circumstances of his death, which is under investigation. He is the son of Lou Bellamy, who founded Penumbra Theatre Company in 1976, aiming to produce art that can ‘illuminate the human condition through the prism of the African American experience.’ … A Facebook tribute from his sister Sarah Bellamy, now president of Penumbra Theatre, notes that Lucas – who is survived by his son– had struggled with addiction for the past 20 years.”

Also in the Star Tribune, Stephen Montemoyer writes: “This month’s capture in Mexico of an elusive drug lord revived a decades-old trauma for two daughters of a slain Minnesota writer who fear that he could again evade justice for their father’s murder — even while in custody. Rafael Caro Quintero, one of Mexico’s most powerful drug bosses, had long been the target of American authorities for his connection to the killing of DEA agent Enrique Camarena in 1985. But Caro Quintero is also linked to the torture and murder that same year of John Clay Walker, a Minnesota writer who was in Mexico doing research for a novel when he and a friend were killed. … Now, Walker’s daughters — Lannie and Keely Walker — are on a mission to add their father’s name to the charges Caro Quintero could face in the U.S.”

WCCO-TV and the AP report: “A few former Minnesota Twins players became immortal Sunday in Cooperstown, New York.  Jim Kaat and Tony Oliva were enshrined in the National Baseball Hall of Fame. Also in the 2022 class was David Ortiz, who made his Major League Baseball debut in Minnesota, playing with the Twins for five years before becoming a star slugger for the Boston Red Sox.  The 83-year-old Kaat, now a broadcaster for the Twins, pitched for a quarter of a century, winning a World Series a year before retiring in 1983. … Oliva was the American League Rookie of the Year in 1964, led the league in hits five times, and became the first player in major league history to win batting titles in each of his first two seasons, finishing with a lifetime average of .304 in 15 seasons with the Twins.

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A KMSP-TV story says, “After putting their lives on the line for their country, five Ukrainian soldiers who lost limbs during the war made the more than 5,000-mile journey to Minnesota on Saturday.  They arrived to a hero’s welcome, with dozens of Ukrainian-Americans and supporters waving flags and carrying signs of support at MSP International Airport.  The trip was made possible by the Protez Foundation, a local organization that launched Prosthetics for Ukrainians. They are now helping Ukrainian children, soldiers and civilians who have lost limbs because of the war get free prosthetics in the United States.  The idea was sparked by Yakov Gradinar of Limb Lab, a Minnesota-based orthotics and prosthetics service.

Says Joe Nelson of Bring Me The News, “More than two months after a 2-year-old boy died in Minneapolis, his death has been ruled a homicide.  The Hennepin County Medical Examiner’s Office announced Sunday that 2-year-old Ona’Je Prince Sincere Jackson-Jones has been ruled a homicide, with his cause of death from complications of multiple blunt force injuries.  The child’s mother, 25-year-old Navonna L. West was previously charged just days after the death with two counts of malicious punishment of her other child, a 4-month-old baby.”

Also in the Star Tribune, Mara Klecker reports, “Students walking into Emerson Dual Language Elementary school in Loring Park this fall won’t be wearing any neon-colored shirts or tops featuring their favorite superheroes. That’s because the magnet school is the latest in Minneapolis Public Schools to implement a dress code, requiring its students to pair a solid-colored top in either red, blue, black or white with blue, black or khaki pants. That decision came after a schoolwide vote that showed 55% of families were in favor of adding uniforms.”

For the AP, Scott Bauer reports, “A Republican candidate for Wisconsin governor supported by Donald Trump, a former two-term lieutenant governor endorsed by dozens of lawmakers and a state representative pushing for decertification of the state’s 2020 presidential election results largely agreed on most issues in their first debate Sunday. The debate between Trump-backed Tim Michels, Rebecca Kleefisch and state Rep. Tim Ramthun came just over two weeks before the Aug. 9 primary. A Marquette University Law School poll last month showed Michels and Kleefisch in a tight race, with the winner advancing to take on Democratic Gov. Tony Evers.”

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