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Columbia Heights City Council member under fire for racist phone call she says was made by a family member

Plus: St. Paul homeowners face 15% property tax hikes; a fire destroys one house and damages two others in Woodbury; Minneapolis police roll out Operation Endeavor; and more.

For KSTP, Callan Gray reports, “There were calls for a Columbia Heights City Council member to resign during a special council meeting on Wednesday. An independent investigation found Councilmember KT Jacobs violated the Council’s code of conduct when she lied about an offensive phone call a candidate received. City Council candidate Justice Spriggs announced he was running in April.  … The (independent investigation) says … ‘The caller then asked Justice Spriggs if he was ‘really biracial’ and whether he had been raised in a white or black household…’ Jacobs denied making the phone call, according to the investigation. In a Facebook post on July 27, she claimed the call was made by a family member. Jacobs also said ‘The behavior of my family member is unacceptable. I’m deeply sorry that the incident took place.'”

The Star Tribune’s Anthony Lonetree and Katie Galioto report, “St. Paul city, county and schools officials heard a worst-case scenario for 2023 property taxes on Wednesday that would bring widespread increases plus harsher blows to homeowners in large parts of the city. The owner of the city’s $266,300 median-valued home could see the tax bill rise by $506, or 14.8%, under levy proposals and other factors in play. … City Council members vowed to work to trim the hike after citizens began airing concerns at a hearing last week.”

At the Pioneer Press, Ellie Roth says, “A fire destroyed one house and damaged two in the new Arbor Ridge development in Woodbury Tuesday night. Chris Klein, the assistant public safety director and EMS fire chief of Woodbury Fire Department, said that the fire started overnight. Two of the homes were under construction, including the one destroyed. The family living in the finished house was able to get out safely.”

KMSP’s Karen Scullin reports on a new Minneapolis Police Department initiative: “They’re in ATVs, rolling through Nicollet Mall and the surrounding streets and on sidewalks keeping watch. On a Sunday afternoon, as the Vikings hosted the Lions, downtown is saturated with Minneapolis police. FOX 9 obtained the plan for Operation Endeavor that says in part, ‘The mission is to be visibly present and seen by as many people as possible. Deter criminal activity through uniformed presence and bring peace to the area.’ It also says, ‘Personnel should remain focused on the long-term gathering spots of citizens and join them.’ But, some have noted the plan doesn’t include north Minneapolis, the area struggling the most right now with violent crime.”

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At MPR News, MaryLynn Pulscher from the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board spoke on Minnesota Now about turtles on the move: “So turtles really come ashore in early summer. And this year was a little bit later, because we had kind of funky weather, as we all know. They come ashore, they dig a nest to lay eggs and they walk away. And later in the fall most of the turtle hatchlings will emerge. … We’re hoping everybody is still keeping an eye out for these very, very small little snapping turtles and painted turtles as they cross the road.”

A WCCO-TV story says, “In New York Mills there’s a place that’s part golf course, part pasture. … In this week’s Finding Minnesota, John Lauritsen shows us why Balhepburn is anything but par for the course. ‘It means ‘House of Hepburn,’ and it’s a farm in Scotland,’ said Howard Legried. It’s also a farm in Otter Tail County – one known more for driving a golf ball than driving a tractor. Golfer Bert Nelson says there is no easy hole at this golf course, and no gimmes either. About 30 years ago Howard, a former tennis player and veterinarian, came up with the idea for a nine-hole golf course on his farm. … At Balhepburn, the sheep roam freely. They’re not just livestock, they’re natural groundskeepers who keep the grass in working order. It’s up to the golfers to play around them.”