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Phillips, Craig and Smith named in report on possible conflict-of-interest stock trades

Plus: Mike Lindell’s cell phone seized by the FBI; authorities keep an eye on a wolf near Voyageurs National Park; fire at a homeless encampment; and more.

This from Ryan Faircloth of the Strib, “Minnesota’s Democratic U.S. Reps. Dean Phillips and Angie Craig and U.S. Sen. Tina Smith reported financial trades for themselves or involving family members over the past few years in companies that intersected with their congressional committees. The New York Times analyzed Congress members’ financial filings between 2019 and 2021 and found 97 current members ‘bought or sold stock, bonds or other financial assets that intersected with their congressional work or reported similar transactions by their spouse or a dependent child’. Phillips, Craig and Smith were the only members of the Minnesota congressional delegation cited in the report. Phillips reported trades in 276 companies, among which the Times identified 34 potential conflicts; Craig reported trades that one of her children made in 19 companies, with two flagged as potential conflicts; and Smith reported trades her husband made in four companies, three of which were deemed potential conflicts.”

The Associated Press reports, “MyPillow chief executive Mike Lindell said Tuesday that federal agents seized his cellphone and questioned him about a Colorado clerk who has been charged in what prosecutors say was a ‘deceptive scheme’ to breach voting system technology used across the country. Lindell was approached in the drive-thru of a Hardee’s fast-food restaurant in Mankato, Minnesota, by several FBI agents, he said on his podcast, ‘The Lindell Report.’ The agents questioned him about Dominion Voting SystemsMesa County Clerk Tina Peters and his connection to Doug Frank, an Ohio educator who claims voting machines have been manipulated, he said. The agents then told Lindell they had a warrant to seize his cellphone and ordered him to turn it over, he said.”

Dan Kraker at MPR News writes, “Researchers in far northern Minnesota are concerned about a young wolf south of Voyageurs National Park that’s been seen several times along a roadside, displaying little to no fear of people. Scientists with the Voyageurs Wolf Project posted photos of the wolf on their Facebook page Tuesday, asking the public to share details about their encounters with the wolf and imploring people to leave it alone.”

This from Tim Nelson, also for MPR News, “Minneapolis fire officials said a large, longstanding homeless encampment along Interstate 35W caught fire Monday night. A 911 caller reported an ‘explosion’ that apparently was caused by a 20-pound propane cylinder that burst amid the fire, but there were no reports of injuries. The fire was reported just before 9 p.m. near the parking lot of the Home Depot store in northeast Minneapolis, on the west end of the Quarry shopping center.”

For KSTP-TV Kirsten Swanson reports, “A City of Minneapolis commission, tasked with civilian oversight of the police, is no longer holding meetings. That’s because six of the nine positions on the Police Conduct Oversight Commission, are open, despite records that show people have applied to serve. Applicants, like Emma Pederson, a graduate student at the University of Minnesota. Pederson applied to the commission in September 2021. ‘I thought that my skill set is perfectly what the PCOC is intended to do’, she said, pointing to her degree and studies in policing and public policy. ‘As with any other system of government, we need those checks and balances and the civilian body is, I think, that check on the police department’s power.’”

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In Mississippi Today Anna Wolfe reports, “Text messages entered Monday into the state’s ongoing civil lawsuit over the welfare scandal reveal that former Gov. Phil Bryant pushed to make NFL legend Brett Favre’s volleyball idea a reality. The texts show that the then-governor even guided Favre on how to write a funding proposal so that it could be accepted by the Mississippi Department of Human Services – even after Bryant ousted the former welfare agency director John Davis for suspected fraud. … The newly released texts, filed Monday by an attorney representing Nancy New’s nonprofit, show that Bryant, Favre, New, Davis and others worked together to channel at least $5 million of the state’s welfare funds to build a new volleyball stadium at University of Southern Mississippi, where Favre’s daughter played the sport. Favre received most of the credit for raising funds to construct the facility.”

For Marketwatch Brent Arends says, “Social Security beneficiaries could be looking at a very welcome bump of 8.7% in their benefits starting in January next year, if current trends continue. That hike would be the biggest since 1981, and would be worth an extra $144 a month for a retiree on the average monthly benefit of $1,656. These numbers are the latest projection from the Senior Citizens League, a nonprofit, and are based on the government’s inflation data over recent months.”

At KMSP-TV Paul Blume says, “A Minneapolis small business owner is shutting his doors after a tumultuous year. His small gift shop, Cockadoodledoo in the Bryn Mawr neighborhood was targeted by a sophisticated theft scheme involving a bogus posting on the popular online classified ad site, Craigslist. Cockadoodledoo is a familiar storefront with its iconic, giant roosters near the intersection of Cedar Lake Road and Penn Avenue South where owner Gerry Seiler fills his front sidewalk with merchandise for sale. It was that merchandise targeted in the fraudulent post in February in what is known as a ‘Curb Alert’.The Craigslist ad announced that everything was free on the sidewalk, all of it must go.”