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Enbridge to pay $7 million more for Line 3 oil pipeline damages

Plus: Hennepin County chief public defender resigns; New Ulm school board election becomes flashpoint for national culture wars; Waseca-based THC gummy maker can add a new flavor in three days; and more.

In a June 6 photo, Enbridge Line 3 pipeline materials that have since been buried near Park Rapids.
In a June 6, 2021, photo, Enbridge Line 3 pipeline materials that have since been buried near Park Rapids.
REUTERS/Nicholas Pfosi

A Strib story by Jennifer Bjorhus says, “Enbridge will pay more than $7 million to address environmental damage from building the Line 3 oil pipeline across northern Minnesota last year, and it now faces a criminal charge related to a breached aquifer where groundwater continues to flow. … The new payments are in addition to the $3 million the Canadian oil pipeline operator was forced to pay in a previous enforcement action related to some of the same problems, bringing total payments to more than $11 million.

KSTP-TV story says, “Hennepin County Chief Public Defender Kassius Benson has made the decision to resign, Minnesota’s Chief Public Defender Bill Ward confirmed on Monday. Ward said it is a ‘private, personal decision for Mr. Benson’ and that he is ‘sad to see him resign.’ The resignation comes after revelations the IRS is investigating the private law firm of Benson for alleged tax fraud, according to a warrant filed in federal court in January this year. … The warrant states that Benson’s payroll practices ‘failed to report the quarterly wages and employment taxes to the IRS for all quarters for tax years 2013 and 2015-2019.’ It also says that ‘the investigation has established probable cause to believe KBL [Kassius Benson Law] and Benson violated federal criminal laws and that evidence of said crimes will be found in the subject account.’”

For, Janelle Griffith reports, “George Floyd’s family is considering suing Ye, the rapper formerly known as Kanye West, for making false claims about Floyd’s death, a prominent civil rights lawyer said. In a recent appearance on the hip-hop podcast Drink Champs, the rapper and fashion designer questioned the cause of Floyd’s death, suggesting it was due to fentanyl use … The interview had been viewed nearly 2 million times on YouTube as of Monday afternoon. Ye said his claims were backed by a documentary by conservative commentator Candace Owens.”

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For BringMeTheNews, Tommy Wiita says, “Beck is dropping out as the opener for Arcade Fire when they come to Minneapolis on Nov. 13. Multiple reports confirm the update was sent out to ticket holders via email from Live Nation, which stated Beck ‘is no longer able to perform,’ with no mention of whether refunds would be offered. No formal announcement was made by Beck anywhere else, nor was an update provided by Arcade Fire. … Arcade Fire’s lead singer Win Butler has recently been accused of sexual misconduct.”

Also at BMTN, this from Joe Nelson: “If The Weather Channel is right about its long range winter outlook, it’s going to get colder and colder in each [month] as winter goes on in Minnesota.  For the general December-February period, The Weather Channel outlook calls for slightly below normal temperatures throughout Minnesota, with the Arrowhead of Minnesota standing the best chance for below normal readings. That’s the three-month average.”

Stribber Reid Forgrave reports, “Last spring, 150 residents signed a petition in the southern Minnesota city of New Ulm asking school board members whether it’s appropriate to include instruction on ‘sexual and gender identity’ in the youngest elementary school classrooms. No school board members responded to the petition, which echoed a controversial Florida law passed this year. But when a moderator posed a question about busing at a recent school board candidate forum, the most outspoken in a slate of conservative challengers piped up. … That charged moment underscored how this school board election has become a localized flashpoint in the national culture wars.”

At KARE-11 Gordon Severson writes, “The Minneapolis City Council is looking to add five social workers to help Minneapolis police officers with mental health calls. These five social workers — a full-time worker in each of the city’s five precincts — will work directly with the police as part of a program coordinated by the Hennepin County Human Services and Public Health Department. Coordinators say the social workers will help police identify community members who are struggling with mental health-related problems.”

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An MPR News story by Hannah Yang says, “Rows and rows of hemp-filled bags are stacked to the ceiling in a building at Waseca-based Midwest Extraction Services. All the hemp is grown by Minnesota farmers. Since the state legalized THC product sales just over three months ago, COO and co-owner Matthew Little said he’s seen a surge in demand for his products, which range from THC-infused waters to gummies. ‘Let’s say you like cotton candy flavor. In three days, I could have cotton candy gummies on the shelves,’ Little said. ‘That’s how fast we can move here. We can do about a million and a half gummies a month.'”

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