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Going on 89, Mahtomedi mayor known for thanking council attendees steps down

Plus: Minneapolis Police report 700 car thefts and 33 carjackings in January; potential passenger rail between Duluth and Twin Cities looking for legislative boost; Department of Corrections orders Ramsey County jail to reduce capacity; and more.

For the Pioneer Press, Mary Divine writes, “Warren ‘Jud’ Marshall, believed to be the oldest mayor in Minnesota, has resigned from his post, citing health concerns. Marshall, who turns 89 on Feb. 13, has been mayor of Mahtomedi since 2004. … Marshall has been known for his graciousness, always thanking people who came to city council meetings. ‘They go out of their way to come and visit for whatever reason that they have,’ Marshall said. … He also was known for his time-management skills: Council meetings rarely went past 10 p.m. under Marshall’s watch.”

This from Stribber Jessie Van Berkel, “A pioneer plows a field, his rifle propped against a nearby stump, as a Native American man on horseback rides toward a setting sun against a backdrop of St. Anthony Falls and pines. A banner proclaiming ‘L’Etoile du Nord’ waves over the scene, which is encircled in lady slippers and key dates. There’s a lot packed into the seal at the center of Minnesota’s state flag, including a painful reminder for many Indigenous Minnesotans. Legislators have long contemplated an overhaul of the flag to bring it in line with the simple, bold designs of states such as Colorado and Maryland. But 2023 appears likely to be the year they jump-start that work, creating a committee to come up with Minnesota’s new emblem.”

For BringMeTheNews Declan Desmond says, “Minneapolis police are reminding residents not to leave their cars running unattended — a practice known as ‘puffing’ — amid a dramatic spike in auto theft. In a message released Friday, the police department said there were more than 700 car thefts in January, along with 33 carjackings and ‘260 Thefts from Motor Vehicle.’”

Says Samuel King for MPR News, “With the DFL now in control of the Minnesota Senate, supporters of the proposed Northern Lights Express passenger rail service hope it will get the funding it needs to move forward. The NLX would run between the Twin Cities and the Twin Ports, with stops along the way in Coon Rapids, Cambridge and Hinckley. The line would be run by Amtrak on rail lines owned by BNSF. The current bill calls for the state to allocate $99 million in fiscal year 2024, which would make more than $300 million in federal funding available.”

For Forum News Service, Shelby Lindrud says, “The students enrolled in the veterinary technology program at Ridgewater College in Willmar are passionate about animals and work hard to successfully complete the rigorous coursework set to them. ‘I want to be around animals; I don’t see myself in any other profession,’ said Sydney Offerdahl, a second-year vet tech student at Ridgewater. So it can be a bit demoralizing to know the state of Minnesota doesn’t acknowledge that hard work by requiring veterinary technicians to be licensed by the Minnesota Board of Animal Health. It can be especially galling when you consider the state requires a license to cut hair.”

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This, in the Brainerd Dispatch, “The Minnesota Council of Nonprofits announced the addition of six nonprofit leaders to the organization’s 2023 board of directors, including Amy Gray of Brainerd. Other members include Sam Amundson, Detroit Lakes; Feather LaRoche, Minneapolis; Sara Sommarstrom, St. Paul; May yer Thao, St. Paul; and Xavier Vazquez, Minneapolis. Representing both Twin Cities metro and Greater Minnesota nonprofits, each will serve a three-year term beginning Jan. 1, 2023.”

Says Dan Gunderson for MPR News, “It was a new kind of family reality show in 2013 — often adorable, sometimes joyous, occasionally agonizing, but always unscripted. Viewership wasn’t great until they started livestreaming on YouTube. Suddenly, the world wanted to be in the nest with Minnesota’s eagles. Ten years later, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources eagle cam is as popular as ever. The camera goes live in November each year. Eagles generally lay eggs in February and the adults incubate those eggs for about 35 days. In addition to watching chicks hatch and grow, the camera has captured fights when other eagles try to take over the nest, and visits from predators such as owls and raccoons.”

The Strib’s Andy Mannix says, “In response to a complaint brought by Ramsey County public health workers, Minnesota’s top corrections official has ordered Sheriff Bob Fletcher to immediately cut down the county jail’s population, saying insufficient staffing levels pose ‘imminent risk of life-threatening harm’ to people confined to the facility. In a letter to Fletcher dated Friday, Department of Corrections Commissioner Paul Schnell said the jail must reduce its maximum operating capacity to 324 beds, down from 492. Schnell said an ongoing investigation found violations of five state rules designed to make sure jails have enough staff on duty to keep the facilities’ populations safe.”

This from Charlie Sykes at MSNBC, “They knew right from the start. The Trump campaign knew it had lost Wisconsin to Joe Biden in the 2020 election. But new audiotapes first published by The Associated Press confirm Trump operatives decided to ignore reality and instead ‘fan the flame’ by spreading false allegations of fraud. Yet more evidence, as if we even needed more evidence. … No evidence of significant fraud was ever found. The audio tapes obtained by the AP show that on Nov. 5, 2020, two days after the election, Trump operatives acknowledged that Biden had won the Badger State by about 21,000 votes.”

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