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Attorney opposing Summit Avenue bike trail sues St. Paul for city documents

Plus: Minneapolis City Council preparing to vote on settlement over policing practices; Wright is Minnesota’s fastest growing county; Netflix’s “Love is Blind” is casting in the Twin Cities; and more.

Summit and Lexington Avenues, St. Paul
Summit and Lexington Avenues, St. Paul
MinnPost photo by Corey Anderson

For the Pioneer Press, Frederick Melo reports, “Robert Cattanach, an attorney opposed to a proposed elevated bike trail along Summit Avenue, has filed a lawsuit and request for a temporary restraining order against the city of St. Paul, claiming violations of the state’s Data Practices Act. Cattanach, a partner with Dorsey and Whitney, has been providing free legal counsel to Save Our Street, the coalition of residents opposed to the bike trail, as well as the Summit Avenue Residential Preservation Association. The lawsuit was filed on his own behalf. Cattanach’s 20-page lawsuit says that he’s filed 10 separate requests for city documents, text messages and communications under the state’s Data Practices Act, some dating back more than eight months, and the city has yet to produce the requested information.”

Stribbers Liz Sawyer, Andy Mannix and Dave Orrick report, “The Minneapolis City Council is preparing to vote on an agreement that would plot a new course for how the city’s Police Department investigates crimes, uses force against citizens and holds problem officers accountable. Minneapolis police officers would no longer search a person or vehicle solely because they smell marijuana. They couldn’t use chemical irritants as a form of crowd control. Nor could they pull over a driver for a broken tail light. The tentative agreement, provided to council members Thursday, emerged from almost a year of negotiations between city staff and state officials, since the Minnesota Department of Human Rights charged the Minneapolis Police Department with engaging in a pattern of illegal, racist behavior.”

This story from KSTP-TV, “A Manhattan grand jury has voted to indict Donald Trump … Rep. Ilhan Omar, who represents the 5th Congressional District, wrote, ‘Make no mistake: the fact that one of the most powerful people in the world was investigated impartially and indicted is testament to the fact that we still live in a nation of laws. And no one is above the law.’ This is just one of many criminal acts for which Donald Trump is being investigated. … On the other side of the aisle, the Republican Party of Minnesota issued the following statement: ‘It is disconcerting to see our justice system used to pursue partisan ends. A Democrat district attorney is busy tying up time and resources to go after a political opponent instead of cracking down on lawlessness in New York – which just saw another year of record-breaking crime.”

A BringMeTheNews story says, “‘Love Is Blind,’ the popular Netflix dating show where participants only meet face-to-face after becoming engaged, is casting in the Twin Cities.  Production company Kinetic Content is seeking singles (21 & up) from the Minneapolis-St. Paul area to apply for an upcoming season, according to a post on the company’s Instagram.”

This from MPR’s Paul Huttner, “March is determined to go out with a lion-like roar. We’ll see a mix of high winds, rain, ice, snow, and thunder in our inbound storm, with even a few severe storms possible in southeastern Minnesota. Blizzard warnings have been issued for parts of southwestern Minnesota starting at 7 p.m. Friday evening. The combination of high winds to 50 mph and blowing snow will cause blizzard conditions Friday night into early Saturday. … The heaviest burst of snow with this system arrives Friday night. Precipitation will be mainly rain from the Twin Cities southward Friday. Rain will likely change to a burst of heavy wet snow with high winds Friday evening for the Twin Cities. It may snow hard for several hours Friday night into the wee hours of Saturday. The snow will end from west to east early Saturday morning.”

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Jim Buchta of the Strib says, “This could be the slowest spring in a decade for home builders in the Twin Cities, as higher mortgage payments force buyers to the sidelines. During March, metro-area builders pulled 335 permits to build 406 houses and apartments, according to a monthly report from Housing First Minnesota. That included 324 single-family houses, 44% less than last year and the fewest for any March since 2012.

Says Jacob Newman for KELO-TV in South Dakota, “A South Dakota medical marijuana company, 605 Cannabis (605), has filed suit against the South Dakota Department of Health (DOH), alleging overreach, improper issuance of violations and attempts to enforce un-promulgated rules, which have led to damages of over $1 million. … Forty-nine pages of court filings obtained by KELOLAND News spell out 605’s case, which dates back to a January 2023 inspection of their facility, which the company claims was carried out improperly, while the business was partially closed due to a blizzard. 605 claims that despite their limited staff and closure, the DOH proceeded to inspect the facility in violation of a rule that requires inspections to occur during business hours.”

For The New York Times Michelle Goldberg writes, “A judicial election in a state you probably don’t live in — it might be hard to get excited about. But the Wisconsin Supreme Court election, pitting the mild-mannered, liberal-leaning family court judge Janet Protasiewicz against the Trumpist former State Supreme Court justice Daniel Kelly, is by far the most important political contest of the year. … If elected, Protasiewicz hopes to take a fresh look at the maps. She wants to revisit Act 10, which the State Supreme Court upheld in 2014. ‘Since 2011,’ she told me in Madison last week, ‘it’s just been a spiral downward to a place where our democracy is really at peril.’ This election is a singular chance to reverse that spiral. It could also determine whether the next presidential election is free and fair, shaking up a swing state court that came frighteningly close to overturning the 2020 vote. And if that isn’t enough, this election will also be a referendum on abortion rights … .”

An story says, “The Minnesota Property Tax Refund and Renters Refund programs are now open, and officials are reminding the public to file for their 2022 property tax refund before the deadline. The deadline is Aug. 15, and special refunds may be available to homeowners who had a 12% or more property tax increase regardless of income, according to a press release from the City of Moorhead. Both renters and homeowners that meet requirements may be eligible. Visit the Minnesota Department of Revenue for more information.”

At MPR News, Craig Helmstetter writes, “The population of central Minnesota’s Wright County has grown by more than 4 percent since 2020, making it the state’s fastest growing county according to new estimates released by the U.S. Census Bureau Thursday. The Bureau’s new data shows that the state’s population overall is barely budging, growing by 0.1 percent over the past two years. That comes from a balance of population growth in 49 of the state’s 87 counties and population loss in the remaining 38. Like the state as a whole, estimated population changes are relatively small, plus or minus less than 1 percent, in 45 counties.”