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Authorities: In ‘alarming trend that needs to stop now,’ western Minnesota deputy shot, killed

Plus: Stillwater reaches flood stage; Minnesota Department of Education looks to bolster regulations for school meal contractors;  fast food funny man puts on a show at Mendota Heights McDonald’s; and more.

At the Pioneer Press, Kristi Belcamino reports, “Three law enforcement officers were shot, one fatally on his birthday, while responding to a Saturday evening domestic call in western Minnesota, according to the Pope County sheriff’s office. A man who drew and fired a weapon at the scene also was killed. Scott Mueller, deputy superintendent of investigations at the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, … said seven Minnesota police officers have been shot in the line of duty so far this year. ‘This is an alarming trend that needs to stop now.'”

For Axios Torey Van Oot says, “Drivers who use the MPLS Parking app to pay for on-street spots in Minneapolis need to download a new version of the app. What’s happening: The city has a new provider for the system, which can be used to pay for parking without using a physical pay station. As part of the switch, versions of the app downloaded before Sunday will no longer work. … The bottom line: Unless you want to risk a ticket or use the pay stations, head to your smartphone’s app store.”

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At KMSP-TV Corin Hoggard reports, “A new approach to the drive-through is amazing customers at the McDonald’s in Mendota Heights. ‘Hello,’ says a voice. ‘Welcome to McDonald’s.’ Fries are getting scooped up. Nuggets are getting packed up. And the meals are getting happy, but there’s something new on the menu at the Mendota Heights McDonald’s. In the age of accelerating artificial intelligence, an automated voice is taking orders at the drive-through with customers in for quite a surprise when they drive up and find out the source of the voice. ‘It was me,’ Andrew Gotham tells a shocked customer. ‘It was him? The woman says and points to another woman in the car. ‘She was just saying they don’t have people that work there anymore.’ The 19-year-old Gotham is a fast food funny man, putting on a one-man show every weekend.”

A WCCO-TV story by Kirsten Mitchell  says, “More precipitation is the last thing some riverside communities need right now as water levels continue to rise. The St. Croix River at Stillwater reached flood stage Saturday and is expected to rise another four feet or more, cresting in major flood stage by midweek. ‘The river is moving really fast. Logs are shooting down the river every hour, it’s pretty intense,’ the Dock Café manager Daniel Cornforth said. With water already reaching their lower patio, the Dock Café will soon be closing all their patios in anticipation of water rising. … Some businesses have started to see water in their basements. On the water’s edge, pumps are working hard as a large sandbag levee protects downtown.”

In another story, Mitchell says, “The Crow River in Delano is at its highest it’s been in nine years, and it’s not done rising yet. It’s risen about 5 feet in less than a week, and is expected to rise another 3 feet before it crests in major flood stage sometime Tuesday night. … In northern Minnesota, part of Highway 29 is closed near Floodwood, about 45 miles west of Duluth. The highway is closed near Stremmel Road due to the St. Louis River flooding. Drivers are asked to use Trunk Highway 73 and Highway 133 as alternate routes. St. Louis County officials gave no timeline for the closure.”

This from Kelly Smith in the Strib, “In the wake of the massive Feeding Our Future fraud investigation, the Minnesota Department of Education is seeking to bolster state regulations for organizations that provide meals to kids outside of the school day. The proposed legislation, which would require new training and exclude newly created meal-sponsoring organizations, is part of the omnibus House education finance bill and the omnibus Senate education policy bill. Lawmakers are also considering boosting oversight of state nonprofit grants after a February report foundpervasive noncompliance’ by state agencies overseeing millions of dollars distributed to nonprofits each year.”