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Walz to sign bill legalizing recreational marijuana in Minnesota Tuesday

Plus: Minneapolis city attorney says Frey can’t veto council’s rent control motion; Minnesota students competing in Scripp’s spelling bee; woman injured by bear; and more.

People buying recreational marijuana at a dispensary in Rochelle Park, New Jersey.
People buying recreational marijuana at a dispensary in Rochelle Park, New Jersey.
REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz

A WCCO-TV story says, “Gov. Tim Walz says he will sign the bill legalizing recreational cannabis use, and expunging low-level cannabis convictions, Tuesday at noon. Prior to the 2023 session’s end, the Minnesota Legislature this session approved the 300-page bill that will allow adults 21 and older to use recreational marijuana and transform a black market into regulated, state-licensed businesses throughout the state.”

In Sahan Journal, Katelyn Vue says, “A day after the Minneapolis City Council voted to pass a motion crafting a rent control policy, the city attorney released a statement saying that the mayor can’t veto it.  According to the statement, city staff, council members, and the mayor were advised that the motion to direct the city attorney to draft a rent control policy would be subject to the mayor’s approval or veto. ‘Upon review, I have determined that the advice was not correct,’ read City Attorney Kristyn Anderson’s statement. The city attorney serves as legal counsel for the mayor and council members.”

A Strib story by Chris Serres says, “Joy Rindels-Hayden never thought of herself as a political agitator. A former schoolteacher and preacher’s daughter, the 87-year-old Minneapolis resident likes to spend her time knitting and volunteering at a community center for the homeless. But even before lawmakers arrived at the State Capitol in January, Rindels-Hayden was already hard at work, calling and writing letters to push for a measure to bolster bus safety for thousands of older Minnesotans and those with disabilities, particularly during the perilous winter months. Now, her vision is on the verge of becoming reality thanks to a four-sentence provision tucked into the 268-page transportation bill approved by legislators.”

For the Pioneer Press, Frederick Melo reports, “When renters move out of a St. Paul apartment, landlords now have the right to hike rents on the empty rental unit by 8% plus inflation, well over the 3% rent cap imposed last year by the city’s new rent control ordinance. That amendment to the ordinance, crafted by the St. Paul City Council last fall and intended to encourage property improvements between occupancies, took effect in January. In other words, once an apartment goes empty, St. Paul landlords have a clear path to increase rents by nearly 15% this year, given the U.S. inflation rate.”

For Gabe Lehman says, “Lizzo refused to let the bigots win during her headlining performance on Saturday night at BottleRock Napa Valley. The first Black woman to headline BottleRock, Lizzo described an unsettling scene as she approached the festival. ‘I saw signs talking about how they want to cancel people like me. Silence people like me. Choke people like me. And they right across the street,’ said Lizzo in a song break during her rendition of ‘Special.’”

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In Britain’s Independent Andrea Blanco writes, “A woman was left with severe injuries after a black bear charged at her in Minnesota. The victim was staying at a cabin in the city of Nisswa when the attack unfolded, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) said on Saturday. The woman had let her dog outside the cabin near Gull Lake and decided to go check on him shortly after midnight. While in the yard, a black bear swiped at her and struck her several times. The animal fled before first responders arrived at the scene.”

Also for WCCO, Ren Clayton reports, “Sunny Sonnheim’s house gets an awful lot of shade. That’s because tucked away in the backyard of her White Bear Lake home looms a giant cottonwood tree. …  She moved to Minnesota and this house about 50 years ago from Pennsylvania. It was much smaller then, but still impressive. ‘Five people could hold hands around it’, she said. This is not the biggest cottonwood tree in Minnesota. The largest one on record is over 32 feet in circumference in Chippewa County. This one is roughly 24 feet all the way around.”

Stribber Jennifer Bjorhus writes, “Greg Larson figures he could golf along Hwy. 7 across Minnesota from the western Twin Cities to the South Dakota border, so shorn are the roadside ditches. An Excelsior resident who owns 80 acres of the family farm in Meeker County where he grew up, Larson said he’s frustrated with all the mowing, baling and pesticide use in ditches in farm country. So are conservation groups, who say the mowing destroys critical foraging space at a time when birds, pollinators and insects desperately need more native habitat to survive.”

For KARE-TV Alexandra Simon says, “Intense. Competitive. Nervewracking. These are just some of the words one might use to describe the Scripps National Spelling Bee. And they’re words that 231 very smart students competing in this year’s Bee can probably spell, no problem. When the 2023 Bee kicks off this week, the words will be much harder, but hopefully no match for the five students representing Minnesota.”

In the Rochester Post-Bulletin Jordan Shearer reports, “Vihaan Pendse turns his back to the chess board that’s sitting on his family’s living room table and starts narrating where he wants to make his first move. ‘Pawn to E4,’ he tells his father, Bhushan Pendse. Bhushan moves his son’s pawn, and then tells Vihaan where he’s moving one of his own pieces. With his back still to the chess board, Vihaan visualizes the first two moves of the game in his head and then tells his father where his next move will be. And then the next, and the next after that. They’re playing a round of ‘blind chess.’ It’s just one of the ways Vihaan pushes himself to become better, even though he would appear to be near the top of his game already. The Rochester fifth-grader has been named the Minnesota Chess Champion for his age group, and is ranked 19th in the nation for his age group.

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