Buttigieg checks out local infrastructure projects, State

At MPR, Mark Zdechlik says, “Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg got a first-hand look at a $12 million project to improve a busy corridor on Lake Street in Minneapolis that’s adding new turn lanes, bus only lanes, and upgrades to accommodate people with disabilities. ‘They are building for the future,’ Buttigieg said of the program funded by the $1 trillion infrastructure funding package signed into law by President Joe Biden last year. … Minnesota Republicans were critical of what they called Buttigieg’s ‘photo-ops.’ ‘Inflation is crippling our economy, crime is out of control, and the Democrats just passed yet another massive tax-and-spend spree that will only make these problems worse’, said Republican Party of Minnesota spokesperson Nick Majerus. ‘Gov. Tim Walz’s allies in the Biden Administration can try to prop him up all they want, but Minnesotans know they are less safe and prosperous thanks to the Democrats’ failed policies.’ During a stop at the Minnesota State Fair, Buttigieg said Democrats need to make Americans more aware of the importance of recent government investments.”

Says Stribber Liz Navratil, “Two Minneapolis activists are asking a judge to compel city officials to appoint more people to a police watchdog group that doesn’t currently have enough members to operate. The case focuses on the city’s Police Conduct Oversight Commission, a group of people appointed by the mayor and City Council to conduct research on police issues and provide recommendations for policy changes. The group’s past work has covered a variety of topics, such as trends in use of force, how to improve medical training as the Police Department seeks to rebuild its ranks and how to strengthen misconduct investigations to improve public confidence in them. … David Bicking and Emma Pederson, two members of local activist group Communities United Against Police Brutality who applied to serve on the commission, filed a petition in court Wednesday asking a judge to compel Mayor Jacob Frey and City Council members to fill the commission positions and pay damages.”

At MPR, Brian Bakst reports, “As it currently stands, a considerable surplus will be at the disposal of DFL Gov. Tim Walz or his Republican challenger Scott Jensen as the winner of their race crafts a two-year budget proposal for the Legislature to consider next year. Tax revenue continues to outpace projections and much of a surplus that had topped $9 billion could be available as the budget-setting session convenes in January, because lawmakers failed to agree on how to use most of it. … ‘We’re going to look hard at getting rid of the personal income tax,’ Jensen told the Republican Party convention before nailing down the endorsement this May. ‘We have got to quit nibbling at the edges. We’ve got to be bold.’”

At KARE-TV Rena Sarigianopoulos says, “For the first time in more than two years, we’re about to start a fairly ‘normal’ school year. ‘It is about as normal as we have seen in a number of years,’ said Minnesota Education Commissioner Dr. Heather Mueller. … That’s not to say there won’t be any challenges. Educators have left the profession in droves in an era where hiring is already hard. ‘I’d say we’re doing okay. We’re fortunate that we still draw a really strong talent pool for all the openings that we have,’ says Wayzata Superintendent Dr. Chace Anderson. Wayzata, like most districts across the state, is looking for people in special education, math and science.”

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This in the Strib: “A college student from Le Sueur County has been crowned the 69th Princess Kay of the Milky Way at the Minnesota State Fairgrounds. Rachel Rynda, 19, of Montgomery, Minn., will serve as a ‘goodwill ambassador’ for some 2,100 dairy farm families in the state, the Midwest Dairy Association announced Wednesday night. She attends the University of Wisconsin-River Falls. On Wednesday night, Rynda bested 10 county dairy princesses for the title — and the honor of sitting first to have her likeness sculpted in a 90-pound block of butter for display at the Minnesota State Fair.”

For Axios Des Moines Linh Ta reports, “Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz took a jab at the Iowa State Fair this week, saying ‘I always appreciate Iowa kind of doing a little warm up, like the minor league state fair so Minnesota can bring in the major leagues.’ Driving the news: The Minnesota State Fair starts today and the governor had some fiery words to say about Iowa … Our thought bubble: This is gold coming from a fair whose pinnacle is its all-you-can-drink milk stand. (Ew.)”

Says Gita Sitamariah for the Strib, “Fast-fashion chain H&M has closed its Uptown Minneapolis location, an expected change for the Seven Points shopping center being redeveloped at Hennepin Avenue and Lake Street. The Swedish retailer, with several locations in the Twin Cities, mutually agreed with the Seven Points owner to close as construction is to begin there this year on a $150 million, seven-story apartment building, a spokesman for the shopping center said. Meanwhile, a mile away, the Patina gift and specialty store on Franklin Avenue is closing after a 25-year run at two locations in the neighborhood. Sunday is its last day.”

For The Root Marjani Rawls says, “It, unfortunately, seems Jacob Blake’s family has encountered another potential instance of police brutality. Justin Blake, the uncle of Jacob Blake, filed a federal civil rights lawsuit against the Kenosha County Sheriff’s Office and its employees on Tuesday, as noted by the Associated Press. The lawsuit alleges Blake was subject to torture tactics by police officers during his arrest while attending April 2021 (protests). Attorneys for Blake state that the sheriff’s deputies arrested Blake and strapped him into an emergency restraint chair for almost seven hours. While asking him questions, the lawsuit states officers recognized Justin as Jacob Blake’s uncle and became more aggressive because he exercised his right to remain silent. … Blake alleges his neck, back, and shoulders were injured in the encounter. The lawsuit itself wants to end the ‘restraint chair’ punishment, deletion of his arrest records, and unspecified damages. ‘He was immobile, and restraints were tightly tied to his legs, arms, and he had a horse-like collar strap that went over his head and over his chest,’ the lawsuit states, even though Blake was never a danger to himself or others.”

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