Kueng and Thao reject plea deals, state trial will proceed

Pauleen Le and John Lauritsen at WCCO are reporting J. Alexander Kueng and Tou Thao rejected plea deals during a hearing Monday morning. It means the state trial will proceed as scheduled. In the offer, both would have had to plead guilty to second-degree manslaughter and spend 36 months behind bars.

Liz Navratil at the Star Tribune covered Mayor Jacob Frey’s Monday press conference outlining his spending plans. The mayor’s proposal — which calls for $1.6 billion in spending in 2023 and $1.7 billion in 2024 — includes money for police, mental health teams, traffic control agents, programs aimed at improving the quality of public housing, treating opioid addiction and combating climate change.

Noor Adwan at Sahan Journal has an interview with state Rep. John Thompson who blames his landslide Aug. 9 primary election loss on racially motivated slander and DFL money: “This party is full of shit.”

Christopher Snowbeck at the Star Tribune reports operating losses at Fairview Health Services grew worse through the first half of the year as the cost of labor rose and patients stays lengthened due to a shortage of space at transitional and long-term care facilities. Inflation played a role, too, since operating costs are growing faster relative to reimbursement rates, according to executives.

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Adam Uren at Bring Me the News is reporting Duluth band Low has canceled several tour dates in Europe due to vocalist/drummer Mimi Parker’s ongoing cancer treatment.

Alexandra Simon at KARE-11 shares the news that after more than 8,300 weddings and vow renewals over the past 28 years, the Chapel of Love on the third floor of the Mall of America will be closing.