Author: Minnesota Reformer

Step away from Twitter. Stop doom-scrolling. Yes, I know, American democracy is under assault. Russian President Vladimir Putin is muttering dark warnings about nuclear weapons in the face of heroic and historic resistance by Ukraine. Dozens of people are dead and large swaths of Florida have been devastated by Hurricane Ian. And Kanye West did something so uniformly awful in Paris that I was forced to Google the tone-deaf thing that Kanye West did in Paris. These are bleak times, indeed. And the urge to simply throw your hands up in the air and declare yourself quit of the whole business is overwhelming. I’m right there with…

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Minnesotans are eligible to vote early in the state’s midterm elections in person or by mail starting on Friday. Voters will elect Minnesota’s next governor and the person who will lead Minnesota’s state constitutional offices of attorney general, secretary of state and state auditor. On top of statewide races, all eight congressional districts and all of the Minnesota Legislature’s 201 seats are up for election. How do I vote early? Minnesotans can vote early, beginning 46 days before an election or Friday, Sept. 23. Voters can either cast their vote by mail or at their local election office. Minnesotans can…

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A legislative audit of the 14.5-mile Metro Green Line Extension that ends in Eden Prairie found that poor planning and decision-making are responsible for the delays and cost overruns that have plagued the project since it started in 2011.  The Metropolitan Council is overseeing the design, engineering, construction and future operation of what is also referred to as the Southwest Light Rail line, which is now nine years behind schedule and $1.5 billion over budget, with a massive funding hole to complete the project. The Legislature passed a law earlier this year mandating the project get audited by the Office…

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A federal judge on Friday dismissed a lawsuit brought by gun rights activists challenging the Minnesota State Fair’s ban on guns, ruling the ban does not violate the activists’ Second Amendment rights. The Minnesota Gun Owners Caucus and pair of gun rights activists — the Rev. Tim Christopher and Sarah Cade Hauptman — filed a lawsuit in 2021 against the State Agricultural Society, which runs the fair. They argued the gun ban was illegal because of the Second Amendment and a state law prohibiting local jurisdictions from restricting firearms. The fairgrounds are on state property, and the Minnesota State Agricultural Society is…

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So many Minnesota police officers have left the profession due to post-traumatic stress disorder that 11 Minnesota organizations started a group to highlight what has become a fiscal and staffing crisis for many communities. As of June, 118 disability retirement claims had been filed with the state police and fire retirement fund, equal to the total number of applications in all of 2019. In 2020, the year George Floyd was murdered by Minneapolis police, the state received 241 applications. Last year, the state received 307 applications. Since August 2020, police officers made 80% of the disability claims, and 80% said they have…

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A district judge recently ordered the Scott County Attorney’s Office to “do better” and make “swift and positive change” after finding the office suppressed evidence that was favorable to a former Eden Prairie wrestling coach charged with sexually assaulting a girl on his team. Mustafa Shabazz, 45, was acquitted of assaulting that 11-year-old Shakopee girl. The Shakopee case began in February 2020, when the mother of an 11-year-old girl reported to police that her daughter told her Shabazz inappropriately touched her under the guise of hugging. During the investigation, another allegation in Eden Prairie came to light, and sexual assault charges were…

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