>>Thick clouds block view of eclipse in MN, some go out of state to see it

(Indianapolis, IN) — Thick cloud cover blocked most Minnesotans from getting a peek at this afternoon’s (Mon) total solar eclipse, but some went out of state to take a look. At the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Kieran Kelly from Chanhassen says it blew all of his expectations away and “seeing pictures or a live feed doesn’t do it justice…. The ambiance of the entire environment around you is incredible.” In central and southern Minnesota as much as 80-plus percent of the sun was covered by the moon, but hopeful observers couldn’t see it through thick cloud cover in most areas. In cloud-covered downtown Minneapolis, observers noticed very little change in outside brightness even as the eclipse reached its peak just after 2-p-m. Cloudy or not, the Science Museum of Minnesota and the U-of-M’s Bell Museum hosted eclipse activities throughout the day.

>>Dems in MN Senate reject GOP-sponsored squatter eviction measure

(St. Paul, MN) — It was a straight party-line vote as Democrats in the Minnesota Senate today (Mon) rejected a Republican-sponsored measure that would have allowed a homeowner or landlord to ask the sheriff to immediately remove a squatter from their property. Saint Michael Republican Eric Lucero says homeowners have left on vacation “to return and find that somebody has illegally entered their house, claiming that they have a lease or some right to that property.” Minneapolis Democrat Zaynab Mohamed responded, “Just because they do not have a documentation does not make them lesser than you as a human being.” Democrats say state law already has provisions for eviction. Republicans respond that can take months and cost homeowners or landlords thousands of dollars to regain their rightfully-owned property from squatters.

>>Bill to crack down on copper wire theft unveiled at State Capitol

(St. Paul, MN) — Anyone who buys or sells copper metal in Minnesota would need to have a license, under a bill at the legislature aimed at stopping the sharp rise in copper wire theft around the state. State Representative Athena Hollins over two thousand street lights are out in Saint Paul and the city has spent over a million dollars repairing them. She says, “There was a time this winter when nearly every single light on Payne Avenue [on Saint Paul’s East Side] was out.” Hollins says teens didn’t feel comfortable playing basketball at local courts, elderly couples didn’t want to take early-morning walks and local shops struggled to attract customers — “and then on Christmas Eve of 2023, the unthinkable happened: A retired U-S Marine was struck and killed by a driver on a pitch-black street.”

>>Bill introduced at legislature to override Racing Commission decision on HHR machines at horse tracks

(St. Paul, MN) — A bill that’s emerged at the state legislature would override the Minnesota Racing Commission’s recent decision to allow at Minnesota’s two horse tracks what are called “historic horse racing (HHR)” machines — some say the legal equivalent of slots. Democrat Zack Stephenson from Coon Rapids says the Racing Commission “broke two different laws” by approving them and “we are gonna clarify the law in this bill to make abundantly clear to a future Racing Commission that they do not have discretion to do this.” Running Aces C-F-O Tracie Wilson responds HHR machines are *not* slots because there’s no random-number generator. She says, “If you are a good handicapper, the better you are, you’re going to have a better chance of winning that pool.” Wilson says Stephenson’s bill would devastate Minnesota’s horse racing industry by taking aim at advanced-deposit wagering, card playing and pari-mutuel betting.

>Monday Shooting Near Capitol Leaves Man Injured

(St. Paul, MN) — A man was injured this morning (Mon) near the State Capitol, investigators believe when he tried to pull a gun on the person he was arguing with and the weapon discharged. St. Paul police say it happened during a fight on Rice Street. The injured man is expected to be okay, but no word on whether any charges will be filed.


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