>> End of Session Push

(St. Paul, MN) — Hamline University political analyst David Schultz says it appears a bonding bill for state public works projects could be a casualty of Republicans’ end-of-session demands and Democrats’ refusal to grant them. Schultz says a bonding package is less important to Democrats than an E-R-A/abortion rights constitutional amendment — and for Republicans, *killing* that amendment is more important than a bonding bill. He adds, “We’re down to a situation here for both the Republicans and Democrats, where these are ideological issues at this point. These are core social issues, of which neither side’s gonna compromise.” Questions have been raised about whether Senate Democrats, with their one-vote majority, can pass a bill to put an E-R-A (Equal Rights)/abortion rights constitutional amendment on the ballot in 2026. But House Speaker, Democrat Melissa Hortman, says the Senate will accept it as-is, with the pregnancy/abortion language included.

>>Multiple Injuries Reported in Crash Near Felton

(Felton, MN) — Multiple injuries are reported in a collision between an SUV and a bottom-dump gravel trailer in Clay County. Around 10:20 this (Thurs) morning, a gravel truck and an SUV were involved in a t-bone-style crash near Felton. State Patrol Sgt. Jesse Grabow says one person was in the truck, and six people, including children, were in the SUV. Some people in the SUV had to be cut from the vehicle. Grabow says the injured were transported by both ground and air. Grabow says injuries range from non-life-threatening to very severe. The crash is under investigation.

>>Le Roy Couple Arraigned After 15 Dogs Were Seized from Their Farm

(Preston, MN) — A Le Roy couple was arraigned in Fillmore County this morning (THURS) in relation to 15 German Shepherds being seized from their farm in February. Donald Anderson and Elham Alayyoub are each charged with three counts of animal torture, three counts of animals deprived of food and shelter, and three counts of animal cruelty. The county took the dogs and turned them over to the Animal Humane Society in Golden Valley, and a judge has determined they will not be returned to the Andersons. Both will appear in court again on August 13th.

>>Rochester Man Avoids Prison Sentenced for Child Pornography

(Rochester, MN) — A Rochester man will avoid prison time, instead serving five years of supervised probation after being convicted of a child pornography crime. In December 2020, court documents say Rochester Police were made of child sexual abuse material after Facebook alerted them to a video of suspected child pornography being uploaded and shared. Police traced the Facebook account to the Rochester home of 41-year-old Alberto Gonzalez. His phone was seized in January 2021, and officials found a video of a man and 3-7-year-old-girl engaging in a sexual act. Gonzalez faced two charges in April 2022, one of which was dropped after Gonzalez pleaded guilty in November 2023 as part of a deal.

>>Dual Language Signage Debut

(Grand Marais, MN) — The Grand Portage Band of Lake Superior Chippewa and MnDOT unveiled the state’s newest dual language signage today (THURS) along Highway 61 from Grand Marais to the Canadian border. MnDOT Spokesperson Pippi Mayfield says this is an ongoing statewide mission to post signs in both English and Ojibwe at Native American reservation borders and any rivers on reservation property. Mayfield says today’s ceremony near Devil Track River was the first time Minnesota put up one of these signs off-reservation property.

>>Wridz Join My Wheels in Taking Over Rideshare Company Options in MN as Uber, Lyft Threaten to Leave

(Minneapolis, MN) — As both Uber and Lyft threaten to leave Minnesota altogether by July 1st, as a new rideshare minimum wage deal goes into place, new companies are looking to make their mark here. Wridz joined My Wheels Wednesday as one of Minneapolis’ first newly licensed rideshare companies, aside from the former.

>>MDA to Set Over 20,000 Spongy Moth Traps

(Undated) — The Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) has begun setting up nearly 20,000 insect traps across the eastern half of the state this year to survey for spongy moths. The spongy moth is known to be a plant and human nuisance, with the caterpillars’ ability to kill trees through severe and repeated infestations. Small, triangular, cardboard delta traps will soon be seen in trees, which the MDA asks the public not to touch or throw away if found. The survey will help officials identify potential problem areas for future treatments.

>>Minnepaolis Begins 3rd-Annual Operation Safe Summer

(Minneapolis, MN) — Minneapolis public safety officials have launched the city’s third-annual ‘Operation Safe Summer.’ Authorities say the strategic plan will utilize intelligence and data analytics to decrease crime and keep the city safe. MPD Chief Brian O’Hara says all command staff will participate in foot patrols and increase the visibility of Neighborhood Safety programming to give juveniles positive activities.

>>DNR 2024 “I Can” Programs

(St. Paul, MN) — To get more families outdoors and enjoy nature, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources offers five outdoor skills programs for beginners. The “I Can” programs are designed to take parents and their kids from “I’ve never done that” to “Wow that was a blast”. The programs are free or affordable, depending on your chosen camp. The DNR provides the gear and experienced instructors who offer hands-on learning. The five programs are I Can Camp, I Can Paddle, I Can Mountain Bike, I Can Fish, and Archery in the Parks. For more information, visit the DNR’s “I Can” website.

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