>>Judge to Approve MPD Reform Agreement Between City, Human Rights Department

(Minneapolis, MN) — A Hennepin County judge says she’ll approve a settlement agreement between the City of Minneapolis and the state Department of Human Rights aimed at wide-ranging police reforms. Backers say it will reduce police misconduct by restricting aggressive tactics, increasing accountability, and supporting officers’ wellness. The watchdog group Communities United Against Police Brutality praised most of the settlement agreement but sounded the alarm that it allows the police union contract to supersede promised reforms. State Human Rights Department officials last spring accused the city of a pattern of discriminatory policing for over a decade before George Floyd’s murder by then M-P-D officer Derek Chauvin.

>>Minnesota Nurses Reacts to Planned St. Luke’s -Aspirus Merger

(Duluth, MN) — The Minnesota Nurses Association is pleased that Aspirus (uh-spy-russ) Health plans to recognize the union and its contract under the proposed merger with the St. Luke’s system. Duluth R-N Larrissa Hubbartt says they worked really hard for that new contract last year. She says it runs through 2025 and will give nurses time to get to know each other if this happens in January or early next year. She says the nurses were told by both St. Luke’s and Aspirus that there would not be any layoffs as a result of the deal. Wausau (WAH’-saw), Wisconsin-based Aspirus operates 17 hospitals, 75 clinics, and other facilities.

>>MN Senate Capital Investment Chair Wants More Bonding Bills

(St. Paul, MN) — A top Democrat in the Minnesota Senate says the traditional every-other-year is not often enough for the state legislature to pass a bonding bill for public works projects. Senate Capital Investment Committee Chair Sandy Pappas from Saint Paul says, “We really want to do a bonding bill every year to get caught up. We skipped 2016, we skipped ’21 and ’22 and we’ve just got pretty far behind, and the needs… just continue to grow.” The legislature passed a record 2.6-billion-dollar infrastructure package earlier this year and Pappas is talking about 1.5 to 1.6 billion dollars in 2024.

>>Man Drowns in Albert Lea Lake , Firefighter Injured During Search

(Albert Lea, MN) — An investigation continues after a man drowned Thursday morning in Fountain Lake in Albert Lea and a firefighter was injured during the search. Authorities say a D-N-R conservation officer was already on the lake and able to begin looking for the victim almost immediately. Other emergency responders joined the search with boats and divers. The body of 66-year-old Matthew Anderson of Albert Lea was located about an hour later. An Albert Lea firefighter was injured when he was struck by a hook used to drag the bottom of the lake.

>>Air Quality Alert Issued for All of Minnesota

(St. Paul, MN) — The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency issued an air quality alert for the entire state, beginning at 8 a-m today (Friday) and running through Saturday at 3 p-m. Matt Taraldsen says smoke from wildfires in the far western Canadian provinces will probably first become evident in far northwestern Minnesota and then spread to southeastern Minnesota. Taraldsen says a new cold front will push smoke into the region, resulting in fine particle levels reaching the “orange” category — unhealthy for sensitive groups.

>>East Grand Forks Man Convicted in Polk County’s Largest Fentanyl Bust

(Crookston, MN) — An East Grand Forks man is facing prison time in connection with the largest seizure of fentanyl pills in Polk County history. Prosecutors say a jury found 34-year-old Mohamed Abdulgani Ahmed guilty of multiple drug charges Wednesday including first-degree sale of controlled substances. Officers say the investigation netted more than 800 fentanyl pills. Law enforcement is warning the public that the light blue M-30 pills are very dangerous and can cause overdoses and death. Ahmed will be sentenced on September 19th.

>>Foreclosure Lawsuit Filed Against St. Cloud Mall

(St. Cloud, MN) — A foreclosure lawsuit has been filed against the owners of the Crossroads Mall in St. Cloud. According to the complaint, filed in Stearns County District Court, St. Cloud Mall L.L.C. made a partial payment on the mortgage to the property in August 2020, and has not made a payment since. U.S. Bank Trust Company claims that 83.9 million dollars plus interest and fees are currently due. The original loan was for $107.5 million. U.S. Bank Trust Company is asking for the property to be sold to satisfy the debt.

>>CentraCare Selling St. Ben’s Senior Living Community

(St. Cloud MN) — CentraCare is selling the St. Benedict’s Senior Living Community to a Shoreview-based non-profit. The sale includes the St. Cloud, Sartell, and Monticello campuses to Ecumen based in Shoreview. Ecumen is a faith-based organization that operates in multiple states and provides assisted living, memory care, short-term rehabilitation, and long-term care. They own and operate 31 senior living communities throughout Minnesota. When the purchase agreement is finalized, St. Benedict’s and its employees are expected to join the Ecumen operations by late 2023.

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