GEORGE FLOYD-OFFICER TRIAL
Derek Chauvin trial cost Hennepin County nearly $4M
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The weekslong trial of former Minneapolis police Officer Derek Chauvin cost Minnesota’s Hennepin County about $3.7 million. Documents released by the county Friday show the sheriff’s office spent about $3.2 million on employee salaries, equipment and security for the courthouse. After salaries, the single largest expense was for added courthouse security, which cost more than $773,000. The sheriff’s office spent $18,000 for a drone to monitor “restricted airspace.” Costs for the Attorney General’s Office and the state courts were not immediately available. Chauvin was convicted of murder in the death of George Floyd and was sentenced in April to 22 1/2 years in prison.
Deepening drought prompts Minnesota to step up response
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Minnesota officials have stepped up their drought response as the state grows drier, which threatens water supplies, agriculture and more wildfires. The Department of Natural Resources says Minnesota has now reached the “warning phase” under the statewide drought plan. And the department expects another threshold for public water systems that draw from the Mississippi River will be tripped in the coming days. The DNR says it would take at least 3 to 5 five inches of rain spread over around two weeks to significantly alleviate the drought. But the forecast calls for below-normal rain and above-normal temperatures for the next couple weeks.
3-year-old boy critical after being shot in Minneapolis
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Minneapolis police say a 3-year-old boy is in critical condition after he was shot inside a home in north Minneapolis. Police spokesman John Elder says other people were in the house at the time of the Friday morning shooting. But details on what led up to the shooting were not immediately available. Minneapolis police continue to investigate other shootings in recent months that have left children dead or wounded. In those cases the children were shot while playing outside, or riding in a car.
POLICE BODY CAMERAS
Body camera usage by police up significantly, survey says
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — A new survey of law enforcement agencies throughout Minnesota shows the use of body cameras has nearly doubled in the last five years, but for smaller police departments equipping officers with the technology is financially out of reach. The Minnesota Chiefs of Police Association surveyed its members to get a sense of how many agencies statewide are using body cameras or are considering using them. About two-thirds of law enforcement officials who responded to the survey cite “lack of funding” as one of the main reasons why their departments don’t have body cameras.
New restrictions in Boundary Waters due to Canadian fires
ELY, Minn. (AP) — The Forest Service has announced new temporary travel restrictions in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness over concerns that large wildfires burning in Canada could spread across the border. The new closures include travel, campsites and portages along and near Iron and Crooked lakes along the border north of Ely, as well as some smaller lakes north of Gun Lake. The new closures, which take effect Saturday and will remain in place for at least a week. Meanwhile, more than 150 firefighters continue to battle the Delta Lake fire east of Ely. It’s burning just outside the Boundary Waters and has consumed about 65 acres and was 5% contained.
Minnesota congressional candidates start money race early
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The 2022 congressional elections are more than a year away, but some Minnesota representatives who may face competitive races are getting off to an early start. Democratic U.S. Rep, Angie Craig reports raising over $610,000 in the second quarter, with more than $1.85 million cash on hand. She represents the suburban and rural 2nd District. Craig narrowly held off a challenge in 2020 by Republican Tyler Kistner, who raised over $279,000 in the second quarter, with $189,000 in cash on hand. In southern Minnesota’s 1st District, GOP Rep. Jim Hagedorn raised $297,000 and had $435,000 in the bank.
Minnesota governor restricts ‘conversion therapy’ for minors
ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz has signed an executive order aimed at banning so-called conversion therapy. But he says it’s just a start and called on the Legislature Thursday to make the ban permanent. Minnesota is now one of about 24 states that restrict mental health professionals from seeking to change a person’s sexual orientation. Eleven Minnesota cities already have bans, including Minneapolis, St. Paul, Rochester and Duluth. The governor’s order empowers state agencies to ensure that no Minnesotans under age 18 are subjected to conversion therapy. The Minnesota Family Council calls the order “executive overreach” and an attack on the constitutional rights of patients, families and therapists.
‘Boogaloo’ member pleads guilty to machine gun charge
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — A Minnesota man who authorities say is a self-proclaimed member of the anti-government “boogaloo” movement has pleaded guilty to illegally possessing a machine gun. Twenty-seven-year-old Michael Dahlager of St. Cloud admitted Wednesday that he possessed two devices that convert a semi-automatic firearm into an unlawful fully automatic weapon. He remains in federal custody pending sentencing. Prosecutors say Dahlager is a self-proclaimed follower of the “boogaloo,” a concept embraced by a loose network of gun enthusiasts and militia-style extremists. Court documents say he told a confidential informant he was preparing to “defend” a rally at the state Capitol on Jan. 17.
The Associated Press