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EPA FUNDING-WATER QUALITY
EPA to give $60 million to 12 states to help reduce water pollution
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The federal government said it will distribute $60 million among 12 states that have waterways that flow into the Mississippi River to help them control agricultural runoff and other pollution that contribute to a dead zone in the Gulf of Mexico. The money comes from the infrastructure law President Joe Biden signed into law in November, the Environmental Protection Agency said. Radhika Fox, EPA deputy administrator for water, made the announcement Friday alongside Iowa Agriculture Secretary Mike Naig in Des Moines. The money will be distributed over the next five years in Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Ohio, Tennessee and Wisconsin.
Transgender woman asks to be transferred to a women’s prison
MOOSE LAKE, Minn. (AP) — A Minnesota transgender woman serving time in prison for drug trafficking says she shouldn’t have been assigned to a men’s facility and was sexually and verbally assaulted in because of their gender identity. Christina Lusk is suing the state Department of Corrections for discrimination. She wants to be moved from Moose Lake Men’s Prison to Shakopee Women’s Prison. Lusk, 56, of Minneapolis, came out as transgender 14 years ago, started hormone therapy, then legally changed her name in 2018. The following year, she pleaded guilty to a drug possession charge. One of his lawyers says Lusk is not safe at the men’s prison.
Minnesota auto dealers file second lawsuit over ‘clean cars’ plan
ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) – Minnesota auto dealers are continuing the state’s “clean cars” plan. The rules passed by the Walz administration last year and published in the National Registry go into effect in 2024 with the 2025 model year. They will require manufacturers and dealers to supply more electric vehicles for the Minnesota market. The Minnesota Automobile Dealers Association filed the lawsuit in the state Court of Appeals, following failed attempts at the federal level to block the plan. The group argues that Minnesota is not qualified to adopt the California rules under federal law. Minnesota’s pollution control agency says there’s a huge demand for electric vehicles, but many of those vehicles are being sent to other states that have already adopted California’s standards.
Arkansas man injured in Floyd protest chases soldiers
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — An Arkansas attorney who was hospitalized by a beanbag fired by a state police trooper during a protest at the state Capitol over the killing of George Floyd has filed a lawsuit. Don Cook filed a lawsuit against the state trooper who shot the beanbag, the state police chief, and several other troopers. The lawsuit claims his constitutional rights were violated by the use of the beanbag during the 2020 protest, which occurred days after Floyd was killed by Minneapolis police. The lawsuit says Cook suffered serious injuries and the beanbag had to be removed from his face in emergency surgery.
GOP candidate Scott Jensen announces crime-fighting plan
ST. PAUL, Minnesota (AP) — Republican gubernatorial candidate Scott Jensen announced a tough-on-crime plan that would toughen penalties for violent crimes while bolstering the role of the State Patrol and National Guard in the Minnesota. His 10-point proposal would create a specific crime for carjacking, which has surged in the Twin Cities. It would increase prison sentences for violent crimes and prevent nonprofit groups from bailing out those charged with violent crimes. And he says he would appoint judges who would impose the longest sentences allowed. Democrats were quick to criticize Jensen’s plan, pointing out that it contains no new money to bolster local police departments.
LOADS OF CARJACKING-MINNESOTA
2 face federal charges in conspiracy to hack Uber and Lyft drivers
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Two men have been charged in an alleged conspiracy to rob and violently hijack Uber and Lyft drivers over several weeks. An 18-year-old Brooklyn Park man and a 20-year-old Minneapolis man were named in a 20-count federal indictment Wednesday that charges them with conspiracy, wielding firearms, aiding and abetting carjacking and other crimes. The charges come weeks after U.S. Attorney Andy Luger announced a new strategy to tackle violent crime in the Twin Cities metro area. As part of his plan, he said all adult car thieves would be charged and prosecuted under federal law.
Minnesota Meteorologist Wins $75,000 on ‘Jeopardy!’
ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — A Minnesota meteorologist has earned more than $75,000 in three days on “Jeopardy!” The St. Paul Pioneer Press reports that Eric Ahasic won his biggest loot on Wednesday with $35,600 to bring his total winnings to $75,600. He won $5,000 in Wednesday’s Final Jeopardy! segment, which posed this response: “An attendee of that 1773 event recalled, ‘Some of our numbers jumped in the hold… I’ve never worked harder in my life. Ahasic told the Boston Tea Party, which was the correct answer. Its fourth episode is scheduled to air Thursday afternoon.
Minnesota tribe to reclaim 28,000 acres
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — A tribe in Minnesota is set to reclaim 28,000 acres that the federal government sold off in the 19th century. Minnesota Public Radio reports that the land is on the reservation of the Bois Forte Band of Chippewa, but the tribe lost title to it after the federal government divided it into parcels and sold it under of the General Allotment Act of 1887. The nonprofit Conservation Fund purchased the land as part of a larger purchase from the lumber company PotlatchDeltic in 2020 with the intent of returning it to the tribe. Tribal President Cathy Chavers says the land will be used for hunting, fishing and berry picking.
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