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Latest Minnesota news, sports, business and entertainment at 9:20 p.m. CDT

July 30, 2021 - 7:20 PM

AIR QUALITY-MINNESOTA

Minnesota extends statewide air quality alert until Tuesday

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency has extended an air quality alert until noon on Tuesday for the entire state due to what authorities are calling an “unprecedented significant air quality event." Minnesota has been dealing with smoke from Canadian wildfires that has created some of the highest particulate readings on record. An air quality alert was set to expire Friday afternoon, but it was extended. The MPCA says fine particle levels are expected to reach a level that's considered very unhealthy for everyone, across north central and south central Minnesota. That area includes Hibbing, Brainerd, St. Cloud, and the Twin Cities.

AP-US-WOMAN-BEHEADED-MINNESOTA

Man charged with beheading woman in Minneapolis suburb

SHAKOPEE, Minn. (AP) — A man is charged with beheading a woman while they were in a car in traffic in a Minneapolis suburb. Alexis Saborit was charged Friday with second-degree intentional murder in the knife attack on America Thayer, which happened Wednesday afternoon in Shakopee. Several people witnessed the attack. When police arrived, they found Thayer's body and head. A machete-style knife was in an alley a few blocks away. Authorities have not said what motivated the attack, but Soborit has a criminal history that includes a domestic assault conviction for an attack against Thayer in 2017. At that time, she said they had been dating seven years.

MINNESOTA LAWMAKER-ETHICS

Embattled Minnesota lawmaker will apologize to colleague

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Rep. John Thompson has agreed to publicly apologize for calling a colleague a racist during a debate on the Minnesota House floor last month. The embattled St. Paul Democrat agreed to apologize to Republican Rep. Eric Lucero, of Dayton, he next time the House convenes. The St. Paul Pioneer Press reports the deal was approved by a House ethics panel Friday. In return, an ethics complaint Lucero filed against Thompson will be dismissed. The complaint was unrelated other controversies dogging Thompson. Top Democrats called for his resignation this month after police reports resurfaced alleging he committed domestic violence, which he has denied.

PONZI SCHEME-PETTERS

Receivership closes; $722M recovered for Petters' victims

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The job of recovering money for the victims of Minnesota businessman Tom Petters’ Ponzi scheme has come to an end, as a federal judge has closed the receivership, which recovered $722 million. Petters, of Wayzata, is serving a 50-year prison sentence for defrauding investors out of $1.9 billion. Receiver Doug Kelley and his team have spent more than a decade searching for and liquidating Petters’ assets to compensate as many victims and creditors as possible.

AP-CAR-IOWA-SPEEDWAY-ANNOUNCER'S-RANT

Racetrack promoter sorry for backing announcer's racist rant

FAIRMONT, Minn. (AP) — An auto racing announcer in southern Minnesota will sit out for the rest of the season following a racist rant in Iowa last month. And a track promoter who supported him is now apologizing. Fairmont Raceway promoter Jon McCorkell says he's sorry for comments he made in support of longtime announcer Lon Oelke. Oelke was fired from an Iowa racetrack after he complained about people who don't stand for the national anthem. McCorkell initially said he agreed with Oelke. But now he says he's learned a lot about the issues behind the protest that takes a stand against racial inequity. The raceway says Oelke will take a leave of absence.

POWER PLANT SALE

Minnesota co-ops approve North Dakota power plant sale

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — A Minnesota electric company says its member cooperatives have endorsed a deal to sell a financially troubled coal-fueled power plant in North Dakota to a Bismarck firm. Great River Energy says its 28 member cooperatives approved the sale Friday of the Coal Creek Station and an associated transmission line that runs from the plant’s location in central North Dakota to Minnesota. Terms of the deal have not been publicly disclosed. The company says the cooperatives also approved an agreement to purchase electricity over the next decade from the plant’s new owner, Rainbow Energy Center, a marketer that sells wholesale electric power.

RETIRED CHIEF KILLED-SENTENCE

Man sentenced to prison for killing retired police chief

DETROIT LAKES, Minn. (AP) — An Ogema man has been sentenced to 6 1/2 years in prison for fatally shooting a retired Lake Park police chief in Becker County. Fifty-six-year-old Morris Dodd Jr. was earlier found guilty of second-degree manslaughter in the 2018 shooting death of Jay Nelson, who was killed in his pickup truck on a trail near his family’s hunting cabin on the White Earth Reservation. Dodd said he had fired a shot to spook a fawn and was scared to turn himself in after seeing news reports about Nelson’s death because he, as a sex offender, was not allowed to possess a gun.

EVICTION MORATORIUM-MINNESOTA

EXPLAINER: Is Minnesota doing enough to limit evictions?

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — A federal freeze on most evictions is scheduled to expire Saturday, but elements of Minnesota’s eviction moratorium are expected to remain in place until next June 1. The federal moratorium was put in place by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention last September, while Minnesota’s took effect in March of 2020, when Democratic Gov. Tim Walz imposed it during the early days of the pandemic. Legislative leaders announced a bipartisan agreement last month to gradually lift the state's moratorium. They said the agreement offers strong protections and clear timelines for people who owe back rent to secure rental assistance, which is paid directly to landlords.

News from © The Associated Press, 2021
The Associated Press

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