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Attorney General’s Office Argues DFL Legislature Purposely Made It Harder for PCAs to Decertify the SEIU

The AG’s office argued in Ramsey County Court today that the 2013 Legislature wanted to be sure that, once the PCAs had been unionized as "state employees", it would be very difficult for PCAs to ever get a contact list for a decertification effort. They are state employees when it favors the union, and they are not state employees when it favors the union. Got it? ...

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Minneapolis Candidates Under Fire on Question About Cops [UPDATED]

Can you even for a second imagine Minneapolis--or any other city for that matter--without cops? Not a lowered presence for cops on the beat but no police patrolling the streets, neighborhoods or downtown whatsoever. Neither can I. But several candidates for Mayor of Minneapolis and the City Council have a very different vision of Minneapolis that has no need or room for the men and women in blue. Their answers came on an issues survey reported by the Star Tribune. Several candidates did not respond to the questionnaire. Those who did and said they believe “we could ever have a city without...

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How About Putting Cops’ Good Deeds on Body Cams?

 Too bad the officers' body cameras weren't rolling recently in Duluth. It might not have been the sort of gritty scene that makes it on the evening news or reality TV shows like "Cops." But the above-and-beyond response of the Duluth P.D. and St. Louis County deputies to an elderly man affected by a typical accident reveals another side of policing captured by the Duluth News Tribune that needs to be seen more often. The incident happened when Duluth resident Wade Oyabu's bike got totaled in an accident through no fault of his own. It was collateral damage when a vehicle ran...

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Virginia shooting reiterates need for self-defense

This op-ed originally appeared June 24, 2017 in the St. Cloud Times. In addition to giving thanks that only the shooter was killed June 14 in Alexandria, Virginia, I suggest a proper response is devoting more energy than we usually do to thinking seriously, not just about how violent ends can befall any of us anytime, but how we’re more acquiescent about such vulnerabilities than we need be or should be. Politicians, journalists and the rest of the nation continue to speculate in fearful unison about how many members of Congress and other people likely would have been killed if two members of...

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Officer Acquitted In Shooting That Gov. Dayton Prejudged

This afternoon, a Ramsey County jury acquitted police officer Jeronimo Yanez in the fatal shooting, last July, of Philando Castile. The case drew worldwide attention, mostly because Castile's girlfriend, Diamond Reynolds, livestreamed the immediate aftermath of the shooting on Facebook. Following the verdict, one of the jurors said that the initial vote had been 10-2 for acquittal, but it took five days for the two holdouts to go along with the other ten. There were two African-Americans on the jury, neither of whom was one of the two holdouts. The acquittal of Yanez doesn't seem surprising. The charge of second-degree manslaughter doesn't...

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VP Candidate Kaine’s Son Charged in St. Paul Anti-Trump Protest

It took awhile, but Ramsey County and St. Paul city authorities finally got around to charging the son of Hillary Clinton's running mate and 7 others in connection with the disruption of a pro-Trump rally at the State Capitol in March. Linwood Kaine, 24 year old son of U.S. Senator Tim Kaine (D-Virginia), allegedly fled the scene, but authorities eventually caught up with him. The Pioneer Press lays out the charges. The chaos that some counter-protesters brought into the Minnesota Capitol in March during a rally in support of President Donald Trump included smoke bombs, Mace in people’s faces and fireworks, prosecutors...

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Trapshooting Team Banned From School Yearbook [Updated]

Big Lake High School has a trapshooting team, which isn't surprising since trapshooting is the fastest-growing sport in Minnesota. Currently, around 11,000 students in 343 Minnesota high schools participate in the sport. From the photo below, it looks as though trapshooting is popular in Big Lake. Over 50 students apparently are participating: That's a nice photo, but it won't be appearing in the Big Lake High School yearbook. The Star Tribune reports that the photo has been banned because the trapshooters are holding firearms: Big Lake High School trapshooting coach Rhonda Eckerdt says she learned Wednesday from the athletic director that the...

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Off-Duty Cop Who Stopped St. Cloud Jihadist Named Officer of Year

Avon police officer Jason Falconer might have been off-duty last September 17 but he was in the right place at the right time.  When Dahir Adan, a Somali refugee and student, went on a stabbing rampage at Crossroads Center mall in St. Cloud, Falconer, a firearms training instructor and cop, knew what to do. This week Jason Falconer was recognized by the Minnesota Chiefs of Police Association as the officer of the year for his bravery in ending a terrorist attack that received international attention. The highest honor bestowed by the association is given annually to an officer who has demonstrated “courage in...

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