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EPA WATER QUALITY REGULATION

EPA gives $60 million to 12 states to curb water pollution

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – The federal government says it will distribute $60 million to 12 states that have waterways that drain into the Mississippi River to help them control farm runoff and other pollution that contribute to a dead zone in the Gulf of Mexico. The money comes from the infrastructure bill that President Joe Biden signed into law in November, the Environmental Protection Agency said. Radhika Fox, EPA Assistant Administrator for Water, made the announcement Friday along with Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig in Des Moines. The money will be distributed to Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Ohio, Tennessee and Wisconsin over the next five years.

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INFANT TRANSGENDER SUIT

Transgender woman sues for transfer to women’s prison

MOOSE LAKE, Minn. (AP) — A transgender Minnesota woman serving time in prison on a drug charge says she should not have been admitted to a men’s facility and was sexually and verbally abused because of her gender identity. Christina Lusk is suing the State Department of Corrections for discrimination. She wants to be transferred from the men’s prison in Moose Lake to the women’s prison in Shakopee. Lusk, 56, from Minneapolis, came out as transgender 14 years ago, started hormone therapy and legally changed her name in 2018. The following year, she pleaded guilty to one charge of drug possession. One of her lawyers says Lusk is not safe in the men’s prison.

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CLEAN CARS MINNESOTA

Minnesota auto dealers file second lawsuit over clean car plan

ST. PAUL, Minnesota (AP) – Auto dealers in Minnesota are suing the state’s ‘clean car’ plan. The rules passed by the Walz administration last year and published in the state register will come into force in 2024 with the 2025 model year. They’re asking manufacturers and dealers to supply more electric vehicles for the Minnesota market. The Minnesota Auto Dealers Association filed the complaint with the state Circuit Court of Appeals after unsuccessful federal attempts to block the plan. The group argues that Minnesota does not have the right to adopt California’s rules under federal law. The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency argues that there is strong demand for electric vehicles, but many of those vehicles are being sent to other states that have already adopted California’s standards.

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AP-US-FLOYD-PROTESTS-ARKANSAS-SUIT

Arkansas man injured in Floyd protest sues soldiers

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — An Arkansas attorney who was hospitalized by a bean bag chair fired by a state police officer during a protest at the state Capitol over the killing of George Floyd has filed a lawsuit. Don Cook filed the lawsuit against the state trooper who fired the beanbag, the chief of state police, and several other troopers. The lawsuit alleges his constitutional rights were violated by the use of the beanbag during the 2020 protest, which took place days after Floyd was killed by Minneapolis police. The lawsuit says Cook sustained serious injuries and had emergency surgery to remove the beanbag from his face.

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ELECTION 2022 MINNESOTA GOVERNOR

GOP contestant Scott Jensen announces crime-fighting plan

ST. PAUL, Minnesota (AP) – Republican gubernatorial candidate Scott Jensen has announced a crime-fighting plan that would increase penalties for violent crimes while strengthening the role of the Minnesota State Patrol and National Guard. His 10-point proposal would create a specific crime for carjacking, which has skyrocketed in the Twin Cities. He would increase jail terms for violent crimes and prevent nonprofit groups from bailing out people accused of 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 doesn’t include new money to bolster local police departments.

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CARJACKING FEES-MINNESOTA

2 face federal counts in conspiracy to hijack Uber and Lyft drivers

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Two men have been charged in an alleged conspiracy to violently rob and kidnap Uber and Lyft drivers over a period of several weeks. An 18-year-old man from Brooklyn Park and a 20-year-old man from Minneapolis were named in a 20-count indictment Wednesday, charging them with conspiracy, gun wielding, aiding and abetting carjacking and other crimes. The charges come weeks after US 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 carjackers will be charged and prosecuted under federal law.

DANGER! METEOROLOGIST

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Minnesota meteorologist takes home $75,000 for Jeopardy!

ST. PAUL, Minnesota (AP) – A Minnesota meteorologist has won more than $75,000 in three days on “Jeopardy!” The St. Paul Pioneer Press reports that Eric Ahasic took home his biggest win on Wednesday, $35,600, taking his total winnings to $75,600. He earned $5,000 in Final Jeopardy! Segment that provided this response: “A participant in 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 airs Thursday afternoon.

tribal land

Minnesota tribe to get back 28,000 acres

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — A Minnesota tribe is to be reclaimed 28,000 acres that the federal government sold in the 1800s. Minnesota Public Radio reports that the land is within the Bois Forte Band of Chippewa Reservation, but the tribe lost ownership of it after the federal government divided it into lots and sold it under the General Allotment Act of 1887. The nonprofit Conservation Fund purchased the land as part of a major purchase from logging company PotlatchDeltic in 2020 with the intention of returning it to the tribe. Tribal leader Cathy Chavers says the land is used for hunting, fishing and berry gathering.

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