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POLICE SHOOTING-MINNEAPOLIS

Amir Locke cousin pleads guilty in killing that led to raid

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — A teenage cousin of Amir Locke has pleaded guilty to a murder that prompted police to conduct the no-knock warrant that led to Locke’s killing in February. Mekhi Camden Speed, who is now 18, pleaded guilty Friday to one count of aiding and abetting second-degree unintentional murder while committing a felony — namely aggravated robbery. A count of intentional second-degree murder will be dismissed. During the court hearing over Zoom, Speed, who was 17 at the time, said he doesn’t remember pulling the trigger as he and others were trying to rob Otis Elder of drugs. But he admitted he aided and abetted the crime. He will be transferred to the Department of Corrections while he awaits sentencing, which is set for July.

REPUBLICAN CONVENTION-MINNESOTA

Minnesota GOP seeks victory as convention opens in Rochester

ROCHESTER, Minn. (AP) — All eyes were on the governor’s race as Minnesota Republicans convened in Rochester to endorse a candidate to challenge Democratic incumbent Gov. Tim Walz in the November election. The 2,200 delegates are under the gun to get their work by a 6 p.m. Saturday deadline for vacating the Mayo Civic Center. All the gubernatorial candidates at the convention have pledged to honor the party’s endorsement and forego the right to run in the Aug. 9 GOP primary, assuming there’s no deadlock. Delegates made their first endorsements Friday when they backed Ryan Wilson to take on State Auditor Julie Blaha, and Kim Crockett to challenge Secretary of State Steve Simon. 

MINNESOTA-TAX GAFFE

Agency error means richest Minnesotans owe more in taxes

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — About 45,000 of the richest residents in Minnesota owe the state about $38 million because of a mistake by the state Department of Revenue. Authorities say the Legislature changed the standard income tax deduction during the 2019 session but it wasn’t reflected correctly in the worksheet used by tax preparers in 2019 and 2020. The mistake affected taxpayers in the state’s highest income tax bracket, with federal adjusted gross incomes above about $280,000 for single tax filers and about $360,000 for married couples filing jointly.. The Revenue Department notified tax preparers last fall and began sending letters to taxpayers in mid-April. The affected taxpayers have 60 days to come up with the money, which will be deposited in the state’s general fund.

BIRD FLU-MICHIGAN FOXES

Michigan DNR: Bird flu confirmed in 3 baby red foxes

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Avian influenza has been confirmed in three baby red foxes in separate southeastern Michigan counties. Michigan’s Department of Natural Resources said Thursday that the kits in Lapeer, Macomb and St. Clair counties were confirmed Wednesday to have died from the HPAI virus. They are the first confirmation by the state of the virus in wild mammals. The fox kits were collected from dens between April 1-14. Michigan DNR wildlife veterinarian Megan Moriarty says the viruses “may occasionally transmit from birds to mammals, as occurred in these cases.” Avian influenza has been detected in backyard flocks and commercial poultry facilities, and in wild birds in more than 30 states.

SEVERE WEATHER

Severe storms blamed for 3 deaths in South Dakota, Minnesota

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) — Strong winds and a tornado caused widespread damage in parts of the Midwest, where officials said another round of severe weather during a stormy week left three more people dead. Authorities say a grain bin fell onto a car Thursday in Minnesota and killed a passenger, while two people in South Dakota died as a result of severe weather. Winds gusted Thursday above 100 mph in parts of South Dakota, where a nursing home and school were damaged. Earlier in the week, severe weather hit Minnesota, where a storm-chasing meteorologist from Mexico City died Wednesday in a car crash. More storms were forecast for Friday from the Upper Great Lakes to the southern Great Plains that could bring damaging winds and hail.

AP-US-NATIVE-AMERICANS-BOARDING-SCHOOLS

US grappling with Native American boarding school history

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. (AP) — The U.S. government hasn’t been open to investigating its role in stripping Native Americans of their cultures and identities in boarding schools. Until now. That’s partly because people who know first-hand the persistent trauma caused by the boarding school system are positioned in the U.S. government. Interior Secretary Deb Haaland last year announced an investigation into the government’s oversight of Native American boarding schools, and the Interior Department released some initial findings this week. But the work to uncover the truth and create a path for healing will require financial resources. And tribes will have to navigate federal laws on repatriation to bring home children who died and were buried at the schools.

ABORTION-MINNESOTA

Minnesota Senate Democrats try to force abortion debate

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — The Minnesota Senate Democratic minority has tried unsuccessfully to force consideration of nine abortion and health-related bills that the Republican majority has kept bottled up in committee. The leak of a draft U.S. Supreme Court opinion that would overrule the landmark Roe v. Wade decision has energized both sides of the abortion debate in Minnesota. Democrats knew they lacked the votes to prevail Thursday. But Senate Minority Leader Melisa López Franzen says her fellow Democrats wanted to send a message to Minnesotans. She says they’ll fight to protect privacy and reproductive rights, including the right to abortion, while Republicans won’t.

STORM CHASERS-PERILS

Storm chasers face host of dangers beyond severe weather

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — The deaths of four storm chasers over the last two weeks have underscored the inherent dangers of pursuing severe weather events and navigating traffic. A meteorologist from Mexico was killed in a car crash on Wednesday while chasing violent weather in Minnesota. Three University of Oklahoma students were killed on April 30 when a semitrailer struck their vehicle while they were returning from chasing a tornado in Kansas. Greg Tripoli is an atmospheric and oceanic scientist at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He says storm chasing can produce useful data but more often students want the thrill of seeing a tornado. He says the biggest danger that chasers face is a car accident as people travel at high speeds pursuing storms.

The Associated Press

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