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Highway entrances reopen to Minneapolis-St. Paul Airport

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Highway entrances reopen to Minneapolis-St. Paul Airport


Police at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport have reopened the highway entrances to the airport’s main terminal after officers cleared a report of a suspicious item at the airport.

Jeff Lea, a spokesman for the Metropolitan Airports Commission, said the airport halted road entrances along Hwy. 5 a little after 5:30 p.m. and reopened them about 45 minutes later.

Airport officials cleared the north end of the terminal where the package was found and they blocked any traffic nearby “in case it was something serious,” Lea said.

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Minneapolis, MN

Striking workers shut down Minneapolis Park Board meeting with three-hour protest

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Striking workers shut down Minneapolis Park Board meeting with three-hour protest


Workers who are striking the Minneapolis Park Board for the first time in the agency’s 141-year history took the fight over their stalled contract negotiations to commissioners Wednesday night, demonstrating at their meeting for three hours straight until the board was forced to adjourn without getting anything done.

Commissioners Becky Alper and Tom Olsen started the meeting by attempting to amend the agenda with a resolution directing park managers to promptly settle with union workers. They asked the Park Board’s negotiating team to offer Local 363 a proposal with market adjustments that union leaders have committed to accepting verbally and in writing, but without the contract takeaways the union calls “poison pills” — such as provisions to reduce the number of stewards, double probation time for new hires and make automatic seniority raises discretionary.

“This unprecedented situation diverts our attention from our primary mission: preserving, protecting‚ maintaining, improving and enhancing parks,” said Alper. “Without this resolution we face as the Park Board a perilous path forward. It’s one with no end in sight. It’s one where we gradually crawl out of this hole while parks deteriorate, where workers’ families are impacted without paychecks and dissatisfaction grows among the public.”

Commissioners Alper, Olsen and Billy Menz supported amending the agenda to allow discussion of the resolution. However, Park Board President Meg Forney, Vice President Cathy Abene and Commissioners Steffanie Musich, Elizabeth Shaffer and Becka Thompson rejected the amendment (Commissioner Charles Rucker was absent).

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Workers in the gallery shouted their dissatisfaction, asking why the commissioners refused to end the strike, now in its third week. The work stoppage has disrupted storm cleanup of the parks, canceled concerts at the Lake Harriet bandshell and caused maintenance jams across the system.

The only dissenter to respond was Thompson, who said she did not understand how the contract offer described in the Alper-Olsen resolution would affect the whole system. Menz, who voted to amend the agenda, added that his colleagues did not want to appear unsupportive of their negotiating team, which includes Superintendent Al Bangoura.

Kevin Pranis, Local 363′s marketing manager, said park officials were negotiating like they wanted to break the strike rather than settle it. He said it was only after seven months of stalled negotiations, and a 94% vote by Local 363 membership to authorize a strike, that the park negotiating team locked onto the “poison pill” takeaways.

“What’s happened now is that management has decided, after 140 years of Park Board history there’s never been a strike, that the goal … is now to make sure that for another 140 years no one will consider striking because they got hurt so badly in this strike,” Pranis told commissioners. “That no other union will ever consider going on strike.”

Every time commissioners attempted to move onto other business, park workers and allies from other unions formed a picket line around the board room, chanting “No contract, no peace!” and “What’s disgusting? Union busting!”

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Individual workers spoke directly to commissioners, saying they had received discipline without due process and describing grievances they have pending with managers that likely have not risen to commissioners’ attention.

As the demonstration dragged on without comments from the dais, commissioners ate their dinners and had whispered conversations with each other and park lawyer Brian Rice, while the union ordered dinner from Portillo’s.

Commissioners finally walked out of the room around 8 p.m., three hours after the meeting began, without working through the agenda. Items not acted on included a resolution to transfer $10 million from neighborhood parks across the city to the redesign of North Commons Park, and extension of the lease for the Boys and Girls Club at Phelps Park.

Terryl Brumm, CEO of the Boys and Girls Club of the Twin Cities, left the meeting early, saying that while the Club’s lease of the Phelps Recreation Center now technically expires, she was confident the Park Board won’t evict them.

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Minneapolis, MN

Pro-Palestinian protesters block Minneapolis street

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Pro-Palestinian protesters block Minneapolis street


Pro-Palestinian protesters block Minneapolis street – CBS Minnesota

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Pro-Palestinian protesters blocked the street outside Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar’s office in downtown Minneapolis on Wednesday to protest to arrival of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

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Minneapolis, MN

Minneapolis man pleads guilty to bombing hair salon

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Minneapolis man pleads guilty to bombing hair salon


A man accused of using explosives to damage a Minneapolis hair salon has pleaded guilty.

United States Attorney Andrew Luger stated Tuesday in a news release that 59-year-old Michael Allen Francisco has pleaded guilty to one count of malicious use of explosive materials to damage and destroy a Minneapolis-based property.

The charges stemmed from an incident dating back to almost two years ago.

According to court documents on November 20, 2022, at approximately 2:49 AM, a homemade explosive device detonated at a hair salon.

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A Ring video camera recording from the salon was able to capture the suspect, later identified as Francisco, placing the explosive device on the window of the salon.

Almost a year later on November 6, 2023, Francisco was captured on video again damaging the same salon, this time throwing a rock through a window.

Investigators said they were able to collect DNA and other evidence connecting Francisco to both incidents.

On March 28, 2024, officers and agents executed a search warrant at Francisco’s residence.

The above photo shows the explosive materials found in Francisco’s home. (U.S. Attorney’s Office)

There, law enforcement found the jacket Francisco was wearing when he threw a rock through the window, as well as multiple explosive components, a .32 caliber revolver with ammunition and methamphetamine.

Francisco is prohibited from owning firearms or ammunition. He has yet to be sentenced for the case.

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