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Minnesota players to boycott all football activity
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The entire Minnesota football team says it is boycotting all football activities until it gets satisfactory answers from the university about the suspension of 10 players this week.
The school suspended the players after an internal investigation into a sexual assault case. Police declined to charge any of the players, but the school suspended them based on internal regulations involving sexual assault allegations.
The team’s players said Wednesday that have not ruled out skipping the Holiday Bowl on Dec. 27 against Washington State in San Diego. They asked the bowl’s committee to be patient while they work through the situation.
TWIN METALS-THE LATEST
The Latest: Minnesota mining company will fight lease denial
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The company that lost its mineral rights leases for a proposed copper-nickel mine in northeastern Minnesota says it’s committed to pressing forward and will continue to pursue its legal options for keeping its mineral rights.
Twin Metals Minnesota says it’s “greatly disappointed” in the Interior and Agriculture Department decisions not to renew its longstanding leases and to start actions to withdraw nearby federal lands from minerals development.
The company says that if the decisions stand, they’ll have a devastating effect on the economy of the Iron Range and northeastern Minnesota. It says the decisions will eliminate the promise of thousands of good-paying jobs and billions of dollars of investment in the region.
Twin Metals sued the federal government in September to force renewal of its leases. The case remains pending.
DOJ to review Minnesota police department after shooting
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — An office of the Department of Justice is launching a review of a Minnesota police department after the fatal shooting of Philando Castile.
The Office of Community Oriented Policing Services announced its review Thursday. It was requested by the St. Paul suburb of St. Anthony and is voluntary.
The goal is to assess St. Anthony police policies in many areas, including interactions with the public, and come up with recommendations for improvement. After the initial report, the office will work with St. Anthony for 18 months to help implement changes.
Castile was killed July 6 during a traffic stop in Falcon Heights, another St. Paul suburb. St. Anthony officer Jeronimo Yanez is charged with manslaughter.
St. Anthony is the 16th department nationwide to be part of this type of review.
Developer to buy house of Wetterling killer, demolish it
ANNANDALE, Minn. (AP) — A Woodbury real estate developer is buying the home of the man who killed 11-year-old Jacob Wetterling in 1989, so he can destroy it.
Tim Thone says the house of Danny Heinrich reminds him of the emotional scars left by the crime. He expects to buy the one-bedroom foreclosed house Friday and tear it down by Christmas, as a present for his adult children. The effort will cost him about $74,000.
The 53-year-old Heinrich confessed in August to abducting, sexually assaulting and killing Wetterling, ending a mystery that had haunted the state for nearly three decades. He was sentenced to 20 years in prison on a child pornography count.
Annandale Mayor Dwight Gunnarson says if Heinrich’s house was left standing, it would always have a stigma.
Minnesota high school principal faces child porn charges
CHANHASSEN, Minn. (AP) — A Minnesota high school principal has been charged with seven counts of possessing child pornography.
Forty-four-year-old Timothy Dorway was charged Thursday in Carver County. Bail was set at $100,000 ahead of another court date Dec. 23.
He’s the principal at Chanhassen High School, and was put on paid leave pending a school investigation. A spokesman for the school district says no students were involved.
Dorway’s attorney, John Conard, says they’ll trust the process and examine the evidence as it becomes available.
According to a criminal complaint, authorities received a tip that a Dropbox user had uploaded images of potential child pornography. An investigator found the account was accessed from IP addresses registered to Dorway and the Eastern Carver County School District.
The complaint says that when he was arrested Tuesday, Dorway admitted to viewing child pornography involving underage girls.
This story has been corrected to reflect that authorities say a district IP address was used to access the Dropbox account. An earlier version of the story erroneously reported that a district computer had been used to access it.
Time running out for health care signups, special session
ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Time is running out to buy health insurance effective for the start of the New Year.
Thursday was the final day shoppers who aren’t covered through an employer or public program could buy a plan that starts Jan. 1. MNsure says that window closes at midnight.
It’s not the only major health care deadline looming. Gov. Mark Dayton has asked lawmakers to sign off on a plan to offset massive premium hikes in a special session before Friday.
But the deal isn’t done and two top negotiators are out of town. Democratic Senate Majority Leader Tom Bakk and Republican House Speaker Kurt Daudt are attending a legislative leaders’ conference in the U.S. Virgin Islands through Friday.
They’re hoping for a special session next week. Open enrollment lasts through January.
Lafayette, La, and Baltimore win EPA air monitoring award
LAFAYETTE, La. (AP) — Cities in Louisiana and Maryland have won a national Environmental Protection Administration contest for plans to have residents set out hundreds of air pollution sensors, with results made public.
Lafayette, Louisiana, and Baltimore each get $40,000 to help implement those plans. After a year, they can qualify for up to $10,000 more.
An EPA news release Thursday said 22 communities entered the Smart City Air Challenge .
The agency gave honorable mentions to New York; Mesa County, Colorado; Raleigh, North Carolina; and Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minnesota.
Baltimore plans to set out a network of 300 ozone and nitrogen sensors, and put the data onto the city’s website.
Lafayette’s consolidated government proposed a partnership between a university, local government and a nongovernment organization to set out 300 sensors for ozone and particulate matter.
Obama environmental legacy at stake as GOP, industry align
BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — The Obama administration is leaving behind a host of disputed actions on the environment.
Republicans and President-elect Donald Trump vow to reverse or block many of the administration’s recent actions.
Included are blocked energy leases and mining claims in Western states and the Arctic, restrictions on greenhouse gas emissions and attempts to protect imperiled species.
The outcome could determine whether eight years of Democratic rule in the White House leaves a lasting mark on the environment.
Some of the administration’s moves were in the works for years but are just now crossing the finish line.
University of Colorado law professor Mark Squillace says Republicans in control of the White House and Congress will have a relatively easy time getting their way. Environmental groups say they aren’t giving up.