Local/state briefs

Lipinski in state finals for Distinguished Young Women of Minnesota

High School girls from across Minnesota will join together for the Distinguished Young Women of Minnesota State Finals to be held on Saturday, July 31. Participants will compete for cash scholarships and the opportunity to represent the State as the Distinguished Young Woman of Minnesota at the National Finals in Mobile, Alabama June 23, 24 and 25, 2022. The 2022 Minnesota State representative, along with 50 other high school winners, will seek the opportunity to acquire some of the $125,000+ in cash scholarships and hundreds of thousands of dollars of college granted scholarships at the National Finals Program.

Emma Lipinski will be a participant in the State Finals Program.

Lipinski, Distinguished Young Woman of Ivanhoe, will participate at the Class of 2022 Distinguished Young Woman State Finals Program seeking out cash and college granted scholarships. Emma is the daughter of Reba and Shad Lipinski. She is a student at Minneota High School. Her activities and honors include high school theater, speech, National Honor Society, yearbook, robotics, pep band, Buffalo Ridge Choral and Lake Benton Opera House Theater. Her talent performance for the state program will be a vocal selection “Let Me Sing and I’m Happy” by Irving Berlin.

Due to the COVID 19 pandemic, the format for the Distinguished Young Women of Minnesota State Program Finals will be virtual. The State Finals Program will stream on the Distinguished Young Women of Minnesota Facebook page at 7 p.m. July 31.

Gun evidence detailed in Minneapolis task force shooting

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Newly filed court documents detail gun evidence recovered from the scene of a fatal shooting of a driver during an arrest attempt by members of a federal task force in Minneapolis.

The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension has said evidence indicates Winston Boogie Smith Jr., who was Black, fired his gun before he was killed June 3 in a parking ramp in the city’s Uptown neighborhood by members of a U.S. Marshals Service fugitive task force. Authorities have said Smith was wanted on a warrant for being a felon in possession of a gun.

Search warrant affidavits filed this week in Hennepin County District Court show that 15 cartridge casings from police firearms were found outside of the SUV in which Smith was sitting and six cartridge casings from another gun were found inside.

According to one affidavit, a Smith and Wesson M&P 380 pistol was also recovered from the driver’s side of the SUV and the six casings found inside matched the pistol. Following the shooting, the BCA said a handgun and spent cartridge cases were found inside the driver’s area.

Attorneys for an unidentified woman who was in the SUV with Smith said last week that she never saw him with a weapon.

A loaded magazine was also found in a duffel bag in the SUV, according to an affidavit. Authorities also said they found cash, tablets in prescription bottles, as well as baggies and plastic containers that contained what was described as “plant material.”

Smith’s death happened in a city that has been on edge since the death of George Floyd just over a year ago and the fatal shooting of Daunte Wright by an officer in nearby Brooklyn Center in April.

Smith’s shooting sparked days of protests in the neighborhood as his family members and community members have demanded transparency. Authorities have said there is no body camera or police vehicle camera footage of the shooting.

Protests continue at Minnesota Line 3 oil pipeline project

PARK RAPIDS (AP) — Opponents of the Enbridge Energy Line 3 oil pipeline project in northwestern Minnesota continued their protests this week by disrupting traffic in front of an Enbridge equipment site, leading to 31 arrests.

Hubbard County Sheriff Cory Aukes said the incident began about 7:30 a.m. Tuesday when a van pulled in front of the semitrailer and forced it to stop on a county highway. One woman crawled under the semi and attached herself to the rear axle and another person clipped on to an item on top of the trailer, Aukes said.

Several carloads of protesters arrived and gathered on the side of the roadway, at which point Aukes said they were told by deputies they were breaking Minnesota’s public nuisance and unlawful assembly laws. Aukes said deputies began arresting demonstrators after they began “yelling vulgarities, being a traffic hazard, and refusing to leave.”

The protesters were brought to the Hubbard County Jail, where they were charged with public nuisance, unlawful assembly, and disorderly conduct, Aukes said.

At least 1,000 activists from across the country gathered at construction sites near the headwaters of the Mississippi River last week. Nearly 250 people were arrested.

The Line 3 replacement would carry Canadian tar sands oil and regular crude from Alberta to Enbridge’s terminal in Superior, Wisconsin. The project is nearly done except for the Minnesota leg, which is about 60% complete.

Man charged in protester death to be examined for competency

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — A St. Paul man accused of killing a woman in Minneapolis by driving into protesters while he was drunk will be examined to determine if he is competent for trial.

Nicholas Kraus, 35, made his initial court appearance Thursday on a charge of intentional murder. The hearing was held over Zoom and Kraus appeared on video from the Hennepin County jail wearing a surgical mask and a green, sleeveless vest that appeared to be padded. Kraus did not enter a plea.

Prosecutors say Kraus was visibly intoxicated Sunday night when he sped up and tried to “jump” a car that protesters were using as a barricade in the Uptown neighborhood. Thirty-one-year-old Deona Knajdek, also known as Deona Erickson, was killed.

Results from a blood test after the crash are pending.

There’s nothing in the criminal complaint to suggest Kraus’ actions were motivated by political views or anger at protesters. In addition to second-degree intentional murder, he’s also charged with two counts of second-degree assault with a dangerous weapon, for injuring two other protesters.

Kraus has five convictions for driving while impaired dating back to 2007 and had no license at the time of the latest crash.

Hennepin County Judge Kerry Meyer said a doctor from the courts would talk to Kraus and if he is found competent, his next hearing will be in August.


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