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Minnesota

Minnesota headed for another

special session next week

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Gov. Tim Walz is prepared to call Minnesota lawmakers into a special session that would begin Monday.

The session is triggered by an extension of the peacetime authority that Walz has used to manage the coronavirus in Minnesota, Minnesota Public Radio News reported.

The first special session this summer came soon after the death of George Floyd, and lawmakers wrestled over proposals for major changes in policing. Democrats and Republicans couldn’t come together on the issue. They also didn’t approve a package of state-financed construction projects.

Both items are likely to be back on the table next week.

“Obviously we cannot walk away without doing some police reforms in the aftermath of George Floyd’s murder,” Walz said at an event Tuesday focused on child care assistance grants. “And we also have bonding that is part of the economy that is really important and some supplemental issues that need to be addressed.”

Walz said he spoke extensively with legislative leaders on Monday in an effort to sort through some areas of contention early, Minnesota Public Radio News reported.

“I am optimistic,” Walz said. “It was bipartisan. There were positions that were being staked out. But it was in the best intentions of Minnesotans.”

Florida killer pleads not

guilty to husband’s slaying

A southern Minnesota woman convicted of killing a woman in Florida to assume her identity pleaded not guilty before a judge in her home state Tuesday in her husband’s 2018 slaying.

Lois Riess, 58, is charged with first- and second-degree murder in the fatal shooting of her husband David in their Blooming Prairie home in March 2018, as well as theft in the forging of $11,000 in her husband’s checks. She appeared virtually in a brief hearing before a Dodge County judge Tuesday from Steele County Detention Center in Owatonna with her attorney Lauri Traub and pleaded not guilty.

Dubbed the “fugitive grandma” after drawing nationwide attention while on the run from authorities, Riess fled to Fort Myers Beach, Florida where she met Pamela Hutchinson, who shared a similar appearance. She later fatally shot Hutchinson and assumed her identity before going to Texas, where she was arrested a month later in South Padre Island.

Riess was convicted of first-degree murder in Hutchinson’s killing in December and received a life sentence. Extradition paperwork was filed in March to clear the way for her return to Minnesota.

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