What’s making news in Minneapolis, reported by the Star Tribune’s team of city reporters. Send news tips to baird.helgeson@startribune.com.

Here's more on the upcoming Lee house exhibit

Posted by: Steve Brandt under People and neighborhoods, Public safety, Urban living Updated: July 24, 2014 - 1:32 PM

It you read Thursday's article on the listing of the Arthur and Edith Lee on the National Register of Historic Places, you may have been left wondering about details of the University of Minnesota's upcoming exhibit that commemorates the events that led to the listing.

Here's the information on that exhibit that was supposed to accompany the article but didn't:

What: “A Right to Establish a Home,” an exhibit at the University of Minnesota focused on the 1931 purchase of a home by Arthur and Edith Lee, the resulting backlash, race and housing in Minneapolis, and racism in Minnesota.
When: Aug. 23-Jan. 4; opening reception on Aug. 22, 6-8 p.m.
Where: HGA Gallery, Rapson Hall, 80 Church St. SE., Minneapolis.
Sponsor: Goldstein Museum of Design
More information: http://goldstein.design.umn.edu/exhibitions/upcoming/

(Photo above: Part of the crowd of white homeowners who opposed the move of the Lees, a black couple, to their neighborhood in 1931)

Minnesota to host annual LGBT equality meeting

Posted by: Liz Sawyer Updated: July 23, 2014 - 6:43 PM

Minneapolis will host more than 160 lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender advocates next week for an annual summer meeting, where participants will celebrate the passage of recent same-sex marriage measures and continue discussions about how to push the movement forward.

The three-day gathering, called Summer Meeting 2014, will run from July 29 - Aug. 2. Equality Federation Institute, a partner with state-based LGBT advocacy organizations, sponsors the event which attracts gay rights supporters, national leaders and lobbyists looking to build support for equality.

Officials said Minnesota was chosen to host the meeting because of its “spectacular three years” in advancing rights of gay and transgender people – including defeating a proposed constitutional amendment that would have banned same-sex marriage in 2012, legalizing same-sex marriage in 2013, and passing antibullying legislation in 2014.

“We wanted to shine light on the work that’s happening and the work that’s still being done in the state,” said Jace Woodrum, director of communications at the Equality Federation Institute.

Minnesota is one of the first states to hold an equality meeting after legalizing same-sex marriage. The gay rights movement has been defined by the issue of marriage for so long, Woodrum said, that now state leaders are trying to envision what it looks like to advocate for gay and transgender people after marriage is legal.

“It’s a really unique time to be in Minnesota and it’s a perfect place to wrestle with some of those big questions,” Woodrum said.

Hodges, Harteau add more officers to summer patrols in crime-plagued areas

Posted by: Matt McKinney Updated: July 23, 2014 - 4:22 PM

A $300,000 plan to pay overtime for eight police officers and one supervisor to patrol the city's crime-plagued neighborhoods in north and south Minneapolis should add muscle to the city's 911 response and to shots fired calls, city leaders said Wednesday. 

The plan, unveiled by Mayor Betsy Hodges and Minneapolis Police Chief Janeé Harteau at a City Hall press conference, comes amid a 3.4 percent rise in violent crime citywide so far this year and a series of high profile shootings and homicides in north Minneapolis this month. 

The officers will work 4 p.m. to 2 a.m., seven days a week, with four officers and one supervisor headed to north Minneapolis and four more officers headed to south. The northside officers will respond to shots fired calls and, when needed, to top priority 911 calls. A city report out earlier this year showed that 911 response times in the Fourth Precinct were taking longer than usual.

The officers on their way to South Minneapolis will work in "hot spots," which change each week as the department responds to recent crime trends.

Just two weeks ago, Harteau and Hodges both walked north Minneapolis neighborhoods in a public show of support for residents of the Fourth Precinct after a bloody start to the month that saw two people killed and three wounded in a series of shootings. Hours after their appearances, three women were shot multiple times in a north side backyard. All survived, but the shootings added to resident's frustration with crime rates so far this year.

Harteau on Wednesday said violent crime had dropped citywide 26 percent in the last two weeks. 

"We're having an impact," Harteau said. 

The department has struggled this summer with one of its smallest forces in at least a decade, just 779 sworn officers. New officers are in training stages, but won't join the force for a few more weeks. Harteau said 26 new officers will hit the street next month. Another 27 will join the department in September. She said the force should be between 850 and 860 by the end of the year.

DOCUMENT: City's agreement waiving rent for MLB's FanFest

Posted by: Eric Roper Updated: July 23, 2014 - 10:34 AM

Photo: Rod Carew, Tony Oliva and Bert Blyleven cut the ribbon at FanFest at the Minneapolis Convention Center (Jim Gehrz)

The five-day FanFest that occupied the city's convention center did not cost Major League Baseball a dime in rent, according to an agreement outlined in today's paper.

In addition to waiving $258,850 in rental fees, the agreement granted the league up to $150,000 in credits to apply toward other ancillary expenses -- including security, audio-visual rentals, food and vacuuming.

See below for the full text of that agreement, obtained by the Star Tribune through a data practices act request. The waived rent expenses are listed on page 9. The credits are outlined on page 2.

Convention Center Agreement Fanfest

Minneapolis police shoot, kill 120-pound dog; owner enraged

Posted by: Matt McKinney Updated: July 22, 2014 - 4:08 PM

The moment Paul Trott let his two dogs out in the backyard he could see a problem. Someone had broken the gate at the rear of the yard, and the dogs made a dash for the opening and into the alley beyond.

As his partner Josh Lyczkowski ran out the door to collect the dogs, they heard someone in the alley shout “No! Don’t! Stop!,” according to Lyczkowski. Then they heard a gunshot.

Their largest dog, Tito, a Cane Corso that weighed about 120 pounds, had been fatally shot in the head. Lyczkowski arrived so soon after the shooting that the police officer who shot the dog still had his gun drawn. Tito, who was nearly two years old, was killed two garages down the alley from Lyczkowski’s property.

Lyczkowski said the tragedy was that Tito was a gentle giant known in the neighborhood for being friendly. “He’s a sweetheart,” said Lyczkowski. “They claimed Tito had lunged at [the officer]; if anything Tito would have been playful.”

The episode played out in a matter of seconds on July 18 in the 3900 block of Aldrich Avenue N. It had the Minneapolis Police Department on the defensive Tuesday as a police spokesman issued a statement calling the shooting “sad and unfortunate.”  

“The decision to shoot, or harm, an animal is not made lightly, but at times must be made immediately. Officers have no way of knowing the history of the animal, or what the animal may do,” the statement read. It’s not uncommon for a police officer to shoot a dog; it’s happened most recently in Minneapolis during raids on suspected drug dealing houses, a place where a dog might be trained to attack police officers. State statute 609.066 authorizes the use of deadly force by a police officer when necessary to protect the officer from great bodily harm or death. In this case, according to a police report filed in the incident, the dogs “ran at the officer and would not stop.”

Soon after the shooting, Lyczkowski and Trott learned that a man suspected of stealing a car had broken their rear gate while fleeing from police officers. The officers were in the neighborhood because they had been searching for him.

Lyczkowski said after the shooting the officers asked him if he wanted to hear an apology from the suspected car thief, who had been captured. Lyczkowski said yes, and the police brought the man to Lyczkowski, who vented his frustrations about his dog’s death. The police blamed the shooting on the car thief and the broken gate, Lyczkowski said, but he was left fuming. “They should be trained not to murder housepets,” he said.

Lyczkowski said his other dog, a Cane Corso named Vita, ran back into the house after Tito was shot. The scene was taped off and Tito’s body was eventually taken away by city animal control officials. 

Photo: Josh Lyczkowski and his dog Tito. Courtesy of Josh Lyczkowski.

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