RED WING: City Council revisits hate crime resolution

The Red Wing City Council is taking a second look at the idea of classifying attacks on law enforcement as hate crimes.

Red Wing was the first city in the nation to call for federal hate crime protection for police. But after the vote made national headlines, the council voted last week to let the city’s Human Rights Commission review the resolution at its Nov. 19 meeting.

“Some people in the community were not happy,” said City Council Member Peggy Rehder. “But I heard far, far more positive comments.” After the commission reviews the resolution, Rehder said, the council will likely debate the resolution again early next year.



WORTHINGTON: ACLU sues Nobles County over detention of man

The American Civil Liberties Union of Minnesota has sued the Nobles County Sheriff on behalf of a man whom they say was held unlawfully for 10 days after trying to post bail after a drunken-driving arrest last year.

Jose Lopez Orellana was kept behind bars at the request of federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement and missed Thanksgiving with his family. The ACLU argues that people cannot be detained and imprisoned based on ICE detainers, which lack probable cause and are merely requests. Orellana appeared before a judge, pleaded guilty, paid a fine and was released 10 days after his arrest.

“It’s a courtesy hold,” ACLU-MN Executive Director Chuck Samuelson said. “Fundamentally, it’s illegal to imprison people falsely.”

Nobles County Attorney Kathleen Kusz said she could not comment on pending litigation.

Pam Louwagie @pamlouwagie


CANNON FALLS: City rejects storage facility to house liquid asphalt

The Cannon Falls City Council has halted plans for a huge new storage facility.

At a long, occasionally heated meeting in September, the council voted against Progressive Rail and Bituminous Roadways’ proposal to construct a facility that would have housed 6.7 million gallons of liquid asphalt and, according to the companies, would have had a “ripple effect” of boosting local businesses.

The unanimous vote against the project followed residents raising concerns about truck and rail traffic.

Mayor Robby Robinson, a nonvoting member of the council, supported the company’s proposal, saying, “They’ve been a good neighbor.” He urged residents to “look at the big picture,” according to video of the meeting.

The city’s Planning Commission had earlier recommended that the council approve the rezoning request after public hearings in August and September.

Jenna Ross @ByJenna