1. Grand Forks Customs and Border helicopter team under investigation for rotor washing Line 3 protesters
U.S. Customs and Border Protection is investigating the actions taken by a CBP helicopter deployed from Grand Forks to a Line 3 protest in Park Rapids, Minn., on Monday, June 7, after the low-flying aircraft rotor washed protesters with dust and debris.
Official statements say the helicopter responded to a request for assistance from local law enforcement to address the protest, and that the helicopter team promptly left the area after realizing their low-flying maneuvers were kicking up dust and debris near protesters, but video taken by an MPR News reporter at the incident appears to show the helicopter performing the low-flying maneuver multiple times for extended periods of time, and appears to show one passenger in the helicopter filming the proceedings.
2. First details of Minnesota budget come to light, but much left to be decided ahead of deadline
Minnesota lawmakers on Wednesday, June 9, unveiled the details of a state budget bill, for the first time in weeks opening up to the public more specifics about how they'd propose to spend $52 billion over the next two years.
The Higher Education Finance and Policy Working Group in a virtual hearing explained how members hoped to spend roughly $3.5 billion on public colleges and universities in the state. But some on the panel said they weren't involved in closed discussions about the bill and raised concerns about it.
3. GOP-dominated panel tapped to redraw North Dakota's legislative districts
Sixteen North Dakota lawmakers have been selected to draft the state’s new legislative districts, a hefty task that only comes up once a decade.
A group of leading lawmakers appointed on Wednesday, June 9, eight members of the House of Representatives and eight members of the Senate to serve on an influential committee that will redraw the political boundaries and propose them to the full 141-member Legislature.
4. North Dakota saw record high for homicides in 2020
North Dakota set a grim record in 2020 with homicides taking the lives of 32 people, according to figures released Wednesday, June 9, by Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem.
The number of homicides last year is "by far the highest number since these reports were first compiled in 1978, and probably ever in the state's history. That number eclipsed last year's homicides of 26, which was a record then,” Stenehjem said in a statement.
From 2019 to 2020, the number of homicides jumped 23%. Stenehjem said he doesn't believe the increase is related to the COVID-19 pandemic.
5. Family looks for 'positive direction' after killing of Fargo middle schooler
For nearly five days, Robert Paulsen rarely left his daughter’s side as she struggled for life at Sanford Medical Center. His daughter, Jupiter, a Cheney Middle School student preparing for high school, died June 8 after being repeatedly stabbed in a random attack.
Jupiter was the name she chose for herself, Paulsen said. She was born Daisy Jade.
“I am very, very angry, and I have a lot of pain and heartbreak, a lot of frustration. I have all of that. But if I show that, then the evil won,” Paulsen said after raising a Donate Life flag at the hospital early Wednesday, June 9.