5 Things to Know Wednesday

Fallen Wayzata Police Officer William Mathews and his family Photo: Courtesy of the family
Fallen Wayzata Police Officer William Mathews and his family

September 13, 2017 02:20 PM

Your daily look at late-breaking news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about Wednesday:

1. Mississippi River Cities and Towns Annual Meeting


More than two dozen mayors along the Mississippi River will convene in St. Louis Wednesday as part of the Mississippi River Cities & Towns Initiative aimed at creating a "coordinated voice for development along Old Man River.

The effort was created by a group of 75 mayors along the river. On Wednesday, many of them will unveil several initiatives. Mayors from Minnesota attending include Rita Albrecht of Bemidji, Dave Kleis of St. Cloud, Sarah Strommen of Ramsey, Chris Coleman of St. Paul and Sean Dowse of Red Wing. 

"Mayors of the Mississippi River have lessons learned to share in regard to Hurricane Harvey recovery and call for a national infrastructure proposal that includes an investment plan for disaster mitigation and resilience," according to a release announcing the annual meeting. 

2. Visitation for Wayzata Police Officer Bill Mathews

The public is welcome to attend a visitation for William Mathews, the Wayzata police officer who was struck and killed by a vehicle while clearing construction debris from a western metro roadway on Friday.

The visitation takes place from 3-8 p.m. Wednesday at the Wayzata Free Church, 705 County Rd. 101 in Plymouth. The funeral for Mathews is scheduled for Thursday at 11 a.m., also at the Wayzata Free Church.

3. St. Paul City Council Skyway Ordinance Vote

The St. Paul City Council will vote whether to amend the city code's chapter regarding skyway conduct.

Included in the amended language is a change in the skyway's hours of operation from 6 a.m. to 2 a.m. to 6 a.m. to 12 a.m. The amended language also adds to or clarifies a list of prohibited acts and requires that list be posted in the skyway as signage.

The proposed changes stem in part from an application form a downtown building owner that requested she be able to lock her skyway doors during hours of operation. Juanae Brooks had made the request as a public safety issue, saying she's had to clean up human feces, needles and other trash. Her application was denied, though she was granted a three week stay prior to that decision that allowed her to close the skyway doors.

RELATED: St. Paul Building Owner Locks Doors to Skyway Early

Also at the meeting, the council will take up a resolution that would encourage downtown property owners to develop shared arrangements for skyway security.

4. MPCA Listening Session on Reducing Diesel Fuel Pollution

From an MPCA release:

The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency's Environmental Justice Advisory Group is hosting a community listening session to gather community input on reducing diesel pollution. 

Volkswagen was caught cheating on emissions regulations in their diesel vehicles and as the result of a court settlement, states and Tribes are receiving funds to reduce vehicle pollution to make up for the excess caused by VW.  Minnesota will be receiving $47 million and part of this funding will be used to benefit overburdened communities. 

The community listening session goes from 6-8 p.m. at the Minneapolis Urban League, 

5. Bernie Sanders to Unveil Health Care Plan

The Vermont independent's proposal, which he plans to unveil Wednesday, is thrilling the party's progressive base and attracting many potential 2020 presidential hopefuls eager to align those activists behind them. Yet Democratic leaders are stopping short of embracing it, and others are warning it's a political and policy trap.

Meanwhile, the so-called single-payer bill has Republicans gleefully anticipating wielding it as a campaign weapon, particularly against the 10 Democrats defending Senate seats in states President Donald Trump won last year and where liberal voters are scarce.



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