Minneapolis's drive to destroy kid's cool treehouse is kinda heartbreaking

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Photo of Daniel's treehouse (visible at left) via Smith Wilkinson on Twitter
After a two-year drama, the Minneapolis Zoning Board will hold a public hearing tomorrow on whether to allow middle schooler Daniel Pryke to keep his impressive treehouse.

It doesn't look good. City staff's recommendation, phrased somewhat euphemistically, is to "deny... that the treehouse located at 1812 Emerson Ave S should be allowed to remain."

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Minneapolis moves toward deregulating bathrooms, allowing everyone in single-stalls

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An ordinance change that would deregulate single-stall bathrooms in Minneapolis is sailing through the City Council process and should receive final approval next week.

The ordinance, which is the work of council member Andrew Johnson, would leave the choice of whether to have unisex bathrooms to individual businesses. Multi-person bathrooms, such as the ones at McDonald's restaurants, wouldn't be impacted.

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Check out awesome downtown Mpls views from the Nic's penthouses

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Pic of The Nic (foreground) via Nick Magrino on Twitter
This weekend, the Nic on Fifth downtown Minneapolis luxury apartments officially opens to tenants.

The building, located at 465 Nicollet Mall, represents one of the more significant additions to Minneapolis's skyline in recent years. Below the jump are a number of photos and videos shared by reporters in recent days conveying just how awesome the Nic's views are.

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Minneapolis officials exploring raising minimum wage in city, à la Seattle

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Frey (left) and Cano (right) support the idea of raising Minneapolis's minimum wage. (The two are pictured here with Rep. Ryan Winkler, who led the legislature's effort to increase the statewide minimum wage.)
The message conveyed by protesters who stormed the Uptown McDonald's last week was heard loud and clear by at least a couple members of the Minneapolis City Council.

Council member Alondra Cano tells us she's working with the U.S. Department of Labor to get a sense of the legal challenges the city could face if officials try to follow Seattle's lead and raise the minimum wage within its borders.

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Minneapolis set to introduce police body cam pilot program this fall

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YouTube screengrab
A body-cam wearing police officer.

Minneapolis officials are on the cusp of rolling out the city's first police body camera program.

Kate Brickman, spokesperson for Mayor Betsy Hodges, tells us she expects the Minneapolis City Council to approve a pilot program this fall that will put cameras on roughly three dozen officers. If things go smoothly, full implementation will follow next year.

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Minneapolis approves $130,000 for tasers

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While St. Paul city officials dealt with the fallout from the allegedly racially motivated tasing of Chris Lollie, the Minneapolis City Council approved purchasing 50 new tasers for its police force.

On Friday, council green-lighted spending $130,000 for the tasers, which run $999.95 each, along with the corresponding numbers of batteries, holsters, and warranties.

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MPD denies report HCMC shooting began inside hospital

Categories: Crime, Minneapolis
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Just after 3 p.m. yesterday, shots rang out near the Hennepin County Medical Center. Nobody was hurt, though a vehicle was struck by a bullet. The hospital was locked down for a brief period of time.

The Star Tribune, citing comments made by Minneapolis Police Department Lieutenant Richard Zimmerman, reports that "a group of people passing through the hospital entrance got into an argument with another group and somebody started shooting." But reached for comment this afternoon, MPD spokesman John Elder tells us that's not what really happened.

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Landlord loses his licenses, takes Minneapolis to court over fair housing

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Wikimedia Commons

The law for landlords in Minneapolis is pretty open-and-shut. If you get two of your rental licenses pulled for not abiding by city codes, you can't rent any properties for the next five years. It's a strict rule, but it's there for a reason, meant to protect renters from unscrupulous landlords.

The case of Ron Folger seems to fit right in. He first lost a license when his renter was caught dealing drugs, and he didn't come up the required plan to tell the city how he would fix it. The next time, his group didn't allow a problem-ridden property to be inspected. That was it: two strikes and you're out. He couldn't rent those properties, or his 17 others, for the next five years.


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Mpls, St. Paul two of best four cities for quality of life, study says

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You're looking at two of America's top four quality of life cities, at least according to NerdWallet.
NerdWallet ranks Minneapolis and St. Paul as the third and fourth best cities in America, respectively, in terms of quality of life.

The cities ahead of us? Madison and Lincoln. Talk about a Midwestern bias!

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Kenwood neighborhood wants Hidden Beach to close at 4 p.m.

Categories: Minneapolis
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Nick Vlcek for City Pages
The Kenwood neighborhood is offering to pay $5,000 for added police patrols to enforce the earlier closing time.
Following a meeting last week, the Kenwood Isles Neighborhood Association is calling on the Minneapolis Park Board to change the closing time of East Cedar Lake Beach (otherwise known as Hidden Beach) to 4 p.m. for the rest of the season, at least.

The beach currently closes at 10 p.m., but the neighborhood, citing problems with intoxicated misbehavior, late-night loitering, and property crimes (among other issues), has come to the conclusion that the status quo can't be maintained.

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