Good morning and welcome to another Thursday. Seems like it came quick this week. Anyway, here’s the Digest.

1. Minneapolis police officers will soon be required to activate their body cameras when responding to nearly any call, under a policy announced Wednesday by Mayor Betsy Hodges and acting chief Medaria Arradondo. The police department’s use of body cameras had come under scrutiny following the recent shooting of Justine Ruszczyk (Damond), a Minneapolis resident who had called the police to report a possible rape. Neither of the two officers who responded to that call, including the officer who shot and killed Ruszczyk, had activated his body camera. Arradondo said the new policy would take effect in three days. A system that activates body cameras when a squad car’s lights are turned on will be implemented within a few months. (MPR News)

2. The Metropolitan Council on Wednesday unanimously passed a 25-cent fare increase for local and express buses, light rail and commuter rail, as well as a 50-cent hike for Metro Mobility, a service for disabled people. The council said the fare hike was needed to help offset an expected $110 million budget deficit over the next few years. This is due to an anticipated decline in motor vehicle sales tax revenue, “inflationary pressures” and growing demand for Metro Mobility, which is mandated by the federal government. Met Council Chairman Adam Duininck, leading his final meeting of the regional planning body, called the vote a “tough decision.” The higher fares kick in on Oct. 1.(Star Tribune)

3. The Minnesota Supreme Court ruled Wednesday that thousands of loans Globe University and the Minnesota School of Business issued to students were illegal. The state’s highest court also found the schools issued the loans without the proper license and didn’t use lawful interest rates. The colleges offered between $3,000 and $7,500 per loan, bearing interest rates between 12 and 18 percent, according to the ruling. Attorney General Lori Swanson said the loans were issued to nearly 6,000 students since 2009. “We felt it was important for the Minnesota Supreme Court to give direction on the matter,” Swanson said. “Many of the students who were enrolled in loans of up to 18 percent interest have not been able to find gainful employment with their degrees and are swimming in student loan debt.” (MPR News)

4. Many customers at Minnesota license bureau locations are waiting in lines — at least one as long as two hours — due to a computer upgrade implemented last week. The upgrade was replacing a 30-year-old system at the state Driver and Vehicle Services department. It was intended to reduce turnaround time for title transactions and to ensure vehicle records are updated in real time. According to a representative at the St. Paul Sears license bureau location, however, the system itself is actually slower right now. And, some services such as leased-vehicle transactions and some types of special plates are providing inconsistent responses and proving difficult to process. (Pioneer Press)

5. Several members of Minnesota’s congressional delegation were quick to sound off on President Trump’s surprise announcement Wednesday to bar transgender people from serving in the military. Leading the charge was DFL Rep. Tim Walz, the highest-ranking enlisted soldier ever to serve in Congress. “After 24 years of service as an enlisted soldier, I know what it takes to build cohesive teams in our military,” Walz said in a statement. “This President, who hasn’t served a day of his life in uniform, does not.” Trump’s announcement, which he made on Twitter Wednesday morning, said transgender people won’t be allowed in the military “in any capacity.” The president cited “tremendous medical costs and disruption,” and said he consulted with generals to make his decision. (MPR News)

Good morning and welcome to Wednesday. Here’s the Digest.

1. Police reform is suddenly at the forefront of the race for mayor in Minneapolis, after an officer shot and killed Justine Damond, who had called 911 to report a possible sexual assault in the alley behind her home. Candidates for mayor, a job directly responsible for the police department, are scrambling to explain to voters how they will change the Minneapolis Police Department and prevent civilian deaths at the hands of cops. (Star Tribune)

2. Farmers in the Midwest are at a crossroads. They face growing global demand and price pressures. But it’s happening at a time of heightened expectations for environmental stewardship and a climate marked by heavy rains, long dry spells and an expanded growing season. And that has more people seeking locally grown food with the health of the planet front-and-center. (MPR News)

3. After former governors Jesse Ventura and Tim Pawlenty complained about the informational notes that appear with their portraits in the state Capitol, changes are in the works. “We’re looking at the concerns, and we’re trying to decide what warrants an edit and what doesn’t. But we’re open to all of the concerns at this point,” said Jessica Kohen, spokeswoman for the Minnesota Historical Society. One specific change is the removal of a quote attributed to Ventura that he says was actually spoken by someone else. Kohen said all of the biographies were either written or reviewed by independent historians to ensure they were neutral and balanced. She expects a final decision to be made on the biographies by next week so the up-to-date placards will be ready in time for the Minnesota Capitol’s Grand Opening Celebration Aug. 11 to 13. (Rochester Post Bulletin)

4. After boycotting the Forest Service’s public hearing in St. Paul last week, copper-mining supporters packed a public hearing in Virginia on Tuesday evening. It was standing-room only on the auditorium floor of Virginia High School, the crowd overflowing into the auditorium’s balcony, with many supporters wearing pro-mining T-shirts, hats and stickers. Speaking to loud applause from the audience at times, many of the supporters said that copper mining will be regulated for safety and that responsible mining can coexist with responsibility for the environment. Supporters also pointed out that the Iron Range is home to both mining operations and some of the cleanest lakes in the state. (Duluth News Tribune)

5. Minnesota’s two U.S. senators voted with all other Democrats against the Senate debating a federal health care law rewrite Tuesday, July 25, pleading to allow the two parties to work together, and a former Republican senator agreed with them. “We can still stop this,” Sen. Amy Klobuchar declared shortly after the vote. “We can still put aside partisanship and instead work together on bipartisan solutions, like lowering the cost of prescription drugs and strengthening the exchanges.”  Sen. Al Franken Tuesday morning called for Democrats and Republicans to work together, but was tough on the GOP after the vote. “Let’s be very clear about what just happened: In defiance of a majority of Americans, Senate Republicans have set in motion a dangerous and destructive process that could result in millions of people losing their insurance coverage, the destruction of Medicaid as we know it, and the elimination of nationwide protections for people with pre-existing conditions,” Franken said. (Forum News Service)

Good morning and happy Tuesday. Here’s the Digest.

1. Most people find the shooting death of an unarmed yoga instructor by Minneapolis police to be incomprehensible. But some cops on patrol say the circumstances of the shooting, an officer poised to fire in the dark from a car seat, aren’t uncommon. And some experts say they aren’t surprised to hear that police officers are responding to seemingly routine calls with their guns drawn. (MPR News)

2. Before Minneapolis police officer Mohamed Noor shot Justine Ruszczyk through the open driver’s side window of his squad car, a woman had approached the back of the patrol car and “slapped” it, according to a court document filed Monday.  A search warrant was filed by Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension investigators to look at the area where the shooting happened and gather evidence as part of the investigation. “Upon police arrival, a female ‘slaps’ the back of the patrol squad,” according to the search warrant. “After that, it is unknown to BCA agents what exactly happened, but the female became deceased in the alley.” (MPR News)

3. Former Minnesota Republican Party Chair Keith Downey entered the 2018 race for governor Monday, attempting to convert connections he built during four years at the helm into support in an increasingly crowded field. Downey, 56, filed paperwork to begin building out a campaign and raising money. The business consultant and former state legislator from Edina left his leadership post at the party in April. Downey joins a field of eight Republicans who have announced so far, with more testing the waters before deciding if they’ll get in. Downey said he’s got the background and skill set to break out of the pack. (MPR News)

4. Faced with a ballooning deficit and following months of emotional debate, a Metropolitan Council committee recommended Monday that fares for most types of transit service in the metro area increase by 25 cents. The full council won’t vote until Wednesday on whether to raise fares, but it is expected to approve the move. Should that occur, the hike would go into effect Oct. 1. The recommendation came despite widespread opposition among local transit passengers. “This is a tough issue, a tough vote,” said Transportation Committee Chairwoman Katie Rodriguez. (Star Tribune)

5. The Minneapolis City Council is considering a proposal to restrict sales of menthol tobacco products to adult-only tobacco shops. While public health advocates pushed for the restrictions at a packed public hearing — arguing that tobacco companies target black smokers and young people with menthol products — Minneapolis store owners said it’s the latest example of City Hall overreach and would devastate their livelihoods. The City Council heard from dozens of speakers Monday in packed council chambers and is expected to vote on the policy next month. (Star Tribune)