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PHOTO FLAP Attorney: Photo business that closed working with customers BISMARCK, N.D.

PHOTO FLAP

Attorney: Photo business that closed working with customers

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — An attorney for a North Dakota photography business that abruptly went out of business and left many wedding couples in limbo says the company is working to release photos and images, It’s unclear whether customers who paid in advance for uncompleted work will be refunded. Two state agencies are investigating the shutdown of Glasser Images last week and the business owner is facing several lawsuits. Fargo attorney Tim O’Keeffe said the photos and videos are being secured and “kept safely” on hard drives, but it’s a “logistical challenge” to get them to customers and it could take weeks. Glasser Images photographed weddings throughout the Dakotas, Minnesota and Colorado without charging for travel costs, according to the company website.

MEDICAL MARIJUANA-MINNESOTA

Minnesota court: Workers' comp can't cover medical marijuana

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The Minnesota Supreme Court says workers’ compensation for injured employees doesn’t cover medical marijuana because the drug remains illegal under federal law. The high court issued a pair of rulings Wednesday that overturned lower court orders for employers to pay for medical marijuana to treat work-related injuries. Federal law prohibits the prescribing and possession of marijuana regardless of state laws authorizing it. The court says that blocks employers from being required to pay for medical cannabis. Justice Margaret Chutich wrote in dissent that the effect is to prevent injured workers who suffer intractable pain from receiving the relief medical cannabis can bring. 

SHOOTING-MISTAKEN IDENTITY

Man charged with homicide in possible case of wrong identity

BRAINERD, Minn. (AP) — A Brainerd man is facing a homicide charge after he allegedly shot a woman he may have thought was his ex-girlfriend. The Minneapolis Star Tribune reports that 29-year-old Cameron Moser was charged Monday in Crow Wing County with second-degree intentional murder in connection with 46-year-old Bethany Bernatsky's death. Police found her body in a resort cabin near Nisswa on Thursday. Sheriff Scott Goddard says investigators believe Moser may have meant to shoot his ex-girlfriend and mistook Bernatsky for her. Both women's families say they resemble each other. 

LOST OWL

Minnesota Zoo searches for lost owl

APPLE VALLEY, Minn. (AP) — The Minnesota Zoo is searching for a lost owl. KFGO reports that the zoo's Eurasian eagle owl named Gladys flew away during a routine exercise and training session earlier this month and didn't return. Zoo staff believe Gladys is probably still within the zoo's 485-acre, heavily forested grounds. They're asking the public to keep an eye out for her. She would be tough to miss. Eurasian owls are among the largest owls in the world, with piercing orange eyes and six-foot wingspans. Zoo staff say Gladys doesn't pose a threat to public safety but anyone who sees her should call their local police department. 

VIRUS OUTBREAK-MINNESOTA-VACCINE MANDATE

Judge won't block vaccine mandate for Minnesota workers

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — A federal judge won't block a COVID-19 vaccine mandate for scores of Minnesota health care workers. At least not right now. Nearly 200 Minnesota health care workers filed a lawsuit in September challenging the requirement from President Joe Biden's administration that all workers in most health settings get vaccinated or lose their jobs. Minnesota Public Radio reports U.S. District Judge Nancy Brasel held a three-hour hearing on whether to block the requirement but ultimately denied the request. She didn't dismiss the case outright, however. She said the health care workers filed the request anonymously and will have to reveal their names to employers. 

TOBACCO BAN

Moorhead officials raise tobacco age, ban flavored products

MOORHEAD, Minn. (AP) — City officials in Moorhead have raised the legal age to buy tobacco products and banned all flavored tobacco products from stores. KFGO reports that the City Council voted 7-1 on Tuesday to adopt an ordinance that raises the legal age from 18 to 21 and bars all flavored products from licensed stores, including menthol cigarettes, flavored chewing or smokeless tobacco, e-cigarettes and vape juices. The ordinance brings the city into compliance with a federal law that raises the minimum legal sales age for all tobacco products from 18 to 21. Alderman Matt Gilbertson cast the lone dissenting vote, saying prohibition doesn't work and people will just cross into North Dakota to buy tobacco in Fargo. 

AP-US-EPA-MIDWEST-CHIEF

Biden appoints Debra Shore to lead EPA Midwestern office

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. (AP) — President Joe Biden has appointed Chicago wastewater official Debra Shore to direct the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Midwestern office. Shore will oversee EPA’s Region 5, which includes Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio and Wisconsin — along with 35 indigenous tribes. The office oversees efforts to clean up the Great Lakes and deals with matters including industrial and agricultural pollution and tainted drinking water. Shore is an elected member of the Board of Commissioners of the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago. That agency handles wastewater treatment and stormwater management.

LINNAEUS-ARBORETUM RENAMED

College cites 'scientific racism,' renames Linnaeus building

ST. PETER, Minn. (AP) — A private college in Minnesota has renamed its arboretum that honored an 18th-century Swedish botanist who has been criticized for classifying humans in a way now seen as racist. The 120-acre greenspace at Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter has been known as the “Linnaeus Arboretum” since 1988. It recognized Carl Linnaeus, who popularized a system of naming living things. Recently, though, Linnaeus has been criticized for classifying races among humans based on skin color. School officials say Linnaeus' name and legacy do not accord with school efforts to build an inclusive community, especially since George Floyd's death in Minnesota. The gardens at the school about 70 miles south of the Twin Cities have been renamed “The Arboretum at Gustavus Adolphus College.”

The Associated Press