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STATE AND LOCAL NEWS ROUNDUP | Minneapolis voters will not consider proposal to dismantle police department this fall … Governor says positive coronavirus test later came back negative … Houston City Council embraces “walkable” plan.
New York Attorney General Letitia James filed a lawsuit aimed at closing the National Rifle Association Thursday, saying years of financial mismanagement should force the group to lose its nonprofit status. The attorney general in Washington, D.C., also filed his own suit against the association’s foundation, saying charitable dollars were misused. The NRA fired back with its own lawsuit in New York, alleging that James’ actions were politically motivated. In her lawsuit, the New York AG names four current and former top leaders of the organization who she says “enriched themselves” by improperly dipping into the gun-rights group’s coffers. For example, James’ lawsuit says CEO Wayne LaPierre spent more than $3.6 million over two years on luxury car services and travel consultants, while also receiving more than $1.2 million in expense reimbursements over four years. LaPierre is accused of traveling to the Bahamas by “private air charter” at least eight times in three years. In a statement, the NRA called James' lawsuit a "baseless premeditated attack on our organization and the Second Amendment freedoms it fights to defend." [NPR; New York Times]
NO ABOLISH AMENDMENT | A key Minneapolis commission decided against allowing an amendment on the ballot this November to abolish the city’s police department, one of the major proposals put forth since George Floyd was killed by a city police officer in May. The City Council had sponsored the amendment to dismantle the agency, which would require a city charter change approved by the voters. But the Charter Commission, a group of volunteers appointed by a judge, on Wednesday said the amendment was flawed and created without sufficient input from community members. The City Council members who wrote the amendment said they would continue pushing changes to the department and would work to put the measure on the ballot in 2021. [Associated Press; Star Tribune]
OHIO GOVERNOR | Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine announced Thursday he learned he is positive for the coronavirus after taking a test in preparation for a visit from President Trump. But then the governor took another, more sensitive, test and it came back negative. [Cleveland.com; Cincinnati.com]
WALKABLE HOUSTON | The House City Council on Wednesday voted to approve a plan to create more “walkable neighborhoods,” including wider sidewalks, moving new construction closer to the street and putting “buffers” between the sidewalks and streets. [Smart Cities Dive; Houston Chronicle]
CROWDED HALLWAYS | Photos that spread on social media showing a Georgia high school hallway crowded with unmasked students who had just returned to school this week does not “look good,” Paulding County School District Superintendent Brian Otott acknowledged. But Ott defended the reopening, saying the photos didn’t capture the fact that students were in the hallway for just a short time in between classes. Masks are not required, but are strongly encouraged, he said. [New York Times; Washington Post]
Laura Maggi is the managing editor of Route Fifty.