MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — A federal jury has convicted a Minnesota man in connection with the opioid overdose deaths of 11 people across the country. Jurors returned guilty verdicts Thursday on the 17 counts against Aaron Broussard, including distributing fentanyl that resulted in death. Federal prosecutors said Broussard’s customers believed they were buying a stimulant similar to Adderall. Instead, the 31-year-old man from Hopkins sent them lethal doses of fentanyl. Broussard’s defense attorney, Aaron Morrison, focused on the medical evidence and urged jurors to question it. Morrison told jurors that many autopsy reports never mentioned fentanyl. He also asked if it was his client’s fentanyl that caused the 11 deaths.
ALBUQUERQUE, NM (AP) — Federal authorities are funneling more money to rural water projects in several states as the Biden administration seeks to reduce growing infrastructure needs amid drought and climate change . The US Department of the Interior announced Thursday that $420 million would be spent on projects in New Mexico, Minnesota, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota and Iowa. The works include the construction of water treatment plants, pipeline connections, pumping systems and reservoirs to provide drinking water to rural and tribal communities. The largest share – $160 million – will go to an ongoing project designed to provide water to about 70,000 people in eastern New Mexico.
ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Legislative leaders announced a bipartisan agreement to expand Minnesota’s health care reinsurance program. The agreement will help maintain premiums for approximately 167,000 Minnesotans who obtain their coverage in the individual market, whether through the state-run MNsure exchange or directly from carriers. Negotiators say premiums would have risen at least 20-25% this fall had it not been for a deal by Friday’s federal deadline. House Democrats never liked the five-year-old program. They see it as an expensive giveaway for insurance companies that doesn’t address the larger issues of health care and prescription drug costs.
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — An external review of Minnesota’s response to the days of civil unrest following the May 2020 killing of George Floyd found several issues, including a lack of clear early leadership as businesses were destroyed and burned. The Wilder Research report was commissioned by the Department of Public Safety and made public on Thursday. He says more research needs to be done to assess the role of racism in how law enforcement responds to civil unrest. The report lists 20 recommendations for improvement. Public Safety Commissioner John Harrington said his agency has already implemented some of the changes, including improvements to communication and police accountability.
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