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Key question: Did Amy Senser know she hit someone?

MORNING EDITION ALSO: 500 to fight fire; GOP’s Dean “inquires” about school bonus pay; Klobuchar wants “big” spending cuts; handwritten Bible completed; and more.
Read Thur. Afternoon Edition


So now Amy Senser has been charged with felony vehicular operation. The Strib has decided to run the victim’s employer’s media indictment. What did we learn Thursday? If the Strib video is any indication, the defense depends on whether Senser (who has confessed to driving the car) “knew she hit a person,” her lawyer stated. In part of Anna Fieser’s op-ed the Strib edited out, she claims Anousone Phanthavong’s “shoes and pants had been ripped off by the pavement as he was dragged up the ramp, leaving him clad only in his white t-shirt and underwear on the pavement where he was left for dead, only three-quarters of a block from Riverside Hospital’s Emergency Room.” Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman says there was enough to charge Senser based on her confession and leaving the scene. She also left jail on $150,000 bail.

Boundary Waters Fire: Basically burning in place Thursday, the Duluth News Tribune’s John Myers reports, but 430 firefighters used the day to widen protective lines as warmer temps and 20 to 30 mph winds re-start.  MPR’s Dan Kraker says a special Rocky Mountain team is now managing what will be 500 people this weekend. KARE’s Boyd Huppert features a camper who had to beat a retreat when the winds shifted.  “It looked like ground zero at Mount St. Helens,” says one witness. Vaguely related: the Icebox of the Nation, International Falls, hit an all-time September low Thursday: 19 degrees.

GOP House Majority Leader Matt Dean uses the Minnesota Data Practices Act to “inquire” about $270,000 in retroactive bonuses given Minneapolis school administrators. The Strib’s Corey Mitchell says after six weeks, Dean hasn’t received all the info. By the way, the Minneapolis school board is mad, too. (They didn’t sign off on Superintendent Bernadeia Johnson’s spending.) Also by the way, St. Cloud teachers are kinda mad the GOP is working to kill school referenda, many of which merely maintain spending, the St. Cloud Times’ Mark Sommerhauser reports.

In Washington, Democratic U.S. Sen Amy Klobuchar wants the so-called “Super Committee” to “go big” — $2.5 trillion beyond the minimum $1.5 trillion in savings, MPR’s Brett Nealy writes. The Dems actually have some leverage, because if Congress rejects what the Committee comes up with, then $1.2 trillion in cuts — half from the GOP’s beloved defense spending — ensue. The trick, many economists say, is not to cut spending massively in the current climate, but pay down the deficit when the recovery is firmer. Republicans say payback never happens (ignoring the Clinton ’90s). Al Franken wants the committee to spare Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, even though they are three of the biggest spending items.

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Your Michele Bachmann minute: The mother of a gay Anoka High student who killed himself delivered a 130,000-signature petition asking the presidential candidate to condemn gay harassment, the Strib’s Maria Elena Baca writes. WCCO has video. Staff says the congresswoman will review the document and respond later. Meanwhile, MPR’s Poligrapher, Catharine Richert, discusses Bachmann’s science-hating belief system. Says one academic: “Many evangelicals, especially conservative evangelicals, often view the world as being against their religious views. Take evolution: Faith always trumps science.” Conveniently, the GOP’s business base also hates science-based regulations. “The Daily Show” ribaldly mocked Bachmann’s HPV fearmongering, with bonus Minnesota jokes. More seriously, the New York Times quotes a Republican operative calling it “the nail in the coffin in her campaign.”

Very cool: After 15 years, St. John’s handwritten Bible is finished, KARE’s Dave Berggren reports. The final few of 1,100 pages will be on display today through Nov. 13 at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts. Meanwhile, the MIA returned a 5th-century B.C. vase to Italy. The museum bought it 28 years ago but determined it had been stolen, MPR’s Marianne Combs reports.

Nort spews: Good news! Jerry Kill is back with the Gophers! Good news! The Lynx are back in the WNBA playoffs, which open tonight at Target Center. Good news! Jim Thome is back (with Cleveland, which plays the Twins at Target Field tonight). Good news! The Twins didn’t play yesterday!

Glean creator David Brauer returns to fill in for vacationing Brian Lambert.