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Bus driver, 72, charged with slapping 6-year-old

Great Lakes water supply; 8th District campaign ad “spendfest”; shooter’s ammo stockpile; Replacements’ new EP; conservative bloggers gleeful over debate; and more.

They’re apparently slapping 6-year-olds in southern Minnesota. KMSP-TV’s Leah Beno writes: “A bus driver in southern Minnesota is facing a misdemeanor charge of fifth-degree assault after prosecutors accused her of slapping a first-grader across the face. Yet, while some people who spoke with FOX 9 News said they were appalled to learn of the charges, some said they think the kid deserved it. … The criminal complaint against the driver says the boy continued to kick some other kids until 72-year-old Jane Brooks pulled over the bus and called the Blue Earth Area School District twice for help. She was told to isolate the boy in the front seat. ‘He told me that he had been fighting with another kid and had to get pulled to the front of the bus, and there was some girls across the aisle and some kids taunting him,’ [Melonie] Schiefelbein said. Faribault County Attorney Troy Timmerman told FOX 9 News the boy didn’t stop acting out when he was moved to that seat, and that’s when the bus driver took matters into her own hands. ‘At one point, he was spitting on the children in the seat behind him and that’s when she slapped him,’ Timmerman said. The 6-year-old got a bloody nose, and the complaint states that Brooks told the other students on the bus, ‘Well, maybe that’s what he needed.’ ” And you know what? By the sound of it, it probably was.

With the Great Lakes already low, this is an interesting development. Joe Barrett of the Wall Street Journal writes: “A four-year-old compact meant to protect the Great Lakes water supply from being siphoned by thirsty communities is facing its first test, as a Wisconsin city just outside the Great Lakes Basin moves to tap into Lake Michigan. The Great Lakes Compact, signed by President George W. Bush in 2008, came as a response to concerns that drier regions in the western U.S. would seek access to the Great Lakes, which hold a fifth of the world’s supply of fresh surface water, as their populations grew. The pact, agreed to by the states and Canadian provinces bordering the lakes, contains a provision that allows applications from cities in counties that straddle the Great Lakes Basin, the area in which water drains toward the Great Lakes. The city of Waukesha approved a letter of intent Tuesday night to buy water from nearby Oak Creek for the next 80 years. To help keep Lake Michigan’s water level stable, it plans to pipe its treated wastewater back to the Great Lakes Basin instead of the Mississippi River.”

Plagiarism is bad news for journalists … and school board members, too. Maria Elena Baca of the Strib reports: “Schoolchildren in the St. Francis School District learn about plagiarism and the importance of academic honesty starting around fourth grade, said high school junior Derek Schumacher. So when the student journalist said that when he learned that a school board member in the northern Anoka County district had admitted to lifting a blog post and submitting it as his own column in the Courier, district’s monthly newsletter, ‘It completely shocked me.’ “

Rachel Stassen-Berger of the Strib writes that an ongoing survey shows ad spending on the Chip Cravaack-Rick Nolan race in the 8th District is the fifth heaviest in the country: “Minnesota’s Eighth Congressional District attracted $1.75 million in ad spending in September, landing it in fifth place in the nation. According to a study from the Wesleyan Media Project, the race between Republican U.S. Rep. Chip Cravaack and Democratic challenger Rick Nolan garnered 2,168 ads in the last three weeks of September.” The Duluth affiliates thank everyone who has given so much.

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No kidding. What do you need 10,000 rounds of ammo for? Maya Rao of the Strib reports: “The ease of stockpiling ammunition once again became apparent after police discovered that the perpetrator of one of the deadliest mass shootings in Minnesota history had packaging for 10,000 rounds of ammunition in his south Minneapolis home. Last Thursday, Andrew J. Engeldinger had a Glock 9-millimeter handgun, two 15-round magazines and several loose rounds when he killed four co-workers, a UPS man and himself after being fired from Accent Signage Systems. In addition to the ammunition shipping boxes, police found a second Glock 9mm handgun in his house. Authorities have not specified how Engeldinger purchased his ammunition, but Minneapolis police Sgt. Stephen McCarty said Engeldinger possibly ordered it online from an out-of-state dealer.”

Those fires up in the northwest part of the state may burn a long time. Dan Gunderson of MPR reports: “It may be some time before those fires are fully extinguished. That’s because many of them ignited peat bogs. Northwest Minnesota contains many of the state’s 6 million acres of peatland — which is wet, spongy ground made of decomposing vegetation. Peat can smolder for a long time because the material itself contains oxygen. When it’s very dry, it takes on a water-resistant quality that makes putting out the fire tedious work. Even heavy snow won’t put those fires out, according to DNR public information officer Ron Sanno.”

Legendary Twin Cities rockers The Replacements have cut a new four-song EP. In Rolling Stone, Rob Tannenbaum writes: “In late September, singer Paul Westerberg and bassist Tommy Stinson spent a day in a Minneapolis studio and cut four cover songs that will be released later this year as a limited edition 10-inch vinyl EP. All 250 copies will [be] auctioned online, and the proceeds will benefit Slim Dunlap, the Replacements’ guitarist from 1987 to 1991, who had a severe stroke in February. Replacements drummer Chris Mars ‘didn’t want any part of this’ reunion, Westerberg tells Rolling Stone. ‘I was not surprised, but I was a little disappointed.’ ” Someone’s living in a mercurial world.

Conservatives were exultant after last night’s presiential debate. At Power Line, John Hinderaker writes: “I’ve been watching presidential debates for quite a few years, but I have never seen one like this. It wasn’t a TKO, it was a knockout. Mitt Romney was in control from the beginning. He was the alpha male, while Barack Obama was weak, hesitant, stuttering, often apologetic. The visuals were great for Romney and awful for Obama. Obama looked small, tired, defeated after four years of failure, out of ammo. One small point among many: Obama doesn’t even know how to stand at a podium, as he continually lifted up one leg. He would be below average as a high school debater. There were 1,800 people on Power Line Live tonight, and the verdict was unanimous: it was a great night for the forces of good.” Or at least until the fact-checkers weigh in.

His co-blogger, Paul Mirengoff, adds: “As for Obama, I think he debated fairly well. But he paled in comparison to Romney. The president’s performance was subdued; he was far less inclined to address Romney’s points than Romney was to rebut his; and he tended to ramble. For once, he told the truth when he described himself as an ok debater. The contrast was particularly apparent in the closing statements. Obama meandered, mentioning a few stories of people he met on the campaign trail and telling us how committed he is to the job. Romney said the election is a choice between two paths and proceeded to itemize the differences. To extend the court room analogy, Obama sounded like a tired lawyer who knows he can’t win the case in his closing argument. In fact, though, I think Obama was just tired and uninspired. I don’t pretend he thinks he will lose the election. Not yet, anyway.”