State Senate employee killed by Green Line train

Terrible news from St. Paul this morning — a pedestrian was killed crossing the tracks at the intersection of Snelling and University around 7:30 a.m. The Star Tribune’s Tim Harlow has the latest details: “The woman hit and killed by a Green Line train as she crossed University Avenue Thursday morning in St. Paul’s Midway area has been identified as Lynne Thomas, an employee of the Minnesota Legislature. … Senate Majority Leader Tom Bakk said Thomas was a 28-year employee of the Senate and worked as a legislative assistant in the Senate office of Counsel, Research and Fiscal Analysis.”

It’s not just turkeys anymore. In the Duluth News Tribune, Tom Cherveny writes, “A Cooper’s hawk from Yellow Medicine County is the first wild bird in Minnesota to test positive for the highly pathogenic avian influenza HPAI virus that has infected poultry farms across the state, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources reported Thursday. … Yellow Medicine County does not have any infected poultry barns, but nearby Lyon County does, the DNR reported.”

Former St. Paul mayor and Minnesota senator Norm Coleman wrote a piece for the Daily Beast calling for greater protections for the rights of transgender people. The Republican discussed his close relationship with Susan Kimberly, a transgender woman who served as his Deputy Mayor and Chief of Staff. He concludes with a call for respect for all people: “I’ll be working closely with my former colleagues to share my experience working with Susan. And for those of us who have close relationships with transgender Americans, it is our job to share these experiences broadly, helping to open hearts and minds to the extraordinary talents of all Americans and their unique capacity to contribute to our country. Bruce Jenner deserves our gratitude for adding his voice to the public dialogue as a proud transgender person and as a proud Republican.”

I mean, come on, it’s not like the U.S. government would spy on its own citizens. MPR’s Laura Yuen reports on some unease in the Twin Cities Somali community with new federally backed programs aimed at combatting terror recruitment: “The program launched by U.S. Attorney Andrew Luger calls for bolstering afterschool and tutoring programs in hopes of fostering a sense of belonging for young Somali-Americans. The program aims to help young people feel comfortable with their identity in the United States so they will be less likely to join extremist causes. … But some community members are expressing fears that such programs are a guise for government spying on Somali-Americans. … That suspicion spread like a virus last week after federal authorities revealed that part of their case hinged on the work of a paid informant who secretly taped his friends’ conversations.

Small government, Wisconsin-style. The Cap Times’ Jessie Opoien reports, “A Republican proposal would place restrictions on the types of food that could be purchased with food stamps in Wisconsin. … Brooks said the bill is designed to realign the program with its intent to provide supplemental nutritional assistance. He cited ‘anecdotal and perceived abuses,’ adding that his bill is designed to target abuse, not fraud.” Ah yes, anecdotes and perception, the twin mothers of sound public policy.

In other news…

Minnesota United owner Bill McGuire says he’d be open to public ownership of a new Minneapolis soccer stadium. [MPR News]

Generals:Minnesota kids are too fat, out of breath, to fight in a modern military” [Star Tribune]

Jeff Dubay
Washington County Sheriff’s Office
Jeff Dubay

La Crescent native Connor Franta is a big deal on YouTube. Like really, really big. [vita.mn]

Twin Cities radio guy Jeff Dubay has been arrested on suspected meth possession [South Washington County Bulletin]

Minnesota Teacher of the Year Tom Rademacher was honored at the White House. Congrats, Mr. Rad. [Star Tribune]

A barn fire in Hector killed 2,000 hogs1,400 adults and 600 piglets. [Brainerd Dispatch]

Two of the puppies abducted in St. Paul earlier this week have been recovered, but three are still missing. [Pioneer Press]

A St. Paul man is suing Hunan Garden because the restaurant allegedly refused to serve him if he didn’t remove his prescription sunglasses. [Pioneer Press]

Glamorama is over. [Minneapolis/St. Paul Magazine]

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