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Dayton calls Black Lives Matter plan to protest State Fair ‘inappropriate’

Plus: a pilot program to stock Mille Lacs; DNR avoids treaty fight over wild rice harvest; remembering a mystery in rural Minnesota; and more.

Courtesy of the Minnesota State Fair

He’s not the only ally saying this. Tim Pugmire reports for MPR: “Governor Mark Dayton says the group Black Lives Matter has raised valid concerns about the Minnesota State Fair, but he described a planned protest outside the fairgrounds on Saturday as ‘inappropriate.’ … Dayton said Black Lives Matter members should have taken their complaints directly to the State Fair board, several months ago. ‘Being responsible citizens doesn’t mean just protesting. It means taking responsibility for making it better. If they had been working with the fair board for the last six months and pressed this point, and the fair board was unresponsive, then I think the protest would make a lot more sense.’”

In City Pages, Susan Du writes, “So far, [BLM St. Paul organizer Rashad] Turner and fair director Jerry Hammer haven’t sat down at the same table. With only the media as the go-between, the two seem to be speaking past each other. Minnesota has about 15 percent people of color. While BLM can’t say definitively whether at least 15 percent of businesses at the fair are minority-owned, fair officials haven’t provided any figures to prove vendor representation matches the state’s demographics. … A colorblind application process is the first thing that needs to go, Turner says.”

Also on Day No. 1. Tom Hauser of KSTP-TV says, “It’s been a long-standing tradition at the Iowa State Fair, but now you can cast your kernels for presidential candidates at the Minnesota State Fair. The early front runners in the unscientific poll at the Minnesota Republican Party booth are Donald Trump, Ben Carson and Carly Fiorina. ‘Anybody can stop by our booth and and cast a vote for whoever their favorite candidate is,’ GOP Party Chair Keith Downey said.” I have this image of Democrats shelling entire ears of corn into the Trump jar.

Meanwhile, in downtown Minneapolis, Pat Kessler of WCCO-TV checked out said Dems. “Organizers of a Draft Biden for President group sent an e-mail to DNC members asking them to keep an open mind and consider a Biden candidacy’. Volunteers for frontrunner Hillary Clinton say they are not concerned. … But Republican leaders — facing a tumultuous presidential campaign of their own — call Biden’s possible entry in the race a sign the Clinton campaign is in serious trouble. ‘THE anointed candidate,’ Minnesota Republican Party Chair Keith Downey said, ‘behind whom everybody has coalesced, has imploded so badly in front of the American people that they are having to look at alternatives like Joe Biden.’”

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Likewise, what else would this guy say? Jobs Coalition functionary and former GOP communications director Mark Drake doesn’t like Hillary’s chances.  In a Strib commentary he says, “With her ethical baggage and status as the candidate of the past, Clinton looks to be an albatross for Democrats in the suburbs and in Greater Minnesota. June polling from the Minnesota Jobs Coalition by the Tarrance Group underscored Clinton’s vulnerability in a general election. A poll of 600 ‘likely’ voters in swing legislative districts found that Minnesotans are not ready for Clinton.” And their dream candidate is?

This isn’t too much to ask, is it? The Forum News Service story says, “The Department of Natural Resources asks hunters participating in Minnesota’s bear season that opens Tuesday to avoid shooting radio-collared research bears that are marked with colorful ear tags.”

Speaking of bears in the woods. The Forum folks also have this story. “In East Grand Forks, Minn., man faces felony charges after burglarizing a church and leaving behind a path of destruction and a pile of human feces. … According to the criminal complaint, a day care worker found several items askew early Aug. 18, and when police arrived to investigate, officers found an office area burglarized, and a pile of human excrement hidden under blanket stuffing.”

Meanwhile at Mille Lacs, Josephine Marcotty of the Strib reports, “Next year, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources will ask the Legislature for funding to launch a pilot fish-stocking program and hatchery so it can be ready to boost the young walleye population if that’s necessary down the road. It will ask the federal government for a permit to kill fish-eating cormorants to reduce pressure on small fish. And it will create a new advisory committee made up of 12 to 16 members from the Mille Lacs community, including business owners, guides and anglers, to help inform future management decisions. Mille Lacs, the state’s most popular walleye lake, will become the sole charge of a newly appointed project manager and a crew of DNR staff.”

Also in DNR news, Zach Kayser of the Duluth News Tribune writes, “The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources on Thursday avoided a treaty rights court battle — for now — by granting a surprise one-day permit to Chippewa band members who had planned to harvest wild rice illegally. The 1855 Treaty Authority had organized a protest wild rice harvest on Hole-In-The-Day Lake near Nisswa. northwest of Brainerd, in order to assert off-reservation gathering rights that are disputed by the state government. About 30 to 40 reporters and other observers turned out to witness what could have been a confrontation between the ricers and DNR conservation officers. … the DNR apparently avoided having to cite anyone for ricing or having to confiscate equipment, thus temporarily averting what may be a lengthy federal court challenge that could result in legal recognition of the disputed hunting, fishing and gathering rights in the treaty area.”

One survived. The AP story says, “A Colorado hospital where a Minnesota woman gave birth to conjoined twins said Thursday that one of the babies died after a complicated five-four separation procedure. Amber McCullough delivered the twin girls, Hannah and Olivia, by cesarean section on Wednesday. Doctors had to immediately separate them due to the severity of their heart condition … .”

Again.. According to the AP, “The Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis has put a Roseville priest on leave after receiving what it is calling a credible allegation that he sexually abused a minor in the 1980s. The Rev. Robert Fitzpatrick is pastor at Corpus Christi parish and St. Rose of Lima parish and school. Interim Archbishop Bernard Hebda announced the decision on Thursday and says police have been notified.”

Enjoyable story from John Enger on the MPR site on one of the more interesting UFO encounters anywhere. “At 1:40 a.m. 36 years ago, Marshall County Sheriff’s Deputy Val Johnson was on night patrol along a rural section of State Highway 220 near Warren, Minn., when he drove into a ball of white light. ‘I noticed a very bright, brilliant light, 8 to 12 inches in diameter, 3 to 4 feet off the ground,’ Johnson said in a taped police interview. ‘The edges were very defined.’ Johnson drove toward the light, and woke up in the ditch a half-hour later with burns around his eyes. The windshield and one headlight of his 1977 Ford LTD were smashed. Both radio antenna were bent sharply back. The watch on his wrist and the clock on the dash both ticked 14 minutes slow.” Seems Johnson is way less interested in the incident than the usual suspects.