St. Paul teachers take steps toward strike in wake of attack by student

MinnPost photo by Rita Kovtun
St. Paul

The choking incident at Central High may set off a teacher strike in St. Paul over safety. The Pioneer Press’ Elizabeth Mohr and Josh Verges report: “St. Paul teachers took a preliminary step toward a strike Tuesday night as frustrations over student behavior began boiling over. … Earlier in the day, Ramsey County Attorney John Choi charged a 16-year-old Central High School student with felony for an alleged assault on a teacher and called for a task force to address growing violence in the schools. … Denise Rodriguez, president of the St. Paul Federation of Teachers, said in a statement Tuesday night that the union is trying through contract negotiations to ‘make our schools safe for students and staff and to end the racial predictability of disciplinary outcomes.’ ”

Minnesota has a pretty high percentage of female legislators compared to the rest of the nation, but it’s a pretty low bar. That’s one conclusion from a new report out from the Pew Charitable Trusts’ Stateline examining the demographics of the nation’s state legislatures: “In 2015, female candidates for state legislative seats are just as likely to win as their male competitors. The challenge is getting them to run. … A quarter of the nation’s state legislators are women, according to a new survey of the composition of the nation’s 50 state legislatures by Stateline and the National Conference of State Legislatures. That’s up dramatically from the 5 percent figure of the early 1970s. But the percentage hasn’t budged much in more than a decade, prompting many to question what can be done to encourage more women to seek state elective office.

Why is Minnesota so much better than Wisconsin? The Twin Cities, of course! Or so argues Rick Barrett in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, writing about a report out from the Wisconsin Taxpayers Alliance: “The two economies, once similar, have been diverging for a long time, said Dale Knapp, research director for the nonpartisan Wisconsin Taxpayers Alliance, based in Madison. … ‘We wanted to put that into perspective … and then we wanted to dig into some of the reasons why,’ Knapp said about the study that will be published this week. … About two-thirds of Minnesota’s economy is driven by the Twin Cities of Minneapolis-St. Paul, unlike Wisconsin’s economy, which is more fragmented, according to the research. … ‘While Minnesota’s growth is anchored in the Twin Cities, Wisconsin’s is in counties outside metro Milwaukee,’ the report notes.”

Lest you think Islamophobia is limited to certain prominent presidential candidates … MPR’s John Enger reports from Bemidji: “Bemidji State University President Richard Hanson sent an email to students and staff Tuesday to condemn an increase in vocal anti-Muslim sentiments reported on campus. … Several international students report they received disparaging anti-Muslim comments in recent weeks both on campus and in the surrounding community, he said. … ‘The student reports are isolated but outrageous nonetheless. I strongly condemn any and all expressions of bigotry, racism or intolerance. These are completely unacceptable and in conflict with our values of mutual respect, understanding and generosity,’ said Hanson in the email.”

In other news …

We don’t usually use the Glean to toot our own horn, but if you missed Andy Mannix’s gripping account of a crime scene clean-up company, check out NRC Handelsblad’s summary. In Dutch. 

Mortenson, the firm in charge of building the Vikings stadium, will build the new soccer stadium too. [Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal]

Speaking of the Vikings stadium, your corporate betters are going to have a really nice time there: “Vikings Unveil Nearly Complete Hyundai Club at U.S. Bank Stadium” [Minnesota Vikings]

Mugshots released of four men arrested in connection with shooting of protesters at the 4th Precinct. [KARE]

Minnesotan launches “Refugees Welcome” sticker campaign. [Walker Art Center]

Nice Ride, Rochester? [Rochester Post-Bulletin]

Day brightener: “More than 5,000 People Expected to Sing Zach Sobiech’s ‘Clouds’ at Mall of America on Friday” [Stillwater Current]

Day brightener No. 2: Mary Spalding has worked in the U of M’s ticket office for … 70 years. [KARE]

Uh oh, have they threatened to move to L.A. yet? “Vikings not happy about playing on Thursday, three days early” [Pioneer Press]

New Replacements book. [Rolling Stone]

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