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Sanders and Clinton to campaign in the Twin Cities today

Plus: inconsistent and inadequate care for sexual assault victims across Minnesota; officials prepare for whooping cough; teachers concerned with discipline in St. Paul schools; and more.

Sen. Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton
REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson

Fresh off their debate in Milwaukee last night — which got good near the end — both Bernie and Hillary will be in town today. At MPR Jon Collins says, “A Friday forum on issues facing black Americans that will feature presidential candidate Bernie Sanders has been moved to a north Minneapolis high school partly to accommodate more people. … Only about 1,200 people will be able to fit into the event at Minneapolis Patrick Henry High School. It was originally going to be held at the Capri Theater on West Broadway Avenue, which could fit an audience of only about 400 people.”

For the Star Tribune, Patrick Condon says, “Democratic presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders will swoop into the Twin Cities on Friday, at a time when both campaigns are ramping up Minnesota organizing as their contest intensifies nationally. … Both candidates will speak, though not share the stage, at a DFL fundraising dinner on Friday night at St. Paul’s RiverCentre.”

Joe will also be passing through. Rachel Stassen-Berger of the Pioneer Press says, “Vice President Joe Biden will stop in St. Paul next Thursday as part of his tour to commemorate the seventh anniversary of the Obama administration’s economic stimulus act, a Biden aide told the Pioneer Press. Biden will visit downtown St. Paul’s Union Depot, which received a $35 million federal grant under the 2009 act, formally called the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. The act was designed to boost the U.S. economy in the wake of the 2008 financial collapse.” And that was $35 million that could have gone to tax relief for our job creators.

A last gasp for last summer’s “making out legislators” story. J. Patrick Coolican of the Strib says, “Thomas Berry pleaded guilty Thursday to a misdemeanor charge that he violated the state’s data privacy laws, his lawyer said. Berry was charged last year with improperly handling information when he forwarded a confidential Dakota County work e-mail to his home — a message that gave identifying details of two legislators who were cited after a park ranger found them ‘making out’ in a parked car in Eagan.”

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Well, thank you PUC, I think. Says John Myers in the Duluth News Tribune, “The Minnesota Public Utilities Commission Thursday rejected a proposal by Minnesota Power that would have cut electric rates for taconite plants and paper mills while raising them for residential customers and other businesses. The five-member board of commissioners ruled that the Duluth-based utility hadn’t submitted enough evidence that the rate shift would meet the statutory standards of providing a ‘net benefit.’”

Also in power, Minnesota is saying “to hell with the Supremes.” Jim Spencer of the Strib says, “Minnesota will push ahead with plans to develop cleaner power sources despite a U.S. Supreme Court order that has temporarily delayed a national clean power plan. Still in question is how much guidance state officials can expect from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) after the justices stepped in Tuesday to stop implementation of the Obama administration’s attempt to address climate change with new limits on carbon emissions.”

Inconsistent and inadequate. For the Forum News Service, Don Davis says, “Greater Minnesota sexual assault victims are less likely to receive adequate care, a new study shows. ‘Our current response is inconsistent and inadequate,’ Kari Ogrodowski said when the report was released Thursday. The report, from the Minnesota Coalition Against Sexual Assault, showed a ‘vast amount of inconsistency across the state when it comes to providing the sexual assault examination,’ added Ogrodowski, coordinator of the Medical Forensic Exam Access Project.”

Now if we can get a grip on the medical costs. Says the AP, “State officials are celebrating a marked drop in the number of uninsured Minnesota children after the federal health overhaul. University of Minnesota researchers released a report Thursday showing the percentage of kids without health insurance fell from 6.3 percent in 2013 to 3.5 percent in 2014. An estimated 38,000 children gained health insurance after President Barack Obama’s health care law took effect.”

We won’t miss this guy. The AP says, “A man who came to the U.S. as a refugee from war-torn Bosnia almost two decades ago will be deported for concealing a long criminal past in his home country, including the murder of an elderly Serbian neighbor, a federal judge ordered Thursday. Zdenko Jakisa, 47, settled in Minnesota in 1998, obtaining permanent residency four years later. Judge Susan Richard Nelson told Jakisa she could not judge him for actions committed during the bloody breakup of Yugoslavia in the early ’90s.”

Return of the whoop. In the PiPress Tory Cooney says, “Four years after Minnesota endured its worst pertussis outbreak in decades, health officials are preparing for a second bout with the highly contagious respiratory illness. Often called whooping cough, pertussis emerges more strongly than usual every three to five years — making Minnesota about due, state and local health officials say.”

At MPR, Solvejg Wastvedt has this on St. Paul’s school violence issue. “Some teachers say the policies aren’t working. The district is so reluctant to punish students it has also stopped caring about small infractions like swearing or offensive T-shirt slogans, said Como Park High School teacher Roy Magnuson. Low-level misbehavior often snowballs into something larger, he added. ‘Students are acting pretty much the way you would expect if they don’t think anything is going to happen no matter what they do,’ Magnuson said.”