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I-94 protesters reject plea deal

Plus: Minneapolis Public Schools embrace social and emotional learning; U of M’s band director is first woman to hold that position in Big Ten; and more.

People being detained on I-94 during a July 9 protest.
REUTERS/Adam Bettcher

Looking for their day in court. In the Pioneer Press, Tory Cooney reports: “Most of the 50 people charged in connection with the protest that shut down Interstate 94 last month made their first appearances in Ramsey County District Court on Friday morning and decided to continue their cases instead of accepting plea deals. … The group of protesters greeted each other outside the courtroom before it opened, embracing, shaking hands, and catching up. The group was so large that many met with their attorneys in the courthouse’s basement cafeteria before the hearing.”

Surely no one will caricature this dismissively. The Star Tribune’s Beena Raghavendran reports on the latest trend in education: “Social and emotional learning balances academic achievement with ‘softer’ skills: self-control, self and social awareness, relationship building and decisionmaking. Supporters say it’s a necessary antidote to the pressures schools put on children. … ‘We kind of stress them out,’ Brown said. … Twin Cities educators who have joined the movement say they can see improvements in both classroom behavior and school performance when they teach to ‘the whole child.’ ”

This is kind of shocking. MPR’s Peter Cox reports: “There are new uniforms that should’ve arrived by now, practices to schedule and recruits to talk to. And then there’s that Spiderman song for the halftime show at the Iowa game. In an undecorated office with unpacked boxes piled around, University of Minnesota band director Betsy McCann makes edits to the season’s repertoire on her computer. … Beyond the buzz of work, there’s an air of history. … McCann is the first woman to lead the U’s marching band. Actually, she’s the first woman to lead any Big Ten marching band.

In other news…

Still a lot of unanswered questions on this one: “Driver Jailed in Minnesota Crash that Killed 2 Michigan Firefighters” [KSTP]

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Sensors and chemical cleanup: “Two University of Minnesota startups named among ‘Best University Startups’” [University of Minnesota]

[Insert witty setup.] “In survey of hardest-working cities, Minneapolis lags” [MPR]

We’re not supposed to have to deal with this kind of thing in Minnesota: “If you’re missing your tropical snake, please contact McLeod County sheriff” [Star Tribune]

APM Reports hoping to do the “Serial” thing: “In the Dark Episode 0: Introducing ‘In the Dark’ ”

Seems like the Vikings are doing pretty well financially! “Vikings sell out suites, clubs and $125M worth of licenses” [Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal]

Quite a career: “Monty Lee Wilkes, sound engineer for Replacements, Nirvana and First Ave, dies at 54” [Star Tribune]