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Klobuchar fuels 2020 speculation with Iowa visit

Plus: state moves closer overhauling teacher licensing; wolf hunting could soon return to Minnesota; thieves targeting cars in Edina; and more.

Sen. Amy Klobuchar
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Says Jennifer Brooks of the Strib, “Sen. Amy Klobuchar didn’t have much to say about the White House, or its current occupant, as she mingled Sunday with hundreds of Iowa Democratic activists who will play an outsized role in picking President Trump’s next opponent. Instead, Minnesota’s senior senator talked jobs and education and rural broadband. But her mere presence at a Polk County fundraiser — she’s one of the first national politicians to venture into this early presidential state since Trump took office — inevitably set off speculation about Klobuchar’s 2020 aspirations.” You think? 

Changes are nigh to teacher licensing. Says Christopher Magan for the PiPress, “The years-long task of overhauling Minnesota’s way of licensing teachers has entered the home stretch. If lawmakers can resolve the differences in bills that have already cleared the House and Senate in a way that wins the approval of Gov. Mark Dayton they can accomplish one of the biggest reforms to state education policy in recent history.” 

Wired magazine gets in on our anti-vaxxer/measles issue. Megan Molten writes, “Over the last decade, anti-vaxxers have fortified this corner of Minneapolis into a bastion for pseudo-science. It all began with higher-than-normal rates of severe autism in the Somali community. And when state and university researchers failed to understand why the disorder hit so hard here, families went looking for answers elsewhere: friends, and the all-knowing internet. In came the anti-vax partisans, whose success with these frightened parents has turned the neighborhood into a beachhead for what should be a totally preventable disease.”

Give this pooch another couple pig ears. KMSP-TV reports, “A Red Wing family was evacuated from their burning home Saturday morning, after their dog woke them up. At 1:56 a.m., the Red Wing Fire Department responded to a call about a garage fire on the 1900 block of Burton Street. Paramedics responded within five minutes, only to find the garage fully engulfed in flames. Flames and smoke extended into the house, damaging the second floor and attic.”

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Related … to dogs. Steve Karnowski of the AP says, “Gray wolves in Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan could again find themselves in hunters’ crosshairs — possibly as soon as this fall if federal protections are removed for the predators. A ruling is expected soon from an appeals court that recently lifted protections for wolves in Wyoming. In Congress, wolf-hunting supporters aren’t giving up even though a Minnesota representative was instrumental in killing an effort that would have allowed the three western Great Lakes states to resume wolf hunting.”

Over the weekend, the Oracle of Omaha spoke about Wells Fargo’s problems. Kristine Phillips of the Washington Post writes, “Billionaire investor Warren E. Buffett rebuked Wells Fargo’s handling of widespread illegal sales practices that spanned at least 15 years and included targeting undocumented immigrants to open new bank accounts. Buffett said the San Francisco banking giant’s executives failed to act immediately after finding out that employees were creating countless fake and fraudulent bank accounts to meet the company’s unrealistic sales goals. Wells Fargo ‘incentivized the wrong type of behavior’, Buffett said Saturday during Berkshire Hathaway’s annual meeting in Omaha. The 86-year-old tycoon is Berkshire’s chairman. ‘If there’s a major problem, the CEO will get wind of it. At that moment, that’s the key to everything.’” Buffett has said as much before.

Garrison Keillor likes night driving. In a piece for The Washington Post he says, “All last week I got to drive around Minnesota late at night, drifting through the little towns, just me and the truckers out on the road and Merle and George and Emmylou on the radio. I was doing a little dog-and-pony show around my home state and I like driving at night. … At home I try to be kind, but out here, to the disgruntled voter who feels ignored by Washington, I say, ‘Put away the 12-pack and the three-cheese chips, lose the gut, stop smoking, turn off the TV. Papa is not responsible for your sad life. Go back to school, arise at dawn, take brisk walks, think big, show your kids how it’s done.’ That’s me talking at 70 mph.” 

It’s the collapse of civilization. Says Stribber Paul Walsh, “Many car owners in Edina, particularly in one heavily targeted part of the city, have been unwittingly enticing one or more perpetrators into stealing items from their vehicles in recent weeks, authorities said. Police detected a ‘significant increase in thefts from vehicles throughout the city,’ but especially in one area of town. This has prompted the city to put up a $2,000 reward for information leading to solving these crimes, Edina officials said last week.”