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Hostage situation reported at University of Minnesota

Plus: Minnesota political speech case at Supreme Court; group-home worker accused of sexual assault against residents; upper-Midwest Xcel workers headed to Puerto Rico to help restore power; and more.

The GleanAs of press time, there’s some kind of hostage situation ongoing at the U. The Star Tribune’s Tim Harlow reports: “Officers from Minneapolis and the University of Minnesota police departments remain in negotiations Monday morning with a man who is holed up in a hotel room on the University of Minnesota’s East Bank Campus. … The man has two people with him inside a room at the Graduate Hotel, said Minneapolis Police spokesman Scott Seroka. … No one has been hurt, said University of Minnesota Police Chief Matt Clark. He declined to provide specifics about what led to the situation, what was being discussed or how many guests were evacuated. … Roads near the Graduate Hotel on the 600 block of Washington Avenue SE. remained shut down at 8:30 a.m. as the situation continued, Seroka said.”

The New York Times takes a look at a Minnesota case before the U.S. Supreme Court. Adam Liptak writes: “Minnesota has a dress code for voting. The idea, the state says, is to create a safe space for democracy. … To make sure voters are in a properly contemplative mood at their polling places on Election Day, the state bans T-shirts, hats and buttons that express even general political views, like support for gun rights or labor unions. The goal, state officials have said, is ‘an orderly and controlled environment without confusion, interference or distraction.’ … Critics say the law violates the principle at the core of the First Amendment: that the government may not censor speech about politics. They add that voters can be trusted to vote sensibly even after glancing at a political message. ‘A T-shirt will not destroy democracy,’ a group challenging the law told the Supreme Court this month.”

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Just awful. The Star Tribune’s Chris Serres reports: “A male caregiver who worked the overnight shift at a Sauk Rapids group home has been charged with sexually assaulting two female residents who were unable to report the assaults because of their disabilities. … Police believe the abuse occurred over an extended period of time last year, and that the two women, both 20, could have been victimized ‘as many as 300 times,’ according to a state investigation issued last week by the Minnesota Department of Human Services.”

Nice. The Associated Press reports (via the PiPress): “A crew of utility workers from the Upper Midwest is heading to Puerto Rico to help with the ongoing power restoration efforts following Hurricane Maria. … Twenty-five Xcel Energy workers from Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wisconsin are travelling to Puerto Rico Monday. They will depart from Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport. … Xcel Energy says they’ll be working in Caguas, a mountainous and remote region in the southeast. That’s where the storm traveled inland causing significant damage. The crews will work with incident management teams that have partnered with the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority.”

In other news…

Oh, you needed to get somewhere?How to get around Minneapolis during Super Bowl week” [Star Tribune]

In other the-Super-Bowl-will-make-your-life-hell news:Ike’s debuts Super Bowl menu with $36 chips and guac, gets roasted, maybe deletes its Facebook” [City Pages]

Vintage aircraft involved:Flyover For Super Bowl Will Be Anything But Normal” [WCCO]

Your annual ag-land price report:Minnesota ag land prices, rents flat or slightly down” [Duluth News Tribune]

Whither the beef?Uptown Minneapolis Arby’s has closed, tragically” [City Pages]

Nobody wants to see this:Police: Drunken couple arrested for lewd actions on plane after landing at MSP” [Star Tribune]

Moon played lacrosse at Andover:Truly rare Super Blue Blood Moon Wednesday” [MPR]