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Paulsen, Phillips debate taxes, health care and campaign finance reform in CD3 forum

Plus: report says thousands of new homes needed in Twin Cities; protecting BWCA would provide more long-term economic benefit than copper mining, according to analysis; 30,000 gather for ‘Super Eid’; and more.

The GleanFor MPR, Mark Zdechlik reports, “Republican U.S. Rep. Erik Paulsen and his DFL challenger Dean Phillips tangled over taxes, health care and campaign finance reform in their first debate Tuesday. Paulsen said Phillips would derail economic growth by voting to repeal the Republican tax cut law. Paulsen argued the tax cut was needed and that it’s helping ordinary Minnesotans. … Phillips accused Paulsen of being beholden to special interests because of the money they contribute to his campaign. And he criticized Paulsen for almost always voting with Trump. Paulsen repeatedly tried to make the case that he stands up to Republican leaders when he disagrees with the direction they’re going.”

From WCCO-TV: “A new study from Harvard University says protecting the Boundary Waters would provide greater economic benefit long-term, opposed to opening the proposed Twin Metals copper mine. The study predicts the area would see 4,500 more jobs and up to $900 million more in personal income over 20 years if copper mining was banned. … The author of the study is a former chair of the Harvard Economics Department and former member of the White House Council of Economic Advisors.”

For the Star Tribune, Eric Roper says: “Minnesota needs to build thousands of extra homes per year to alleviate an affordable housing crunch, a problem state officials hope to tackle with a long list of possible solutions. The scope of the crisis was laid out Tuesday by members of a task force, created by Gov. Mark Dayton last year, who presented a menu of 30 ideas that address the gap between the cost of housing and what Minnesotans can afford. The suggestions included additional state and local funding, reconsideration of government regulations, ways to grow the local construction industry, incentives for landlords and protection for tenants.”

 In the Strib, Jim Buchta writes, “A Minnesota Supreme Court decision that upholds limits on how much communities can charge developers is being hailed as a major victory for those who argue that such fees are making housing in the Twin Cities unaffordable. The new ruling agreed with an appeals court’s backing of New Brighton-based developer Martin Harstad, who argued that he shouldn’t have to pay for future road improvements outside a housing development he wanted to build in Woodbury. … The decision is expected to provide relief for Minnesota home buyers and builders and is guaranteed to spark deeper debates about the fees, which are levied by municipalities before development can start to help pay for roads, streets, curbs, gutters and other infrastructure.”

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A WCCO-TV story says, “Twin Cities realtors say the latest monthly indicators point to a market cool down. The median price for a home in July was $268,000. That’s up more than six percent from last July.”

For Patch, William Bornhoft writes, “After a winter that featured both bitterly cold and above-normal temperatures, Minnesota is expected to have warmer and drier weather in the winter of 2018-2019, according to the early forecast from the Old Farmer’s Almanac. The publication founded in 1792 says the mild forecast for the Upper Midwest is a result of decreasing solar activity and the incoming of a ‘weak El Niño.’ An El Niño results from warming surface temperatures in the Pacific ocean. Minnesota is also expected to see less snow than usual.”

For MPR, Evan Frost reports: The field of U.S. Bank Stadium was packed Tuesday morning with nearly 30,000 people gathered to celebrate the Muslim holiday Eid Al-Adha, in what event organizers called ‘Super Eid.’ The holiday has been celebrated in Minnesota for decades, but this marked the first time a celebration has been held in the massive sports venue. Prayer rugs were laid out along yard lines and into the end zone for two morning prayers. Those were followed by a carnival in Commons Park.”

For the Duluth News Tribune, Tom Olsen reports, “A Grand Rapids man’s murder conviction and lifetime prison sentence should be reversed because his case was built on the unreliable testimony of an accomplice and other witnesses who were under the influence of drugs. That’s the argument an attorney made to the Minnesota Supreme Court on behalf of 37-year-old Joseph Christen Thoresen, who is serving life without parole in the stabbing and beheading death of 20-year-old David Alexander Haiman of Hibbing. An Itasca County jury last August convicted Thoresen of premeditated first-degree murder, concluding that he lured Haiman out to a rural road in the Ball Club area and attacked him with a variety of weapons. Thoresen’s former girlfriend, Kayleene Danielle Greniger, who admitted using a machete to decapitate the victim, was a key witness at the trial, testifying that Thoresen planned the slaying in advance and was the main aggressor in the fatal assault.”