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U.S. attorney for Minnesota assures faith leaders that prosecuting hate crimes is a top priority

Plus: St. Paul church moves nearer to historical designation; soybean sales to China disappear; tiny houses proposed for poor and homeless; and more.

Erica MacDonald
United State Dept. of Justice
Erica MacDonald
Seems important. MPR’s Matt Sepic reports: “Minnesota’s top federal prosecutor Monday assured religious leaders that prosecuting hate crimes remains a top priority for her office. … U.S. Attorney Erica MacDonald convened a meeting of faith leaders in Apple Valley to discuss security at churches, mosques, synagogues and other houses of worship.”

Preserving church state. The Pioneer Press’ Frederick Melo reports: “In St. Paul’s Como neighborhood, St. Andrew’s Church could be demolished to make room for a three-story expansion of the popular German Immersion School next door. Or the imposing, 91-year-old former worship space could be preserved as-is due to a local historic designation that took a step closer to reality on Monday night.

Tough times for soybean farmers. The New York Times’ Binyamin Appelbaum reports: “This is harvest season in the rich farmlands of the eastern Dakotas, the time of year Kevin Karel checks his computer first thing in the morning to see how many of his soybeans Chinese companies have purchased while he was sleeping. … Farmers here in Cass County have prospered over the last two decades by growing more soybeans than any other county in the United States, and by shipping most of those beans across the Pacific Ocean to feed Chinese pigs and chickens. … But this year, the Chinese have all but stopped buying.

Tiny houses to the rescue? The Star Tribune’s Chris Serres reports: “After more than a year of deliberation, [homeless advocacy group Street Voices of Change] has embraced the idea of starting a community of ‘tiny houses’ for the poor and homeless. The miniature homes, just a few hundred square feet each, would be cheap to build and highly affordable, appealing to the growing number of low-income people shut out of the metro area’s housing market.”

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In other news…

For what it’s worth:Noah Johnson says: Vote Keith Ellison for Minnesota attorney general, not me” [City Pages]

Hot tip:St. Paul Council reportedly would exempt tipped workers from wage ordinance” [Star Tribune]

Good question indeed:Where Did The ‘I Voted’ Stickers Come From?” [WCCO]

MCAD the vote:Design college pitched in to bring order to polling-place signs” [MPR]