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Housing report: Twin Cities prices on their way to Seattle, Denver levels

Plus: Midwest farmers nervous about tariffs; 3 Amazon workers in Minnesota file complaint; Tom Friedman invites Trump to Willmar; and more.

House construction
MinnPost file photo by Bill Kelley

Nina Moini at MPR News sheds light on a new housing report: “A newly released report from the Family Housing Fund says the cost of housing in the seven-county Twin Cities region is higher than cities like Austin, Texas; Nashville, Tenn.; and St. Louis. The report also says the region is on a trajectory to becoming as expensive as Denver or Seattle. The report, which analyzed data from the U.S. Census Bureau and other state and federal organizations, also concluded there is a significant shortage of housing in the Twin Cities to accommodate a growing workforce — which could hurt economic growth over time.”

Blake Nicholson at the Associated Press talks to Midwest farmers about being in the middle of President Donald Trump’s trade war: “When President Donald Trump began talking about tariffs in 2017, Minnesota soybean farmer Jamie Beyer suspected that her crop could become a weapon. Two years later, she and her family are watching the commodity markets on an hourly basis as an escalating trade war between the U.S. and China creates turmoil in rural America. ‘It’s hard to concentrate on planting when you’re constantly checking your phone to see if another (Trump) tweet has prompted a dip in the market,’ said Beyer, of Wheaton.”

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Also from the AP, 3 Amazon workers in Minnesota file discrimination complaint: “A federal complaint filed last week claims Amazon created a hostile work environment for the three women from Somalia at its Shakopee warehouse. They allege Somali and East African employees were denied promotions and training that went to white workers and were assigned more difficult tasks, such as packing heavy items. The women say they worried about taking breaks to pray or go to the bathroom because they were under pressure to meet certain quotas.”

New York Times opinion columnist Thomas L. Friedman invites the president to visit Willmar, Minnesota: “America is actually a checkerboard of towns and cities — some rising from the bottom up and others collapsing from the top down, ravaged by opioids, high unemployment among less-educated white males and a soaring suicide rate. I’ve been trying to understand why some communities rise and others fall — and so many of the answers can be found in Willmar.

Nick Broadway at the Forum covered Tuesday’s rally outside Fargo South High School where students and parents are accusing a track coach of removing minority athletes from the team: “Protesters said about 10 students, mostly minorities, were kicked out of the team for missing one practice meet, even though their the syllabus shows team members can’t be removed until they’ve had five unplanned absences. … The students say they were forced to write an apology letter and read it aloud to their teammates, something the team hasn’t done before. They claim none of the white athletes had to write it.”

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In other news…

Horrific: “Iron Range man accused of trying to kill mail carrier” [Duluth News Tribune]

This weekend: “Buses to Replace Blue and Green Line Trains May 17-20” [Mill City Times]

Little helpers:Check Out These Mussels: Minneapolis Using Mollusks To Monitor Water Quality” [WCCO]

And now, for a commercial break:In Search of Hot Beef” [Mpls/St.Paul]

Another city heard from: “Mankato passes Tobacco 21” [Mankato Free Press]

Go-go: “2019 MN State Fair free entertainment lineup unveiled” [KARE]

Another reason to visit CHS Field: “New St. Paul baseball museum chronicles local Black history” [Spokesman-Recorder]

Tough, but fair: “Minnesota Accent Ranked America’s 3rd Least Sexy” [WCCO]