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More than 400 sexual assaults reported on Minnesota college campuses


For MPR, Jiwon Choi reports:The number of sexual assault cases reported to Minnesota colleges and universities increased for the second straight year in 2017, but fewer than half were investigated by schools, according to data released in June by the Minnesota Office of Higher Education. The 416 cases are the highest reported number since Minnesota colleges and universities started collecting and reporting campus sexual assault statistics to the state in 2015, when the Legislature signed it into law.”

In the Star Tribune, J. Patrick Coolican and Chris Serres write, “Two high-ranking deputies are leaving their posts at the Minnesota Department of Human Services, the state’s sprawling, $17.5 billion social service agency, in an unexpected move confirmed Thursday by Commissioner Tony Lourey. The abrupt departure of two veteran administrators sets up an early test of the leadership of Lourey — who lobbied hard for the job after serving in the state Senate for more than a decade — as well as for the new administration of Gov. Tim Walz, who appointed Lourey for the top job.”

A KSTP-TV story says, “The front desk phone doesn’t ring, it now goes straight to a voicemail switchboard. This comes after the St. Louis Park City Council voted to start their meetings without reciting the Pledge of Allegiance last month, leading to much backlash around from community and even President Donald Trump. City employees told KSTP off camera that they’ve been verbally harassed, which is why the calls are being diverted through the automatic switchboard that was often previously used after-hours or during high call volume times. The controversy got President Trump’s attention when he called St. Louis Park out on Twitter on Tuesday, and then again Thursday.”

The Pioneer Press’ Josh Verges reports: “Student mental health, campus climate and smart spending are on Joan Gabel’s mind in her first month as the University of Minnesota’s 17th president. The former South Carolina provost, who was chosen for the job in December, has made regular visits to the Twin Cities campus since January but didn’t take over for Eric Kaler until July 1. She took in her first Board of Regents meeting Thursday and will spend two days with regents during a retreat in Faribault to marry her vision with their priorities.”

In the Star Tribune, Jon Bream writes: “Bob Dylan superfan and collector Bill Pagel has purchased the music icon’s childhood home in Hibbing. He also owns the Duluth house where Dylan spent his first six years. Pagel bought the two-story, three-bedroom stucco Hibbing house, 2425 7thAve. East, from Gregg and Donna French, the owners since 1990. … Pagel plans to restore the house, painting it the original color when Bobby Zimmerman lived there from 1948 to ’59 before going off to the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis and eventually New York and the world.”

For MPR, Cody Nelson says, “Cam Schaefer’s feet were so blistered by the final day of his 310-plus miles on the Superior Hiking Trail, he had to take his shoes off. But he couldn’t stop moving. He’d traveled more than 40 miles each of the previous six days, battling through a knee injury on one leg and an Achilles tendon injury on the other. Schaefer was on track to reach his goal of beating the trail’s record for a supported through-hike by more than a day. … Early Thursday morning, Schaefer completed the entirety of the Superior Hiking Trail in six days, 18 hours and 45 minutes — the fastest-known time for a supported through-hiker.”

For the PiPress, Molly Korzenowski reports, “While reduced conflict intersections are becoming more common in Minnesota, a new one in Anoka County has an added twist that’s tying up some drivers. What are reduced conflict intersections? They’re used on four-lane highways where traffic makes it risky to cross or turn left from other roads. Instead of driving straight across all four lanes and risking a T-bone crash, drivers first have to make a right turn and then a U-turn to get across or go left.”

For The Verge, Nilay Patel writes, “The Foxconn factory in Wisconsin will only create 1,500 jobs when it starts production next May, Gov. Tony Evers told CNBC yesterday. … Foxconn has bought a series of empty buildings for ‘innovation centers’ around the state as part of a promised ‘AI 8K+5G ecosystem’ (although it’s never specified what that ecosystem actually is). While Foxconn initially disputed The Verge’s reports of the buildings being empty, it has now been 89 days since the company promised a statement or correction regarding the plans for the innovation centers.

Comments (3)

  1. Submitted by James Hamilton on 07/12/2019 - 09:33 am.

    “Among 84 postsecondary institutions across the state in the report, the University of Minnesota Twin Cities had the most reported incidents with 93 sexual assault cases reported, followed by St. Olaf College with 37 and Carleton College with 24.”

    This is an enormous disparity given the relative enrollment at these institutions. St. Olaf might want to revisit it’s recruiting methods:

    “At St. Olaf, we don’t turn out typical college grads. We turn out Oles. Oles are the people companies want. Oles are the people the planet needs. Are you an Ole?”

    • Submitted by Paul Yochim on 07/12/2019 - 11:32 am.

      I’m happy to be a typical college grad and not an elitist “Ole” as they call themselves. Their ads are a prime example of their monumental institutional arrogance.

  2. Submitted by Carl Brookins on 07/12/2019 - 02:37 pm.

    The problem of sexual harassment and rape on our campuses is a problem that must be addressed. Both Republican and Democratic parties locally have been remiss in this area. we cannot expect our politicians to pick up the reins on this problem; too few of them have the spinal strength. The college and university administrations must step forward, flex their muscle and provide more than just adequate attention, protection and training. Plus existing laws against trafficking, assault, rape and sexual harassment must be exercised. We must NEVER in Minnesota learn a judge has let an offender off because he “is a nice boy with a good future and comes from a good home.”

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