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2019 Minnesota State Fair sets new attendance record

Plus: Fischbach defends Trump trade war; federal suit alleges Eastern Carver County Schools ‘turned a blind eye’ to racist bullying; Kandiyohi County asks Walz to intervene in dispute with DHS; and more.

Minnesota State Fair
Minnesota State Fair
MinnPost photo by Corey Anderson

In the Star Tribune, Paul Walsh reports, “With more than 80,000 to spare, this just-ended Minnesota Get-Together is truly the greatest of them all. The final attendance tally for the 2019 Minnesota State Fair of 2,126,551 is an all-time record, fair officials announced Tuesday, one day after the 12-day run concluded. That total tops the previous mark of 2,046,533 just last year. One-day records were set this year on days 1, 2, 6, 9, 11 and 12. Still standing, however, is the busiest single day at the fair of 270,426, set on Day 10 in 2018.”

Brian Bakst of MPR reports, “Republican congressional hopeful Michelle Fischbach defended President Trump’s approach toward trade Tuesday after launching a bid for a western Minnesota district where crosscurrents between a fragile farm economy and the president’s popularity loom large. Fischbach, a former state senator who served a year as lieutenant governor, hopes to capitalize on Trump’s past popularity in a district represented for decades by a Democrat in Congress. Rep. Collin Peterson, long a target of Republicans, hasn’t declared his intentions for 2020. … Low commodity prices, combined with fallout from a tariff battle with China, have many farmers on edge. Fischbach said she hopes farmers have patience as the Trump administration pursues a deal.”

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The Star Tribune’s Andy Mannix writes, “In a suburban Minnesota school district in turmoil over a series of racist incidents, a group of black students and alumni say administrators and teachers knowingly allowed white students to discriminate against them for years, hindering their education and inflicting emotional abuse. In a federal lawsuit, the current and former students allege Eastern Carver County Schools ‘turned a blind eye’ as they endured physical assaults, death threats and racial slurs, such as being called a ‘monkey’ or ‘donkey.’ … Teachers and administrators knew about the abuse, but did nothing to stop it — or in some cases responded by singling out the victims, according to the suit.”

For WCCO-TV, Jennifer Mayerle reports: “The St. Paul Fire Department is grieving one of its own. Police are searching for whoever shot and killed an off-duty firefighter at his east St. Paul home. First responders found Tom Harrigan with a gunshot wound to his stomach at about 8:30 p.m. Monday inside his home on Ivy Avenue in the Prosperity Heights neighborhood. He later died at the hospital.”

MPR News’ Marianne Combs writes: “The Children’s Theatre Company in Minneapolis has settled a lawsuit with a former student who was abused in the 1980s. It’s the seventh lawsuit the Children’s Theatre has settled with former students this year. The first six settlements were all with students from the 1970s. The seventh plaintiff’s case was scheduled to go to trial in October.  The plaintiffs’ attorney said the latest settlement is a step forward …. The survivor, however, expressed her disappointment, saying while her case has been legally settled, ‘they handled the process badly.’”

Says The Star Tribune’s Patrick Kennedy, “The APi Group Inc., one of Minnesota’s largest private firms, will be acquired in a $2.9 billion deal that will make it the state’s newest publicly traded company. APi is a big player in the specialty construction and energy industries with 40 businesses that range from one of the largest distributors of insulation to one of the biggest power-plant contractors and several large installers of fire-protection equipment.”

Says Hannah Jones for City Pages, “These are the final days of St. Paul’s only Walmart. The University Avenue store, near Snelling Avenue, the Green Line, and the new Allianz Field, is shutting its doors for good on September 20. A company spokesperson told news outlets that ‘several factors’ were involved in the decision, including the store’s ‘overall performance’. Hundreds of comments on WCCO’s Facebook post present a wide range of reactions, but few of them were sentimental. In fact, most of them were on the derisive side, calling the store ‘disgusting,’ ‘crime-ridden’, and vaguely ‘awful.’ One commenter confessed they ‘actually saw their dumpster on fire one time.’

Says The Star Tribune’s Mary Lynn Smith, “A woman staying at a family cabin on a Rainy Lake island was killed by a black bear in what experts said was an extremely rare attack. The remote family cabin on Red Pine Island is in Canadian waters, about a quarter-mile north of the international border that divides Rainy Lake and about 10 miles northeast of International Falls, Minn. …The woman had gone outside about 6 p.m. Sunday when she heard her two dogs barking. The dogs, one of them injured, eventually returned to the cabin but the woman didn’t. That’s when her parents, who are in their 80s, called police….”

For the West Central Tribune, Anne Polta writes: “Kandiyohi County will ask Gov. Tim Walz to intervene in a dispute with the Minnesota Department of Human Services over the procurement process for publicly funded health programs. County officials say the state’s decision in July to go against the county’s recommendation of PrimeWest Health as the sole health plan has left them disappointed, frustrated and angry. … At stake is the management of health care for nearly 10,000 Kandiyohi County residents on Medical Assistance, MinnesotaCare, Minnesota Senior Health Options and other publicly funded health programs that cover low-income populations.”