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Guv’s office requested deletion of video of contentious forum involving first lady

Plus: Minneapolis Park Board wants more money for youth programming; bedbugs found in St. Paul schools iPad cases; ER doc warns about scooter injuries; students push U to change food vendor; and more.

MinnPost photo by Peter Callaghan

To be fair, who would’ve expected a discussion about incarceration to involve race? MPR’s Brian Bakst reports: “Gwen Walz and close advisers had it all mapped out: Promote a PBS documentary about rigorous college coursework for prison inmates — a concept they want to replicate in Minnesota — and let the first lady step out as a leader on criminal justice issues. … Walz and governor’s office staff helped choreograph the plan last May, according to interviews and recently released documents. It involved sneak peeks of the film for state decision makers months ahead of its airing on public television and panel discussions she would take part in to underscore key themes. … Not all went according to plan, and instead the event revealed the risks associated with the first lady taking a prominent role in a high-profile policy area. … By multiple accounts, panels that coincided with screening clips from the documentary turned tense when the moderator pressed participants about race before a restless audience. Later, a top aide to DFL Gov. Tim Walz sought to make sure a video made of the forum didn’t get circulated.

What’s another 1.5 million? The Star Tribune’s Miguel Otárola reports:Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board leaders want to raise the property tax levy beyond the increase supported by Mayor Jacob Frey, saying they need an additional $1.5 million for youth programs. … In his budget address last month, Frey recommended increasing the Park Board’s property tax levy by 5.7% to $69.5 million. Property taxes make up about 75% of the Park Board’s general fund.”

Not the sort of bugs IT is used to handling. KSTP’s Rebecca Omastiak reports: “School officials in St. Paul have issued a letter reminding parents and students to keep their iPad cases clean after bed bugs were discovered in five of the devices. … District spokesman Kevin Burns said the iPads were distributed to students in schools throughout the district this past week.”

Weird, because they look so safe. MPR’s Brandt Williams reports: “Over his 33-year career as an emergency doctor, Dr. Stephen W. Smith has seen a lot. But the electric-scooter-related injuries he’s seen this summer at Hennepin Healthcare are new. … Smith estimates at least five people are treated in the ER each day for e-scooter-related injuries. That adds up to several hundred ER visits this summer. Unlike Pereira, the wounded are usually e-scooter riders.”

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Food fight. The Star Tribune’s Mila Koumpilova reports: “The University of Minnesota will consider parting ways with its Twin Cities campus dining vendor of more than two decades — including a possible switch to preparing meals for students in-house. … For several years, U student government leaders have complained about Aramark, the Philadelphia-based company also in charge of concessions at U.S. Bank Stadium. Students argue the company has lagged in offering healthy, vegetarian and vegan options and foods for students with allergies and religious dietary restrictions — concerns Aramark says it has worked hard to address.”

In other news…

Who says there’s no money in newspapers anymore?Heard on the Street: Post Bulletin building sold for $10.5 million” [Rochester Post Bulletin]

Clarifies 9/11 remarks, among other things:Transcript: Representative Ilhan Omar on ‘Face the Nation,’ September 15, 2019” [CBS News]

This is fire:The boy who would be the ‘hot sauce king’” [Mankato Free Press]

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What about for the ducks?Minnesota duck season outlook: Pretty good” [Fargo Forum]

Guaranteed offer … of friendship:In defense of Kris Lindahl, the most generous guy I know” [City Pages]

Your dose of whimsy:Why are puppets popping champagne at the Grand Cafe?” [City Pages]

Iron affront:Political protest at Minnesota United game leads to at least one ejection” [Pioneer Press]

Congrats:Lynx’s Napheesa Collier named WNBA Rookie of the Year” [Star Tribune]