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Report: Minnesota among worst states in country for educational disparities

Plus: state House Democrats propose regulating robocalls; Omar raises more than $1 million for reelection campaign; ACLU files suit against Worthington over arrest; signs point to mild start to winter; and more.

teacher's desk
Photo by Element5 Digital on Unsplash

For MPR, Elizabeth Shockman says, “A new report from the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis finds Minnesota is one of the worst states in the country for education achievement gaps. Anusha Nath, a research economist with the Minneapolis Fed, said the report reveals Minnesota’s education disparities are not just affecting students of color. Nor are they confined to one area of the state. … She also said the disparities are part of a long-term, persistent trend that affects both rural and urban parts of the state.”

The Star Tribune’s J. Patrick Coolican says: “Democrats in the Minnesota House say they are readying tough legislation aimed at so-called robocalls, the unexpected, unwanted calls — often with criminal intentions — that nearly everyone with a phone constantly receives. Rep. Zack Stephenson, DFL-Coon Rapids, said the legislation would be the ‘toughest’ in the country. … The Department of Commerce reports that Minnesotans have received more than 387 million robocalls this year, or 58 per person with a phone.”

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For the Forum News Service, Adelle Whitefoot writes: “A 15-year-old Esko football player died of natural causes, authorities announced Monday, Oct. 14. According to the preliminary report from the Ramsey County Medical Examiner’s Office, Jackson Pfister’s death was due to congenital heart disease, a condition he had since birth. Jackson, an Esko High School student, died after collapsing during his football team’s varsity game in Aitkin on Friday.”

Says Torey Van Oot in the Star Tribune,  “Minnesota U.S. Rep. Ilhan Omar’s re-election campaign raised more than $1.1 million over the past three months, her largest quarterly fundraising haul to date as she has come under increasingly frequent attack by President Donald Trump. Omar has proved a prolific fundraiser in her first year in Washington, despite her status as a freshman lawmaker in a safe Minneapolis district.”

MPR’s Brian Bakst writes: “The best advice Mark Dayton says he got as he wound down nearly four decades in public life was to take six months to decompress. That meant not jumping into another job or making a bunch of commitments off the bat. The former governor has largely abided, with the exception of his weekly date with his grandsons. … Gradually, however, Dayton is picking up part-time assignments. Last week, the University of Minnesota announced him as a fellow at the Center for Integrative Leadership. … And later this week, his official portrait will join those of other former governors at the State Capitol.”

KTSP-TV’s Eric Chaloux reports: “The American Civil Liberties Union of Minnesota filed a federal lawsuit on Monday against the city of Worthington, the Worthington Police Department and a civilian. The lawsuit is regarding an alleged assault that took place on January 12th and put a man in intensive care with four broken ribs and a lacerated pancreas and liver. … ‘In this case Kelvin was brutally injured,’ said Teresa Nelson, ACLU Legal Director. ‘Asked for medical attention repeatedly, those requests were ignored, and the delay to get treatment was shocking to me.’”

At the Star Tribune, Hannah Sayle writes, “Minnesotans are typically a demure folk. Some might say we’re born into a culture of euphemisms and politeness, stoicism and shared silences. Our children learn early that the best way to handle a sensitive matter is to talk circles around it until the day they die.  Which is why attorney K. Davis Senseman did a double take when one particular City of Minneapolis email landed in their inbox last week. … According to Cindy Weckwerth, supervisor for the City of Minneapolis Department of Health, the evocative depiction of gastrointestinal distress is no mistake — and no exaggeration.”

At MPR, Nina Moini writes, “The St. Paul City Council is up for reelection in November, and 28 names are on the ranked-choice ballot. It’s an unusually high number of candidates, elections officials say. … In 2015, there were more than 150,000 registered voters in St. Paul — about half the city’s population. Only about 20 percent of registered voters turned out to vote for City Council members. In Ward 7 on the city’s east side, about 2,000 people voted for a candidate who ran uncontested for a four-year term. This year, there are nearly 160,000 registered voters in St. Paul. As for Ward 7, four City Council candidates are in the race including incumbent Jane Prince.”

Also at MPR, Paul Huttner says, “Confidence is always low heading into the winter outlook. But a few early signals suggest a possible milder than average bias for the first part of the winter season in the Upper Midwest and much of the eastern U.S. Stay tuned.”

For Breitbart, Trent Baker writes, “2020 Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) weighed in on the impact of President Donald Trump withdrawing United States troops from northern Syria. Klobuchar said on MSNBC’s ‘Kasie DC’ that Trump’s decision to withdraw is ‘immoral,’ and it will result in Israel wondering if the United States is truly their ally because he is not putting the United States or its allies first. ‘[Trump] didn’t have to do this — just like he didn’t have to get out of the Iranian agreement or the climate change agreement or suck up to Vladimir Putin every single day,’ Klobuchar stated.”