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St. Thomas invited to join Division I conference

Plus: Bloomington mosque-goers harassed by right-wing activists; ousted Minneapolis credit-union leader claims retaliation for discrimination complaint; St. Paul continues to attract millennials; uptick in bear-dog incidents in Duluth Heights; and more.

St. Thomas
Mike Ekern/University of St. Thomas

St. Thomas hitting the big time. The Star Tribune’s Chip Scoggins reports:The University of St. Thomas announced Friday that the school has been invited to join the Division I Summit League, pending NCAA approval of the school’s waiver claim. … The NCAA requires a waiver to go directly from Division III to Division I without a stop at Division II. If the waiver is approved, the school will join the Summit League in 2021. The Tommies would then have two more years in the MIAC, which voted St. Thomas out of the conference earlier this year.”

Imagine how authorities would respond if the religions and ethnicities were reversed here… MPR’s Riham Feshir reports: “A Bloomington mosque has for months been the focus of online videos produced by a right-wing social media website. … But in recent weeks, worshippers and mosque officials say scrutiny of the Dar Al Farooq Youth and Family Center has taken an even more sinister turn as opponents of the mosque have shown up to photograph or record video of young children on a nearby playground. … Abdulahi Farah, the mosque’s program director, said the disturbances have reached a tipping point. … ‘It was a new low. You’re harassing adults, we get it, whatever. … ‘But when you’re harassing kids who have been looking forward to recess the whole morning, what is that? How insensitive are you?’

A lot going on here. The Star Tribune’s Marissa Evans and Andy Mannix report: “The ousted director of a proposed city-backed north Minneapolis credit union says her dismissal came after she accused the organization of discriminating against a white employee. … Me’Lea Connelly said in a statement this week to board members that the Association for Black Economic Power terminated her after she made a discrimination complaint related to the termination of Joe Riemann, the organization’s CFO. … Connelly and Riemann were key players in the proposed Village Financial Cooperative credit union, which could receive up to $500,000 in city funding if it meets agreed-upon benchmarks. … Connelly, who is also in a romantic relationship with Riemann, said the ‘abrupt and surprising’ complaints from staff ‘were not about this leader’s poor performance or behavior’ but instead were about his ‘role being inappropriate’ because he’s ‘not Black.’”

Don’t call it St. Small. The Pioneer Press’ Frederick Melo reports: “During a wide-ranging presentation on demographic trends to the St. Paul City Council this week, state demographer Susan Brower laid out harrowing statistics on Minnesota’s worker shortage and the rapidly aging population. … Immigration from abroad and other states accounts for most of the state population growth, and much of that net migration is happening in Minneapolis and St. Paul proper, Brower said Wednesday. … Minnesota’s capital city continues to be a magnet for millennials, who in other states are showing signs of tiring of urban living and heading to the suburbs to have children. … Minneapolis and St. Paul, however, are still leading growth trends, and it’s unclear if and when that will soften, Brower said.”

Bear-dog incidents in Duluth Heights. The Duluth News Tribune’s Andee Erickson reports: “Tracy Tezak wasn’t aware of any serious issues with bears in her neighborhood before letting her toy poodle and golden retriever outside Wednesday night, though she’s used to seeing bears around. … Tezak, a resident on the wooded Morgan Street in the Duluth Heights neighborhood, said soon after she stepped outside with her dogs a bear attacked her toy poodle Gizmo, who sustained several injuries including broken ribs and a lung contusion. … A similar incident involving a sow bear with cubs occurred about a week ago within a mile of Tezak’s home, according to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. If Tezak had known, she said she probably would have taken more precautions when letting her dogs out.”

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