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New York man who threatened Rep. Ilhan Omar pleads guilty

Plus: MSP airport officials upset over TSA hotel checkpoint closure; James J. Hill Center up for sale; research at Minneapolis schools uses AI for teacher hiring; and more.

Could face 10 years in prison. The Star Tribune’s Paul Walsh reports: “A New York state man with an expressed hatred for Muslims holding public office has pleaded guilty to threatening to kill U.S. Rep. Ilhan Omar in a phone call to the Minnesota Democrat’s Capitol Hill office. … Patrick W. Carlineo, Jr., 55, of Addison, entered his plea Monday in U.S. District Court in Rochester, N.Y., to threatening to assault and murder a United States official, and being a felon in possession of firearms.”

Checkpoint of no return. The Star Tribune’s Janet Moore reports: “The closing of a lightly used but strategic security checkpoint Monday at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport’s main terminal sparked outrage among airport officials who are pushing to have it reopened. … The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) said it shuttered the skyway checkpoint linking the InterContinental Hotel to Terminal 1 on Monday due to low passenger volume. But the move comes at a time when the airport is ramping up for the Thanksgiving travel season, and after long security lines at MSP this summer generated much grumbling among the traveling public.”

Looking to buy? The Pioneer Press’ Natalie Rademacher, Frederick Melo and David Knutson report:The James J. Hill Center — an iconic structure in downtown St. Paul — is up for sale four months after the century-old reference library and business center closed to public use. … Built by Great Northern Railway magnate James J. Hill, the 44,000-square-foot center sits on more than an acre of land overlooking Rice Park. … The facility struggled to find financial footing in recent years. In 2013, it changed its name to the James J. Hill Center to showcase entrepreneurial services. Also in recent years it served as a wedding venue.”

Interesting research. City Pages’ Hannah Jones writes: “Like a lot of districts that are relatively poor (65 percent of students qualify for subsidized lunch) and nonwhite (70 percent of students are people of color), [Minneapolis Public Schools] has a hard time hanging onto teachers. Its turnover rate in 2018 was 10 percent, as compared to the national average: 8 percent. It was even worse for teachers of color: 12 percent. … The constant drain means Minneapolis’ teachers are, on average, less experienced and less diverse. It also usually ends up costing the district a lot of money. More importantly, it leads to poorer outcomes for students. … “There’s a lot of research that shows there’s a lot of variation in the effectiveness of teachers,” labor economist and University of Minnesota associate professor Aaron Sojourner says. One year with an inexperienced or less skilled instructor can make a noticeable difference in a student’s life – including her future education level and earnings. … Sojourner and his fellow researchers got to wondering if some of this turnover could be avoided by hiring smarter. Maybe, with the help of algorithms and AI, they could find the patterns in resumes that lead to longer-lasting, better teachers, and avoid more human errors, assumptions, and biases in the hiring process.

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In other news…

This is a real head-scratcher:Minnesota Public Radio sent us one of the weirdest legal threats we’ve ever received (and they won’t explain it)” [BoingBoing]

Nice:Toki Wright Named Chair of Berklee’s Professional Music Department” [Berklee]

Elliot Park food desert?In a corner of downtown Minneapolis, neighbors have to trek for groceries” [Star Tribune]

We’re just going to stand back:Garrison Keillor rips Bob Dylan in his latest book” [Star Tribune]