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Storms knocked out power for tens of thousands across Minnesota

Plus: Minneapolis park police clear remaining encampment in Powderhorn Park; two arrested in Elk River in connection with the killing of 8-year-old girl; Trump expected to stoke fears about crime during Minnesota visit; and more.

For MPR, Andrew Krueger writes: “Severe storms spawned tornadoes and knocked out power to tens of thousands of homes and business across Minnesota on Friday. Utility companies reported more than 25,000 customers were still without power across eastern Minnesota as of 6 a.m. Saturday. At the peak of the outages on Friday night, Xcel Energy reported more than 55,000 customers without power just in the Twin Cities metro area after the storms rolled through with damaging winds and torrential rain.”

The Star Tribune’s Tim Harlow writes: “Minneapolis park police and Park Board staffers on Friday cleared the remaining encampment in Powderhorn Park, removing the last of about 35 tents pitched on the west end of the park. Park officials had given people at the south Minneapolis camp two weeks to leave, offering transportation to shelters and other city parks where encampments are still permitted.’”

KSTP-TV reports: “Back in July, an official with the U.S. Postal Service sent a letter warning Minnesota Secretary of State Steve Simon that because of the state’s election laws and deadlines for requesting and casting mail-in ballots, some of the ballots may not be counted. The letter, sent by USPS General Counsel and Executive Vice President Thomas Marshall, says the state law requirements and deadlines ‘appear to be incompatible with the Postal Service’s delivery standards.’… While appearing on Meet the Press, Simon called the letter ‘saber-rattling.’”

MPR’s Brian Bakst writes: “When Trump makes his first election-year stop in Minnesota — a Monday visit to Mankato — he’s likely to bring up what has been a rocky few months in Minneapolis. … His campaign has aired a series of hard-hitting television ads in Minnesota and elsewhere stoking fears that police cutbacks would lead to an explosion of violent crime. Fact-checkers have labeled the spots misleading.”

WCCO-TV reports: “Two people were arrested Friday evening in Elk River in connection with the killing of an 8-year-old girl, authorities said. A 30-year-old man and a 28-year-old woman were booked into the Sherburne County jail Friday on suspicion of second-degree murder in the death of Autumn Hallow, Elk River Police Chief Ron Nierenhausen said in a news release. The two have not been charged.”

Also for KSTP-TV, Alex Jokich writes: “The Minnesota Department of Health is warning the public about toxic ingredients discovered in hand sanitizers. Two unapproved chemicals, methanol and 1-propanol, have recently been found in products in place of ethyl alcohol or ethanol, according to the Food and Drug Administration. The FDA put out the alert about 1-propanol Wednesday, saying it ‘is not an acceptable ingredient for hand sanitizer products marketed in the United States and can be toxic and life-threatening when ingested.’”