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U of M president proposes delaying student return to campus

Plus: St. Paul man charged for using PPP money on motorcycle, golf; artists and arts leaders are calling for changes to Minnesota State Arts Board; Pence to visit Duluth Friday; and more.

MPR reports: “The fall semester might begin even more differently than expected this year for undergraduates on several University of Minnesota campuses. University of Minnesota President Joan Gabel announced Friday that she’s proposing that three of the U’s campuses — in the Twin Cities, Rochester and Duluth — begin classes online for at least the first two weeks of school this fall.”

Also from MPR, Matt Sepic writes: “Federal prosecutors in Minneapolis on Friday charged two people with arson in connection with a fire at a bank during the civil unrest that followed the police killing of George Floyd in May. Alexander Steven Heil, 24, of Monticello, Minn., and 29-year-old Marc Bell Gonzales, of Wayzata, Minn., are each charged with conspiracy to commit arson.”

In the Star Tribune, Jenna Ross writes: “The Minnesota State Arts Board has revamped its grants, announcing more flexible funding for artists and arts nonprofits during a time of crisis. But a growing number of artists and arts leaders are calling for broader changes, saying the board has focused too much of its funding on big institutions, rather than those that are small, rural or led by artists of color.”

For the Pioneer Press, Deanna Weniger writes: “A St. Paul man has been charged with fraud in a federal court for lying on his COVID-relief application and spending the money on a Harley-Davidson motorcycle and golf instead of his business. The U.S. Attorney’s office announced Friday that Kyle William Brenizer, 32, has been charged with two counts of wire fraud and two counts of money laundering.”

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Also from the Star Tribune: “Vice President Mike Pence will make a campaign appearance in Duluth next Friday, Aug. 28, the Trump presidential campaign announced Friday. … Pence will speak at a ‘Workers for Trump’ event at the Duluth Port Authority’s sprawling Clure Public Marine Terminal around noon.”

The AP reports: “A former Army Green Beret living in northern Virginia was arrested on Friday, charged with divulging military secrets about his unit’s activities in former Soviet republics during more than a decade of contacts with Russian intelligence. Peter Rafael Dzibinski Debbins, 45, told Russian intelligence he considered himself a ‘son of Russia,’ according to an indictment made public after his arrest. … Debbins, of Gainesville, periodically met Russian intelligence beginning in 1996, when he was an ROTC student at the University of Minnesota, through 2011.”