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City, state and county officials urged to address housing crisis as Minneapolis’ Wall of Forgotten Natives returns

Plus: Jill Biden, Donald Trump Jr. to make campaign stops in Minnesota; Minneapolis authorities still looking at rash of racial attacks in wake of Floyd killing; Jimmy Jam’s former Lake Minnetonka mansion razed; and more.

The Star Tribune’s Miquel Otárola reports: “Two years after a massive tent encampment in south Minneapolis brought attention to the state’s growing homeless population, people have returned to pitch tents at what was called the Wall of Forgotten Natives. More than 40 tents flapped in the wind against the wall and next to speeding traffic between Hiawatha and Franklin avenues Thursday. The group decided to move there after their previous camp, on a city-owned lot at 2313 S. 13th Av., was cleared by the city Wednesday. Native leaders and outreach workers, including Clyde Bellecourt, a founder of the American Indian Movement, held a news conference Thursday near the encampment urging the city, Hennepin County and the state to find stable housing for the homeless.”

KSTP-TV reports: “Jill Biden, the former Second Lady of the U.S. and the husband of Joe Biden, and President Donald Trump’s son, Donald Jr., will each visit Minnesota next week on campaign stops. According to the Biden campaign, Jill Biden will travel to the Twin Cities on Wednesday as a part of her national “Back-to-School Tour” where she will meet with Minnesota families and public school educators. … Trump Jr. will visit Duluth the same day for an event scheduled to take place at the Duluth Entertainment Convention Center. The Trump campaign said doors to the event will open at 4 p.m. ahead of a scheduled 5 p.m. start to the rally.”

In the Star Tribune, Libor Jany writes, “As south Minneapolis was enveloped in protests, riots and looting in the wake of Floyd’s May 25 death, authorities received dozens of similar reports of racial attacks, harassment and vandalism, many of which were centered on the predominantly Black North Side. There was confusion about whether outside influence was present in the days after Floyd’s death, when state officials gave conflicting accounts of whether the suspected agitators came from the ranks of white supremacists exploiting the rage over Floyd’s death, or left-wing anarchists bent on turning the anger toward their ends of discrediting the police.”

For MPR, Brian Bakst writes: “The Minnesota Supreme Court is expected to rule quickly in a case that determines how much assistance voters can get with their ballots after arguments Thursday over the goals of easing voting and discouraging election mischief. In a virtually held oral argument, justices pressed Democratic and Republican attorneys on the pair of laws, which are currently suspended under a temporary injunction from a lower court. The case is one in a sprawling battle over the way the 2020 election will be conducted. A swift decision is likely because absentee voting starts Sept. 18.”

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For USA Today, Cyndy Henderson reports, “Demetria Poe is applauding Delta Air Lines for ‘taking a stance’ against racism and discrimination after she was harassed by her seatmate during a recent flight from Minneapolis to Washington, D.C. Poe told USA TODAY Wednesday that a white woman appeared to purposefully swap her American flag face mask for a Blue Lives Matter mask once realizing her seat assignment was next to Poe, a Black woman. … Poe said Delta Air Lines went above and beyond to rectify the situation by upgrading her seat on her return flight back to Minneapolis. Poe said she also received a gift bag filled with goodies, including a Black Lives Matter pin engraved with Delta Air Line’s logo. ‘This is a major corporation saying that Black lives matter,’ Poe told USA TODAY. ‘It was very heartwarming. I cried because I look at God using me for the movement.’”

For The Hill, Jonathan Easley writes, “Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden is favored to carry Minnesota’s 10 electoral votes but President Trump’s campaign is mounting a serious challenge, plowing resources into a state that hasn’t gone for the GOP presidential nominee since 1972, the longest such streak in the nation. The Trump campaign went up with new ads on Wednesday accusing Biden of standing with ‘rioters and looters’ in Minneapolis, where the police killing of George Floyd in May sparked nationwide protests and demands for police reform. The ad is part of $14 million in television reservations the Trump campaign has in Minnesota.”

At BringMeTheNews, Joe Nelson says, “John Focke has been fired from his radio play-by-play career with the NBA’s Charlotte Hornets, with his dismissal coming following an August tweet in which Focke used N-word.  The Hornets announced Focke’s firing Thursday, justifying the decision ‘due to a violation of the organization’s social media policy.’  The former Timberwolves and Lynx broadcaster was tweeting about an NBA playoff game in August when typed the N-word instead of ‘Nuggets’ when referring to the game between the Utah Jazz and Denver Nuggets.”

The Star Tribune’s Paul Walsh tells us, “The 22,000-square-foot mansion along Lake Minnetonka where famed music producer James ‘Jimmy Jam’ Harris lived for many years and hosted hitmaking pals is now a pile of rubble. The contemporary, flat-roofed house south of Mound on nearly 300 feet of shoreline was razed last week, said Scott Stabeck, the property owner’s real estate agent. … The residence went into foreclosure before it was last bought by Edina-based GAHF Enterprises LLC for $2.7 million, but no one has lived in it since, Stabeck said.”

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