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Lawsuit claims Roseville teacher segregated Black students, choked one

Plus: Minnesota’s retired leaders discuss COVID and current events; tribal nations optimistic about coronavirus response; oak wilt threatens Minnesota’s oak tree population; artist Aldo Moroni dies; and more.

Shocking. The Star Tribune’s Paul Walsh reports:A former Roseville second-grade teacher physically assaulted at least three Black children in her class, segregated them from the other students and forced a boy to put his hands behind his back as if under arrest, according to a federal civil rights lawsuit. Parent Kirsten Lindsey’s lawsuit against the school district and teacher Geraldine Cook alleges that her son was choked by his Harambee Elementary School teacher and so traumatized that he had to transfer out of the district.”

George Latimer, Norm Coleman, and others share their thoughts. The Pioneer Press reports:Minnesotans who experienced the unrest of the Vietnam War, the Civil Rights era and multiple recessions say they’ve seen the nation divided before, but 2020 will still be one for the history books. … Here’s how some of the Twin Cities’ and Minnesota’s elder leaders — all retired from previous positions — are keeping safe from the novel coronavirus and how they’re putting current events in perspective.”

Fewer cases, but more hospitalization. MPR’s Dan Gunderson reports: “The locations of most reservations in Minnesota provided a buffer against the early spread of the virus, allowing tribal leaders time to prepare their response. They knew they would have to act quickly. Tribal health care has long been underfunded and is often a patchwork. High rates of chronic health conditions, including diabetes and obesity, put American Indians at high risk of severe complications from COVID-19.”

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Fungus among us. The Minnesota Daily’s Becca Most reports: “With the help of a new grant, a team of researchers at the University of Minnesota researchers are studying oak wilt, an invasive fungus that is threatening Minnesota’s oak tree population. Sometimes characterized by browning or golden leaves at the top of the tree and a dark bluish-gray discoloration in the bark, oak wilt kills thousands of trees each year, and the disease is present in about a third of oak habitats in Minnesota. Using new spectral technology, the team can better identify which trees are infected and analyze how they respond to the fungus.”

Reader beware. The Star Tribune’s Stephen Montemayor reports:Federal intelligence officials, analysts and state election administrators expect disinformation to play an even greater role in this year’s election than in 2016, when Russia waged a vast campaign to meddle in the election. Russian hackers tried to penetrate all 50 states’ election systems that year. They are now instead expected to focus more on sowing division and discord through intentionally false posts online.”

In other news…

Election tampering: “Arrest made in break-in at Minnesota Rep. Dean Phillips’ campaign office” [Star Tribune]

Includes local angle: “Murders Are Rising. Blaming a Party Doesn’t Add Up.” [New York Times]

Now he gets to come in: “Max the cat oil painting to be created for Macalester library” [The Mac Weekly]

Cleveland-Cliffs buys ArcelorMittal USA: “Two Iron Range taconite mines are part of $1.4 billion steel merger” [Star Tribune]

RIP: “‘Minneapolis lost a legend’: Artist Aldo Moroni dies at age 67” [Bring Me the News]