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Visits by Trump, Biden highlight start of early voting in Minnesota

Plus: Collin Peterson says fellow Democrat Ilhan Omar ‘doesn’t belong in our party’; team of health workers confronted by armed residents while conducting coronavirus testing; former state Supreme Court Chief Justice Russell A. Anderson dies; and more.

The Minneapolis Early Vote Center on Hennepin Avenue opened Friday morning.
MinnPost photo by Peter Callaghan
The Minneapolis Early Vote Center on Hennepin Avenue.
In the Star Tribune, Patrick Condon and Briana Bierschbach write: “Dueling presidential visits to northern Minnesota on Friday are setting up a high-stakes battle for support in a region that’s shifted toward Republicans in recent elections and redefined Minnesota politics. Former Vice President Joe Biden’s first trip to Minnesota as a presidential candidate will find him in Duluth for an afternoon tour of a union training center. Roughly 150 miles to the west, President Donald Trump is dropping into Bemidji for a dinnertime rally at the local airport. Both candidates are arriving on the same day the state kicks off early voting, making Minnesotans among the first in the nation to cast ballots in the November election.

For The New York Post, Ebony Bowden reports, “Firebrand Rep. Ilhan Omar of Minnesota appears to be rubbing some of her fellow Democrats the wrong way — with one of them declaring she shouldn’t even be in the party. … ‘Do you have any comment as to why you defended Ilhan Omar?’ an employee with the National Republican Congressional Committee asked Peterson on Capitol Hill on Thursday. ‘I don’t defend her. She doesn’t belong in our party,’ the 16-term lawmaker responded.”

The Pioneer Press’ Christopher Magan writes: “A team of state and federal health workers were recently confronted by armed residents while they were conducting random coronavirus testing in communities across Minnesota. … State officials confirmed the encounter, but have not disclosed when or where the incident occurred. Health officials are conducting random testing of households in 180 communities across Minnesota as part of a survey to better understand the spread of COVID-19. The study is being done with the help of the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.”

Also in the Star Tribune, Rochelle Olson says, “Bemidji native and former state Supreme Court Chief Justice Russell A. Anderson has died. Anderson was appointed to the state’s high court as a representative for rural Minnesota, a role colleagues say he quickly expanded with his brilliant, quiet leadership. He died at home Tuesday at 78 from brain cancer. His family was by his side, including his wife, Kristin Anderson (nee Ostby), who said he had been diagnosed with glioblastoma in November 2017.”

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In The Washington Post, Jennifer Rubin writes, “Hillary Clinton won Minnesota in 2016 by about 45,000 votes out of nearly 3 million cast. Naturally, it was a key target for the Trump campaign. However, it might not be in play at all — one more sign that the electoral landscape has shifted dramatically in Democrats’ favor since 2016. … Biden leads by 11 points in the state (30 points among women) on the question of which candidate voters trust to handle crime and safety. … Fifty-five percent of respondents say they support the Black Lives Matter protests — with 36 percent supporting them strongly. Biden’s lead among White women with college degrees is even higher than it is for women generally.”

For MPR, Dan Kraker reports, “Last year, Marcus McLin, an assistant football coach at the University of Minnesota Duluth, approached some of his players with an idea —  to create a student group founded specifically by, and for, Black men on campus. … The group, called Black Men Serving Excellence, now has about 15 members. Their mission is to support one another, cultivate young Black leaders, and, as their name suggests, strive for excellence in everything they do. UMD already has a Black Student Association on campus. But that group is made up largely of women, said McLin. And Black men, he said, face distinct challenges, especially on a largely white campus.”

The AP reports: “A man accused of shooting a 700-pound black bear on the Red Lake Indian Reservation and removing its head pleaded guilty Thursday, although his lawyer alleges that only half of the federal government’s story is accurate. Brett Stimac, 41, of Brainerd, pleaded guilty to misdemeanor charges of wildlife trafficking and trespassing on Indian land for the September 2019 incident, according to the U.S. Attorney’s office for the District of Minnesota. Prosecutors have said Stimack killed the bear with a compound bow near the reservation’s garbage dump and came back later to remove the bear’s head for a trophy.”

For The Charlotte Observer, Austin Weinstein reports, “Starting in October, many of Wells Fargo’s over 24 million checking account holders will have one less option to avoid the bank’s $10 monthly service fee. The bank will no longer waive the fee on its popular ‘Everyday Checking’ account if the customer uses their debit card 10 times in a month, according to a message sent to customers. Instead, most account holders will now have to maintain an average daily balance of $500 to avoid the fee, a reduction from an earlier threshold of $1,500. …Wells Fargo charged $4.8 billion in service fees across all deposit accounts last year, a figure which includes overdraft fees, making up about 6% of the bank’s annual revenue.”