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Court says Minnesota must separate late-arriving ballots

Plus: KSTP meteorologist Dave Dahl to retire; CD5 contest now the most expensive House race in Minnesota history; Timberwolves guard Malik Beasley charged; and more.

Mail-in ballots
REUTERS/Mike Blake
For the AP, Amy Forliti says, “A three-judge panel of the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said Thursday that Minnesota’s absentee ballots that come in after Election Day should be separated from the rest of the ballots, in case a future order makes those votes invalid. The ruling doesn’t block Minnesota’s seven-day extension for counting absentee ballots — but it does order a lower court to issue a ruling that would keep the late arriving ballots separate so they can be ‘removed from vote totals in the event a final order is entered’ that finds them unlawful.”

KSTP-TV’s Tom Hauser reports: “Congresswoman Ilhan Omar won her 2018 election by a 56-point margin, 78% to 22% over a little-known Republican challenger. … Omar’s 2020 re-election bid is also not expected to be close in the most Democratic-leaning district in Minnesota. So, it’s surprising that the 2020 campaign is likely to be the most expensive House race in Minnesota history. According to campaign finance records compiled by the website opensecrets.org, Republican Lacy Johnson has raised more than $10 million and spent about $9.7 million as of Oct. 14. That’s an astounding 44,000% increase over the GOP total in 2018. It’s also twice as much as Omar, who has raised $5.4 million and spent $5.2 million, a 410% increase over her 2018 fundraising.”

The AP’s Steve Karnowski writes: “The union that represents Minneapolis police officers is trying to recruit former cops to work as ‘poll challengers’ to work in ‘problem’ areas at the request of an attorney connected to President Donald Trump’s campaign, sparking a backlash from city and state officials who say the move is aimed at intimidating voters.… The recruitment effort drew sharp criticism from Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison, Secretary of State Steve Simon, Mayor Jacob Frey and Police Chief Medaria Arradondo. … The Trump campaign said it didn’t authorize the recruitment effort.”

In the Star Tribune, Ryan Faircloth writes: “Former University of Minnesota President Eric Kaler has been selected as the next president of Case Western Reserve University, a private research institution in Cleveland. Kaler, who led the U for eight years until he stepped down in summer 2019, will take the helm of the 12,000-student university on July 1, the school announced Thursday. An accomplished chemical engineer, Kaler said his ‘strong belief in the power of research’ drew him to the job.”

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In the Pioneer Press, Nick Woltman writes: “KSTP-TV chief meteorologist Dave Dahl announced Thursday that he plans to retire at the end of the year after more than four decades at the Twin Cities television station. Dahl, 66, who has been forecasting the weather for KSTP viewers since 1977, called it a ‘dream job’  in a news release issued by the St. Paul-based station. A Twin Cities native, Dahl attended the University of Minnesota and received his meteorology degree from Florida State University and was hired by KSTP right out of school.”

The Star Tribune’s Jim Spencer reports; Medtronic will pay the federal government $9.2 million to resolve allegations that it violated the U.S. False Claims Act and Medicare rules in reportedly providing kickbacks to a South Dakota neurosurgeon in exchange for using one of the medical device maker’s products. Medtronic — managed out of Fridley offices — was accused of paying for social events at a restaurant owned by neurosurgeon Wilson Asfora. U.S. Justice Department investigators said the Minnesota-run med-tech giant paid for meals and drinks at Asfora’s Carnaval Brazilian Grill in order to convince Asfora to use the company’s SynchroMed II intrathecal infusion pump.”

At KSTP-TV Jay Kolls says, “For nearly six months, barricades, put up by the city of Minneapolis, have closed off vehicle traffic in a four-square-block area surrounding George Floyd Square. … The city’s Public Works Department surveyed over 900 residents who either live or work in or near the so-called ‘autonomous zone’. Sixty-five percent of the respondents said they wanted the area reopened to traffic immediately, 24% said the barriers should stay up until justice is done in the George Floyd case, and 19% said they want the area closed indefinitely.”

Also in the Star Tribune, this from Joe Carlson, “Nurses and other bedside caregivers are far less likely to catch COVID-19 after risky exposures to patients, compared to interactions at home or in the community, new data show. And caregivers are twice as likely to be diagnosed with COVID after risky exposures to a co-worker in a break room, as compared to patient exposures. Those are some key takeaways from an analysis of more than 5,000 higher-risk health care worker exposures between March and July in Minnesota, which was published Thursday.”

WCCO-TV and the AP report: “Timberwolves guard Malik Beasley is charged with using a rifle to threaten a family who was house hunting in his neighborhood in the Twin Cities. Beasley was charged Thursday in Hennepin County District Court with threats of violence and drug possession, both felonies. His wife, Montana Yao, also faces a felony drug charge.”