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Trump taken to Walter Reed hospital for COVID-19 treatment

Plus: Smith, Lewis clash over pretty much everything in U.S. Senate debate; activists vow to overcome attempts to suppress votes among Minnesota Muslims in upcoming election; Minnesota teen just one of two girls to gain eagle scout rank; and more.

A quartet of Washington Post writers reports: “President Trump was taken to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center on Friday for a stay that was expected to last several days, a move the White House said was made out of an abundance of caution after he tested positive for the deadly coronavirus and experienced symptoms. … Trump was experiencing fatigue, and the first lady was coughing with a headache on Friday, the White House doctor said, describing the physical impacts of a White House coronavirus outbreak that has upended the nation’s capital and disrupted American politics one month before a presidential election.”

The Star Tribune’s Patrick Condon writes:The rival Minnesota candidates for U.S. Senate offered sharply different visions for the job in a short debate Friday that saw them clash over the pandemic, public safety, race, the Supreme Court and climate change. The 50-minute debate on Minnesota Public Radio was the third and final scheduled encounter between Democratic Sen. Tina Smith and her Republican opponent, former U.S. Rep. Jason Lewis. Coming just hours after news of President Donald Trump’s positive coronavirus diagnosis, the federal response to the pandemic dominated the start of the debate. Smith criticized the White House’s handling of the COVID-19 crisis while Lewis decried the economic toll from Gov. Tim Walz’s business restrictions.”

Zoë Jackson writes in the Star Tribune: “Minnesota’s three Republican congressmen flew home on a Delta flight from Washington, D.C., Friday night, despite airline restrictions on passengers recently exposed to COVID-19-positive people such as President Donald Trump. U.S. Reps. Pete Stauber, Tom Emmer and Jim Hagedorn all tested negative for COVID-19 on Friday after traveling with Trump on Air Force One to and from a Duluth rally on Wednesday. The president and first lady tested positive for COVID-19 on Thursday. Delta policy states that the airline will not allow anyone knowingly exposed to COVID-19 in the past 14 days to travel. Health experts advise a 14-day quarantine after close exposure to someone with COVID-19 even if an initial test proves negative.”

For Sahan Journal, Becky Z. Dernbach writes: “Minnesota’s Muslims plan to vote during this contentious election season, no matter who tries to stop them and what tactics they use. That was the message at a news conference led by faith groups in Minneapolis’ Cedar-Riverside neighborhood Friday. ‘We will not allow our voices to be silenced,’ said Mohamed Ibrahim, deputy director of CAIR-Minnesota. ‘Not only that, we will also not allow for our votes to be suppressed.”’

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Also in the Star Tribune, Miguel Otárola writes: “Police squad cars, officers on horseback and surveillance cameras have increased on Nicollet Mall in recent weeks to fight what one business leader referred to as ‘challenging behavior’ in downtown Minneapolis. The greater police presence is one of several tactics businesses are using to restore a sense of safety on the street, said Steve Cramer, president and CEO of the Minneapolis Downtown Improvement District. Reported incidents are up on the street this year, Cramer said, including ‘large crowds of young adults; increased, very visible homelessness and people with obvious intoxication.’”

The AP reports: “A Dane County judge decided Friday to hold off on declaring whether Madison officials can legally collect absentee ballots in city parks. The city deployed poll workers to every city park on Sept. 26 to collect ballots. … An attorney representing Republican legislators has warned the city that such events are illegal, raising questions about whether the GOP will sue to invalidate ballots collected in the parks. President Donald Trump won Wisconsin by less than 23,000 votes in 2016. Canceling out thousands of ballots from liberal-leaning Madison would deal a huge blow to Democrats working to deliver the state for Joe Biden.”

MPR’s Hannah Yang reports: “New Ulm’s Oktoberfest will go on this weekend — but it’s going to look a little different than usual in the coronavirus era. Downtown’s Minnesota Street will be a lot quieter this weekend than in Oktoberfests past, but there will still be polka music. COVID-19 has forced event organizers at the New Ulm Area Chamber of Commerce to scale back the annual festival. … This year, there will be hand sanitizer aplenty. Masks are required — and will be strictly enforced. So will social distancing. It’ll be a mostly outdoors affair. And unlike in previous years, Minnesota Street will be closed to traffic, so the festival’s open-air craft fair can take center stage.”

Jessica Miles reports for KSTP-TV: “Sixteen-year-old Isabella Tunney joined the Boy Scouts of America, now called Scouts-BSA, on a very historic day for the 110-year-old organization. … There are 137 total badges to be earned, and Isabella has earned them all, one of just two girls across the country to do so, and something only 460 other eagle scouts have ever done.