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Future plans for St. Paul district include fewer elementary schools

Plus: the pandemic’s effects on adolescent pregnancy, STIs; organizing small restaurant staffs; Minnesota county fairs see high attendance; and more.

It’s elementary. The Star Tribune’s Anthony Lonetree reports: “St. Paul Public Schools could recast elementary schools and potentially pare their numbers as it strives to give children equal access to what it describes as a ‘well-rounded education.’ … That means providing opportunities in science and the arts in every building, and preschool, too, in the state’s second-largest district. … The planning, part of an ongoing project dubbed Envision SPPS, is a response, as well, to the district’s enrollment woes — making as-yet unspecified closings and mergers possible in schools it deems ‘unsustainable.’”

Pandemic’s affect on adolescent STI transmission unclear. The Minnesota Daily’s Marlee Louden reports: “The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted infection rates for sexually transmitted infections (STIs) among adolescents in Minnesota, according to a recent report published by the University of Minnesota Medical School. … Although birth rates remain at an all time low, data from the report indicates that gonorrhea infection rates have increased, whereas chlamydia infection rates have decreased over the past year. Some researchers believe the COVID-19 pandemic has caused fewer people to be tested and receive medical care for STIs, which has led to these changing trends in infection rates.

On labor organizing in small restaurants. In the New York Times, Priya Krishna reports: “Worried about returning to work during a pandemic and galvanized by the racial-justice protests throughout their city, 17 cocktail-room employees at Tattersall Distilling in Minneapolis told the owners during a staff meeting in June 2020 that they intended to form a union. They wanted personal protective equipment, overtime pay and antiracism training … The past year and a half has been a watershed for labor organizing, as the pandemic and a national discourse on racial equity have turned a harsh spotlight on low pay and poor working conditions across the American economy. One of the most surprising places those campaigns have surfaced is independent restaurants, bars and bakeries, where unions are rare.”

Why wait for the State Fair? MPR’s Will Matuska reports: “It’s the heart of county fair season across Minnesota. For the first time in two years, people are lining up for midway rides, filling barns to look at animals and 4-H exhibits and eating heaps of corn dogs and funnel cakes. … It’s very clear that Minnesotans are hungry to get back to county fair traditions.

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