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Gopher coach P.J. Fleck signs new seven-year contract

Plus: 13,300 youths experiencing homelessness in Minnesota; Duluth elects first Asian American and Muslim city council member; Acme Comedy Co. turns 30; Aaron Rodgers tests positive for COVID-19; and more.

Head Coach P.J. Fleck and the Golden Gophers football team
Head Coach P.J. Fleck and the Golden Gophers football team
University of Minnesota/Brace Hemmelgarn

Not rocking the boat. The Star Tribune’s Randy Johnson reports: “The University of Minnesota athletic department announced Wednesday that Fleck has agreed to a seven-year contract that will keep him with the program through the 2028 season. Financial terms of the contract were not immediately available. The agreement, which lasts two years longer than his remaining contract, is pending Board of Regents approval.”

The silent voices of homeless youth. The Spokesman-Recorder’s R.B. King reports: “Of those experiencing homelessness in Minnesota, 47% are youths (24 or younger) according to a study conducted by Wilder Research. That’s around 13,300 youths experiencing homelessness in Minnesota during the course of a year. And yet they have no seat at the table. Khalique Rogers is an advocate for homeless youth in the area. He knows the situation all too well, having experienced homelessness himself. … Rogers notes that the situation, already bleak, has grown even worse with the pandemic. Housing spaces and resources became more scarce. Resource waitlists (which were already backed up) became worse.”

Expanding the program. KSTP reports: “The University of Minnesota will offer free or reduced tuition to many Native American students attending its five campuses starting next fall. The cost waiver program had previously been offered only at the Morris campus, but now will be expanded to all five campuses, to also include Duluth, Rochester, Crookston and the Twin Cities. Starting in fall 2022, incoming freshmen and tribal college transfer students who are enrolled members of one of Minnesota’s 11 federally recognized tribal nations will be eligible for free or reduced tuition, depending on their family income level.”

A first for the Zenith City of the Unsalted Seas. Sahan Journal’s Hibah Ansari reports: “Family and friends surrounded Azrin Awal at her Tuesday night election watch party when she found out that she had become Duluth’s first Asian American and Muslim city councilmember. Awal won almost 31 percent of the votes in an election for one of two at-large seats on the City Council. Elections also filled two district seats. Awal is a youth advocate and public health undergraduate student who ran as a DFL-endorsed, progressive candidate.”

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In other news…

Packing heat: “Man charged after TSA finds 3 guns, ammo and meth in his luggage at MSP” [Star Tribune]

H2Know: “New tap water database shows public what’s in their drinking water” [KMSP]

Was still doing his own research probably: “Aaron Rodgers will miss Packers-Chiefs after testing positive for COVID-19” [KARE11]

Laughing matter: “Acme Comedy Co. at 30” [Racket]