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Fair closes with huge crowds, no resolution to shooting

Plus: Keith Ellison seen as Minnesota’s most vulnerable statewide incumbent; Twins catcher Gary Sanchez escapes injury; possible trouble for Brett Favre in Mississippi; and more.

Minnesota State Fair ferris wheel
Minnesota State Fair
MinnPost photo by Corey Anderson

At MPR News, Brian Bakst says, “This year’s 12-day run of the Minnesota State Fair marked a return to normal on the sprawling yet crowded fairgrounds after two summers of pandemic disruption. … The fair was shelved in 2020 amid COVID-19 concern and attendance was way down last year given restrictions and continuing unease. This year, it’s headed for the 2 million mark again, with almost 250,000 showing up Saturday alone.”

For Politico David Siders writes, “Keith Ellison, the state attorney general and former congressman, had finished a chokeberry pie and was speaking at the Minnesota State Fair one recent afternoon when, at the back of the crowd, a late-arriving supporter asked the people in front of him if Ellison had brought up the one topic some Democrats fear could sink his reelection. ‘Did he talk about crime at all?’ asked the man, dressed in a black-and-white cap with ‘Moo’ printed on it. Later, he called out to Ellison, ‘Hey, Keith, good luck!’ … Ellison’s support for a failed measure last year to overhaul the Minneapolis Police Department had come up during an on-stage interview at the fairgrounds. Crime is about all his Republican opponent, Jim Schultz, wants to discuss. And in a state where the police murder of George Floyd in 2020 sparked a nationwide reckoning on public safety and police reform, it’s the primary reason Ellison is seen by political professionals of both parties in Minnesota as the single most vulnerable incumbent in the state.

For the Strib, Gita Sitamariah reports, “The St. Paul neighborhood where a triple homicide took place Sunday has its share of makeshift memorials. Around the corner in the Payne-Phalen area, up against the fence in an alleyway, a decorated cross and T-shirt marks were 20-year-old Izavier Olguin was shot and killed two Octobers ago. Six months ago, 34-year-old St. Paul resident Yuliya Li was killed by a gunshot less than a mile west of Sunday’s killings. A day after Sunday’s attack in an East Side home that left three dead and two critically wounded, neighbors and family members of the victims gathered outside a church to hear police, pastors and the city’s mayor call for an end to retaliatory violence.”

At BringMeTheNews Adam Uren says, “As the Minnesota State Fair began to close early due to the disturbance that included a shot being fired Saturday evening, customers in line for Sweet Martha’s Cookies grew angry. Sweet Martha’s, the best-selling stand at the State Fair every year, has its busiest of its three locations at Carnes Avenue, close to where the incident that sparked panic and a major police response happened. But as Sweet Martha’s employees closed down the stand in response to the police’s evacuation order, those still waiting for their fix of chocolate chip cookies grew irate – with some throwing items at the building. A spokesperson for the company told Bring Me The News that they took immediate action to close as the chaotic scenes unfolded nearby as it was ‘not safe for our employees to remain open.'”

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At The Huffington Post Mary Papenfuss reports, “Wisconsin Republican Sen. Ron Johnson has angrily denied that he ever threatened the Social Security program — even though he has. Johnson, a devoted Trump ally who is trailing in the polls in the upcoming midterms, last month proposed that funding for Social Security (and Medicare) be decided year by year as part of “discretionary” spending programs. That would subject funding to a potentially fierce partisan political battle annually, jeopardizing a predictable income for some 69 million Americans — most of whom have paid into the program their entire working lives. Johnson insisted Sunday on ‘Fox & Friends’ that claims he’s out to gut Social Security are a ‘lie.’ ‘All the Democrats can do is lie about me,’ said the testy senator.”

In the Palm Springs Desert Sun John Connerton writes, “Hi there, Palm Springs. Minnesota here again. Well, so far there have not been any takers on my proposal to trade water for sports teams. It’s also clear we can’t leave this to politicians, especially in a midterm election year. Who wants to wait that long? So, I have another suggestion: How about some kind of competition? Before you die laughing, hear me out. I know head-to-head we can’t compete with you guys with our tiny landmass, miniscule population and backwards culture. But keep in mind, we do have water. So, here’s my proposal: You guys pick a champion and we pick a champion, and we just have it out, winner take all. Either you guys end up with all the water, or we end up with all the sports teams. It’s all on the line!”

An AP story says, “Minnesota Twins catcher Gary Sanchez was feeling fortunate Sunday after he nearly walked into a major injury. Sanchez was almost struck in the head by a full swing by teammate Gilberto Celestino during Minnesota’s 5-1 victory against the Chicago White Sox. The incident occurred when Chicago brought in Kendall Graveman to face Sanchez with two outs in the eighth inning. Sanchez was heading back to the dugout to learn more about the reliever when he was almost hit by Celestino in the on-deck circle. Celestino missed Sanchez’s face by mere inches.”

For The Ringer, Austin Gayle writes, “Welcome to the first installment of The Ringer’s 2022 NFL Power Rankings. Every week from now until the postseason, I’ll be taking stock of who is up and down, relying on a mix of betting odds and analytics to rate the NFL’s risers and fallers. I’ll be breaking the league into tiers, from those with the best chance to make the Super Bowl to those who should start planning for the 2023 draft. … 11. Minnesota Vikings (-110) New head coach Kevin O’Connell will live and die by how much he can maximize the habitually average Kirk Cousins at the helm of an offense chock-full of talent. Justin Jefferson and Dalvin Cook are both among the elite at their respective positions, and 32-year-old veteran Adam Thielen is drawing comparisons to his former dominant self in training camp. An influx of 11 personnel, creative route concepts, and early-down passing should be just what the doctor ordered for a Minnesota team desperate for postseason success going into the fifth year of the Cousins era.”

For MSNBC’s ReidOut Blog Ja’han Jones writes, “… largely Black communities in the nation’s Blackest state created the crumbling infrastructure in Jackson [Mississippi]. And that crumbling infrastructure is forcing more than 150,000 people to live without reliable drinking water for an unknown amount of time in a city that’s more than 82% Black.  But the cruelty doesn’t stop there. A welfare scandal involving a legendary NFL quarterback underscores just how common that exploitation can be.  On Thursday, NBC News reported that federal investigators have questioned Brett Favre about an alleged welfare scheme involving Mississippi conservatives, including former Gov. Phil Bryant. … Favre has not been accused of a crime or charged, but he and Bryant seem to be benefiting from some favorable treatment from a fellow conservative, Gov. Tate Reeves. In July, Reeves’ administration fired an attorney who had subpoenaed a group tied to the University of Southern Mississippi to turn over communications the school had with Bryant’s office about using welfare funds to pay for a volleyball gym. That attorney, Brad Pigott, authenticated texts recovered by Mississippi Today in which Favre allegedly discussed kicking funds back to the governor if a company Favre invests in were to receive a payout from the welfare fund.”

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