Minnesota students, administrators voice support for affirmative action


A trio of Stribbers report, “College students and administrators across Minnesota pledged Monday to uphold their commitments to fostering diversity on campus, no matter how the U.S. Supreme Court rules in two cases challenging affirmative action. Higher education leaders stood by the ‘holistic’ approaches they apply to admissions now, and several private colleges in the state have signed on to amicus briefs that urge the court to allow them to keep using race as one of many factors in evaluating potential students.”

A story from the AP says, “The national reckoning on race and policing that followed the death of George Floyd — with a Minneapolis police officer’s knee on his neck — spurred a torrent of state laws aimed at fixing the police. More than two years later, that torrent has slowed. Some of the initial reforms have been tweaked or even rolled back after police complained that the new policies were hindering their ability to catch criminals. And while governors in all but five states signed police reform laws, many of those laws gave police more protections, as well.”

At Martie Bowser reports, “Just like his net worth, the value of an apology from Kanye West might be dwindling. West appeared on an episode of Revolt’s Drink Champs and made heinous comments about the death of George Floyd. … Less than 48 hours after attempting to make amends with the Floyd family, West went on another unhinged rant. This time he aimed his anger directly at Roxie Washington [the mother of George Floyd’s daughter Gianna], Twitter user @TxxRedd was able to capture a screenshot of the since-deleted Instagram post.”

A Minnesota Reformer story by Deena Winter says, “The state Department of Human Services awarded Ayan Abukar with an ‘outstanding refugee’ entrepreneurship award last year. Even as the state was lauding her service to the community, Abukar’s nonprofit was claiming to feed 6,400 children per day, multiple times per day, via what federal prosecutors now say was a fraud-riddled federal child nutrition program. Abukar founded Action for East African People, which had eight meal distribution sites in 2020 and 2021. …  One of their sites is listed at a Bloomington address that does not exist, and was also listed as the distribution site for another agency claiming to feed 1,500 children per day.”

At KSTP-TV Kirsten Swanson says, “Newly-obtained court documents reveal the former chief public defender for Hennepin County was arrested on DWI charges the same weekend of his sudden resignation. Kassius Benson was pulled over in Wayzata around 2:15 a.m. on Saturday, Oct. 15. According to a citation filed earlier this month in Hennepin County, a police officer noted Benson’s eyes were bloodshot and watery.  The citation lists his blood alcohol content at .13, nearly twice the legal limit.”

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At WCCO-TV Kirsten Mitchell reports, “The city of Minneapolis claims its latest crime-fighting plan is working. Leaders touted new numbers Monday to show “Operation Endeavor” is making progress in the fight against violence, but said the work is far from over. Operation Endeavor is a partnership between about a dozen local state and federal agencies. Some include the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office, the United States Attorney’s Office, the Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office, the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA), the Minnesota State Patrol, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives, and others. Safety leaders said they use three factors to determine where to send officers; reports of shootings, people hurt by gunfire, and carjackings. They said the numbers in all those areas are down from this time last year, with gun-related calls down 30%, shooting victims down 29% and carjackings down 65%.”

A KMSP-TV story says, “The muskellunge a Princeton, Minnesota, man caught over the summer has been certified as a new Minnesota state record.  The Minnesota DNR on Monday said it has certified the massive, 58.25-inch fish caught by Eric Bakke as a state catch-and-release record muskie. The previous record was a tie for 57.25 inches, which were caught on Lake Vermilion in 2019 and 2021. Bakke caught the fish on June 11 on Mille Lacs Lake while he was trolling with a footlong muskie lure.”

For MPR News, Kirsti Marohn says, “State environmental authorities say they will soon deploy new technology to the Twin Cities eastern suburbs to help clean water supplies contaminated for years by so-called ‘forever chemicals.’ The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency said Monday it’s purchased “state-of-the art” machinery designed to remove concentrations of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, or PFAS. The substances are found in a wide variety of industrial uses, firefighting foam and commercial products, including nonstick cookware, carpet, clothing and cosmetics. They don’t break down easily in the environment or the human body and have been linked to cancer and other ills. They were manufactured in the Twin Cities east metro by 3M, contaminating water supplies in several communities affecting 174,000 residents.”

A Chicago Tribune story by Tom Peterson says, “The move, as the crow flies, was about two miles — just across the Red River into Minnesota. But for North Dakota’s last abortion provider, it was a world apart. ‘We were very sad to leave Fargo,’ said Tammi Kromenaker, director of the Red River Women’s Clinic. ‘The state forced our hand. … It was time to hop the river’. Expecting North Dakota lawmakers to pass anti-abortion legislation even before the U.S. Supreme Court struck down Roe v. Wade, Red River had begun looking for a Minnesota home last fall. It signed the paperwork on the new clinic June 23, a day before the high court announced its Dobbs decision. That day, a supporter approached Kromenaker and proposed a GoFundMe campaign to help pay for the move. … While the Supreme Court decision has changed the abortion landscape dramatically across the nation, few states have been as affected as Minnesota, which has become an island of access in an increasingly restrictive Upper Midwest.”

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