Sviggum says ‘I clearly have more to learn’ after Morris diversity comment


For the Pioneer Press, Josh Verges reports, “University of Minnesota Regent Steve Sviggum apologized Tuesday for casting student diversity in a negative light during a board meeting last week. ‘I clearly have more to learn to better understand the strength that diversity brings to our institution,’ Sviggum said in a statement released by the U on Tuesday night. During a presentation Thursday on low enrollment at the U’s Morris campus, where 54 percent of students are white, Sviggum asked the school’s interim chancellor whether it was ‘possible that at Morris we’ve become too diverse.’ … Sviggum in his statement Tuesday seemed to indicate he had accepted the invitation of Morris Campus Student Association President Dylan Young to visit the campus.”

Says Jessie Van Berkel for the Strib, “Democratic Gov. Tim Walz and GOP challenger Scott Jensen tore into each other’s records and plans for Minnesota during their first and only televised debate Tuesday night. The two offered sharply contrasting views on what they would do with the next four years in the state’s top job. Jensen said he wants to cut state spending, shift education dollars and bolster law enforcement, while the first-term governor stressed his support for abortion access, increasing school funding and combating gun violence.”

The  KSTP-TV story by Tom Hauser says, “Walz and allied groups have used the abortion issue as their main area of attack on Jensen, claiming he will seek to ban abortion in Minnesota if he’s elected governor. In campaign videos and media interviews, Jensen said he would ban abortion, but he has walked back that rhetoric in the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, leaving abortion laws in the hands of state legislatures. ‘Because in Minnesota abortion is a legally protected right it is not on the ballot in November,’ Jensen said Tuesday night. ‘What is on the ballot in November is without question skyrocketing inflation, crime out of control and our kids are not getting the education that they need. As governor, I won’t ban abortion, I can’t.’

A WCCO-TV story by Jonah Kaplan says, “Major League Baseball mandated them in 2014. Disney World added them in 2015. Airports, county courthouses, prisons and a host of others have had them for decades. Mall of America may be next in 2022, joining the list of major attractions and venues across the United States to employ metal detectors as an added layer of security against gun violence.”

At KMSP-TV Theo Keith says, “Freedom Club, the group behind the “Walz Failed” signs and airplane banner at the Minnesota State Fair, is running a television ad that uses a mash-up of news stories about carjackings in the Twin Cities. It’s a modest buy so far, with one TV station showing $40,000 in booked time. It includes no statistics and makes no claims. Meanwhile, Jensen is running a cinematic ad that depicts a young woman driving home from school before getting carjacked by people who jump out of two cars. The ad correctly says there were 779 carjackings in Minnesota last year. ‘Before Tim Walz, we didn’t worry about this’, the woman says. This needs clarification, a FOX 9 Fact Check found. It’s true that carjackings have surged, especially since 2020. Minneapolis was responsible for 78% of the reported carjackings in 2021, according to that year’s statewide Uniform Crime Report. The state didn’t track carjacking statistics before 2021, a spokesman for the state Department of Public Safety said.”

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At The Washington Post Cathy Free writes, “Scott Legried was driving to pick up some gravel in the small farming community of Frost, Minn., in mid-August when a German shepherd puppy ran into the middle of the road. Legried swerved to miss the dog, sending his vehicle off the road and into a cornfield. … Legried went to a hospital with a broken shoulder blade and collarbone, seven broken ribs, two cracked vertebrae, a collapsed lung and a concussion. When doctors told him he’d need several months to recover before he could drive a tractor, Legried — who lives alone and maintains his farm on his own with the occasional help of two seasonal workers said he could think of only one thing: The October harvest was just six weeks away. How would he bring in his 600 acres of soybeans and corn, his only source of income? His answer came Oct. 4, when more than a dozen farmers from Frost and surrounding towns showed up at Legried’s farm with their combines, trucks and grain wagons and made short work of harvesting his soybean crop. They then told him they would return later in the month to bring in his corn.”

Fore KARE-TV Jennifer Austin writes, “The first sign as to what Talon Metals is working on in rural Aitkin County is parked outside their company office in Tamarack, Minnesota: A Tesla outfitted with vehicle wrap which sports the company name, and a license plate which reads NI 4 EV, or nickel for electric vehicles. The company has 90 workers and employs more people than actually live in the town, which is 62. Talon Metals has mineral leases for 31,000 acres in Aitkin County. They are currently drilling core samples below ground, mapping out where nickel and other precious metals can be found. … In January, Tesla committed to buying 165 million pounds of nickel in concentrate from Talon to make the batteries for their vehicles.”

An MPR News trio has this: “University of Minnesota regent Steve Sviggum remains under fire for comments he made last week about the makeup of the student body at the University of Minnesota Morris. … Morris student body president Dylan Young wrote an open letter pushing back on Sviggum’s comments. He ended by inviting the regent to dinner on campus with him and other students of color. He said he hopes Sviggum comes to Morris and apologizes. ‘Even if you have the right to ask that question — it’s a stupid question. If you go to the University of Minnesota Morris campus, you will learn that diversity is not even in the list of the top 100 problems,’ Young told MPR News.”

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