Conservative foundation sues Minneapolis School District

In the Strib, Mara Klecker reports, “An education foundation based in Washington, D.C. has brought a lawsuit against Minneapolis Public Schools, alleging that the district’s latest teacher contract provides discriminatory protections to racial minorities. The lawsuit, filed Monday by the conservative Judicial Watch, names interim Superintendent Rochelle Cox, the district and the Minneapolis board of education as defendants. Deborah Jane Clapp, identified as a Minneapolis taxpayer, is the plaintiff. The agreement that ended the three-week teachers strike in March includes contract language that upends last-in, first-out hiring practices as a way to retain ‘members of populations underrepresented among licensed teachers.’”

At KSTP-TV Ashley Halbach says, “Minneapolis ice cream shop Bebe Zito is now selling a pint with THC gummies mixed into the product. Bebe Zito says the ‘Pineapple Express’ pints taste like a pineapple upside-down cake. They started with a pineapple base and added salted caramel-soaked pineapple upside-down cake mix-ins and THC gummies containing hemp-derived THC (Delta-9) from a local Black-owned company, Cultivated CBD. … The ice cream packaging shows that each pint contains a total of 40 THC gummies and that each gummy has 1.25 mg of THC.”

A KMSP-TV story says, “The Court of Appeals has ruled in favor of Hillman Township, Minnesota in the legal battle over a family fighting the town’s decision to remove their road. FOX 9 spoke with the Crisman family last year about the ongoing struggle in the small town about an hour north of the Twin Cities near Mora, Minnesota. The family told FOX 9 the town was removing a section of Hornet Street, the only road that leads to their home. The family had been involved in a dispute with the town since 2017 over the town’s failure to maintain the stretch of Hornet Street leading to their house. The Crismans had spent thousands to repair the road and handle snow removal. The town argued that since they hadn’t maintained the road in 40 years, ownership reverted back to the property owners.

A WalletHub story by Adam McCann says, “Minnesota has the 8th most equitable school districts in the U.S. overall, but some districts within the state are fairer than others. To find out where school funding is distributed most equitably, WalletHub scored 329 districts in Minnesota based on two metrics: average household income and expenditures for public elementary and secondary schools per pupil. … (Cannon Falls was No. 1. Edina was No. 325.)”

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For the Blacks Hills Pioneer Alex Portal reports, “What was intended to be a public forum discussion with an elected official turned into an angry yell-fest as a large crowd gathered at Creekside Bean and Vine in Spearfish on Thursday to vent their frustrations to Sen. Mike Rounds, R-S.D., at times even pointing the finger directly at him. … One man, however, had a different message that he wanted to share to end Rounds’ time in Spearfish. ‘As a voter, I just want to ask you to bring this message back to the rest of D.C. – All the discontent, the pressure cooker we’re in right now, if they don’t do something to fix it quick, we’re runnin’ out of options here’, the man said. ‘We have no faith in the voting process; most of us don’t. The media’s against us, Hollywood’s against us, we get canceled – thrown off the social media platforms. You know the four boxes of liberty? (Referring to the tenet that there are four boxes to be used in the protection of liberty; a soapbox, a ballot box, a jury box, and finally an ammunitions box.) I’m gonna get on a watch list today. We’re runnin’ out of options. We don’t wanna go there, I don’t wanna … go there, OK? But we’re out of options here. You take this message back to those swamp rats back in D.C., we’re frickin tired of it. Leave us alone, let us work, pay our taxes, leave us the friggin’ hell alone. This is 1860 right now, you know what I’m sayin?’ (A reference to the election of 1860, which lead to the secession of several southern states and a precursor to the Civil War.)”

For The New York Times Christina Morales writes, “In August 2020, the pandemic left the Minnesota State Fair’s veteran butter sculptor, Linda Christensen, stranded at her home in California. The fair that summer had been canceled, but the dairy chiseling would go on. After decades sculpting the fair’s dairy princesses, she knew of only one artist who could take her place: her apprentice, Gerry Kulzer. Mr. Kulzer — who had created only four other butter busts before, compared with the hundreds Ms. Christensen made over 50 years — was tasked with sculpting 90-pound blocks of Grade AA salted butter into soft reflections of the dairy-princess contestants who sat in front of him, as Ms. Christensen kept a close eye via Zoom on an iPad. ‘To capture a person’s likeness is really tough,’ said Mr. Kulzer, 53, of Litchfield, Minn. ‘Especially when you’re in a 40-degree refrigerator.’ Ms. Christensen retired last year, and on Thursday Mr. Kulzer will take over as the fair’s official butter sculptor.

A story in The Guardian by Michael Sainato says, “ … nurses at 15 hospitals in the Twin Cities area (Minneapolis-St. Paul) and Duluth, Minnesota, that are negotiating new union contracts with their respective hospitals have overwhelmingly voted to authorize a strike. A date for the work stoppage has not been set yet by the union, the Minnesota Nurses Association, which represents about 15,000 nurses who voted on the strike authorization, but a 10-day notice must be given ahead of any strike. If a strike is carried out, it would be one of the largest nurses’ strikes in U.S. history. Jayme Wicklund, a registered nurse at the Children’s hospital in St Paul, Minnesota, and member of the negotiating committee, said short-staffing issues became an issue before the pandemic when the hospital preferred relying on nurses to take overtime shifts as needed rather than bolster staff numbers. When the pandemic hit, many nurses were furloughed and Wicklund said several never returned in part because of the lack of clarity on recalling those nurses.”

An AP story says, “The Minnesota Twins on Tuesday placed All-Star outfielder Byron Buxton on the 10-day injured list with a low grade strain of his right hip. … Buxton, who is tied for third in the American League with 28 homers, left Monday’s loss to the visiting Rangers with tightness in the hip.”

This from Neal St. Anthony of the Strib, “Miners see gold in northern Minnesota concentrations of nickel, copper, cobalt and other minerals key to production of batteries for electric-powered vehicles and other equipment. The recently passed federal Inflation Reduction Act provides billions in incentives to accelerate America’s transition to a lower-carbon, renewable energy-powered economy. The measure, signed into law this month by President Joe Biden, includes significant tax breaks for for wind, solar and battery developers. Added spending will be offset by a minimum corporate income tax and a beefed-up IRS charged with reducing the $500 billion annual ‘tax gap.’ A provision of the 700-page law concerns some environmental groups, though.”