Good morning and welcome to Wednesday. Here’s the Digest.
1. Police reform is suddenly at the forefront of the race for mayor in Minneapolis, after an officer shot and killed Justine Damond, who had called 911 to report a possible sexual assault in the alley behind her home. Candidates for mayor, a job directly responsible for the police department, are scrambling to explain to voters how they will change the Minneapolis Police Department and prevent civilian deaths at the hands of cops. (Star Tribune)
2. Farmers in the Midwest are at a crossroads. They face growing global demand and price pressures. But it’s happening at a time of heightened expectations for environmental stewardship and a climate marked by heavy rains, long dry spells and an expanded growing season. And that has more people seeking locally grown food with the health of the planet front-and-center. (MPR News)
3. After former governors Jesse Ventura and Tim Pawlenty complained about the informational notes that appear with their portraits in the state Capitol, changes are in the works. “We’re looking at the concerns, and we’re trying to decide what warrants an edit and what doesn’t. But we’re open to all of the concerns at this point,” said Jessica Kohen, spokeswoman for the Minnesota Historical Society. One specific change is the removal of a quote attributed to Ventura that he says was actually spoken by someone else. Kohen said all of the biographies were either written or reviewed by independent historians to ensure they were neutral and balanced. She expects a final decision to be made on the biographies by next week so the up-to-date placards will be ready in time for the Minnesota Capitol’s Grand Opening Celebration Aug. 11 to 13. (Rochester Post Bulletin)
4. After boycotting the Forest Service’s public hearing in St. Paul last week, copper-mining supporters packed a public hearing in Virginia on Tuesday evening. It was standing-room only on the auditorium floor of Virginia High School, the crowd overflowing into the auditorium’s balcony, with many supporters wearing pro-mining T-shirts, hats and stickers. Speaking to loud applause from the audience at times, many of the supporters said that copper mining will be regulated for safety and that responsible mining can coexist with responsibility for the environment. Supporters also pointed out that the Iron Range is home to both mining operations and some of the cleanest lakes in the state. (Duluth News Tribune)
5. Minnesota’s two U.S. senators voted with all other Democrats against the Senate debating a federal health care law rewrite Tuesday, July 25, pleading to allow the two parties to work together, and a former Republican senator agreed with them. “We can still stop this,” Sen. Amy Klobuchar declared shortly after the vote. “We can still put aside partisanship and instead work together on bipartisan solutions, like lowering the cost of prescription drugs and strengthening the exchanges.” Sen. Al Franken Tuesday morning called for Democrats and Republicans to work together, but was tough on the GOP after the vote. “Let’s be very clear about what just happened: In defiance of a majority of Americans, Senate Republicans have set in motion a dangerous and destructive process that could result in millions of people losing their insurance coverage, the destruction of Medicaid as we know it, and the elimination of nationwide protections for people with pre-existing conditions,” Franken said. (Forum News Service)