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Star Tribune publisher apologizes for ‘blatantly racist’ cartoon

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Lawmakers held a press conference Wednesday to address recent attacks on mosques and hate crime prevention. It was there that legislators condemned the cartoon.

MINNEAPOLIS — The Star Tribune’s publisher apologized Wednesday after Muslim lawmakers described a cartoon as “blatantly racist.”

The first panel of Sunday’s cartoon shows a man telling a woman that “broadcasting the Muslim call to prayer at all hours will make Minneapolis too noisy.” 

The next image shows masked gunmen firing outside of the home they’re in.

Lawmakers held a press conference Wednesday to address the recent attacks on mosques and hate crime prevention. It was there that DFL Muslim legislators condemned the cartoon.

“No one should be afraid to go and pray at their most sacred space,” said State Rep. Hodan Hassan. “I also want to address the cartoon that was created by the Star Tribune.”

Hassan represents the district where a suspected arsonist targeted two mosques in the past week. She said the cartoon contributes to hate and people who act on it.

“We’re not laughing,” said Hassan. “This community is not laughing, especially when the Star Tribune is putting out a cartoon that incites this, that gets people riled up,” said State Sen. Omar Fateh. “These are the type of words and actions that causes folks to not feel safe, that causes school shootings, that causes our places of worship to be attacked.”

The Star Tribune’s CEO and Publisher Steve Grove said in a statement that the cartoon, drawn by recently hired editorial cartoonist Mike Thompson, was “intended to support the recent decision by the Minneapolis City Council to allow expanded use of the Muslim call to prayer.” But it “was perceived by many to have missed the mark.”

He went on to say, “I agree that the cartoon didn’t achieve its goal but instead brought pain to readers and communities who felt targeted and mischaracterized. I’m sorry that the Star Tribune published it.”

Grove is in his second week on the job. The editorial cartoonist, Thompson, was also recently hired and works independently of reporters and editors in the newsroom, according to an article by the Star Tribune.

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Walz won’t say if Harris campaign is vetting him as running mate

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Gov. Tim Walz said he won’t discuss details of phone conversation with Vice President Kamala Harris.

MINNEAPOLIS — Governor Tim Walz Tuesday wouldn’t say whether he’s being vetted by Vice President Kamala Harris’ presidential campaign as a possible running mate.

Gov. Walz told reporters he spoke to the Vice President Harris Sunday afternoon, shortly after President Biden dropped out of the race and threw his support to Harris.

“What I’ll say is I talked to the Vice President Sunday afternoon early,” Walz explained. “She made it clear that she was going to earn the support of folks. She was going to continue to run and continue an agenda that was going to help the middle class. And I said I’ll be there to do whatever I can to help. And that’s where we’re at, at this point, it seems.”

While Walz hasn’t dismissed the idea of joining the Harris ticket, he definitely downplayed the notion of being on the short list of potential running mates.

“I’m not going to talk about the specifics that were in on that. At this point in time, we’re just going to leave it at that.”

Walz has been mentioned as a Veep candidate alongside Arizona Senator Mark Kelly, and four other Democrat governors, including Josh Shapiro of Pennsylvania, Roy Cooper of Virginia, Gretchen Whitmer of Michigan, and Andy Beshear of Kentucky.

The political calculus for the Harris Campaign includes electoral college strategy, geographical balance, name recognition, the ability of her vice-presidential candidate to provide a counterbalance to former President Trump’s running mate, Sen. JD Vance of Ohio.

Walz’s work as a Biden surrogate on the campaign trail, and chair of the Democratic Governors Association, has raised Walz’s national profile. And he’s scored points with progressives with the legislative successes he’s had in this state.

At the same time, he’s taken hit from Republicans over the response to the riots after the murder of George Floyd, and for the massive Feeding Our Future fraud scandal that robbed a federal nutrition program operated under the auspices of the Minnesota Department of Education.

RELATED: Trump, Vance plan weekend stop in Minnesota

Walz said he’s excited about enthusiasm the Harris campaign has injected into the Democrat cause.

“Look, President Biden has been an incredible president, best in my lifetime,” Walz remarked. “But we were struggling to get a message out. Now we’ve got that opportunity and there was an explosion of it. I’m looking forward to the next 104 days, and I think for all of us it feels like there’s a burst of new energy.”

Harris made history March 14 when she visited Planned Parenthood in St. Paul, making her the highest-ranking government leader to ever visit an abortion clinic. She spent that stop thanking Minnesota providers and leaders for their efforts to preserve abortion access for women in this state, as well as those traveling here from places where it was now barred.

Walz said the surge of excitement around Harris’s entry into the race reminds him of the reaction she received when she made a surprise stop the same day at a softball practice Saint Paul Central High School.

“To watch the word filter down, when the young women who were practicing softball said, ‘Oh my God, it’s the Vice President!’ and to see them gather around and hear her talk about, ‘Look, you can do anything you want. I’m the Vice President of the United States,’ was for me, energizing.”



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7-year-old injured in dog attack in Brooklyn Park

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According to police, the attack happened on the 7500 block of Janelle Avenue North. Police say the girl sustained “superficial” injuries from the attack.

BROOKLYN PARK, Minn. — A 7-year-old girl was injured after being attacked by a dog Tuesday in Brooklyn Park.

According to police, the incident happened on the 7500 block of Janelle Avenue North. Police say the girl sustained “superficial” injuries from the attack.

While attempting to contain the dog, police say it tried attacking a boy. Officers then killed the dog, according to a release.

It’s the second dog attack reported in Brooklyn Park over the past five days after officers responded to a call on Friday, July 19 where two dogs were actively attacking a 3-year-old. The child was transported to a nearby hospital, and was last said to be in “critical” condition. Several officers fired their weapons at the dogs, killing one and injuring the other, according to a release.



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Answers sought after Minneapolis man hit by car, ‘left for dead’, then had backpack stolen

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“They fled the scene and left him for dead,” Andy Meissner, Carl Vargas’ brother, said.

MINNEAPOLIS — Many intersections don’t mean much to most people – except for Victoria Nichols and Andy Meissner. The intersection of Third Avenue South and South Seventh Street now holds a negative connotation after their nephew and brother was hit by a car and left behind in the early hours of July 14.

“My brother Carl was riding his motorcycle home,” Meissner said.

Carl Vargas was riding his motorcycle along Third Avenue South, crossing Seventh where he had a green light. Surveillance video obtained by the family and shown to KARE 11 shows a black Camaro speed through the intersection, hitting Carl, skidding to a stop halfway down the next block.

“What it was at first was anger, was probably what it was,” Meissner said. “Obviously at the whole situation and the fact that these guys did what they did.”

“They fled the scene and left him for dead,” Meissner added.

MPD says this is an active and open investigation, but Nichols and Meissner say they feel left in the dark.

“We’re waiting to hear back about what it being done, but still, it feels like not enough is being done,” he said.

It’s why they’ve spent days asking buildings nearby for that surveillance video.

“There’s several camera angles that we have,” Nichols said.

“The only car that comes after the Camaro,” she said, showing KARE 11 the video. “Of which the two suspects enter in, and then continue down Seventh Street.”

To make matters worse, while Carl is lying on the ground in pain, surveillance video shows a random person come up and takes his bag.

“Made it impossible for first responders to even identify Carl,” Meissner said. “We didn’t find out, pretty much, until Monday.”

Carl is still at the hospital, resting and recovering. Until the people who did this are found, Nichols and Meissner say they won’t stop.

“Trying to get justice for Carl,” Nichols said. “That’s really our bottom line, that’s really the end game here.”

The family is asking for any help or information. To donate, click here.



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