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Sen. Franken: early childhood ed now a top priority

Senator Al Franken

Despite some critics’ assessment that he wasn’t visible enough, Minnesota U.S. Senator Al Franken says he stayed busy during his first term in Washington working on such issues as workforce development, affordable prescription drugs, and helping rural Minnesotans get more benefits from energy technologies.

Now sent back to Washington after his reelection last November, Franken says early childhood education is among the top priorities he hopes to address during his second six-year term. He sat down with the MSR after attending the annual MLK Holiday Breakfast at the Minneapolis Convention Center and briefly talked about his legislative priorities.

“I can’t think of anything more important than early childhood education” along with prenatal care and other important child-raising support measures, explained the senator. He also wants to see changes in the No Child Left Behind law. Continue Reading →

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HN county attorney challenges staff to reduce Black youth incarceration

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Taxpayers nationwide pay an estimated $8 to $21 billion each year to keep juveniles in jail according to a December 2014 Justice Policy Institute report, which found that the national average confinement cost last year ranged from $400 per day or nearly $150,000 a year for each incarcerated youth. Minnesota ranked 15th among the 46 states the nonprofit justice reform group studied, coming in at $287.23 per day or almost $105,000 per year per youth. Continue Reading →

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Sexual Violence Center heals wounds of ‘a rape culture’

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Small, quaint, intimate, private, relatable — words to describe the space and the open house held by the Sexual Violence Center in North Minneapolis. Annex Teen Clinic, UROC, and the Minneapolis Police Department were all a part of the many groups and organizations that attended this event held January 13.
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Famous Couple Returns Home

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Two of the Twin Cities’ most famous theatrical folk returned home to Minneapolis last week. Johnson and Dean, dancers and entertainers known the stage world over and known to their Minneapolis neighbors as Charlie Johnson and Dora Dean, who are actually Mr. and Mrs. Johnson, are home after the greatest season in their 50 odd years of trouping. Continue Reading →

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MPS superintendent bids farewell to all-consuming job

Bernadeia Johnson

She leaves proud of many achievements as ‘a fierce advocate for children’

Among the “frustrating challenges” she often faced during her nearly five years as Minneapolis Public Schools (MPS) superintendent was the unfair “characterization” she received from some in the Black community, says Bernadeia Johnson, who announced her resignation last month. Her last day is January 31.
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