Sam's Top 5 Things to Know for Monday

1. Pro-Trump rally draws other clashing groups

MPR News: A Trump rally at the state Capitol on Saturday drew anti-Trump demonstrators and self-described supporters of white rights. As a small group of Trump supporters held an orderly rally inside the Capitol rotunda, other groups gathered outside on the Capitol steps.

State patrol officers stood as a barrier between one larger group protesting Trump and the other which included people who said they were standing for the rights of white people. Throughout the afternoon they exchanged heated insults.

The anti-Trump group of several dozen people outnumbered the other demonstrators.

2. Klobuchar, her name in 2020 presidential swirl, swings through Iowa


Star Tribune: Sen. Amy Klobuchar didn’t have much to say about the White House, or its current occupant, as she mingled Sunday with hundreds of Iowa Democratic activists who will play an outsized role in picking the party’s next presidential candidate.

Instead, Minnesota’s senior senator talked jobs and education and rural broadband. But her mere presence at a Polk County fundraiser — she’s one of the first national politicians to venture into this early presidential state since Trump took office — inevitably set off speculation about Klobuchar’s 2020 aspirations.

Nothing to see here, Klobuchar assured curious reporters. Just a Midwestern Democrat talking to other Midwestern Democrats about heartland policies and priorities, while being trailed by a C-Span camera crew.

“We are the people in the middle of this country,” Klobuchar said. “Those of us in the middle of this country will not be forgotten. We have a voice and people should listen.”

3. St. Paul police save goat from thieves. (Yes, goat thieves)

PIONEER PRESS: St. Paul police were on the case of a “kid”-napping early Friday, after recovering a goat that was briefly stolen from Indian Mounds Regional Park.

The city of St. Paul released 30 goats on Tuesday to roam inside fenced-in areas along the park’s bluff edge. The goats eat invasive species and unwanted vegetation. About 1 a.m. Friday, a GMC Yukon Denali sped through a stop sign at Earl Street and Mounds Boulevard and almost struck a squad car with officers patrolling in Mounds Park, according to police.

Officers tried to stop the vehicle, but the driver kept going. A St. Paul police spokesman said, “While pursuing the vehicle, police were informed that the Yukon Denali matched the description of a vehicle that was in Mounds Park with people attempting to either kill or kidnap the goats. I don’t believe (officers) knew there was a goat in the vehicle at that time.”

After about two miles, the Yukon’s driver lost control of the vehicle and crashed into another vehicle parked in the driveway of a home in the 600 block of Birmingham Street, police said. Four people in the Yukon jumped out and tried to run away before the vehicle had fully stopped. Police chased them and arrested two men, both 29, on suspicion of theft.

Officers found a goat in the Yukon’s cargo area. The goat, which had a tag on his ear identifying him as Gordy, was unharmed, though he had an orange extension cord wrapped around his neck. The police spokesman said, “I assume they used the cord to capture the goat and lead it to their vehicle.

Police took the two suspects to the Ramsey County jail and the goat back to Mounds Park. At the park, officers “discovered that the fence containing the goats had been broken, so the majority of Gordy’s pals had wandered out,” Linders said. Officers, along with St. Paul Parks and Recreation workers, corralled them and repaired the fence.

The St. Paul city attorney’s office said the two men arrested — Thaying Cha and Eni Xiong, both St. Paul residents — were charged Friday with two misdemeanors, theft and fleeing on foot.

Clare Cloyd, St. Paul Parks and Recreation spokeswoman, said Gordy is doing well. She said, “He was pulled from the job site for evaluation as an extra safety precaution, but was fine and eating buckthorn at the time he was removed,” Cloyd said.

The goats were provided by Goat Dispatch, a Minnesota company that provides the animals for land management. After the goats were brought to the park Tuesday, staff from the company and Parks and Rec “regularly patrolled the park and monitored the herd,” Cloyd said. “Following this incident, we will be increasing the number of patrols to ensure the continued safety of the goats and the public.”

4. Rash of thefts from vehicles in Edina blamed on cars being left unlocked

Star Tribune: Many car owners in Edina, particularly in one heavily targeted part of the city, have been unwittingly enticing one or more perpetrators into stealing items from their vehicles in recent weeks.

Police detected a “significant increase in thefts from vehicles throughout the city,” but especially in one area of town. This has prompted the city to put up a $2,000 reward for information leading to solving these crimes.

Targeted repeatedly last month was a 6-square-block residential area bound by France Avenue on the west, Xerxes Avenue on the east, 54th Street on the north and 60th Street on the south. Thieves had a penchant for tools, clothes, backpacks and money.

5. MN town set up a ‘free speech’ veterans tribute area — and got a satanic monument

The Associated Press: A veterans memorial park in Belle Plaine will soon include a satanic monument among its tributes, as an unintended consequence of a free-speech debate.

The city of Belle Plaine, about 45 miles southwest of the Twin Cities, is allowing the monument in its Veterans Memorial Park after the Freedom from Religion Foundation threatened to sue over another statue that features a soldier praying over a grave marked with a cross. The cross was removed once the issue was raised, but more than 100 residents rallied to put it back.

City Administrator Mike Votca said the city knew it had to include everyone, so it created a free speech area for all — as long as the tributes honor veterans. The memorial from the Satanic Temple in Salem, Mass., features a black cube with inverted pentagrams, a soldier’s helmet and a plaque honoring veterans who died in battle. Doug Mesner is founder of the Satanic Temple and its nonprofit group Reason Alliance. He said the group doesn’t worship Satan, but is a nontheistic religious group.


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