Love, sin and uneasy bedfellows: MPR's marriage amendment special coverageby Phil Picardi, Minnesota Public Radio,
Hart Van Denburg, Minnesota Public Radio
Today on the MPR News Update we hear from marriage amendment supporters and opponents in Redwing and Moorhead. We have the latest on the Meningitis outbreack. The contract tussle at the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra is reaching a crescendo. The contract to build a new Saints stadium goes public. There's more fresh produce in corner stores. And we find out who calls 911 the most...and why.
MAPPING THE DEBATE: Conflict over the marriage amendment is a story playing out in every community across the state. In partnership with KARE11, MPR News took a road trip through greater Minnesota to take the pulse of this issue in several cities. You can see a map of that journey and sample the conversations by clicking here. Complete coverage, including stories, conversations, photos and more can be found here.
LOVE, SIN AND T-SHIRTS: The marriage debate has spilled onto T-shirts at Concordia College in Moorhead. One student who believes homosexuality is against God's will has stirred up controversy by printing "Sin is Sin" T-shirts to counter the prevailing view and ubiquitous T-shirts on campus that "Love is Love."
UNEASY BEDFELLOWS: In the small city of Red Wing, few signs from either side of the marriage amendment debate dot lawns or storefronts along Main Street. Business owners say they veer away from the topic to avoid confrontations with friends and long-time customers. But that doesn't mean the issue isn't on people's minds.
There's other news across the region as well.
MORE MENINGITIS: Minnesota has confirmed two more cases of fungal meningitis linked to contaminated steroids, bringing the state's total number of confirmed meningitis cases to seven.
DROPPED PLAY: The city of St. Paul is dropping its plan to award the design and construction contract for a new Lowertown baseball stadium to Ryan Construction after picking the company to build the $54 million project just a day after the state awarded $25 million in bonding money to the stadium project.
BREAKING THE FEVER: The Minnesota Lynx will head to Indianapolis Thursday to warm up for Game 3 of the WNBA finals Friday night against the Indiana Fever. The best of five series is tied at a game apiece following the Lynx's 83-71 victory Wednesday night at Target Center -- a victory that came after a slow start. Read the story here, and view a gallery of photos from the game here.
BUSTED: The Lynx may be getting back on track, but the Timberwolves hit an unexpected bump yesterday when they found out All-Star Kevin Love had broken some bones in his hand. He'll be out for at least six weeks, warming the bench with another superstar, Ricky Rubio.
OVER AND OVER: In a typical year, police officers in north Minneapolis respond to nearly 90,000 emergency calls -- usually more than any other precinct in the city. Officers say the majority of those calls involve addresses they've been to repeatedly, and that many of the calls are a drain on resources that could be used to fight more serious crime.
DUMPED OVER DOPING: Wisconsin-based Trek Bicycle says it's dropping its longtime support of cyclist Lance Armstrong. The company joins a long list of sponsors including Nike that don't want to be associated with the doping scandal surrounding the Texan.
MORE MINNESOTA JOBS:In contrast to the national numbers, which posted an increase this week, Minnesota employers added 5,900 jobs in September, and the unemployment rate fell one tenth of a percentage point to 5.8 percent.
BATTLING THE BULGE: Ahmad Hawari, owner of Pennwood Market in north Minneapolis, recently watched with skepticism as his corner store got a makeover at the hands of a swarm of people who moved fresh fruits and vegetables right to the front and convinced him to hang a huge banner over his cigarette advertisements. The change is because Hawari is part of the city's growing efforts to get more fruits and vegetables into corner stores, aiming to improve access to healthy food in low-income neighborhoods.
AMBASSADOR LILA: To hear Lila Downs sing is to absorb the multi-textured musical culture of Mexico: The sounds of her native Oaxaca and its 16 indigenous groups, mournful ranchera ballads and bouncy nortena dance music. But Downs, who performed last night at the Ordway Theater in St. Paul, said her music also has the power to deliver serious messages.
AL-SHABAB CASE TO JURY: Mahamud Said Omar may not have been the one who indoctrinated several young Twin Cities men to fight for the al-Shabab terrorist group, but the former janitor from Minneapolis helped steer them into a deadly pipeline to Somalia, according to a federal prosecutor in closing arguments in Omar's terrorism trial Wednesday.
RUSHIE'S VERSES: In 1989, writer Salman Rushdie went into hiding after the Ayatollah Khomeini issued a fatwa for his book "The Satanic Verses." His new memoir "Joseph Anton" details that experience and Rushdie's rise to literary fame. In an interview with The Daily Circuit's Kerri Miller today, he spoke about the similarities between what he calls manufactured rage that drove the fatwa against him, and anti-Western violence in the Middle East today. Audio from the interview will be available on this page this afternoon.
Phil Picardi is a newscaster for MPR News, and occasionally fills in as Morning Edition host when Cathy Wurzer is away.