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Michael Brown

Michael Brown’s death was a tragedy, and my heart breaks for his family and for his community.

But Michael’s family and the people of Ferguson deserve more than our condolences. They deserve answers. They deserve justice. And, as they exercise their right to assemble and protest, they deserve far better than the excessive use of force that only intensified the frustration and anger of those in the community and those of us around the country who were shocked by Michael’s death.

Icon for Did you see: “Family of New Ulm vet who committed suicide urges reforms”

Did you see: “Family of New Ulm vet who committed suicide urges reforms”

The parents of the New Ulm veteran who committed suicide June 30 shared details leading up to their son’s death publicly for the first time Wednesday during a discussion of possible veteran suicide prevention legislation.

Wendy Kube and Sean Kelly, the parents of Liam Kelly, said their son gave no warning signs just before his death and had an extensive support system of family and friends. They said he even temporarily checked himself into the local hospital for treatment. In fact, they said he counseled some fellow veterans out of contemplating suicide.

Icon for RELEASE: Senator Franken Endorsed By MN AFL-CIO, Carpenters, Steelworkers, AFSCME, SEIU

RELEASE: Senator Franken Endorsed By MN AFL-CIO, Carpenters, Steelworkers, AFSCME, SEIU

Today, Sen. Al Franken’s re-election campaign announced the endorsements of the Minnesota AFL-CIO and its more than 300,000 members, the North Central States Regional Council of Carpenters, the United Steelworkers, the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) Councils 5 and 65 and the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Minnesota State Council for the Senator’s hard work and commitment to building, protecting and strengthening Minnesota’s middle class.

Icon for Did you see: “Sen. Franken in Worthington to see retrofits”

Did you see: “Sen. Franken in Worthington to see retrofits”

“I’ve seen retrofits do a number of things. They create jobs,” Franken continued. “They improve the quality of the building — quality of working in the building. They enhance the value of your property. It’s win-win-win-win-win.”

Franken said it was “gratifying” to see the first project take shape in Worthington after attending a seminar here in 2012 on developing the PACE program.

“This (retrofitting) works,” he said. “This is something that we need to do. This is something we need to do to get our carbon footprint down. This is something that we need to do to get people to work.

Icon for Did you see: “Portman, Franken work together to help eradicate homelessness among students”

Did you see: “Portman, Franken work together to help eradicate homelessness among students”

U.S. Sens. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) and Al Franken (D-Minn.) introduced a bipartisan bill to make sure that young people and veterans who have faced homelessness don’t have to make the difficult choice between a place to call home and a good education.

This important legislative fix would close a loophole that prevents many full-time students—including veterans—from qualifying for affordable rental housing funded through a key tax credit. Sens. Franken and Portman’s proposal would allow full-time students who experience or have recently experienced homelessness to become eligible for low-income housing.