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St. Cloud Times: Resources strained, mental illness tightens its grasp

When St. Cloud police arrested Solomon Roundtree after his roommate was beaten and kicked to the brink of death, it wasn’t the first time he had been jailed for actions linked to his declining mental health.

And when he was committed as mentally ill as part of the subsequent criminal prosecution, that wasn’t the first time, either. It was another in a string of incidents that has seen him committed and released back into the community, only to be re-arrested, jailed and charged with a new crime.

Duluth News Tribune: Washington Post reporter visits nation’s ‘ugliest’ Red Lake County

As a journalist, it’s Christopher Ingraham’s job to ask questions.

But it was Red Lake County residents who had a few questions for him Thursday, namely: “What do you think of our county now?”

Ingraham is the Washington Post reporter who infamously wrote last week that a U.S. Department of Agriculture index ranked Red Lake County as the “absolute worst place to live in America,” based on its natural features.

The online backlash was immediate, with residents tweeting scenic photos of their home county. Even U.S. Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn., got in on the criticism.

CNN – Al Franken: Why I support Iran deal

After careful review, I have decided that I will vote in support of the agreement the United States and our international partners reached with Iran last month.

It’s not a conclusion I came to lightly. Since the deal was announced, I’ve consulted with nuclear and sanctions experts inside and outside government; Obama administration officials, including Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz; ambassadors from the other countries that negotiated alongside us; advocates for Israel on both sides of the issue; my constituents in Minnesota; and, of course, my colleagues in the Senate.

LA Times – Rep. John Lewis and Sen. Patrick Leahy: Restore voting rights

Today marks the 50th anniversary of the signing of the Voting Rights Act, the bill many historians regard as the most influential legislation passed by Congress in the last half-century. It transformed our nation by opening access to the ballot box to racial and ethnic minorities, the disabled, seniors, non-English speakers, poor and rural voters. On Aug. 6, 1965, our nation took a historic step by creating a more fair, more just democracy.

Brainerd Dispatch: Franken introduces bill to combat payroll fraud

U.S. Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn., along with Sen. Bob Casey, D-Pa., introduced legislation on Wednesday to address the growing problem of payroll fraud, which occurs when an employer misclassifies a worker as an independent contractor rather than employee. The bill is designed to take action against improper misclassification practices and prohibit companies from using worker misclassification to avoid taxes.

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