Around the community and on campus

By David Hertz

One out of 20 voters turn out for St. Paul primariesSt. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman won 68% of the votes in the nonpartisan mayoral primary in an election in which just 5% of eligible voters turned out. He will run against businesswoman Eva Ng in November, according to MinnPost.

Minneapolis police silenced independent criticism

The Minneapolis Police Department made it illegal for an independent review board to publicize findings that police had engaged in inappropriate conduct, according to City Pages. The Minneapolis Police Authority Review Board was barred from publicizing information two years ago when an interpretation by Assistant City Attorney Lisa Needham claimed that the action violated state data laws, the University of Minnesota student newspaper reported on Wednesday. Former members of the board have criticized the organization as ineffective because of controls on it.

Fish in the Mississippi River are becoming hermaphrodites

Male fish are being born with both male and female genitalia, and the Mississippi might have the one of the highest concentrations of hermaphrodite fish, a new study found. The study examined male smallmouth bass in nine different river basins, and 73 percent of fish at Lake City, Minn., had two sets of genitals, according to MinnPost. The national average was 33 percent. Reseachers say that water pollutants that affect hormones, such as women’s birth control pills, may be entering the water and causing the increase in hermaphrodite fish.

Local newspapers consider charging for online content

Editors of the Minneapolis Star Tribune and St. Paul Pioneer Press expressed support for paywalls, systems that require readers to pay for online content, according to MinnPost. “The model I’ve seen that most intrigues me is when it is tiered. You pay the more you use it, and [print] subscribers get it for free,” Pioneer Press editor Thom Fladung told Editor & Publisher. The Star Tribune is already considering charging for some online content, such as weekend features and some sports coverage.

Thousands expected to attend bike tour

The 3d Annual Minneapolis Bike Tour is expected to draw thousands of cyclists on Sunday, the Star Tribune reported. Roads will be closed along the 14 and 37 mile routes for cyclists. Registration details can be looked up at Fees go to the Minneapolis Parks Foundation.

Texting program lets students warn authorities of violence

Minneapolis Public Schools will be the first system in the nation to allow students to anonymously tip off the authorities to threats by text. School officials said that often students know of threats of violence ahead of time, but are afraid of being labeled as a snitch, according to the Minneapolis Star Tribune. Officials hope the program will allow students to report violence without repercussions.

U of M course software scandal

A man posing as a teaching assistant at the University of Michigan convinced dozens of students to buy software fraudulently. The man stood outside freshman chemistry and calculus classes last week handing out flyers advertising “necessary” software for the courses, MNDaily reported. Flyers directed students to a software product on eBay. 81 copies were purchased between Wednesday and Thursday, when college administrators sent an e-mail to the student body warning them of the scam.

Changes to bike lanes on Hennepin and 1st Ave.

The city of Minneapolis is changing the bike lanes on Hennepin and 1st Ave. The two lane bike road in the middle of Hennepin will be replaced with a single, wide bike and bus lane, according to City Pages. On 1st Ave., a new bike lane will be created between the curb and parking space for cars. The Hennepin bike lanes were criticized as one of the most dangerous in the city, according to City Pages.

EXCO kicks off classes

Classes for EXCO, the Experimental College of the Twin Cities, will start on Sept. 28. EXCO is a student organized group in which anyone can sign up to teach or take a class. Subjects taught vary from hip hop dance to existentialism to citizen journalism. Enrollment is still open and a class list is available at

Police investigate playground fire

St. Paul police said that a recent burning of playground equipment at a local elementary school was arson, according to the Star Tribune. Witnesses described children around the ages of 8 to 12 setting the fire that destroyed about half the equipment on the playground of Crossroads Elementary. It took school officials three years to raise funds for the playground from donations before the playground was built five years ago.

Board of Trustees looking for student rep

The Board of Trustees is encouraging more students to apply to be student representatives to the Board. The position requires students to attend Board meetings twice a year on one of many issues. Committees will address issues from academic affairs to admissions to finances, among many others. Applications are due on Saturday, Sept. 19. Interested students can contact Brian Stephenson at [email protected].