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MPR News with Angela Davis

Author: Minnesota Public Radio

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Conversations about life in Minnesota and how the state is changing, weekdays from MPR News.
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With all the disruptions to the traditional school year because of the COVID-19 pandemic, there’s been a spike in interest in alternative school options — like home schooling, “learning pods” and microschools. (Never heard of the last two? We’ll get into that.) Some parents are hoping alternative methods will help them have more control over their students’ education, with some kids doing distance learning or a hybrid of distance learning and classroom learning, for the foreseeable future. And with the new school year right around the corner, many families are trying to figure out these alternative solutions fast.  MPR News host Angela Davis explores alternatives to classroom learning and solo distance learning, and their pros and cons. Guests: Sonia Toomey is a Minneapolis mom whose three children will be in learning pods this fall. Maggie McCracken is the executive director of Edina Give and Go, an organization that supports children in the city living at or below the poverty line. Mara Linaberger is the founder and COO of Microschool Builders, an organization that trains educators on starting their own microschools. Matt Vanbenschoten is a father of two who was home-schooled through high school. Use the audio player above to listen to the program. Subscribe to the MPR News with Angela Davis podcast on: Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify or RSS.
Tuesday’s primary election will be the first time Minnesotans will vote during the COVID-19 pandemic. MPR News political reporter Brian Bakst joined the show for a preview of the primary and a look ahead to November.  Then, Minnesota's 2020 Teacher of the Year Qorsho Hassan shared her thoughts about the unprecedented school year and goals for the next 12 months.  And later in the hour, MPR News senior economics contributor Chris Farrell joined the program to talk about the state of the economy. Join the conversation live by calling 651-227-6000 or send a tweet to @AngelaDavisMPR. Guests: Brian Bakst, MPR News political reporter. Qorsho Hassan, Minnesota’s 2020 teacher of the year and fourth-grade teacher at Echo Park Elementary in the Rosemount-Apple Valley-Eagan school district. Chris Farrell, MPR’s senior economics contributor. Use the audio player above to listen to the program. Subscribe to the MPR News with Angela Davis podcast on: Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify or RSS.
In this special edition of Politics Friday, MPR News political editor Mike Mulcahy previews Tuesday’s primary election in Minnesota. There are a few competitive primaries for seats in Congress — including the 5th District DFL race and the 7th District Republican contest. There are also some interesting legislative primaries in which sitting lawmakers face challenges from within their own parties. But it’s not politics as usual in Minnesota, as early voting numbers have spiked due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Mulcahy talks with Minnesota Secretary of State Steve Simon about the early voting process and what it will mean for counting ballots on primary night. Mulcahy also talks with North News editor Harry Colbert Jr. about what 5th District residents are hearing from the DFL candidates. Political analysts Todd Rapp and Maureen Shaver run down all the interesting races and look ahead to November. Guests: Steve Simon is Minnesota’s Secretary of State. Harry Colbert Jr. is the editor of North News. Maureen Shaver is a lobbyist with Shaver Public Affairs. Todd Rapp is the president and CEO of the public relations firm Rapp Strategies.
The coronavirus has changed almost everything about our way of life. Then came George Floyd’s death, followed by international protests and civil unrest.  How do parents cope with the crises that are engulfing the U.S.? For the past few months, Counter Stories co-host Anthony Galloway has recorded his family’s experience of living together in the middle of a global pandemic — from the loneliness of his two children as schools closed, to the financial strain of job losses and the trauma of being Black in America. Galloway talks about the pressure of keeping his family together in these hard economic times, and his concern that the ongoing peaceful protests and civil unrest following George Floyd’s death may have an impact on his children’s mental and emotional state. He spends time with his son Ezra talking about George Floyd’s death, the resulting riots and the role of rioting in American history. Counter Stories would like to thank the Galloway family for making this documentary possible. 
Since March, almost every nonemergency medical visit has been conducted through video chats or on the telephone to reduce the spread of the coronavirus.  Telemedicine or telehealth is not new, but the pandemic has caused health care systems to rapidly pivot to online doctor’s visits.  How is it going and is it here to stay? Guests: Joel Beiswenger is the president and CEO of Tri-County Health Care in Wadena, Minn. Dr. Joshua Stein is a child adolescent psychiatrist and the clinical director of the Prairie Care’s Brooklyn Park medical office. Dr. Annie Ideker is a family medicine physician at the HealthPartners Clinic in Arden Hills, Minn., and helped train more than 2,000 clinicians on telemedicine.
More people are headed back to work in person — but with COVID-19 cases on the rise in Minnesota, there are plenty of health implications. To top it off, many school districts are in the process of deciding how they'll resume instruction in the fall. With more parents back to work, and child care a scarce commodity even before the pandemic, some families are scrambling to figure out who will watch their children if they're not in a classroom full-time. MPR News host Angela Davis talks with two experts about Minnesota’s workers and their children. Guests: Ann McCully is the executive director of Child Care Aware of Minnesota. Rob Grunewald is an economist for the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
Minnesota’s mask mandate went into effect more than a week ago.  How are businesses doing? How are owners and managers dealing with the mask requirement and how are they handling pushback from customers?   Minnesota’s mask mandate What you need to know MPR News host Angela Davis spoke with a business owner and representatives from two different chambers of commerce on how they are handling the mask mandate. MPR News senior economics contributor Chris Farrell also joined the program to talk about the state of the economy. Guest: Kathleen Harrington, president of the Rochester Chamber of Commerce. Andrew Kopplin, co-owner of Kopplin's Coffee in St. Paul. Jim Parsons, vice president of finance and operations and interim CEO for the Fargo Moorhead West Fargo Chamber of Commerce. Chris Farrell, MPR’s senior economics contributor.
Gov. Tim Walz on Thursday announced his nuanced guidelines for how districts should start school in the fall — by reopening classrooms, continuing distance learning or implementing a combination of the two — all based on COVID-19 case data. The plan emphasized student and school staff health and safety, but also emphasized the importance of classroom learning. Many districts have yet to make a decision about the coming semester. MPR News host Angela Davis continues a three-hour special unpacking the state’s guidelines. The previous 90 minutes can be heard on the MPR News with Kerri Miller podcast. Guests: Jessica Davis is the Minnesota Teacher of the Year and a racial equity coach with St. Louis Park Public Schools. Rachel Coleman is the mother of two students at Edgerton Elementary School in Maplewood and the president of Edgerton’s PTA. Daniel Bittman is the superintendent of Independent School District 728, which includes Elk River, Otsego, Rogers and Zimmerman. Elizabeth Shockman is an education reporter for MPR News.
Many of us have been wearing masks since early April.  But wearing fabric over your mouth and nose can trap bacteria and cause breakouts. The term dermatologists use to describe this is “maskne.” Two dermatologists join MPR News host Angela Davis to talk about treating and preventing “maskne,” as well as other hair and skin questions. Guest: Dr. Charles E. Crutchfield III is a clinical professor of dermatology at the University of Minnesota Medical School, and the medical director at Crutchfield Dermatology in Eagan. Dr. Rachel Hub is a dermatologist at Park Nicollet Clinic and Specialty Center in St. Louis Park.
The calls for changes in policing following George Floyd’s killing in late May include a closer look at what training programs are teaching law enforcement officers long before they hit the streets. Minnesota State University, Mankato has one of the largest training programs for police officers, and program leaders have been holding a series of town hall meetings with community members to start a dialogue about what changes are needed. MPR News host Angela Davis talks with three experts in policing about the standards Minneapolis police trainees are held to, and what’s being changed. Guests: Pat Nelson is the faculty chair of the Department of Government at Minnesota State University, Mankato. Roger New is chief of the Eagan Police Department. Mylan Masson is a former Minneapolis police officer and former director of the law enforcement program at Hennepin Technical College. She has served on the Minnesota Police Officers Standards and Training Board for more than 20 years.
Employees of color are speaking out — again — about discrimination in the workplace. Problems persist, despite investments in diversity and inclusion at organizations large and small. This hour, you’ll hear the story of a courthouse employee in Duluth who was tired of being stopped by security at his own workplace and decided to respond with an all-staff email. And MPR News host Angela Davis talks with experts on diversity and inclusion in workplaces to find out what’s working and why some efforts have fallen short. Davis also checks in with MPR News senior economics contributor Chris Farrell.
In the early days of COVID-19, it seemed like kids were not at risk of catching the virus. Then on Thursday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released new guidelines on education and child care. The guidelines are in favor of opening schools, stating that children are less likely than adults to spread the coronavirus. But a new study out of South Korea showed that while children under 10 aren't common transmitters of coronavirus, tweens and teens are spreading it at the same rate as adults. On Friday, MPR News host Angela Davis talked about the state’s new mask mandate and how it affects kids. She also asked a pediatrician for tips on teaching children about social distancing and talking to them about the seriousness of COVID-19. Then later in the hour, Davis spoke with two camp leaders about how summer camps operated this year. Guests: Dr. Gigi Chawla, head of general pediatrics at Children's Minnesota Josh Reimnitz, executive director, Breakthrough Twin Cities Jenna Moon, education director and summer camps manager, Eagle Bluff Environmental Learning Center in Lanesboro, Minn. Use the audio player above to listen to the program. Subscribe to the MPR News with Angela Davis podcast on: Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify or RSS.
Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz announced Wednesday that everyone in the state will be required to wear masks or face coverings in public indoor spaces.  Minnesota follows more than half of the country's states that have issued similar mandates. Most of Minnesota’s major cities also have mandates, including Minneapolis and St. Paul, Duluth, Rochester, and St. Cloud.  MPR News host Angela Davis spoke with the state’s infectious disease director and two MPR News reporters who have been covering the pandemic. Guests: Kris Ehresmann is the Minnesota Department of Health infectious disease director. Catharine Richert is a reporter for MPR News based in Rochester. Dan Kraker is a reporter for MPR News based in Duluth.
MPR News host Angela Davis explored two topics related to the COVID-19 pandemic: the long-term mental health effects on patients in ICU and how to settle family disputes over social distancing. Since March, there have been nearly 1,400 Minnesotans in intensive care units with positive cases of COVID-19. We know for many patients, being in the ICU can be physically demanding and difficult. But did you know it can also affect their mental health? Some patients can experience “ICU delirium,” a psychotic reaction that is often described as an intense confusion that patients just can’t snap out of.  Guest: James Jackson is a psychologist and the assistant director of the ICU Recovery Center at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine. The pandemic is dividing family members — some don’t agree on the severity of this health crisis, and their decisions and behaviors reflect that. Angela chatted with a family therapist about the best ways to stand your ground on social distancing and mask wearing without alienating your family and friends. Guest: Bill Doherty is a professor of family social science at the University of Minnesota and co-founder of Braver Angels, which started under the name Better Angels, a nonprofit dedicated to reducing political polarization in America.
With summer travel plans on hold because of the coronavirus pandemic, lots of people are deciding to spruce up their homes. Paint sales and wholesale lumber prices across the country have skyrocketed. Hardware stores across the country are reporting record-setting sales. There's also been a surge in Google searches for things like, "How to build a deck" and "How to build a shed." Whether you live in an apartment or own your own home, what have you done to improve your living space during the pandemic? MPR News host Angela Davis talks with two DIY expert and takes listener questions about budget-friendly ways to make your home a little more exciting. Guest: Jan Hagerman is the assistant store manager at Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity ReStore, a discount home improvement outlet in New Brighton. She is a DIY expert and an advocate of upcycling and repurposing. Danielle Rode is the owner of Upsy-Daisy, a shop specializing in upcycled and redesigned furniture, home décor and new and vintage finds located in downtown White Bear Lake
Homelessness has been in the headlines this summer, with encampments showing up in Minneapolis parks and elsewhere throughout the Twin Cities metro. While government agencies and nonprofits try to connect the people living in these tent communities with services, some neighbors are complaining about a surge in crime. What short-term and long-term solutions are being discussed to ensure more people have access to shelter? MPR News host Angela Davis talks with three people working to address that question. She also checks in on the state of the economy with MPR News senior economics contributor Chris Farrell. Guests: Cathy ten Broeke is the state’s director to prevent and end homelessness and the executive director of the Minnesota Interagency Council on Homelessness. John Tribbett is the street outreach program manager at St. Stephen’s Human Services, an organization that supports people experiencing homelessness in Hennepin County. Londel French is a commissioner on the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board. Chris Farrell is the senior economics contributor for MPR News.
Many Minnesotans are reexamining what they learned in their history textbooks and what was left out, like Juneteenth and the Tulsa Race Massacre of 1921. While this isn’t a new conversation, more educators are starting to rethink how to teach a more complete history of the United States that includes experiences from Black and Indigenous people and other communities of color. Also during the hour, Davis will chat with the co-editor of “Minnesota's Black Community in the 21st Century,” a new book published by the Minnesota Historical Society Press. Guests: Ramona Stately is an enrolled member of the Santee-Sioux Nation and is a former American Indian culture and language specialist at Osseo Area Schools. She is now with the nonprofit "We Are Still Here MN” which works to change the narrative of Indigenous people in Minnesota. Courtney Bell is the founder Courtney S. Bell Consulting LLC and former program manager of culturally relevant instruction at St. Paul Public Schools. She’s also a former high school social studies teacher. Angela Bianco is a fourth grade teacher at Matoska International IB World School in White Bear Lake. Professor Chaunda L. Scott is co-editor of “Minnesota's Black Community in the 21st Century,” a book published by the Minnesota Historical Society Press. Use the audio player above to listen to the program. Subscribe to the MPR News with Angela Davis podcast on: Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify or RSS.
The past few weeks have been filled with significant news for Native Americans. Washington's football team says it's dropping its name and Indian head logo, which Native Americans have long protested were culturally offensive. The Supreme Court recognized the validity of a tribal treaty in Oklahoma. And a federal judge sided with the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and ordered the Dakota Access pipeline to shut down until more environmental review is done. Another court has since said the pipeline can keep operating in the meantime, but still, many Native Americans see these developments as victories they didn't think were possible. What might they mean for the future? Lieutenant Governor Peggy Flanagan and Patina Park, Director of Tribal State Relations for the State of Minnesota, joined the Counter Stories hosts this week. Counter Stories is hosted by: Donald Eubanks, associate professor at Metropolitan State University and cultural consultant Anthony Galloway, senior partner at Dendros Group Luz Maria Frias, equity coach and founder of The Savvy Coach Marianne Combs, correspondent for MPR News
There's probably a song that makes you happy every time you hear it. Or another song that calms your nerves. Music has the power to make us feel things, even make us feel better. Music therapists work with clients to discover ways music can improve their well-being. MPR News host Angela Davis spoke with three experts on music about its healing effects and how it can help us get through the pandemic. Guests: Mark Mallman is a musician and the author of “The Happiness Playlist: The True Story Of Healing My Heart With Feel-Good Music.” Jennifer Hicks is a music therapist based in Eden Prairie. Michael Bakan is a musician, a professor of ethnomusicology at the Florida State University College of Music and the author of “Music and Autism: Speaking for Ourselves.”  
Students are finding out if their campuses are reopening for classes in the fall, if classes will be held online, or if there will be a combination of virtual and in-person instruction. What went into colleges’ decisions to reopen or remain closed? Do students want to return? Do professors and other instructors feel safe returning? Are colleges losing a lot of money because some students are waiting for the pandemic to end before returning? Guests: Jonathan McNicholes, state chair of Students United, the official voice of students at Minnesota State’s seven universities. He just graduated from Bemidji State University and is now pursuing a master’s degree at Metropolitan State University. Michael Vasquez, senior investigative reporter for The Chronicle of Higher Education. Robbyn Wacker, president of St. Cloud State University. She has held that position for two years. St. Cloud State has opted to offer classes online, in person and through a combination of the two to help promote social distancing when possible. Use the audio player above to listen to the program. Subscribe to the MPR News with Angela Davis podcast on: Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify or RSS.
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