1. Trump delivers sprawling speech to thousands at Bemidji rally

President Donald Trump spoke before a sea of thousands of red-hatted supporters gathered at Bemidji Aviation Services Friday evening, Sept. 18, coinciding with Joe Biden’s Duluth visit and the start of early voting for the North Star State.

Trump took the stage just after 6 p.m. after deplaning to fanfare and cheers of “four more years.”

Throughout his animated and combative speech in the "First City on the Mississippi," themes of police, refugees, jobs, democratic opponents and social security loomed large. The president also addressed several Minnesota specific topics before rolling into some of his usual rally greatest hits.

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2. Biden jabs trump on COVID-19 response, economy during union hall stop outside Duluth

Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden talks with union carpenter Taylor Johnson at the carpenter training center in Hermantown on Friday afternoon. (Brady Slater / bslater@duluthnews.com)
Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden talks with union carpenter Taylor Johnson at the carpenter training center in Hermantown on Friday afternoon. (Brady Slater / bslater@duluthnews.com)

Joe Biden didn’t give updated positions on copper-nickel mining or Line 3 oil pipeline replacement during a campaign stop in Hermantown, Minn., on Friday, Sept. 18, as some would have wanted.

But the Democratic presidential nominee, speaking at a carpenters union training center, took on President Donald Trump.

In a half-hour speech mostly about blue-collar workers and the middle class, Biden opened by taking down the president’s response to COVID-19.

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3. Revelation about Fargo crash that killed pedestrian leads to charges against new suspect

A pedestrian was struck and killed Sept. 11 at the intersection of 42nd Street and 10th Avenue South in Fargo. Michael Vosburg / Forum Photo Editor
A pedestrian was struck and killed Sept. 11 at the intersection of 42nd Street and 10th Avenue South in Fargo. Michael Vosburg / Forum Photo Editor

Shanyell Headswift was charged with killing a pedestrian in a drunken driving crash last week in south Fargo, but authorities now say someone else is to blame.

That someone else is 28-year-old David James Torgerson, according to Cass County prosecutors who charged him Thursday, Sept. 17, with manslaughter and duty in accident involving death, both felonies.

A warrant has been issued for Torgerson's arrest in connection to the death of the pedestrian, 39-year-old Peter McKenney, of Alexandria, Minn. Police said McKenney may have been walking home from the grocery store when he was struck.

Read more from The Forum's April Baumgarten

4. Moorhead High School to move to all distance learning after local COVID-19 rates climb

The normally crowded and bustling lobby of Moorhead Senior High School is empty and quiet during the shutdown March 16. Forum file photo
The normally crowded and bustling lobby of Moorhead Senior High School is empty and quiet during the shutdown March 16. Forum file photo

Moorhead Area Public Schools announced Friday morning, Sept. 18, that due to rising COVID-19 cases in Clay County the school district will be shifting high school students to complete distance learning on Monday, Sept. 28.

Students in Pre-K through Eighth Grade will continue in the hybrid instruction model the district started out the school year with.

When the district began school this year it let parents know that the instruction model for various grades could change depending on the pandemic situation in the community, with that situation measured by the COVID-19 infection rate in Clay County per 10,000 population.

Read more from The Forum's Dave Olson

5. Coming soon to a mailbox near you: A push to vote by mail in Minnesota

Ballots cast by absentee voters are entered into a ballot counting machine in this August file photo. Renville County has already had 1,500 ballot requests in advance of the November election. Marc Iverson, auditor/treasurer, expects to handle a record number of ballots received by mail. (Erica Dischino / West Central Tribune file photo)
Ballots cast by absentee voters are entered into a ballot counting machine in this August file photo. Renville County has already had 1,500 ballot requests in advance of the November election. Marc Iverson, auditor/treasurer, expects to handle a record number of ballots received by mail. (Erica Dischino / West Central Tribune file photo)

Minnesota voters will be asked to cast their ballots by mail in the upcoming election as state officials prepare to manage what they've called a "public health challenge" amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Minnesota Secretary of State Steve Simon on Thursday, Sept. 17, announced that he had mailed out letters to 2.3 million registered voters in the state who'd not yet submitted requests to vote absentee and encouraged them to vote from home during the pandemic.

More than a million Minnesotans had sent in requests to vote absentee as of Friday morning, Sept. 18. That included some mail-only precincts. And to avoid a crush of applications closer to Election Day, Simon said he wanted to get the letters and paper applications out early. He said his office had used federal CARES Act funds to print and distribute the letters.

Read more from Forum News Service's Dana Ferguson