1. Minnesota's newly elected GOP U.S. Rep. Brad Finstad sworn in: Finstad, of New Ulm, defeated Democrat Jeff Ettinger in Tuesday's special election to fill the open First District seat following the death of U.S. Rep. Jim Hagedorn, who died in February after battling kidney cancer. He was officially sworn in Friday morning, telling his House colleagues the state's southern First District "sent a farmer to Congress." Read more.
  2. More than 13,000 deaths now linked to COVID-19 in Minnesota: As the pandemic's death toll continues to mount, health officials urged caution as COVID-19 indicators over the past week showed small signs of increased hospitalizations in Minnesota, even as other readings suggested a small decline in virus activity. Read more.
  3. Longtime Iron Range Sen. David Tomassoni, who battled ALS, dies at 69: Tomassoni was a beloved and gregarious figure at the Minnesota Capitol, where he briefly served as the Democratic Senate President in the Republican-controlled chamber and vigorously defended the mining jobs that were critical to his region. In his final weeks in St. Paul, he successfully pushed legislation to pour tens of million of dollars into ALS research. Read more.
  4. Trump calls for 'immediate release' of Mar-a-Lago warrant: A federal judge was to decide as soon as today whether to grant the Department of Justice's request to unseal the warrant that authorized the FBI to search former President Donald Trump's Florida estate. Attorney General Merrick Garland declared there was "substantial public interest in this matter," and Trump backed the warrant's "immediate" release. Read more.
  5. Why do Minnesotans call them 'parking ramps' instead of 'garages'?: The Minnesota lexicon includes some well-known phrases that are unique to this area, like "hot dish," "uff da" and "Duck, Duck, Gray Duck." But another regionalism is so ingrained in the local vocabulary that it is rarely discussed: "parking ramp." Read more.

TV news helicopter captures footage of giant fire tornado in Los Angeles area: This video from KTLA in L.A. shows a swirling funnel of flames in a wildfire near Gorman in northwestern Los Angeles County.

*** Talk to us! Send feedback on this newsletter, questions, story tips, ideas or anything else to ***


Our reporter tested four newly legal THC products. Here's what happened: "Upon learning that my adopted home of Minnesota legalized beverages and edibles with a limited amount of THC products," Star Tribune intern Jasmine Snow writes. "I gleefully volunteered for a job any self-respecting college kid would champ at the bit to do: I was going to get high on company time." Read more.


Sylvia Fowles writing final chapter to her story of basketball greatness: Lynx superstar Sylvia Fowles has loved her WNBA career. But she's not struggling with walking away from basketball as she approaches her final regular-season home game tonight at Target Center. Read more.

*** Did someone forward this newsletter to you? You can sign up for Talkers here. ***


A Texas mom's campaign to ban library books divided her town — and her family: Weston Brown thought he had fully come to terms with his mother's anti-LGBTQ beliefs. Then he saw the video of her speaking at a school board meeting. Fueled by a growing movement to assert conservative Christian values at all levels of government, activists across the country have fought to remove queer-affirming books from schools, repeal the right to same-sex marriage, shut down LGBTQ pride celebrations and pass state laws limiting the ways teachers can discuss gender and sexuality. The Texas Tribune and NBC News has the story of one family caught in the middle. Read more.


Want to win a $15 gift card of your choice? It's Friday, so that means it's time for another trivia question. The correct answer to this question can be found in a story that appeared in Talkers this week. We can't prevent you from simply Googling the answer, so Googling is encouraged! E-mail your answer to by Sunday at 11:59 p.m. A winner will be selected at random from the correct responses. That lucky reader will receive a $15 card of their choice from one of several retailers — Best Buy, Target, Holiday or Menards — as well as a shout-out in Monday's newsletter.

Here is this week's question: Which Twin Cities restaurant makes the No. 1 tacos in the area, according to critic Jon Cheng?

Good luck!


Aug. 12, 2015: A Malayan tapir calf made his public debut at the Minnesota Zoo with mom, Bertie. The calf was the zoo's second tapir birth in 22 years, and the 37th tapir in North America. (Photo: Glen Stubbe/Star Tribune)