1. Life prison sentence for fatal road rage shooting of youth baseball coach: Jamal Lindsey Smith, 34, of Chicago, appeared virtually inside the packed courtroom for his sentencing for the July 2021 shooting of Jay Boughton, who was driving his teenage son home after a game last year on Hwy. 169 near Plymouth. Read more.
  2. Fairview psych workers reach tentative deal, Allina still under strike: The contract deal is the first since the workers voted last fall to join SEIU Healthcare, and provides an immediate pay bump of around 6% plus a predictable scale of wages and raises for the future. Negotiators said the deal — subject to a majority vote by psych associates — should provide stability and improve recruitment and retention to a dwindling workforce. Read more.
  3. DPS launches pilot program to provide same-day driver's licenses: Minnesotans can get a driver's license or state identification card on the same day they apply for one under a pilot the Department of Public Safety's office of Driver and Vehicle Services launched Monday, rather than having to wait weeks to get them in the mail. Read more.
  4. Scott Jensen repeats false rumor that schools have litter boxes for 'furry' students: Persistent — and debunked — rumors about litter boxes in schools seem to have been promoted by Republicans throughout the country for several months. Read more.
  5. Need a new place to relax? The Twin Cities is getting a communal bath house: This used to be the time of year when the creepy basement of an old factory building in Minneapolis was the place to go if you wanted to make your hair stand on end. But now the industrial space formerly housing the Soap Factory's Haunted Basement Halloween is where you can go to soothe your nerves. Read more.

Who's really using up the water in the American West?: In 5 minutes, Vox explains the water scarcity crisis that has been years in the making for the western half of the United States. A historic drought hitting the region is just part of the story. Watch the explainer here.

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


How you and your porch pumpkins can outsmart a squirrel: In her column this week, Laura Yuen talked to a wildlife expert at the University of Minnesota to get advice on how to keep neighborhood squirrels away from her Halloween pumpkins. Read more.


This guy can coach anywhere, that guy can play anywhere. Get to know Scott Underwood and Zach Jakes: After losing his job when St. Cloud State dropped its football program, Underwood is back in the game at Southwest Minnesota State with a new philosophy. Read more.

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


Loretta Lynn, Coal Miner's Daughter Turned Country Superstar, Dies at 90: Memorably portrayed in an Oscar-winning turn by Sissy Spacek in 1980 biopic "Coal Miner's Daughter" (drawn from Lynn's bestselling 1976 autobiography, co-authored by George Vecsey), Lynn was one of the first women to rise to stardom as a country vocalist. Variety has a look back on her life and legacy. Read more.


Oct. 4, 2013: A female sea turtle named Oyster was given a CT scan at the University of Minnesota Veterinary Medical Center in St. Paul. The turtle, from SEA LIFE Minnesota Aquarium at Mall of America, was examined for problems in its left shoulder and flipper. (Photo: Jim Gehrz/Star Tribune)