The next to be brought down? Mount Rushmore, Christopher Columbus monuments spur division after Floyd’s death

As the nation continues to reel from the death of George Floyd and parse through the realities of racism, Americans are questioning perhaps more than ever the appropriateness of memorials to historical figures or events that have racist pasts.

Many have called for the removal or destruction of said monuments, saying they glorify violence and racism, and make minorities feel unwelcome. Some have taken matters into their own hands, knocking down or destroying statues themselves.

On the other side of the debate, some say removing the memorials would erase history and heritage, and condemn demonstrators who tear down memorials for destroying public property.

Read the full story by Sarah Mearhoff here.

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Walz's broad executive powers again up for debate at the Minnesota Capitol

Gov. Tim Walz on Friday, June 19, 2020, spoke with reporters at the Capitol as a special legislative session entered its final hours. Dana Ferguson / Forum News Service
Gov. Tim Walz on Friday, June 19, 2020, spoke with reporters at the Capitol as a special legislative session entered its final hours. Dana Ferguson / Forum News Service

Gov. Tim Walz this week said he plans to call lawmakers back to the Capitol for another special session this month to further address the coronavirus pandemic, rewrite Minnesota policing laws and finish work left undone in the 2020 regular legislative session.

As new infections and deaths from COVID-19 continue to be reported in Minnesota, Walz has said he'll likely need to extend the state's peacetime emergency to free up tools to help him combat COVID-19.

The authority under the peacetime emergency has allowed the governor to close schools, businesses and houses of worship and require most Minnesotans to stay home in an effort to curb the virus' spread and build out resources to treat the sick. And without another extension, the emergency is set to lapse July 12.

Read the full story by Dana Ferguson here.

What we saw during the Trump visit to Mount Rushmore

A supporter cheers on President Donald Trump during the Mount Rushmore Fireworks Celebration on Friday, July 3 in Keystone. (Matt Gade / Republic)
A supporter cheers on President Donald Trump during the Mount Rushmore Fireworks Celebration on Friday, July 3 in Keystone. (Matt Gade / Republic)

President Donald Trump flew to Mount Rushmore National Memorial in South Dakota on Friday, July 3, to preside over a night of speeches, flyovers and fireworks.

Forum News Service reporters were there, both at the memorial and outside, where Native Americans demonstrators blocked the road leading to the memorial's entrance, and in Keystone, a small town nearby.

Here's a collection of our interviews and notes that didn't make it into our other reporting, but were nonetheless interesting.

Read the full story here.

Protesters block road to Mount Rushmore in advance of Trump visit, clash with police, National Guard

A protester rallies the crowd on U.S. Highway 16A, just southwest of Keystone, S.D., and inside the border of the Mount Rushmore National Monument, prior to the arrival of President Donald Trump to the monument for a fireworks show. Jeremy Fugleberg / Forum News Service
A protester rallies the crowd on U.S. Highway 16A, just southwest of Keystone, S.D., and inside the border of the Mount Rushmore National Monument, prior to the arrival of President Donald Trump to the monument for a fireworks show. Jeremy Fugleberg / Forum News Service

Protesters clashed with National Guard troops and sheriff deputies after blockading the main road leading to the entrance of Mount Rushmore National Memorial in South Dakota on Friday afternoon, July 3, hours before President Donald Trump was scheduled to preside over a fireworks show there.

About 150 protesters, many from Native American tribes with deep historical and spiritual claims to the Black Hills, out of which the faces of four presidents were carved, rallied against Trump's visit, racial injustice, white supremacy and their treatment at the hands of the U.S. government. They held signs that said "this is stolen land" and "honor the treaties," and chanted "no justice, no peace."

Read the full story here.

Woman dead in Wabasha County shooting

The rural Zumbro Falls home where the Wabasha County Sheriff's Office and the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension were called late Saturday for an unresponsive woman. Emergency responders were unable to revive Mary Tesmer, 34, who had been shot, officials said. (John Molseed / jmolseed@postbulletin.com)
The rural Zumbro Falls home where the Wabasha County Sheriff's Office and the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension were called late Saturday for an unresponsive woman. Emergency responders were unable to revive Mary Tesmer, 34, who had been shot, officials said. (John Molseed / jmolseed@postbulletin.com)

The Wabasha County Sheriff’s Office and the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension are investigating the death of a woman in rural Zumbro Falls.

Mary Tesmer, 34, was pronounced dead at the scene of a home on 404th Avenue outside Zumbro Falls.

First responders were called to the home at about 10:50 p.m. Saturday night. They found Tesmer with a gunshot wound and attempted to revive her there.

Read the full story here.