The Daily Circuit asks whether this is a fact-free presidential campaign. Obama leads the fundraising race. Americans seem numbed to the slowly mounting number o0f troop deaths in Afghanistan. There's new signs of life in the Boundary Waters charred by last year's wildfire. And Twin Cities school districts are putting a new emphasis on keeping kindergardeners in their seats.
What's fact or fiction in the campaign?
Exaggerations, falsehoods, lies -- call them what you will, fact checkers are working overtime this campaign season digging through political ads and speeches. The Daily Circuit hosted The Atlantic's James Fallows and University of Maryland professor Trevor Parry-Gilles to talk about fact and fiction on the campaign trail.
Obama wins the latest fundraising race
Obama raised more than $114 million in August, while Romney brought in just over $111 million, according to numbers released early Monday by the rival campaigns. It's the first time in four months the Democrats have outraised the Republicans.
Numb to troop deaths
The wars in Afghanistan and Iraq are part of the campaign mix. The AP reports this morning that while American troops are still dying in Afghanistan at the rate of about 31 a month, or one per day, national attention is drawn only briefly to the often grim and arbitrary troop death milestones. We've included links to some of our past features related to the war's home front.
The charred Boundary Waters revives
Last summer's Pagami Creek fire scorched 145 square miles of forest, mostly in the Boundary Waters area. In the fall, the burn area was filled with charcoal-black trees and soil, but tiny blades of grass had started to poke through the ash. Today, the trees still stand like black pipes, their exposed roots clawing the ground. But the forest floor is lush and colorful, with moose maple and wild sarsaparilla.
Kindergarden attendance matters
The Minneapolis and St. Paul school districts are trying to improve attendance in kindergarten and preschool with the goal of lifting students' academic performance in later years. The push to improve the attendance of preschoolers and kindergartners is gaining some national attention.
Lonely at the U? Try unicycling
Rather than going the traditional route of joining a club sport or rushing a fraternity or sorority, some University of Minnesota students choose to connect with groups that teach them new hobbies like riding a unicycle or even professionally climbing trees. After all, a student only needs four friends with similar interests to start a student group.
Find an alternate route
The Minnesota Department of Transportation will close the Stillwater Lift Bridge for several months starting Monday so that workers can repair and rehab the iconic structure. MnDOT is urging drivers to plan ahead and allow extra travel time, or, better yet if it's possible, find an alternate route entirely.
Speaking of bridges
Minnesota transportation officials now say it will likely be Friday before they float pieces of the new Highway 61 bridge into place. The span, weighing 6.5 million pounds, was rolled onto barges Sunday and is waiting upstream from the construction site.
Who will build it?
The list of potential designers for the new Vikings stadium in downtown Minneapolis may narrow this week. Vikings and stadium officials say they're going to meet Tuesday to talk about the process of selecting an architect for the project.
Minn. reaches vaccination goals
Federal officials say an estimated 96 percent of Minnesota children ages 19 to 35 months were vaccinated for measles, mumps and rubella through last year, which is better than the national average on just about everything, says Kris Ehresmann, director of the infectious disease division at the Minnesota Department of Health.
The most shared stories Monday morning:
• $10,000 wardrobe for toddlers as designers chase children's market
• Changing dialects in the Great Lakes region
• What happens to the Princess Kay butter heads after the Fair?
• Grit, Luck and money: Preparing kids for college and getting them through
• Chautauqua Lecture: The Presidents Club