Today on the MPR News Update, news from 8th and 6th congressional district races, a debate on the Voter ID constitutional amendment, the retirement of the Minneapolis police chief, and the aftermath of superstorm Sandy -- including help from Minnesota. Storm news first:
BATTERED: People in the coastal corridor battered by superstorm Sandy took the first cautious steps to reclaim routines upended by the disaster, even as rescuers combed neighborhoods strewn with debris and scarred by floods and fire.
PHOTOS: By late Tuesday, the winds and flooding inflicted by the fast-weakening Sandy had subsided, leaving at least 55 people dead along the Atlantic Coast and splintering beachfront homes and boardwalks from the mid-Atlantic states to southern New England.
MINNESOTANS RESPOND: Dozens of Minnesota personnel will help New York and West Virginia recover from superstorm Sandy.
GREAT LAKES IMPACT: Cargo shipping was at a standstill on the Great Lakes as heavy waves churned up to two stories high, forcing crews to take refuge in bays and harbors and raising concerns about an economic blow if the shutdown is prolonged.
OPENING BELL RINGS: The New York Stock Exchange opened today -- because it has to open. In a bit of welcome news for fund managers, investors and even the economy, the company that operates the iconic exchange at 11 Wall Street announced it would not extend its trading shutdown to a third day.
MORE GOOD JOBS NEWS: Unemployment rates fell in nearly all large U.S. cities in September from August, a sign that recent jobs gains have been widespread.
BACHMANN vs. GRAVES: Republican U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann faced Democrat Jim Graves for the first time Tuesday in a debate that featured clashes over taxes, health care and a bridge that isn't even part of Minnesota's 6th District to the north and west of Minneapolis.
CLINTON HERE: Aiming to boost the prospects of President Barack Obama and other Democratic candidates in Minnesota as voters prepare to go to the polls next week, former President Bill Clinton visited Minnesota to make the case for the Obama administration's economic record.
RYAN HERE: About three dozen volunteers wearing red Romney/Ryan campaign shirts stood around two long, plastic tables piled with canned foods in the campaign's Hudson, Wis., office on Tuesday. The trick: How to mix relief efforts with raw politics.
CRAVAACK vs. NOLAN: Polls show former Rep. Rick Nolan leads in the 8th District congressional race, but only slightly. Most view the race as too close to call. The DFL challenger meets Republican Rep. Chip Cravaack in a debate this afternoon. We'll have audio on the website later today.
VOTER ID DEBATE: The proposed requirement for voters to show photo identification at polls is either a common sense protection or a costly and confusing measure that's too harsh for enshrinement in the state constitution. Two of Minnesota's lawmakers publicly debated the issue Tuesday evening.
BETTER-FUNDED DFL: As legislative candidates vie for votes in the final days of the campaign, there's a separate, less obvious battle going on between the parties: In the money war between the state's Democrats and Republicans, the Democrats have the clear upper hand a week from Election Day.
SPCO VOTE TODAY: Locked out musicians of the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra will vote Wednesday on a contract proposal that would cut salaries and the size of the orchestra.
DOLAN LOOKS BACK: After nearly 30 years on the force, Police Chief Tim Dolan is retiring at the end of this week. During the past six years with Dolan as chief, reported violent crime in the city has decreased. But over the years, Dolan has also faced criticism for budget problems and expensive officer misconduct settlements.
THE MANKATO COACH: A defense attorney will ask prosecutors this afternoon to dismiss charges against Minnesota State University - Mankato football coach Todd Hoffner, who faces two counts of child pornography.
PETTERS COLLEGE DONATION: A federal judge has dismissed a lawsuit that attempted to recoup a $2 million donation to the College of St. Benedict made by a businessman convicted of fraud.
HIT-AND-RUN: Minneapolis police say they've arrested a St. Paul woman in connection with the hit-and-run death of an Augsburg College student over the weekend.
TEACHER COLLAPSES: Forty-year-old Lori Blomme collapsed in her classroom Monday after telling her students she was feeling faint.
LIGHT RAIL HELP DEMANDS: The St. Paul NAACP and Central Corridor businesses are asking that the Metropolitan Council comply with a nearly two-year-old court order over the light rail project.
STUDY: OBAMACARE HELPS SENIORS: An annual study of health care quality suggests a new payment system under the federal health care overhaul is improving care for seniors enrolled in Medicare Advantage plans.