Minnesota Now: Sept. 15, 2022

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Ukraine has taken back a thousand square miles of the country from Russian control this week. We get the latest from a local reporter whose been in Ukraine for the past 20 plus years.

It's the anniversary of the death of a Black man named Dred Scott. You may have heard of the historic U.S. Supreme Court case that bears his name - but we have the story of his time in Minnesota.

Our friends from 10,000 Takes sports talk program are here with the latest sports news you need to know.

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Audio transcript

[MUSIC PLAYING] CATHY WURZER: It's Minnesota Now. I'm Cathy Wurzer. Ukraine has taken back 1,000 square miles of the country from Russian control this week. We get the latest from a local reporter who's been in Ukraine for the past 20 years. It's the anniversary of the death of a Black man named Dred Scott. You may have heard about the historic Supreme Court case that bears his name, but we have the story of his time in Minnesota, and it is fascinating. Stick around for that.

Our friends from 10,000 Takes sports talk program are here at the latest sports news you need to know, and Sven Sundgaard is here with me today because it's New Member Day. If you've never donated to NPR before, today is your day. Make your first-ever gift to show your support for public radio. All of that, and the song of the day, plus the Minnesota Music Minute. There's a lot going on in this show. It comes your way right after the news.

WINDSOR JOHNSTON: Live from NPR News in Washington, I'm Windsor Johnston. A massive freight rail strike in the United States appears to have been averted. A tentative agreement was reached just hours before thousands of workers were set to walk off the job. NPR's Andrea Hsu reports the unions and rail companies have been working for years to resolve their differences on a number of key sticking points.

ANDREA HSU: What this contract gives workers is a very substantial raise over a five-year period that goes from 2020 to 2024. You know, they've been negotiating this contract for several years. So workers will get a 14% wage increase once the contract is ratified, and then raises next year and the year after, too. So that comes to a total of 24% in wage increases over five years, and that sounds like a lot, but it's actually less than the unions had originally asked for, citing the record inflation that we've been experiencing.

WINDSOR JOHNSTON: That's NPR's Andrea Hsu reporting. President Biden calls the tentative deal a win for both sides. A ban on most abortions in Indiana takes effect today. NPR's Sarah McCammon reports Indiana was the first state to pass a new ban after the US Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade.

SARAH MCCAMMON: Indiana's abortion ban has narrow exceptions for rape, incest, and certain medical complications. It removes another option for people in neighboring states that also have implemented abortion bans in recent weeks. Tamarra Wieder with Planned Parenthood in Kentucky says many patients will now travel to Illinois.

TAMARRA WIDER: That's really going to double or even triple the driving time for Kentucky residents seeking abortion care.

SARAH MCCAMMON: Reproductive rights groups are challenging the Indiana law. Sarah McCammon, NPR News, Washington.

ANDREA HSU: President Biden is expected to sign a new executive order today that expands the government committee's ability to review foreign investment in the United States. NPR's Franco Ordonez reports the administration wants to stop other countries that try to exploit the US's Open investment environment.

FRANCO ORDONEZ: The order specifically directs the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States to consider additional national security factors when evaluating transactions. It focuses on five specific areas, including risk to the supply chain, microelectronics and biotechnology, and cybersecurity. The committee was reformed in 2018 under former President Donald Trump in order to more closely scrutinize Chinese and other foreign Investment Biden officials have told reporters that the executive order is not country-specific. Officials say the order does not change the committee's legal jurisdiction, but it addresses evolving risks that have emerged with the advent of new technologies. Franco Ordonez, NPR News.

ANDREA HSU: Stocks are trading mixed on Wall Street. The Dow was up 62 points. You're listening to NPR News in Washington.

CREW: Support for NPR comes from NPR stations. Other contributors include National Geographic Expeditions, trips with Nat Geo experts to more than 80 worldwide destinations, including safaris, cruises, and train journeys. NatGeoExpeditions.com/explore.

CATHY WURZER: Around Minnesota right now, skies are partly sunny in the south, cloudy and rainy in some spots in northern Minnesota. At noon in St. Cloud, it's sunny and 75. It's raining in Hibbing and 59, and outside Steve's All-American Kettle Corn company in Windom, Minnesota, it's sunny and 80. I'm Cathy Wurzer with Minnesota News headlines.

Officials with the Minnesota Nurses Association say their members have been able to return to their jobs as expected today. Their strike, which included some 15,000 workers at 15 hospitals in the Twin Cities and Twin Ports, ended this morning after three days on the picket line. The group said negotiating teams will return to work some time next week to try to end the month-long impasse in contract negotiations.

The St. Paul city council votes next week on changes to the city's stringent rent control ordinance. It's still capped at 3% a year, but there are some exceptions. Yesterday, the council voted to allow landlords to increase annual rent by 8% plus inflation between tenants. Council member Jane Prince says it's a good move.

JANE PRINCE: Vacancy decontrol allows landlords to preserve long tenancies without having to raise the rent every year, knowing that at the end of the rental period, they can reinvest in the unit and maintain their market rate.

CATHY WURZER: There will also be a 20-year exemption from the rent cap for new construction. The top leader of the Minneapolis Star Tribune is retiring. Publisher Mike Klingensmith leaves after 13 years at the helm of one of the state's largest media companies. Klingensmith, who is 69 years old, grew up in Minnesota, came back to the state in 2010 to lead the Strib after spending most of his career with Time, Incorporated. He took over as The Star Tribune was emerging from bankruptcy.


This week's headlines on the war in Ukraine include President Zelenskyy's visit to reclaimed territory in Ukraine after Russian troops retreated. There are also revelations of a provisional deal Russia struck with Kyiv at the beginning of the war. To explore these stories and more, NPR News reporter Tim Nelson has been in touch with his long-time friend and colleague, Brian Bonner. Brian is a former journalist for The Saint Paul Pioneer Press, and the former editor of The Kyiv Post, Ukraine's Premier English language newspaper. Tim spoke with Brian earlier this morning.

TIM NELSON: Brian and I worked together for nearly a decade in St. Paul. We've been keeping in touch since the war in Ukraine started. He's been in and out of Ukraine, Germany, and the US recently. Today, he's back visiting the United States before he returns to Europe next month. Brian, welcome back to Minnesota Now.

BRIAN BONNER: Thanks for having me, Tim.

TIM NELSON: How are you doing these days?

BRIAN BONNER: I'm feeling good, based on the recent developments in the war.

TIM NELSON: We've been hearing a lot about that, reports of thousands of square miles coming back into Ukrainian hands, Russian troops abandoning weapons and ammunition, fleeing the country. It's hard to tell here. Is this just sort of anecdotal, or are there real gains being made here?

BRIAN BONNER: Oh, no, the sweep through the northeast was real. But to put it in context, 3,800 square kilometers retaken is less than 1% of Ukraine's whole territory of 600,000 square kilometers. So in other words, Russia still has 20% of the country. So-- but the big thing was the morale boost. And as far as Ukrainians are concerned, that offensive showed them, or should show the world, what they can do if they get Western weapons, Western intelligence, combined with their desire to fight and survive.

TIM NELSON: And is their aid waiting for something like this to happen? I mean, is there a sign that this may change minds in the rest of Europe?

BRIAN BONNER: Ukrainians want the West to discard the fears of Russia, the fears of escalation. As far as they're concerned, they've showed that Russia not only can be beat, it's relatively easy to beat them. Russia is-- apparently their military doctrine and their army are stuck in the past. They've spent some of their best forces. I don't think they're going to be able to regenerate them soon. Their weapons-- their Soviet era weapons, as you see, as we all see, are not precise. And so their bombings are just Hail Mary, obliterate everything that, or where their weapons land. I mean, it's-- Ukraine now has the initiative in the war.

TIM NELSON: Now, I've been seeing on TV these tearful reunions of Ukrainians. How's the country feeling right now? I mean, they've got to be-- there's got to be some hope on the horizon there.

BRIAN BONNER: You know, I think Ukrainians are tremendously united. You can feel it, the polls show it. That's what people are saying. Ukrainians know they have to fight to the end to survive as a nation and as a people. Russians don't. They're fighting for a salary, they're fighting for some imperial aims that they may or may not even agree with. And as we've shown, once Ukrainians are effective with weapons and intelligence, Russian soldiers are-- they just run without taking their equipment.

TIM NELSON: But what about average Ukrainians? You know, we see this territory being taken back. But can they move safely back? Are people going back to their homes? Can they resume their lives in any real fashion?

BRIAN BONNER: Well, some were stuck in occupied territory. And the evidence is, and the pictures show, that they're very happy to be liberated. There's a mysterious component of 3 million Ukrainians that Ukraine says were forcibly deported to Russia. We don't know the fate that they have. There's another contingent that are in the West, largely. They're not coming home until either they feel safe, or the war is over. And I'll give you an example in Kharkiv.

Kharkiv Oblast, the Russians have retreated from that. That's home to the second-largest city in Ukraine. But, I mean, I know I have lots of friends there. Many of them aren't going to go back there because they're worried about indiscriminate bombing from Russian territory. While Ukrainians are hopeful, there's a whole long list of weapons that they need to prevail. And that's fighter jets, air defenses, longer-range missiles, tanks that the Germans and others are still withholding. So they're not giddy.

TIM NELSON: They may not be giddy, but are they winners? I mean, this looks like a stunning victory. Is this the turning point for the war here?

BRIAN BONNER: I think this will go back as a turning point. But remember, Russia still is in denial about this. You know, when they lost in Kyiv in the early days, they portrayed it as strategic regrouping, which is the same thing they're doing now. The offensive is going on. As I understand it, it's just slower. But what's really a turning point is, as I understand it, is that US intelligence sharing with Ukraine is now very time-sensitive, operational, and there's a lot more cohesion between Ukraine and their Western allies in prosecuting this war or defending the nation.

TIM NELSON: You've been a critic of Putin in the past, a close observer, at the very least. You know, we're seeing some reports of sharp internal criticism of his conduct, and the war. Even nationalists are questioning leadership on state media. Is Russia capable of sort of looking at this and making change?

BRIAN BONNER: Well, I don't think they are. The hope is that this is really-- accelerates the end of imperial Russia. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, they haven't discarded their imperial ambitions. Putin wanted, and still wants, to reassemble, basically, the Soviet Union. His failures-- which are clear to the world to see-- and I think the biggest thing Ukrainians want is the West to stop being afraid of Putin, stop being afraid of his escalations. He's set down red lines before, and the West has crossed them. He hasn't done anything.

Ukrainians think that there's nothing to be afraid of with Putin. It looks like increasingly, Putin's critics inside Russia feel the same way and are becoming emboldened. Unbelievable the debates you're seeing on Russian state TV. You know, we should have been nice to Ukraine, to what are we doing there, to Putin needs to resign, or he needs to replace the military. They understand what's going on, and they understand they're not winning.

TIM NELSON: Is there, however, the risk of some act of desperation here? A surge of forces or even worse? You know, The Wall Street Journal was talking about the possibility of a nuclear strike this week to save military face.

BRIAN BONNER: The first thing is they talk about the general mobilization and getting more weapons escalation, more forces. But if you look, he's avoided that, because I think that would be-- create more political opposition to this war and be a bold recognition that it's not working according to plan. Also, they've lost their best forces. You can't just-- as I understand it from the best military experts, even if they started now to draft people, it's not going to help unless they change their approach to training and prosecuting war.

And if you look at where they're recruiting soldiers, they're recruiting mercenaries, prisoners, they're getting weapons from North Korea, Iran. Sounds like desperation.

TIM NELSON: Well, to close things out here, I want to go back a little bit. There's been some recent discussion that Putin's chief envoy on Ukraine may have actually struck a deal with Kyiv before the war started, that there was some concession that Ukraine would stay out of NATO. But Putin rejected it and pressed ahead with his military campaign. Do you think that really happened? Is that surprising to you?

BRIAN BONNER: No, it's not surprising that Putin would reject it. It was never about Ukraine joining NATO. Ukraine was not anywhere close to joining. It's all about denying that Ukraine is a state and denying that Ukrainians are a people.

TIM NELSON: And how does this end? I mean, is there a-- you know, peace negotiations, is there a brokered deal here that when the Russians finally pull back? How does this come to a conclusion?

BRIAN BONNER: Well, Ukraine is pretty clear about what it wants, and more confident. And a lot of smart people think that basically, we just need to lay out what restoring territorial integrity, reparations, security guarantees in exchange for ending the war. If Russia doesn't, then give Ukraine everything it needs for as long as it needs. We'll see what happens. I think Putin, you know, I don't think there's a way to save face. He's becoming a pariah. But I think he'll just ignore it or say that, well, we taught Ukrainians a lesson. Now we're moving on to other things.

I mean, maybe that's wishful thinking on my part, but I just don't see how he can regenerate any conventional capability and I don't see nuclear as an option. So I don't see where he's going other than if his goal is just to create suffering and kill Ukrainians and destroy all of its buildings and infrastructure, yes, then he might succeed.

TIM NELSON: Well thanks, Brian, for that update. We'll visit again as developments warrant.

BRIAN BONNER: And I hope there's more great developments. It was great talking to you, Tim. I really appreciate the fact that Minnesota Public Radio continues to take an interest in this war.

CATHY WURZER: That was NPR News reporter Tim Nelson speaking with Brian Bonner. Brian's a former journalist for The St. Paul Pioneer Press and former editor of The Kyiv Post, Ukraine's premiere English language newspaper.


Our Minnesota Music Minute. This is the great Minnesota mandolin player and violinist Peter Ostroushko, playing live at the Fitzgerald theater in 2008. The performance ended with the entire theater singing along. That's just the effect that Peter had on people. Peter Ostroushko died back in February, and this coming Monday, he'll be honored in a tribute at the Women's Club of Minneapolis. Tickets are available. Go to NPR.org for details.

PETER OSTROUSHKO: (SINGING) You are my sunshine, my only sunshine. You make me happy when skies are gray. You'll never know dear how much I love you. Please don't take my sunshine away.

CATHY WURZER: Oh, I loved Peter Ostroushko. He was absolutely amazing. Our sunshine is here today, with Sven Sungaard. Did you like that? Wasn't bad.


CATHY WURZER: Yes, exactly. Sven Sungaard is with us, of course, our meteorologist. It's New Member Day at NPR. As Sven knows, you've heard us say this, but just to drive it home. It is vital that folks band together and support Minnesota Public Radio News, because we are powered by listeners who make contributions. So this is your opportunity to become a new member. Make your new gift right now, nprnews.org. You can call 1-800-227-2811 too.

SVEN SUNGAARD: Yeah, in the goal of NPR News is to create and curate programming inspired by the needs of our audience. Simply put, this is all done for you. From coverage of politics to climate change, you hear a lot of that here. Public safety, culture, and education, NPR News is made for you, by you. So your donations support an exceptional local news team and insightful hosts from around the state. Help shape the future of NPR News by becoming a new member today at nprnews.org, or call 1-800-227-2811.

You know, Cathy, I came in because I heard Euan Kerr say earlier that becoming a new member today made you taller.


So I thought heck, it's worth a shot, right?

CATHY WURZER: Well, it's not scientifically proven yet.


CATHY WURZER: However, when you do make a contribution, you feel lighter. Now that's for sure.


CATHY WURZER: And you might walk around a little taller, maybe carrying yourself in a more grand way because you've made this step into, well, becoming a member of the community. You just feel like, hey, I did something.

SVEN SUNGAARD: You got a stake in something.

CATHY WURZER: You got a stake in something, exactly. And here's the stake, financially. It could be actually anything, really, $5 a month, $10 a month, $15 a month. When you do that, you're just going to pay for a world of news, literally, a world of news. Coverage of the weather with Sven and Paul Huttner. We've got a great team of meteorologists. Where else do you find that?

SVEN SUNGAARD: No, our combined experience is unparalleled in Minnesota.

CATHY WURZER: Exactly. Local politics, the environment, a lot more. It requires support from folks who become members, people who make contributions. So do your part now for everyone across Minnesota. Become a brand new member with your first-ever donation at nprnews.org. You can call this number too, 800-227-2811.

SVEN SUNGAARD: Yeah, it's all about the first-timers today. Maybe you've been listening for a while and today is your day to actually have a stake in what you listen to. Sonny in Columbia Heights said, "I used to be a member years ago and I'm happy to be back supporting your great work. Thank you for teaching me so much every time I listen." So yeah, maybe you lost track of things. I know sometimes, like, with me, if your credit card or checking changes, then you lose that monthly support you'd signed up for years ago. Today is your day to start anew and become a new member, renewed.

CATHY WURZER: Exactly. Now I bet-- are you a member, by the way?



SVEN SUNGAARD: Oh, you bet I am.

CATHY WURZER: I was going to say, all right.

SVEN SUNGAARD: For a long time. But I had to do that a couple of times where my checking card changed and I had to go back in and--

CATHY WURZER: I'm glad you remember. I was going to say, because if you're not, we're going to sign you up right now and give you the tote bag. Because, of course, what is a public radio member drive without a tote bag? We have a tote bag for folks when you donate $5 a month or more. You have to have a tote bag. We've got a tote bag. This one's-- it's a public radio tote bag. We've got the names of the various shows that you listen to, including Minnesota Now. It's actually on this tote bag, which is pretty cool. So we'll send that to you and our thanks. You got to give to get the tote bag. Give at nprnews.org or call 1-800-227-2811.

SVEN SUNGAARD: This is important. If you live in Minneapolis or St. Paul or Duluth, I know you have to bring your own bag to the grocery store or you pay a fee. So it's important, and it's good for the environment. So what a great gift. If you've never given before, know that NPR News is here for you because someone else took that first step and made their contribution. Yeah, this didn't just happen. Thousands of people take that step every year. It's your turn to make sure NPR News is always available for the next person to discover, or the next generation. Pay it forward, make your difference, become the newest member of NPR today at nprnews.org or call 1-800-227-2811.

CATHY WURZER: Deborah in Merrifield. I want to say that's Wisconsin. It could be Minnesota. Well, for goodness sakes, I should this, shouldn't I? She says, "I'm glad I heard the new member drive is on today. There's also a match from sustaining members." That's true. I forgot to mention the match from sustaining members. So when I actually-- when we talk about being a member here and you make a contribution, today only, it'll be matched by folks like Sven and yours truly-- we're existing members-- and we're matching your donation now if you've never made a gift. OK, so that's one. So remember that.

SVEN SUNGAARD: That's huge.

CATHY WURZER: I know it, right? So then Deborah, by the way, Merrifield is around the Brainerd Lakes area? Yes, it is. Excellent. You get the tote bag to boot. She says, "I'm super glad to be finally getting around to becoming a sustaining member. So happy to be supporting NPR as it is my go-to radio station in my car. The Current is my go-to radio station when I'm at home," which a lot of people do that. So if you're one of those individuals who likes to listen to the radio for your news and then say, OK, I've had enough of that, I'm going to listen to some music, we are your radio service.

SVEN SUNGAARD: Yeah, the news can be a little stressful. So sometimes it's good to unwind.

CATHY WURZER: Yes, it is. It can be very stressful, my friend, as you know. So this is your opportunity to support us. Again, we're talking to folks who have never made a contribution to NPR. And you're thinking to yourself, look, Wurzer, I've got all these other really great nonprofits that I'd like to give to. What the heck? Well, yes, and there are many, many nonprofit organizations and causes that I know you're involved in and that you give your money to. I'm just asking you for $5 a month.

SVEN SUNGAARD: $5 a month. And it gets matched today--


SVEN SUNGAARD: --for year.

CATHY WURZER: So $5 becomes $10, $10 becomes $20. You see where this is going to go. nprnews.org, 1-800-227-2811.


You know, we started a Minnesota history segment on this show not too long ago and called it Minnesota Now and Then because you can learn a lot about the present from the past. Today, we're going to learn about Dred Scott. He was a Black man enslaved in the 1800s who sued his slave owners to gain his freedom. His famous case for freedom was rejected by the US Supreme Court back in 1857. Scott died in Missouri during the month of September, 150 years ago. The Minnesota connection? He lived for a time at Fort Snelling. For more, we're joined by Dr. Bill Convery. He's the director of research at the Minnesota Historical Society. Bill, how are you?



BILL CONVERY: I'm well. How are you?

CATHY WURZER: I am fine. Thanks for being with us. I appreciate your time.

BILL CONVERY: Oh, glad to do it.

CATHY WURZER: Say, tell me more about Dred Scott, the man. I've studied his story, but I really don't know a lot about him.

BILL CONVERY: Well, sure. Dred Scott was an enslaved African-American man who was born in Virginia in the early 1800s. And in the 1830s, he was sold to a US Army surgeon named John Emerson. Emerson took Scott with him when he was assigned to a Fort in Illinois, and after three years there, was reassigned to Fort Snelling in what was then Wisconsin territory but is today Minnesota.

CATHY WURZER: What do we know about Dred Scott's life at the fort?

BILL CONVERY: Yeah, well, Dred Scott was, of course, enslaved to an Army officer. There were a number of enslaved people at Fort Snelling who served army officers. The United States government actually gave Army officers a stipend they reimburse them for expenses and wages for their servants and enslaved people. Of course, slaves didn't receive wages SO the officers pocketed that difference. Scott was a butler and a gardener AND he also assisted Dr. Emerson in his medical procedures, among other things helping vaccinate Dakota people for-- against diseases like measles and smallpox.

CATHY WURZER: So he did an awful lot.


CATHY WURZER: So, what happened to Dr. Emerson?

BILL CONVERY: Well, Dr. Emerson eventually moved to St. Louis with Dred Scott and his wife, Harriet. Dred was married to an enslaved woman named Harriet Robinson at the fort. And together, they moved with John Emerson to St. Louis. And Emerson eventually died. And when that happened, the Scotts sued in the Missouri courts for their freedom based on the argument that they had lived in Illinois and in Minnesota, both of which were considered free soil. And the argument was is since they had lived in free soil, they should be declared free.

CATHY WURZER: Were there other slaves suing for their freedom in Missouri courts too?

BILL CONVERY: Yeah, in fact, there was a long precedent going back to 1800. There had been something like 280 lawsuits filed by enslaved people who had lived in free soil to argue for their freedom. And about 40% of those had been found in the slaves' favor. So there was precedent. This wasn't considered a big deal in Minnesota in 1846 when the Scotts first filed their lawsuit. But politics changed through the 1840s and 1850s, and by the time this case reached the United States Supreme Court, there was a very different political climate. It was really a big deal to consider avenues for freedom for enslaved people.

CATHY WURZER: But why did Scott's case end up at the Supreme Court?

BILL CONVERY: Yeah, so, the Scotts filed their lawsuit in the Missouri State courts in 1846, and they went through several appeals. At one point, the Missouri State Supreme Court declared them free but then they were returned to slavery. In the early 1850s, they moved the case into the federal courts and after losing a decision at the federal court level. The Scotts appealed to the United States Supreme Court in 1856. And the Supreme Court heard the arguments in the case, the argument that the Scotts had lived on free soil and therefore should be considered free. They were arguing on the grounds of citizenship and comedy, which is, did the state of Missouri-- was it obligated to follow the laws of the state of Illinois, and also on the issue of Congress's power to regulate slavery in the territories under the Missouri Compromise.

CATHY WURZER: The decision that came down in Dred Scott's case has been called the worst in Supreme Court history.

BILL CONVERY: Mm-hmm, very often.


BILL CONVERY: Yeah, right.

CATHY WURZER: What was that?

BILL CONVERY: Well, it-- when the decision finally came out in 1857, Chief Justice Roger Taney wrote the opinion of the court, and it was, to say the least, inflammatory. Taney had hoped to resolve the national debate over the future of slavery once and for all by taking away Congress's power to regulate slavery in the territories. And in so doing, he wrote a really controversial decision that, among other things, declared that no African-American person-- free or slave-- and this is a quote from Taney-- had rights that a white man is bound to respect, basically saying that no Black person had the rights of citizenship in the United States, whether they were free or slave. And this was very much a decision grounded in racism and in an attempt to protect the institution of slavery in the South.

CATHY WURZER: Say, whatever happened to Dred and Harriet Scott after this?

BILL CONVERY: Yeah, well, the US Supreme Court in Dred Scott v. Sanford declared the Scots enslaved. And that was a devastating blow to the family. Because remember, at the bottom of all of this hostility and bitter arguments over states' rights and slavery and politics was a family that was simply trying to survive a cruel institution that held absolute power over their lives. Fortunately for the Scotts, they were sold to the family who had originally owned Dred Scott. And by that point, the Blow family in St. Louis were abolitionists and they freed Dred and Harriet Scott and their two daughters.

Unfortunately, Dred Scott died within a year of tuberculosis, although his wife and two daughters lived on in St. Louis for many years afterwards.

CATHY WURZER: And how is the Dred Scott story told at Fort Snelling if someone visits?

BILL CONVERY: Yeah, that's a great question. I would argue that the Dred Scott story is perhaps-- is arguably the most important story that we tell at Fort Snelling, because of its relationship to the issue of slavery and citizenship rights, and, of course, it was a stepping stone towards the American Civil War. And if you go to Fort Snelling today, you can actually visit a room which is set up to talk about the Scotts. It was possibly where they actually lived in the fort, a small room underneath the doctor's quarters at the fort.

And this is a place where you can learn about slavery at Fort Snelling, about the many stories of enslaved individuals who lived at the fort over time, but particularly about the lives of Dred and Harriet Scott, their day-to-day lives, their relationship with each other and their family, and then, of course, this very important national story of their attempt to seek freedom through the lawsuits in the Missouri and the national courts.

CATHY WURZER: It is quite a story, quite a chapter of history. Thank you Dr. Bill Convery. Nice talking to you.

BILL CONVERY: Oh, it was my pleasure. Thank you.

CATHY WURZER: Bill Convery is the director of research at the Minnesota Historical Society. By the way, the museum is planning a Dred and Harriet Scott exhibit to open next spring at the fort.

CREW: Programming is supported by the McKnight Foundation, advancing a more just, creative, and abundant future where people and planet thrive. Online, at McKnight.org. Support comes from Envision Distinctive Eyewear's September event, featuring new lenses and frames made by independent designers. More locations, including North Loop and Grand Avenue in St. Paul. Eyewear package options at envision-optical.com.

CATHY WURZER: Well, we pushed newscaster John Wanamaker aside gently, gently. Sven Sungaard is joining us right now. We will not be doing the news. We're going to be talking instead about being a new member here at NPR News. And I'm talking about people who've never taken the step toward being a listener-member. That's exactly who we are talking to right now. Sven and I, we're both members here at NPR. And who best to talk about this than the two of us, I guess?

SVEN SUNGAARD: I don't know. They chose us anyway, right?


SVEN SUNGAARD: Most of my family are members, too, so I have to look for new members today. That's what this day is all about.

CATHY WURZER: Exactly. It is New Member Day here at NPR. We've heard from so many people making gifts-- first-time gifts-- it's been terrific.

SVEN SUNGAARD: Absolutely. And some people who let theirs lapse and they're coming back, that counts as a new member today too. NPR News is a vital and irreplaceable public service, because it gives everyone access to the truth. NPR News provides an in-depth look at critical issues from multiple angles and perspectives. It gives everyone opportunity to have their voice heard, no matter their situation, background, or lived experience. And you have the opportunity to listen to a Minnesota Broadcasting Hall of Fame honoree Cathy Wurzer. That doesn't come free, friends.


SVEN SUNGAARD: Your donation makes that possible, today, at NPR News. Positive impact possible, backed by the power of Public Radio. Become a new member right now at nprnews.org, or call 1-800-227-2811. That's Saturday, isn't it?

CATHY WURZER: You little fox, you, for sneaking that in. What the heck, I tell you?

SVEN SUNGAARD: It's in my script. No, I'm kidding. No, no, no, it's not. It's a big deal.

CATHY WURZER: Yeah, thank you. I appreciate that. I'm in with a really good class of individuals. None of them, of course, are members here at NPR.

SVEN SUNGAARD: Are you sure?

CATHY WURZER: I'm pretty sure.


CATHY WURZER: Pretty sure.

SVEN SUNGAARD: If you're listening--

CATHY WURZER: I'll have to harp on them. But they're all great people. I'm thinking, too, when we look at this business-- this is a crazy business, as you know, the broadcast business--


CATHY WURZER: But it's-- gosh, what a great way to connect with people, really. Especially with what we're doing here. I always thought radio versus TV is just such an intimate medium. You know, you can really connect with people and listeners. That's why I think our listeners feel a definite-- they're just-- they're part of the family, right?


CATHY WURZER: I mean, they have a sense of ownership, actually--


CATHY WURZER: --when you make a contribution to NPR. Let's see. Now what would the right amount of the membership be for you?


CATHY WURZER: OK. Great. Fine. Maybe it's $90. And if you go out in a year's time, that's not a whole lot, actually, per week or per month, right? So if $90 is the right amount for you, great. Over one year, actually, that works out to be what, $0.25 a day. A day. I did it in my head. I think-- I hope I'm right.

SVEN SUNGAARD: Oh, yeah. I think that's perfect.

CATHY WURZER: Think about it. A quarter-- one lousy quarter a day keeps you up to date on everything in the world, headlines, analysis, the forecast, the whole ball of wax.

SVEN SUNGAARD: What else in the world can you buy for a quarter a day?

CATHY WURZER: Exactly, Thank you. Exactly. So make your very first gift today, right now. Donate. nprnews.org. Or, you want to call to-- you want to call a real live human being, 1-800-227-2811.

SVEN SUNGAARD: Maybe one of us will answer.

CATHY WURZER: Maybe. Oh-- that's--

SVEN SUNGAARD: I've been waiting for this phone to ring. I didn't know if I would go to that or not. Plus, you get a tote bag to boot.


SVEN SUNGAARD: Yes. Available today only when you donate just even the $5. So we were talking about $90, you don't have to do $90. $5 or more, you can choose a 100% cotton made in the USA NPR News tote bag. This is a special New Member Day gift, features popular NPR News programs and is perfect for showing your Public Radio pride. That's another thing I notice. NPR members love to show off that they are NPR members.

CATHY WURZER: That is true. And I have to say, I freak people out when they have the decals in their car, like, in NPR News. And I--

SVEN SUNGAARD: Do you gawk at them? And then wave?

CATHY WURZER: I do [LAUGHS], with all my fingers, and they just like, who the heck? What is this? But I do wave. So if you all-- If you ever see me, this woman waving wildly at you, and if you have an NPR sticker on your car, that is me, Cathy Wurzer.

SVEN SUNGAARD: It's Cathy, or it's some kind of trouble.

CATHY WURZER: Yeah, right, exactly.

SVEN SUNGAARD: Donate now, nprnews.org, or call 1-800-227-2811, you can get that tote bag.

CATHY WURZER: Exactly. I know Svens got several tote bags of his own, I'm betting, because--

SVEN SUNGAARD: It's how I go to the grocery store with just-- I have three tote bags on each arm. You should see me walking down Hennepin Avenue.

CATHY WURZER: I could only imagine. oh, my gosh. Leah in Minneapolis, I want to thank Leah, by the way. She says, "I love the variety of perspectives and the daily glimpse at the global news, the attention on topics often forgotten or dismissed, and the balance between the world's harsh realities and the celebrations or niche stories I would otherwise never know about." That's true. It's just a great mix of things we have here on the air. Leah, I thank you so much. Join Leah, for goodness sakes. Become a new member right now. You're going to forget if you don't. Make your first gift, nprnews.org, 1-800-227-2811. What do you want to add to this?

SVEN SUNGAARD: I was just going to say, a great example of what we just heard, Tim Nelson talking more in-depth about Ukraine, not just a 1-minute headline, but, you know, what's going on on the ground there, and a little bit of analysis. That's what you get from NPR News, just priceless information. Transmitters, studio equipment, talented hosts, reporters, engineers, all cost money, of course. It takes all this in order to deliver the programs you rely on. So make sure NPR continues to be accessible to everyone. Join thousands of other members to help cover the costs with your first-ever donation now at nprnews.org, or call 1-800-227-2811.

CATHY WURZER: You are a broadcast professional, my friend. Thank you very much. We're going to go off to more here on Minnesota Now.

CREW: Programming is supported by Minnesota Iron, dedicated to operating responsible, innovative Iron mines which have helped build, protect, and support our state and country for nearly 140 years. Imagine life without iron. More at MinnesotaIron.org.

Programming is supported by the Dakota, the Dakota presents Manhattan Transfer. You can join the 10-time Grammy Award winning quartet for their 50th anniversary and farewell tour, October 12th at the State Theater. Tickets and info at hennepintheatretrust.org. Oh, there's a ton of sports news right now. So we're going to get right down to it with our sports experts Wally Langfellow and Eric Nelson. Wally is the founder of Minnesota Magazine and the co-host of 10,000 Takes sports talk show on radio and TV. Eric is the other host of 10,000 Takes and the Minnesota Vikings reporter for CBS Sports Radio's Eye on the NFL. Hey, you guys. How are you doing?

WALLY LANGFELLOW: Good, Cathy, how are you doing?


ERIC NELSON: Greetings, Cathy.

CATHY WURZER: Greetings, Eric. I'm with Sven Sungaard, who have both-- I know you both know. So, we're having a good time here talking about being a brand new member at NPR. But we're going to wait on that conversation. We're going to talk sports right now. Vikings, Vikings, Vikings, Wally Langfellow, getting ready for--


What was that?

WALLY LANGFELLOW: That's a notification that the Cleveland baseball team just d a run against the White Sox.



WALLY LANGFELLOW: My phone's got all kinds of little gadgets on it.

CATHY WURZER: Nice, OK. Not that you're following that team or anything. Let's talk about Vikings getting ready for Monday Night Football in Philadelphia?

WALLY LANGFELLOW: Yes, their Monday night in Philly, of course, coming off the win over Green Bay. That Vikings defense played really well. There's a lot of talk about what Justin Jefferson did, and he had a great game. But it's the Vikings defense that held Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers' offense at bay for most of the day, a big goal line stand included in that. So we'll see if they can do the same thing against Philadelphia. Philadelphia has got a dynamic offense. They won their opener. It should be an interesting match-up on the road in a place where I was a few years ago for that NFC Championship game where the Vikings lost.

And it's a mean, nasty crowd that goes to those Philadelphia Eagles games. One other Vikings note, they have signed former Concordia St. Paul defensive end Chris Garrett to their practice squad. Chris played for the Rams last year, the Super Bowl champion Rams. And he was on the practice squad for most of the year, but he comes-- basically, comes home where he played college football over at Concordia St. Paul. I had the pleasure of getting to know Chris and watching him at Concordia. Good football player. I wish him well. He and Kevin O'Connell were, of course, with the Rams last year. Probably had a lot to do with the fact that he is now a member of the Minnesota Vikings. So congratulations, Chris.


ERIC NELSON: Yeah, and back to Justin Jefferson, Cathy. He is clearly trending up. He's already one of the top wideouts in the NFL. You look at his numbers. He's played two full seasons and now one game here in 2022. Already, 205 catches, 3,200 yards. He averages over 15 yards per reception. He has 19 touchdowns. I'm already hearing people say, you know, he could be in that same galaxy that Randy Moss is, or Cris Carter, or Sammy White, or Anthony Carter, some of the other great stars from the past for Minnesota. So he really is a bright young star in the NFL.

And regarding what Wally said about Philadelphia, this game will be on ABC, free television, Monday Night Football. And I was at the last Monday Night Football game at the old Vet stadium in Philadelphia back in 2002. That was on ABC. These people take pride in booing. I saw banners that said, "America's booing capital" playing off the ABC acronym.


ERIC NELSON: The fans go to bed angry, they wake up angrier. This will be a huge challenge for Minnesota, and if you're a Viking fan, do not wear purple into the stadium. And if you do, watch out for batteries and pennies, and who knows, maybe even a punch.

CATHY WURZER: Oh, my gosh, really?



ERIC NELSON: I'm not kidding.

CATHY WURZER: OK, wow. We wish everyone well, then. Hey, let's talk about Gopher football. Are they as good as they look, Wally?

WALLY LANGFELLOW: Oh, boy. That's a loaded question. They played two really have nots in New Mexico State and in Western Illinois. I mean, they blasted Western Illinois. It's all well and good, and they're big tunas. I would certainly like to see them play a more difficult-- I don't want to call it preseason, but non-conference schedule. And PJ Fleck has said as much. He said he's more than willing to do that, but you do not have a choice here once they add USC and UCLA to the Big Ten here in a couple of years. That may not be a choice. You may have to play. If you have an expectation to get into what looks to be now a 12-team college football playoff-- so that means the top 12 teams in the nation-- they're not going to look at you and say, wow, you beat up Western Illinois, you beat up New Mexico State. That doesn't do anything.

Because those type of games, it's really a no-win situation. You don't get a lot of credit for beating them, and if you lose to one of those teams like they did last year when they lost to Bowling Green, then that sinks your chances of ever being a contender for a playoff spot. So I think you're wise if you really want to be considered one of those teams is to toughen up that schedule. So yes, they've looked very good, to answer your question in the short realm, but long-term, they're probably going to have to get a tougher schedule. Colorado is certainly a Power Five, from a Power Five conference, but they're not very good either. So they said they're favored by 27 and 1/2 points, the Gophers are, on Saturday. So it should be yet another win for Minnesota. But you got to keep going, you got to play who is ever on their schedule, and this week it's Colorado.

ERIC NELSON: Yeah, and they are out of the Pac-12, what's left of the Pac-12, Cathy, in two years. USC and UCLA will leave that conference and come to the Big Ten. You know, LA is a Midwestern city. And-- but, they lost to TCU 38-13, last week to Air Force 41-10. But the Gophers won convincingly in Boulder against Colorado last season at altitude, so as Wally said, it's a game they should win. We won't really know a lot about this team until a week from Saturday when they go to East Lansing, Michigan and take on the Michigan State Spartans, one of the top teams in the nation.

Now one other Gopher note, too. Nebraska has let go of their head coach, Scott Frost. PJ Fleck's name is coming up as a potential Cornhuskers candidate. But he's downplaying it. And a lot of this speculation is fueled by the media, so I'm not sure there's anything there.

CATHY WURZER: Say, I just saw a couple of pictures from Target Field. It looks like Eric, there was nobody out there for the Twins game.


CATHY WURZER: What's going on with the Twins? I'm a little worried about them. Should I be?

ERIC NELSON: Oh, absolutely. I was there last night, and they had just under 15,000 fans, 19,500 on Monday. The Twins are 22nd in attendance in Major League Baseball out of 30 teams. They are five games behind Cleveland. Right now, the Guardians are playing the Chicago White Sox. So they're going to go into a huge series beginning Friday at Cleveland, basically needing to win four games minimum, maybe five to stay relevant. If not, this season could be over and the Twins clearly have-- they're in freefall mode.

I know they've beaten Kansas City the last two nights and they're 11-4 against the Royals this season, but the Royals are bottom feeders. They're going to have to prove it in Cleveland this weekend.

WALLY LANGFELLOW: Yeah, and Cathy, that's where I am this weekend. I'll be at several of the games in Cleveland this week. That's where I am right now, as a matter of fact, getting ready for the Twins and Cleveland series this weekend. And Eric hit the nail on the head, that the Twins are going to have to take a minimum of three, probably four, and in the best-case scenario, all five. But it's going to be difficult. Cleveland has played well. Coming into this afternoon's game with Chicago, they've won six in a row. They've got a four-game lead over Chicago, five over the Twins. Cleveland has won nine of the games so far against the Twins this year, so they're one win away from taking the season series, which would give them a tie-break against the Twins and make the postseason.

So it's all tilting Cleveland's way right now. But that could change, you just never know. And it's interesting, because they're playing each other here down the stretch.


And so that's what makes this even more interesting, that they're-- you know, the Twins have, still have, what, six games left to Chicago and five this weekend with Cleveland.

CATHY WURZER: Well, clearly something just happened on your phone there, Langfellow, so you might want to check it out.

ERIC NELSON: I don't have a Guardians alert, Cathy. That's his Guardians alert.

CATHY WURZER: All right, I got to go, you guys. You both be careful, enjoy the weekend. We'll talk to you next week.


ERIC NELSON: Thanks, Cathy.

CATHY WURZER: See you. Wally Langfellow, Eric Nelson. Wally's the founder of Minnesota Score Magazine, the co-host of 10,000 Takes sports talk show. Eric is the other host of 10,000 Takes and he works for CBS Sports Radio.


12:53 here in Minnesota now. From NPR News, I'm Cathy Wurzer. It is New Member Day here at NPR . We are celebrating folks like you who listen, who have not yet made a contribution to NPR News. That's fine, no shame, no blame. Today is your day to make that very first gift. nprnews.org. You can also call 1-800-227-2811. Sven, for goodness sakes, we have heard from so many people just this hour.

SVEN SUNGAARD: Yeah, it's very encouraging. It's a lot of new members. It's great.

CATHY WURZER: I know it. I know it. And it's important to make contributions to NPR News because of-- I think how we're reviewed in the community and that we are a community asset.

SVEN SUNGAARD: We are absolutely a community asset, and nothing comes free. You got to keep the lights on in this place. As a community-funded news service, NPR News exists to serve Minnesota communities. NPR News provides independent, verifiable information to enrich lives and create shared understanding. Be part of this vital and community-powered station with your first gift today. The future looks better with a stronger public radio service. This is your chance to have a stake in your news and information. Become a first-time member at nprnews.org or call 1-800-227-2811.

So maybe all new members start out this way where I think you've been listening for months, maybe even years. And finally, you're like, you know what? Today is the day.

CATHY WURZER: Yeah, exactly.

SVEN SUNGAARD: I remember that day 12, 13 years ago.

CATHY WURZER: And I did the same. I remember listening to a program, what was it? And I thought to-- anyway, it was during a member drive. And I thought, yeah, OK. I was in college. And I thought, yeah, OK. I can do that. And when I did it, I felt like an adult. Like--

SVEN SUNGAARD: For the first time.

CATHY WURZER: I know, right? But I just did something kind of important.

SVEN SUNGAARD: Now I got to pay off that credit card balance.



CATHY WURZER: That was-- yes, that's actually, that was very true. But the point is, it's still-- you like you have done something for the greater good.

SVEN SUNGAARD: Absolutely.


SVEN SUNGAARD: And you're a part of something.


SVEN SUNGAARD: That's the thing that's important. You have a stake in something.

CATHY WURZER: Exactly, exactly. And there are a lot of ways to spend your dollars, obviously, right? So, the one way to spend it with us is, of course, is we use all of our contributions wisely. We give you back for your contribution-- we give you back-- this flow of news and information and conversation and fun, at times. Music, for sure. So maybe you could maybe donate $1 a day. You know, we were talking about $0.25 a day. Maybe you could up that to $1 a day. It's a good investment. You're going to hear your return on investment every single time you turn on the radio or listen to a live stream or a podcast. So pitch in, make your first gift right now, your very first gift. Join us at nprnews.org or call 1-800-227-2811.

SVEN SUNGAARD: Yeah we just heard from Heather in St. Paul who said, "I'm super proud of the remarkable talent at NPR," and we do. We got a lot of talent here. And we was just talking a few minutes ago. You are a Minnesota Hall of Famer now. So that's a big deal. You know, that stuff doesn't come free, all that talent and information. She said, "I've lived a lot of places. No other public radio station comes close to NPR." That's a thing we hear a lot, too, that other places don't have it as good as we do here in Minnesota. She says, "I stream it every time I travel to take a comforting piece of home with me."

CATHY WURZER: I always laugh when I hear the word talent. I put air quotes around it, "the talent" behind the mic or in front of the camera, because it just sounds funny to say that. But I appreciate hearing that, Heather. That was lovely. That was lovely. So thank you. Why don't you join Heather?

SVEN SUNGAARD: Join her. Go to nprnews.org or call 1-800-227-2811.

CATHY WURZER: Heather's going to get that tote bag. Heather, you're going to love that tote bag.

SVEN SUNGAARD: Ooo, Heather.

CATHY WURZER: I know it. She's going to use it for-- put your books in that bag, perhaps. I'm also thinking there are probably, I'm betting, Sven, that there are members-- older members who've been around for a long time, probably with their first member-- you know, their tote bag with them.

SVEN SUNGAARD: I was going to say, tweet out your original tote bag.

CATHY WURZER: Oh, my gosh.

SVEN SUNGAARD: Let's see them through the ages.

CATHY WURZER: How dog-eared. Well, we will send you a tote bag because again, we've often said this, but it's a public radio member drive. And that's just the ubiquitous gift is a tote bag. So we'll send you the new one that we have for you, $5 a month or more, you can claim your first-ever public radio tote bag as you make your first-ever gift. nprnews.org, 1-800-227-2811.

SVEN SUNGAARD: You know, we were talking about debts earlier. Rachel in Northfield, "I've been listening for years. I just paid off my student loans." I wonder if she did, or if the federal government just did. I don't know, that's another news story. So it's a good time to give. "Thanks, NPR, for all that you do." Yeah, you know, maybe you're starting to feel a little guilty, you've been listening for months or years. This is your chance to do it. We've all-- we want to make sure that the things we care about thrive. The great thing about NPR News is that you're not on your own, it's a shared commitment. But it's important that we all do our part, because contributions from you are the most important source of income here at NPR News. Help carry the load now with that tote, too, and join us as a member for the first time at nprnews.org, or call 1-800-227-2811.

CATHY WURZER: Exactly, my friend. Thank you. Support trusted, meaningful news, analysis, community conversation, especially as we move into the election cycle. We're in the cycle--

SVEN SUNGAARD: Is there an election this year?

CATHY WURZER: Ah, yeah, thanks a lot. Thanks. Yeah, there is. We're going to be even busier coming up here in the next few weeks. Thank you, Sven.


CATHY WURZER: Talk to you later. We'll talk to you tomorrow morning on Morning Edition. Say, New Member Day here at NPR News. Become a brand new member. Make that first-ever gift. 1-800-227-2811, nprmusic.org. I appreciate Sven stopping by. Thank you for stopping by and listening during your lunch hour. We appreciate you, and we'll, of course, talk again next week. Take care of yourselves.

Support for Minnesota Now comes from TrueStone Financial Credit Union, dedicated to giving back to the community since 1939. Full-service banking is available at 23 locations and online at TrueStone.org. TrueStone is an equal housing opportunity lender insured by NCUA. Gosh, Sven should do this forecast. I'm going to do it anyway, I guess. Partly sunny skies, 81 degrees on our way to a high today of, oh, 85 or so. A little bit of humidity out there this afternoon, and the winds are also kicking up, blowing at about 30 miles an hour at times, out of the South.

Slight chance of a little rain here tonight, better chance of rain tomorrow afternoon-- Friday afternoon-- with a high of 78. 50/50 shot of storms tomorrow night. Saturday, chance of rain in the afternoon with a high of 78. Showers and thunderstorms are likely Saturday night into Sunday morning. Want to hear Sven? He's on the air with us mornings on Morning Edition here on NPR News.

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