Minnesota's uncivil war

Captured Sioux Indians at Fort Snelling
Captured Sioux Indians in a fenced enclosure on Minnesota River below Fort Snelling, photographed by Benjamin Franklin Upton circa 1862-1863.
Courtesy Minnesota Historical Society

Aug. 17, 1862 is a date that lives in infamy in Minnesota, marking the start of the US-Dakota War. We're covering that, as well as state workers saying they've been wrongly removed from health insurance rolls, the Minnesota State Fair preparing for swine flu, and a live-action game in the Twin Cities suburbs that recreates the attack on Osama bin Laden.

Minnesota's uncivil war: Today marks the start of the US-Dakota war, which began with an attack, after a quarrel, by four Dakota Indians who killed several settlers near the tiny town of Acton. Mark Steil recounts the moment and sets the scene for ceremonies today marking what ended with the largest mass execution in U.S. history.

(Re)writing history: Accounts of the war vary: Dan Olson spoke with William Lass, professor emeritus of history at Minnesota State University Mankato, who has reviewed European settler accounts; and Cathy Wurzer has a two-part interview with Stanley Crooks, Chairman of the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community, for his perspective.

Paying the sheriff: The city of Nowthen, north of the Twin Cities, caused a stir last year when it declared it would not pay the Anoka County sheriff extra money for patrols, even though the sheriff had demanded it. As part of our Price of Safety series, Jennifer Vogel checked back with Nowthen: They're paying the sheriff, happily.

Ryan admits seeking federal stimulus money: The AP reports that Republican vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan has reversed course and acknowledged lobbying the government for millions of dollars in economic stimulus money, after twice denying he had done so. Then he chided the prisident again, saying, "the Obama stimulus did nothing to stimulate the economy." (More in the Campaign 2012 special section.)

The cost of child care: We found out yesterday that Minnesota ranks near the bottom in the country for affordable center-based child care. The cost might be high for all the right reasons, according to a Minnesota-based advocate who helps parents find child care, but still, we wondered in our Question of the Day, "How has the cost of child care affected other decisions in the life of your family?"

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The Best Buy battle: Best Buy founder Richard Schulze says he's not backing off his efforts to buy the company. He wants to examine the company's books, and he also says that under Minnesota corporate law he can't form a bidding group without the board's permission. But Best Buy's board spokesman Bruce Hight tells Marty Moylan there's no such constraint on Schulze.

State Fair swine flu precautions: There haven't been any reported cases in Minnesota yet, but more than 150 people nationwide have already gotten sick this summer with the newest strain of swine flu. Still, the Minnesota State Fair's official veterinarian, Dr. Tom Hagerty, tells MPR's All Things Considered that the fair is taking precautions to avoid an outbreak of swine flu here.

State worker insurance questions: First we reported that an audit found that about 4 percent of dependents enrolled in the state health insurance program for employees were not actually eligible for those benefits, we then heard from eligible. Now, Tom Sceck reports, union officials and state workers say many of those people were wrongly terminated from the program.

Larping bin Laden: It's been more than a year since a team of Navy Seals raided a home in Pakistan and killed Osama bin Laden, but the moment lives on, three times a week, in a building in New Hope, Minn. Reporter Madeleine Baran and videographer Jeffrey Thompsonwere allowed to tag along for the secret mission.