Author

Ricardo Lopez

Ricardo Lopez

Ricardo Lopez is the senior political reporter for the Reformer. Ricardo is not new to Minnesota politics, previously reporting on the Dayton administration and statehouse for The Star Tribune from 2014 to 2017, and the Republican National Convention in 2016. Previously, he was a staff writer at The Los Angeles Times covering the California economy. He's a Las Vegas native who has adopted Minnesota as his home state. In his spare time, he likes to run, cook and volunteer with Save-a-Bull, a Minneapolis dog rescue group.

Minnesotans ordered to stay home until April 10; Walz extends closure of dine-in restaurants, bars until May 1

By: - March 25, 2020

Gov. Tim Walz on Wednesday ordered Minnesotans to stay home for two weeks except for essential activities and outdoor exercise starting Friday night at midnight. Walz is following the lead of other governors who have issued similar orders in states like Illinois, New York and Wisconsin. He used Facebook Live to walk through the underlying […]

Nearly 150,000 jobless claims filed since March 16, most from women and food service workers

By: - March 24, 2020

Minnesota received nearly 150,000 jobless claims during a week-long period ending Monday, with a large bulk coming from women and food service workers.  Steve Grove, the commissioner of the Department of Employment and Economic Development, said the agency received 149,443 unemployment insurance claims. A large majority came from first-time applicants whose jobs have been cut […]

Amid COVID-19 pandemic, Minnesota health officials push critical information to non-English speakers

By: - March 23, 2020

Abdi Mahamud looked all the part of a news anchor on a recent Saturday as he rehearsed his lines from a teleprompter in a St. Paul studio. Mahamud is a Somali interpreter, and though he doesn’t have a background in media, he’s playing a key role providing accurate information about the COVID-19 pandemic while also […]

Sen. Klobuchar’s husband hospitalized; Walz exposed; Flanagan’s brother dies from COVID-19

By: - March 23, 2020

The coronavirus has reached the highest levels of the Minnesota government, afflicting the families of Sen. Amy Klobuchar, Gov. Tim Walz and Lt. Gov. Peggy Flanagan.  Klobuchar announced that her husband, John, received a positive test result for COVID-19 Monday and has been hospitalized in Virginia.  In a statement posted on Medium, she shared that […]

Walz considering allowing restaurants, bars sell alcohol with takeout food orders

By: - March 20, 2020

Gov. Tim Walz on Friday provided a glimmer of hope to restaurant owners struggling with the closure of dine-in options, saying he’s considering allowing the sale of alcohol for takeout orders.  “There’s a very strong online presence to ask me that,” he said. “We’re looking at trying. Every suggestion is being brought up and I […]

Walz announces YMCA child care program; MNSure open enrollment

By: - March 20, 2020

DFL Gov. Tim Walz announced a pair of initiatives on Friday aimed at alleviating health insurance coverage needs, as well as addressing child care concerns for front-line workers laboring to slow the spread of COVID-19. Starting Monday, March 23, uninsured Minnesotans can enroll for health insurance through MNSure.org for a 30-day period ending April 21. […]

Minnesotan stranded in Guatemala after country seals border to contain COVID-19 outbreak

By: - March 18, 2020

Andrew Jacot, a St. Paul architect and travel junkie, is currently stranded in Guatemala after the country’s president abruptly announced Monday that he would be sealing the nation’s borders for at least two weeks. “From tomorrow, we will be cut off from the rest of the world,” President Alejandro Giammattei said in a national televised […]

Legislature passes COVID-19 package in the middle of the night; recesses

By: - March 17, 2020

Minnesota lawmakers early on Tuesday unanimously voted to make $150 million in grants available to healthcare providers to prepare for a surge of patients because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The emergency legislation came together quickly, with legislative leaders announcing on Monday that they would negotiate details of the bill to ensure Minnesota hospitals and medical […]

Gov. Walz orders temporary closure of bars, restaurants and gyms as COVID-19 cases rise

By: - March 16, 2020

DFL Gov. Tim Walz on Monday ordered the temporary closure of bars, restaurants, gyms and other places of public accommodation throughout the state no later than Tuesday at 5 p.m. Restaurants will not have to close entirely; under the Walz executive order, restaurants can continue delivery and takeout services, but state health officials have issued […]

Gov. Walz orders schools temporarily closed to curb COVID-19 outbreak

By: - March 15, 2020

DFL Gov. Tim Walz on Sunday took his most drastic action yet to contain the spread of COVID-19, ordering the temporary closure of Minnesota public schools starting Wednesday, March 18 through Friday, March 27. Walz says school districts should use the time to plan a transition to distance learning for the foreseeable future. “We cannot […]

walz emergency

Gov. Tim Walz declares state of peacetime emergency as number of COVID-19 cases grows

By: - March 13, 2020

Gov. Tim Walz and state health officials on Friday issued a “peacetime emergency” declaration in response to the widening COVID-19 outbreak, issuing recommendations that call for curtailing large gatherings with more than 250 people. The number of confirmed cases in the state is now 14. Walz sought to project calm, explaining that the emergency declaration […]

Exclusive: AFSCME Council 5 experiencing financial woes, membership decline, documents reveal

By: - March 12, 2020

The abrupt departure of two top leaders this past summer were just the beginning of troubles for one of the state’s largest and most powerful public sector unions, American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Council 5.  Documents obtained by the Minnesota Reformer show that Julie Blehyl, the recently named executive director of the […]