Minneapolis and St. Paul receive 10,000 rental assistance applications and counting

BY: - April 23, 2020

More than 4,500 Minneapolis households have applied for emergency housing assistance since the city began accepting applications Wednesday morning, three times more households than will receive grants. In St. Paul, more than 5,200 people applied for housing assistance during the 10-day application period, which ended April 19. Around 1,000 eligible families will be selected to […]

Minnesota schools won’t re-open this spring

BY: and - April 23, 2020

Minnesota schools will remain closed through the end of the school year in hopes of slowing the spread of COVID-19, Gov. Tim Walz announced Thursday, five weeks after he first closed schools so educators could plan for distance learning. That means most of the state’s 875,000 students have at least another six weeks of distance […]

House GOP pushes for tax exemption on Payroll Protection Program loans

BY: - April 23, 2020

House Republicans on Thursday called for immediate action to change Minnesota’s tax code so that federally-guaranteed business loans to cover payroll during the pandemic won’t be taxed as income.  Minnesota businesses have received $9 billion from the recently-approved Paycheck Protection Program through April 16, according to data from the Small Business Administration. Congress created the […]

Northern Minnesota counties weigh joining “reopen” movement, defying public health experts

BY: - April 22, 2020

Commissioners in seven northern Minnesota counties considered similar resolutions Tuesday calling on Gov. Tim Walz to end the stay-at-home order and allow restaurants, bars and other places of public accommodation to reopen. Three county boards voted to approve, one rejected, and four discussed it but took no action. Commissioners for another eight counties, which did […]

Gov. Walz, Mayo Clinic, U announce deal to test 20,000 Minnesotans daily

BY: - April 22, 2020

Gov. Tim Walz announced a strategy Wednesday to test up to 20,000 Minnesotans daily for COVID-19, dramatically ramping up the state’s capacity in an effort to get a clearer picture of the pandemic. The joint effort with the Mayo Clinic and the University of Minnesota will test for active infections, as well as people who […]

With 19 more deaths, Minnesota COVID-19 toll reaches new daily high

BY: - April 22, 2020

Minnesota reported 19 deaths from COVID-19 between April 20 and 21 — the highest number of deaths in a 24-hour period during the pandemic. Across the state, 179 people have died from the disease caused by the novel coronavirus since the state confirmed its first case on March 6, according to the Minnesota Department of […]

More than 2,200 U.S. meat packing employees sick, 17 dead in COVID-19 outbreaks, report says

BY: - April 22, 2020

More than 2,200 people have fallen sick with COVID-19 in at least 48 U.S. meat packing plants, and 17 have died as of Tuesday night, USA Today and the Midwest Center for Investigative Reporting found Wednesday.  The comprehensive review of outbreaks in the nation’s meat packing facilities found that Worthington’s JBS pork plant is among […]

Progressive strategist Jeff Blodgett on the next six months, with America hanging in the balance

BY: - April 22, 2020

The death toll of COVID-19 mounts, and Washington and Saint Paul are consumed with crisis management, with varying levels of competency. Make no mistake, however, there’s an election in six months. Out of view, strategists and operatives are planning campaigns, raising money, researching their opponents and writing ads. The election season will likely be different […]

3M water settlement could leave east metro communities and families short

BY: - April 22, 2020

East metro communities and families dealing with potentially dangerous 3M chemicals that leached into the water supply are still fighting to make sure they aren’t on the hook for millions of dollars in cleanup costs.  Minnesota and 3M settled a lawsuit for $850 million in 2018 over cleanup of “forever chemicals” that the corporate giant […]

Lawmakers advance small business relief bill without extra cash for states

BY: - April 22, 2020

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Senate on Tuesday cleared an “interim” COVID-19 relief package that includes billions of dollars for small businesses, hospitals and testing, but no additional funds for state and local governments. The nearly $500 billion package passed by unanimous consent Tuesday afternoon. The U.S. House is expected to reconvene on Thursday to vote […]

hennepin county government center

Hennepin County will spend millions more on hotels for homeless, housing assistance

BY: - April 21, 2020

Hennepin County commissioners on Tuesday approved spending another $4 million on COVID-19 response efforts, which includes moving 200 people out of the county’s two largest homeless shelters and into hotel rooms to reduce the risk of an outbreak. The additional funding is on top of the more than $2 million the county has spent on […]

Minnesota issues health guidelines to keep packing plants running during pandemic

BY: - April 21, 2020

Minnesota health officials, who have deployed to Worthington to conduct wider testing of the JBS workforce and surrounding community, have issued guidelines for how meat packing facilities can safely operate. The closures of meatpacking plants in Iowa, South Dakota, Colorado and Minnesota this week because of COVID-19 outbreaks are raising questions about how to safely […]