Nonprofit, independent journalism. Supported by readers.


More are eligible for heating assistance

Block E renamed Mayo Clinic Square; Obama’s help sought on propane shortage; 400 Bar reborn at Mall of America; jazz club seeks home; caucus brawl; and more.

Mayo Clinic will open a 20,000 square foot medical facility [in Block E] and take over medical care for the NBA and WNBA franchises.
Courtesy of Mayo Clinic

A few more people will be eligible for heating assistance. Says Pam Louwagie of the Strib: “Gov. Mark Dayton took executive action Tuesday to expand eligibility for the state’s heating assistance program. Now, households earning 60 percent of the state median income will be eligible. Previously, the limit was set at 50 percent. That means a household of four earning less than $52,370 per year will now be eligible under the new guidelines. A household of two earning less than $35,612 will be eligible.”

“Mayo Clinic Square” probably has more cachet than another franchise bar. Says Tim Nelson at MPR: “Mayo Clinic will open a 20,000 square foot medical facility [in Block E] and take over medical care for the NBA and WNBA franchises. The Timberwolves are going to open four new practice courts. The Lynx will move their team offices across the street. … For its part, the Mayo Clinic gets another foothold in the Twin Cities. The clinic had a presence at the Mall of America, but closed its ‘Healthy Living’ outpost there last year.”

Meanwhile, the AP says: “Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton and six other governors are writing to President Barack Obama asking for help in addressing the propane shortage and price increases. They are asking for the administration to help increase propane supplies through ‘every means of transport.’ They encouraged Obama to consider regulatory waivers aimed at increasing supplies and hoped the Small Business Administration would ease loan requirements to help communities respond to the shortage.”

You can imagine what the spring will bring. Paul Walsh’s Strib story says: “A man missing since leaving a bar late on an extremely cold night in his Iron Range town in early January was found frozen to death a month later under a resident’s porch near where he was last seen, authorities said Tuesday. … Temperatures in the first few hours of Jan. 3 ranged from the upper 20s below zero to the upper teens below zero, with winds largely calm. When last seen, [Andrew] Kanian was seen at the bar wearing a winter stocking cap, a sweatshirt and pants or bib [overalls], police said.”

Article continues after advertisement

Somehow it won’t be the same … . Andrea Swensson of The Current writes: “Minneapolis rock club the 400 Bar — which shuttered in early 2013 after decades of hosting live music on the West Bank — announced … that it will be reborn as a new music venue on the fourth floor of the Mall of America. … Already, a humorous #400BarattheMall hashtag has popped up on Twitter, combining popular indie acts that might have played the 400 Bar on the West Bank with stores at the mall. (Sample: ‘Sharon Jones and the Gap Kings.’)”

In the PiPress, Ross Raihala says: “Meanwhile, Artists’ Quarter bartender William Hundley has taken to Facebook to search for leads on a new location for the jazz club, which closed New Year’s Eve. Hundley and his business partner, Steve Kelley, a former employee of Minneapolis’ Dakota Jazz Club, had hoped to take over the club’s longtime location in the basement of the Hamm Building, but the space has since been leased to a new tenant, according to Hundley. Hundley posted a plea for help on Facebook, looking for leads on a 3,000-square-foot or larger urban location, preferably in a basement.” If you replace carpeting, you can have mine … oh, 3,000 feet … never mind.

You gotta love a good caucus brawl … . Eric Roper of the Strib checked out the Cedar-Riverside DFL get-together: “A heavily attended caucus in the Cedar-Riverside neighborhood ended abruptly Tuesday night after an altercation between activists. About 300 people, nearly all of them Somali, attended the event at the Brian Coyle Center. Most of them were there to support Mohamud Noor, who is challenging Rep. Phyllis Kahn for a seat in the Minnesota House. The altercation over who would chair the event took place before any delegates were elected. Two women outside the meeting said that an aide for council member Andrew Johnson, Ilham Omar, was attacked. ‘She was attacked,’ Johnson confirmed in an interview. ‘She’s got some bruises and cuts but she’s going to be fine.’ “

Dave Peters of MPR attended the Blandin Foundation’s broadband conference: “[A] report the Blandin Foundation put out today at its Border to Border Broadband conference in St. Paul could be useful. It summarizes 11 small grants Blandin has made over the past seven years to help Minnesota communities figure out the feasibility of building high-speed Internet networks to improve service in their mostly rural, mostly underserved areas. In particular, it talks about partnerships between public entities and private companies, which is getting to be a key part of the broadband discussion.”

If you’re a lifer here, you know we’ve hit the point where the streets just keep getting narrower and narrower … Curtis Gilbert of MPR says: “Growing snowbanks have forced Minneapolis to restrict parking on some of its narrower streets. ‘The snow that fell during November and December is still here,’ said Mike Kennedy, the city’s director of transportation maintenance and repair. ‘We can’t stack it higher. It doesn’t melt.’ … ‘But at some point, if we have another snow emergency, another 5- to 6-inch snowstorm, we may find that the majority of the streets are restricted, that we can’t do it on this limited effort basis,’ Kennedy said.”