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Minnesota businesses beginning to feel impact of coronavirus

Plus: Sanders makes play for Klobuchar voters at St. Paul campaign stop; another Garrison Keillor appearance canceled; Minnesota Senate Republican scrutinizing Walz appointees; and more.

Photo by Rob Lambert on Unsplash
For the Star Tribune, Jackie Crosby and Catharine Roberts report, “The impact of the coronavirus is showing up on the doorsteps of Minnesota factories and other Midwestern manufacturers, a harbinger of how the spread of the illness could ripple through the broader U.S. economy. Four in 10 supply managers in a nine-state region from Minnesota to Arkansas reported negative business effects from the illness in February, according to a monthly report from the Creighton Economic Forecasting Group.”

In the Pioneer Press, Christopher Magan reports, “Presidential contender Sen. Bernie Sanders hopes Minnesota’s first Super Tuesday primary is a lot like its last caucus — at least when it comes to the outcome. The Vermont senator got the support of 62 percent of Democratic caucus-goers in 2016. He stopped by St. Paul’s Roy Wilkins Auditorium on the eve of this year’s Super Tuesday in hopes of rallying supporters to turnout and vote for him again. ‘I can’t believe this turnout,’ Sanders said to a packed house. ‘It looks like St. Paul is ready for a political revolution.’

For the AP, Steve Karnowski writes: “The abrupt withdrawal of Amy Klobuchar from the presidential race gave front-runner Bernie Sanders a sudden opportunity for locking up her home state on Super Tuesday. Sanders, who easily won Minnesota’s caucuses in 2016, has a large and motivated progressive base in the state, offsetting Klobuchar’s presumed home-field advantage in a race that was increasingly seen as tight before she dropped out Monday.”

KSTP-TV reports: “Sen. Bernie Sanders reached out to Minnesota voters Monday, the night before the state’s primary. …With 75 delegates up for grabs in Minnesota on Super Tuesday, the Vermont senator emphasized many of the themes of his campaign. Those included universal healthcare, raising the minimum wage, supporting workers who want to join a union and ending family separation at the border. … The senator also used the rally as an opportunity to welcome Sen. Amy Klobuchar and Pete Buttigieg supporters into his movement.”

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At MPR, Cody Nelson says, “Minnesota DFLers will have 15 presidential candidates from which to choose on Super Tuesday. Just five of those candidates’ campaigns remain active just a day before the presidential primary. It’s likely that tens of thousands of Minnesotans have already cast ballots for DFL presidential candidates whose campaigns are now defunct. As of Friday, more than 94,000 Minnesotans had requested absentee ballots, mostly for the DFL presidential primary … .”

The Star Tribune’s Neal Justin says: “Another Garrison Keillor appearance has been canceled. The former host of ‘A Prairie Home Companion’ had been scheduled to appear at Duluth’s NorShor Theatre on April 16. But the president of the board of directors for the Duluth Playhouse, which manages the venue, said Monday that Keillor’s booking agency was pulling out of the show. … A petition organized by local activists had been urging NorShor not to provide space for Keillor.”

WCCO-TV’s Jeff Wagner reports: “Of all the travelers stepping through Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport Monday evening, none might be more thankful to finally be back in Minnesota than Amy Ellefson and Ron Hildeen. … They were on board the Diamond Princess cruise ship last month, where hundreds of people contracted the Coronavirus, forcing them to be quarantined on board while docked in Japan’s Tokyo Bay. They were eventually cleared to fly home with other Americans from the ship on a 747 jet turned cargo plane with no windows.”

MPR’s Tim Pugmire has this: “The Minnesota Senate has the power to reject DFL Gov. Tim Walz’s choices to lead state agencies. Republicans control the senate, and committees have begun looking at the governor’s appointees. GOP leaders are already hinting that some of the governor’s choices could face trouble. Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka, R-Nisswa, won’t talk specifics, but he said it’s the Senate’s responsibility to hold the administration accountable. Gazelka said some of the governor’s appointees are doing a good job — but not all of them.”

Also in the Pioneer Press, Deana Weniger reports, “For nearly four months Twin Cities residents craving bootlegged Krispy Kreme doughnuts from Iowa had followed on Facebook the surprising saga of Jayson Gonzalez’s quest to bring sweet yeasty goodness to the Minnesota masses. Now, as the white van, wrapped with super-sized doughnut graphics and the red ‘The Donut Guy’ emblem, rolled into the Burnsville Target parking lot Sunday, the wait was over. Excited, but also mildly embarrassed about the $20 they were about to hand over for one dozen donuts, about 40 people appeared like a flash mob around the van. Gonzalez, 21, hopped out, having driven eight hours round trip from Champlin to the nearest Krispy Kreme store in Clive, Iowa.”

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