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Minnesota charities offer ways to help during outbreak

Plus: Minnesota Grocers Association says store shelves will be restocked soon; Vikings trade Stephon Diggs to Buffalo; police officer fired for allegedly falsifying search warrants gets job back; and more.

MPR’s Tim Nelson writes about ways to help others during the coronavirus outbreak: “Sheridan Story is a food program aimed at feeding kids when school lunches are not available.  … Maplewood-based Second Harvest Heartland is the second largest food bank in the country, and right now they’re trying to put together 100,000 emergency food boxes. … Metro Meals on Wheels is looking for on-call volunteers in the event of a shortage of other volunteers. They are also still accepting new customers and people can enroll in the service here. … Donations are also being accepted as they’ve increased production of meals.”

KSTP-TV’s Joe Mazan writes: “Grocery stores everywhere are feeling the effects of the COVID-19 outbreak. If you’ve tried to go to the supermarket lately, you’ve probably seen the bare shelves. The Minnesota Grocers Association says the supply chain will remain open during the outbreak and shelves across the state will be restocked. The association is asking for people to not over purchase items and to think of others.”

For KARE-TV Emily Haavik says, “With schools closing across Minnesota on Wednesday by order of the governor, and some already shut on Monday, local businesses are stepping up to fill a gap. Knowing that for many kids, school is where lunch comes from, several Twin Cities restaurants are offering free lunches to kids. Here are a few of them, though KARE 11’s list is not comprehensive.”

For CNBC Dan Mangan reports, “Canada is closing its borders to noncitizens because of the coronavirus pandemic, but Prime Minister Justin Trudeau noted that the ban does not apply to U.S. citizens ‘for the moment.’… Canada will make some exceptions to the border closure. And the ban does not affect the shipment of goods into the country. Trudeau’s announcement came hours after the president of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, proposed a ban on nonessential, incoming foreign travel for one month in the European Union.”

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At USA Today Josh Rivera tells us, “Planet Fitness, one of the nation’s largest chain gyms, is offering free online classes starting today, because of the coronavirus pandemic.  The at-home workouts began streaming on the company’s Facebook page March 16. These classes are open to anyone, including non-members.”

For the Forum News Service, John Harrington says, “Gov. Tim Walz on Monday, March 16, said he was in discussions with public safety and judiciary officials to allow some nonviolent jail inmates out amid the coronavirus pandemic. Walz and Minnesota Department of Public Safety Commissioner John Harrington on Monday told reporters they’d spoken with Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman, officials in the Department of Corrections, as well as members of the judiciary and counties, to determine whether allowing those with minor, nonviolent offenses could be released.”

The Star Tribune’s Katie Galloto says: “Minnesota breweries are worried they won’t be able to duck a one-two punch to business. Under Gov. Tim Walz’s orders, all bars and restaurants will stop dine-in service starting Tuesday to curb the spread of coronavirus. For brewers, that means closing taprooms and losing out on sales from all the spots where their drafts are served. …As more people avoid trips to public places, instead opting to stock up on goods before holing away at home, liquor stores could reap the benefits — and possibly lessen the blow for brewers who sell to distributors.”

In non-coronavirus news: 

The Star Tribune’s Ben Goessling reports: “The Vikings are trading mercurial receiver Stefon Diggs — the author of the “Minneapolis Miracle” — to the Buffalo Bills. In return, the Vikings will get a first-round pick in 2020 (22nd overall) along with a fifth-rounder and sixth-rounder; and a fourth-round pick in 2021. The Vikings will send a seventh-rounder in 2020 to the Bills along with Diggs. An NFL source confirmed details of the trade.

From KSTP’s Joe Augustine: “A police officer who was fired for allegedly falsifying a search warrant during a drug investigation and lying under oath is getting his job back. An arbitrator ruled late last week that Officer Travis Serafin should return to the Eden Prairie Police Department without losing any seniority.  Serafin, who will not receive any back pay for the time he missed, was fired in November 2018 after the department determined he could no longer be trusted in court.

Says Austin Weinstein in the Charlotte Observer, “Wells Fargo’s board canceled the $15 million stock bonus it gave to former CEO Tim Sloan last year, the company said in a proxy filing Monday. Sloan also received no severance from the company when he resigned in March 2019, the bank disclosed in the filing. Sloan, who served as CEO of the bank from 2016 to 2019, resigned under pressure from regulators in March of last year. An insider hire tasked with getting the bank back on track after its sales scandal, he was criticized by regulators and politicians as not focused enough on fixing the problems within the bank.”