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Students complain of low refunds from U of M on unused room and board

Plus: obesity may pose additional risks for COVID-19; Grandma’s Marathon canceled; Eagan wiper fluid company switches to bleach production; and more.

University of Minnesota
University of Minnesota

Do the math. The Star Tribune’s Ryan Faircloth reports: “The University of Minnesota is being criticized for coming up short when refunding room and board to students who had to move off campus because of the pandemic. … Most Twin Cities students pay more than $5,000 per semester for a combination of student housing and meal plans, but the U announced this month it would refund students $1,200 for unused housing and dining services. Half of the spring semester, which spans from Jan. 21 to May 13, remained when the university canceled in-person classes at its five campuses on March 11 and encouraged students not to return after spring break.”

Uh oh. For BringMeTheNews, Joe Nelson reports: “University of Minnesota infectious disease expert Dr. Michael Osterholm has become a leading voice on the novel coronavirus pandemic, and he spoke in an ominous tone during a Twin Cities radio appearance Monday morning. … Speaking with Dave Lee on WCCO-AM 830, Osterholm expressed worry that America’s obesity rate could prove to be a deadly factor as the COVID-19 outbreak progresses in the coming weeks and months.

Run off. WDIO reports:The 44th running of the Grandma’s Marathon has been canceled. … Officials with the Marathon announced the difficult decision to cancel this year’s Grandma’s Marathon and events surrounding the marathon on Tuesday. Grandma’s Marathon and the Gary Bjorklund Half Marathon had been scheduled for Saturday, June 20.”

Making a change to help out. WCCO’s AUTHORS TK report: “A Twins Cities windshield fluid manufacturer has pivoted to making bleach and is donating the product to organizations in need amid the COVID-19 pandemic. … SPLASH says it has retooled its production facility in St. Paul to produce the cleaning product. … The Eagan-based company says it will donate the bleach to public health organizations, nonprofits, churches, and food pantries.”

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Also helping. WCCO reports:Metro Mobility is also doing what it can to help serve its customers by delivering groceries and household essentials. … The transit system is offering this service for free to certified riders, who are unable to use regular bus service due to a disability or health condition.”

New job. The Star Tribune’s Liz Navratil reports:Abdi Warsame has resigned from the Minneapolis City Council to take over as executive director of the Minneapolis Public Housing Authority. … Warsame, the city’s first Somali-American council member, will begin his new job Tuesday and receive a salary of $178,782, according to housing authority spokesman Jeff Horwich.”

In other news…

Working with other vendors:Major health clinics in Twin Cities have no immediate plans to offer 5-minute COVID-19 test” [KSTP]

And now look where we are:‘Our president gave us so much hope’: MyPillow CEO goes off script at coronavirus briefing” [Politico]

Interesting idea:Store owner creates masks to aid COVID fight from vacuum bags” [KARE]

Good as hell:Lizzo surprises hospital staff by sending lunch” [KSTP]

Can you help:Coronavirus In Minnesota: Mall Of America To Host American Red Cross Blood Drives” [WCCO]

Props to City Pages’ Jay Boller on this local angle:This ‘Tiger King’ star was once sued by Prince” [City Pages]

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Interesting:In surprise move, Gophers’ Marcus Carr declares for NBA draft” [Star Tribune]