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19 cases of COVID-19 confirmed at Worthington pork plant

Plus: U of M sophomore wins ‘Jeopardy!’ College Championship; CBS to broadcast Prince tribute concert; environmental group, businesses appeal federal judge’s Twin Metals decision; and more.

The Star Tribune’s Adam Belz writes: “Nineteen cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed at the JBS pork plant in Worthington, the union representing workers there said Friday, dealing another blow to hog farmers and the meat supply chain and highlighting a widespread correlation between meatpacking plants and coronavirus hot spots. The JBS plant — which employs about 2,000 workers and produces more than 4% of the nation’s pork supply — had been a success story compared with other meatpacking plants, with zero confirmed cases through early this week.”

From KSTP-TV: “Gov. Tim Walz on Friday signed legislation allowing bars and restaurants in Minnesota to sell beer and wine to-go during the COVID-19 pandemic. The House approved the measure, 129-1, earlier Friday, and the Senate approved the bill, 65-2, Thursday. Beginning at 12:01 a.m. Saturday, licensed restaurants will be able to sell up to 72 ounces of beer, hard seltzer or cider, and up to 750 milliliters of wine with a takeout food order. That works out to six 12-ounce cans of beer or a standard bottle of wine.”

From the Associated Press: “Nibir Sarma has become the first winner of the “Jeopardy!” College Championship from the University of Minnesota. Sarma, a sophomore from Eden Prairie, Minnesota, won the two-week tournament in an episode airing Friday night, earning $100,000 and a berth against regular ‘Jeopardy!’ winners in the annual Tournament of Champions.”

The Pioneer Press’ Ross Raihala writes: “Usher, John Legend and Foo Fighters are among the musical acts that pay tribute to Prince in ‘Let’s Go Crazy: The Grammy Salute to Prince,’ which will air at 8 p.m. Tuesday, April 21, on CBS. The concert was recorded in January after the 2020 Grammy Awards. Sheila E., Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis served as musical directors for the two-hour show that also features performances from Morris Day and the Time, the Revolution, Sheila E., Beck, Gary Clark Jr., Common, Coldplay’s Chris Martin, Miguel, H.E.R., Juanes, St. Vincent, Mavis Staples and Earth, Wind and Fire.”

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Carter Jones writes for the Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal: “The United Health Foundation is partnering with the CDC Foundation, Direct Relief and the American Nurses Foundation to support frontline healthcare workers during the COVID-19 pandemic. The $5 million initiative is part of UnitedHealth Group Inc.’s (NYSE: UNH) $60 million commitment to fight COVID-19 and support impacted populations, including health care workers, seniors, hard-hit communities and people experiencing homelessness and food insecurity, the company announced Friday.”

From the Forum News Service: “Cirrus Aircraft, the Duluth-based airplane manufacturing company, has designed a battery-powered respirator for local hospitals, which are experiencing shortages of personal protective equipment. Using computer-aided design and 3D printing, Cirrus engineers both designed and prototyped the powered air-purifying respirators, or PAPRs.” 

The Star Tribune’s Jennifer Bjorhus writes: “An environmental group, Northeastern Minnesotans for Wilderness, and nine Minnesota businesses are appealing a federal judge’s decision on two controversial minerals leases held by Twin Metals Minnesota. Last month, U.S. District Judge Trevor McFadden upheld the Trump administration’s decision to reissue the two minerals leases — resurrecting the Twin Metals mine project — after the Obama administration decided not to reissue the leases over the risk of polluting the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness.”