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Amazon and Target workers plan sickouts to highlight health risks

Plus: Prime Pork in Windom suspends operations; coronavirus ravaging minority communities; state to receive $55 million in SNAP aid; study notes Lake Pepin improvements; and more.

REUTERS/Jessica Rinaldi

From the front of the lines. USA Today’s Kelly Tyko reports: “Amazon and Target workers, on the front lines of COVID-19, are leading nationwide efforts to draw attention to the health risks they face delivering groceries and other critical supplies to Americans. … Their approach? Planned sickouts. … Target workers are planning a mass sickout May 1, which is International Workers Day, said Adam Ryan, a liaison with Target Workers Unite, an employee activist group.”

Worthington, now Windom. Windom News reports: “The Prime Pork processing plant in Windom announced Tuesday that it is ordering a suspension of operations after discovery of a positive case of COVID-19 at the plant. The Windom plant current has more than 650 employees.”

Tyson KOed as well. The Associated Press’ Ryan J. Foley reports:Tyson Foods suspended operations Wednesday at an Iowa plant that is critical to the nation’s pork supply but had been blamed for fueling a massive coronavirus outbreak in the community. … The company said the indefinite closure of the Waterloo, Iowa, plant would deny a vital market to hog farmers and further disrupt the nation’s meat supply.”

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COVID-19 ravaging minority communities. The Star Tribune’s Marissa Evans and James Walsh report: “As COVID-19 continues to take thousands of lives each day in the United States, minorities in particular are being ravaged out of proportion, public health officials say. … Statewide, blacks comprise about 7% of the population. So far, they make up 13% of Minnesotans confirmed to be infected and 3% of those killed; Asians, 4% and less than 1%, respectively.”

Also out of proportion. The Rochester Post Bulletin’s Sarah Mearhoff reports: “According to the American Civil Liberties Union of Minnesota, black Minnesotans are still 5.4 times more likely to be arrested for marijuana possession than their white counterparts, despite comparable usage rates among races.”

In other news…

Some good news: “Coronavirus In Minnesota: State To Receive $55 Million In SNAP Aid” [WCCO]

More good news: “Study shows improvements on Lake Pepin, work still to be done” [Rochester Post Bulletin]

Adapting to the times: “Coronavirus upends Ramadan traditions of family, charity, community” [MPR]

Always have an exit strategy: “Woman rescued after she rappelled down Ford Bridge to fish” [KMSP]

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Nature is healing itself … wait, what? “More than 2,000 invasive goldfish removed from lake in Chaska” [KSTP]

National treasures: “A Library Redeploys in COVID-19: Another Reason to Love Librarians” [Nonprofit Quarterly]

Check out these photos: “Yia Vang Made Some of the Best Food We Ate All Year. So Why Is He So Afraid of Failing?” [Bon Appétit]

Does it sometimes snow in April? “Wanna buy a pair of First Ave-themed Vans?” [City Pages]