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Minneapolis parks to close courts, athletic fields and playgrounds

Plus: Summer X Games in Minneapolis canceled; authorities investigating deaths of two men in western Wisconsin; thousands of Minnesota businesses prepare to reopen; and more.

The Star Tribune’s Miguel Otárola writes: “The Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board announced Friday that it will close courts, athletic fields, playgrounds and skate parks by May 1 in an effort to limit groups from congregating in parks during the coronavirus pandemic. The restrictions will include removing or blocking basketball rims, removing tennis and volleyball nets, and posting signs notifying park visitors that soccer fields, playgrounds and skate parks are closed.”

For MPR, Hannah Yang writes: “The Nobles County Government Center in Worthington, Minn., is quiet these days. … But just north of downtown, the Nobles County Fairgrounds is bustling. It’s now home to a temporary drive-through testing site for COVID-19. Sanford Clinic Worthington and the Minnesota Department of Health set up the site in just a few days this week to test employees of the JBS pork processing plant, where several dozen workers and their families have already tested positive for the highly contagious disease.”

In the Washington Post, Ariana Eunjung Cha writes: “Reports of strokes in the young and middle-aged — not just at Mount Sinai, but also in many other hospitals in communities hit hard by the novel coronavirus — are the latest twist in our evolving understanding of its connected disease, covid-19. Even as the virus has infected nearly 2.8 million people worldwide and killed about 195,000 as of Friday, its biological mechanisms continue to elude top scientific minds. Once thought to be a pathogen that primarily attacks the lungs, it has turned out to be a much more formidable foe — impacting nearly every major organ system in the body.

From the Associated Press: “A Summer X Games stop in Minneapolis scheduled for July has been canceled due to the coronavirus. Earlier, the X Games postponed a winter event stop in Chongli, China, scheduled for February and canceled an installment in Shanghai in May. The action-sports event in Minneapolis was to be the fourth and final go-around in the city. The deal was originally for 2017 and ’18, but two more years were added after a successful first year.”

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KSTP-TV reports: “Authorities in western Wisconsin are investigating after two people were found dead Friday morning. The Pierce County Sheriff’s Office said deputies received a call at about 11:25 a.m. from 32-year-old Amory Tarr saying his father had been shot in Clifton Township, not far from River Falls. Contact was then lost with Tarr. When authorities got to the scene, they found Tarr and his father, 60-year-old Craig Tarr, both dead.”

Also for KSTP-TV, Callan Gray writes: “Thousands of businesses across Minnesota are preparing to reopen on Monday. Gov. Tim Walz has issued an executive order that will allow manufacturing, industrial and office employees to return to work. …  State officials laid out the rules and answered questions during a webinar on Friday. According to McKinnon, the executive order will allow about 20,000 businesses to reopen, affecting 80,000 to 100,000 workers.”