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Trump says he has ‘total’ authority to decide when to reopen the economy

Plus: City of Minneapolis in ‘dire’ financial position; liberal challenger defeats sitting justice in Wisconsin supreme court race; mother of Timberwolves star Karl-Anthony Towns dies from COVID-19; and more.

Trump, Pence
President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence watching a multimedia presentation created by the White House to defend the president's response to the coronavirus outbreak during the daily coronavirus task force briefing on Monday.
REUTERS/Leah Millis

The Associated Press reports: “President Donald Trump claimed the ‘total’ authority Monday to decide how and when to reopen the economy after weeks of tough social distancing guidelines aimed at fighting the new coronavirus. But governors from both parties were quick to push back, noting they have the primary constitutional responsibility for ensuring public safety in their states and would decide when it’s safe to begin a return to normal operations.”

Says Zac Farber for the Southwest Journal, “Minneapolis is currently in a ‘dire financial position,’ according to Mayor Jacob Frey, with the city’s external revenue expected to drop this year between 7% and 15% — by roughly $100 million to $200 million. The city has imposed wage and hiring freezes and is delaying large purchases in an attempt to forestall layoffs and keep providing core city services, such as responding to 911 calls and repairing roads, during the coronavirus pandemic. … The first pains are already being felt, with the governor’s stay-at-home keeping out-of-towners from coming into Minneapolis, which means no taxes collected off of sports games, concerts and conventions; fewer people paying to park in city ramps; and less revenue from utilities, like water and sewer, used during events.”

In the Pioneer Press, Dana Ferguson says, “Minnesotans could pick up two bottles of wine or a 12-pack of beer along with their takeout or curbside pickup meals under a plan being pushed by state lawmakers. A bipartisan group of state legislators, along with Minnesota restaurant owners are pushing Gov. Tim Walz to allow restaurants to sell sealed beer and wine with takeout orders. The alcoholic beverages haven’t been explicitly authorized under Walz’s executive order closing dine-in restaurants and bars to limit the spread of the coronavirus.”

For the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Patrick Marley says, “Dane County Circuit Judge Jill Karofsky won the race for Wisconsin Supreme Court, narrowing the conservative majority after a tumultuous election conducted in the midst of a global pandemic, according to unofficial results released Monday. Karofsky’s victory marked the first time in a dozen years that a Supreme Court challenger beat an incumbent — and just the second time in more than half a century. Her win over Justice Daniel Kelly will shift conservative control of the court from 5-2 to 4-3. Appearing by video conference from her home with her son and daughter behind her, Karofsky thanked her family and supporters and decried the decision to hold the election during the coronavirus outbreak.”

The Star Tribune’s Libor Jany writes: “A Minneapolis police commander has been demoted after an online uproar over a Facebook post about homicide investigations that sparked controversy online and drew rebukes from both Chief Medaria Arradondo and the NAACP. Kim Lund Voss wrote on her publicly available Facebook page Sunday that she had been transferred to the South Side Third Precinct, where she will run the property crimes unit. In doing so, she will return to her rank of lieutenant.”

Also in the Star Tribune, Chao Xiong writes: “Nearly two dozen Minnesotans have been charged with violating Gov. Tim Walz’s emergency orders aimed at curbing the spread of COVID-19, revealing that authorities continue to tack on the count as a secondary offense to other crimes. … A total of 23 cases have been filed across the state between March and Monday morning.”

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A FOX9 story says, “Cargill says it is temporarily idling its Big Lake, Minnesota facility and laying off employees there due to shifting demands of the foodservice industry. The company confirmed to FOX 9 Monday that its Big Lake facility is stopping production. Cargill said that reductions in services like restaurants, cafeterias and stadium vendors and increased demands in retail and grocery stores has shifted the company’s approach to food production temporarily.”

Also at MPR, Euan Kerr says, “Coronavirus restrictions now have independent bookstores caught in an agonizing situation: Just when there’s a huge audience looking for something to read, they’ve had to close their doors. Many have found creative ways of dealing with the challenge, as Minneapolis writer Kawai Strong Washburn has found. … Next Chapter decided to hold its first virtual reading featuring Washburn in conversation with Booker Prize-winning novelist Marlon James. Readers can participate on their digital devices.”

The Associated Press reports: “A wind-whipped fire destroyed three businesses in downtown Grand Marais in northern Minnesota on Monday. Cook County Sheriff Pat Eliasen said 911 dispatch received a report of a fire in the back of the Crooked Spoon Cafe early Monday afternoon. The fire spread to two neighboring businesses, Picnic & Pine and White Pine North.”

For ESPN, Malika Andrews reports, “Jacqueline Cruz-Towns, the mother of Minnesota Timberwolves star Karl-Anthony Towns, has died due to complications from the coronavirus, her family said Monday. She was 58. … Karl-Anthony Towns posted an emotional video to his Instagram page on March 25, revealing that his mother was in a medically induced coma and had been placed on a ventilator due to the virus.”