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Online sales at Target more than double

Plus: COVID-19 sickens Mayo Clinic’s first-quarter income; lawmakers leave counties, cities and towns left in limbo; more Minnesotans inquiring about becoming foster parents; and more.

empty Target aisle
A shopping cart sits in an aisle empty of cleaning products at a Target store in Manhattan.
REUTERS/Brendan Mcdermid

Some positive economic news. The Associated Press reports:Online sales at Target more than doubled as the pandemic put millions in lockdown during the first quarter, revealing further the critical role big box stores played in getting supplies to an immobilized population. … The Minneapolis company reported Wednesday that comparable-store sales, which include online purchases, rose 10.8% for the three-month period that ended May 2. … That was fueled by a 12.5% jump in the number of items customers bought with each trip to the store as families made major restocking runs, but fewer of them.”

And some not-so-good. The Rochester Post Bulletin’s Jeff Kiger reports: “What started as an exceptionally strong financial first quarter for Mayo Clinic was pushed off a pandemic cliff on March 23, ending with revenue down by 3.8 percent to $3.22 billion and the net operating income plummeting by 88 percent. … The final eight days of the quarter drove net operating income down to $29 million, compared to $241 million for the same quarter in 2019. … The COVID-19 pandemic sickened what was a very healthy start for 2020.”

Left in limbo. The Star Tribune’s Jessie Van Berkel and Liz Navratil report:The Legislature ended its work Sunday without a decision on how to distribute $667 million in federal aid for counties, cities and towns — leaving cash-strapped communities in limbo as coronavirus costs pile up. … The Republican majority in the state Senate and DFL House leaders clashed over how to dole out the money in recent weeks, and the issue got ensnared in other end-of-session deals at the Capitol. The Legislature could try to reach a compromise by mid-June, when they anticipate returning for a special session.”

Q&A with Minneapolis Police Chief Medaria Arradondo. Mpls.St.Paul Magazine’s Drew Wood reports: “I remember as a young officer, rolling out of the Fourth Precinct parking lot one afternoon, and the Rodney King incident had just occurred. And a couple of gentlemen yelled something in reference to that. And it was interesting because they were associating myself in this profession with something that had happened across the country. Fast-forward to today, and I don’t care if a situation happens in a police department in Texas or Toronto: If it’s scrutinized and something of a critical nature, communities today feel very connected to that, and they will view your police department sometimes in the lens of that.

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Look for the helpers. MPR’s Nina Moini reports: “State officials say the number of children entering foster care is down significantly since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. At the same time, they say more Minnesotans are inquiring about becoming foster parents. Kim Young, foster care specialist with MN Adopt, which works closely with the state to help find permanent homes for those in foster care, said average monthly inquiries about becoming a foster parent doubled in March and April — and that rate continues.”

Very strong lifeline. The West Central Tribune’s Tom Cherveny reports: “Tim and Paul Seehusen have launched Prairie PROducers LLC in Olivia to process locally raised industrial hemp into the fibers, biomass and grain that can be further processed into products ranging from clothing and biodegradable bottles to high-protein oil. … They planted a two-acre test plot with four different varieties of industrial hemp May 6 behind their facility on the west edge of Olivia.”

In other news…

As expected: “Minneapolis Reclaims Crown For Top Park System In The Nation; St. Paul Ranked At No. 3” [WCCO]

Not all heroes wear capes: “Months after Drake Hotel fire, Minneapolis man is reunited with comic book collection worth thousands of dollars” [KSTP]

North Loop staple: “Moose and Sadie’s the latest Twin Cities restaurant to close” [BringMeTheNews]

Another COVID closure: “Circa Gallery to close after 30 years” [City Pages]

That thing still isn’t done yet? “North Dakota construction firm lands $1.3 billion border wall contact, the biggest so far” [Fargo Forum]

A little 1 on 1: “Timberwolves opening practice facility for individual workouts” [Star Tribune]

Yes: “Wanna buy the tiniest cabin for sale in Minnesota?” [City Pages]

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