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Minnesota’s latest phase of reopening starts Wednesday with new rules for restaurants, gyms, and other businesses

Plus: George Floyd laid to rest in Houston; Benton County bar displaying Confederate memorabilia delisted from state tourism website; Pat Evans leaves KARE 11; and more.

The Grand Seven bar on West 7th Street in downtown St. Paul did brisk outdoor patio business Monday afternoon.
MinnPost photo by Jim Walsh
The Grand Seven bar on West 7th Street in downtown St. Paul
For MPR, Mark Zdechlik reports: “After months of empty tables, restaurants throughout Minnesota are reopening their dining rooms Wednesday, welcoming back customers who’ve been cooking for themselves or picking up takeout. Nothing is back to normal, though. Dining is capped at 50 percent capacity and going out to eat will look and feel a lot different than before the coronavirus shut things down in March. … Health clubs are also hoping there’s pent up demand after months stuck home. Like other businesses, they have to switch up the way they do things, including limiting to 25 percent capacity.”

A team of reporters from the Washington Post write: “George Perry Floyd Jr. was buried next to his mother here on Tuesday, taking his final resting place in the city where he was raised. It marked the end of his body’s physical journey after his killing at the hands of police on a Minneapolis street corner two weeks earlier, but it also signaled the acceleration of a movement for social justice that will forever bear his name. The final words in tribute to the 46-year-old father, friend and brother were a recommitment by those who knew him — and now millions who know of him — to turn against racism. Speaker after speaker at his funeral Tuesday afternoon implored America to move from indifference to healing, from fear to courage and from mistrust to unity. They want to ensure Floyd’s life was not lost in vain.”

In the Star Tribune, Jennifer Bjorhus and Liz Sawyer write: In 2013, the city of Minneapolis paid $3 million to the family of David Cornelius Smith, who died after police pinned him face down, while handcuffed, on the floor of a downtown YMCA. It remains one of the largest payouts for a police misconduct lawsuit in the city’s history, and Smith’s death in 2010 focused public attention on the dangerous prone restraint tactic. Now, following the death of George Floyd in a similar restraint, Smith’s family wants to know whether the Minneapolis Police Department ever fulfilled a promise in the city’s settlement to require all sworn officers undergo training on the dangers of positional asphyxia.

In a piece in The Atlantic, Justin Ellis writes about his hometown, “Racial inequity is the story of this country from its founding; it’s just that Minnesota started to believe its own lies about opportunity and brotherly love. That’s ironic, given that the state exists as a product of plundering—or was it rezoning?—the land of indigenous Americans. This was the choice that created this state, and it hangs over every soul in Minneapolis. It’s echoed in the decisions of those who willfully ignore black suffering because of the comforts they have been afforded for generations.

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Says the Star Tribune’s John Reinan, “A Benton County bar that displays an extensive collection of Confederate memorabilia was delisted from Explore MN, the state’s official tourism website, after area residents objected to ‘glorifying’ the Confederacy. But the listing for Rollie’s Rednecks and Longnecks in Sauk Rapids will soon be reinstated, according to the head of the local tourism organization, who said nothing in the displays is against the group’s policies. ‘It’s up to the business owner what they want to display,’ said Julie Lunning, executive director of Visit Greater St. Cloud. …‘Our position is, we remain neutral. It’s a successful business, and customers can choose to frequent that business if they want.’”

In the New York Post Yaron Steinbuch says, “A white lawyer in Wisconsin has been arrested for allegedly spitting on a black teen protester — and then again after she was caught in another video shoving a college student who had been writing protest messages in front of her home, according to a report. In the first case, Stephanie Rapkin, 64, showed up at an anti-racism rally in Shorewood on Saturday, parking her car in the street to block the march, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported. When demonstrators told her to move her vehicle, she spat on 17-year-old Eric Patrick Lucas III, who helped organize the event, according to the report.”

In the Pioneer Press, Dane Mizutani says, “While so many people are excited about the reopen, with the coronavirus pandemic still far from over, fitness clubs across the state are taking extra precautions right now. Looking specifically at Alchemy, it won’t even try to operate at 25 percent capacity, instead limiting class sizes to 10 people for the foreseeable future. … Life Time will open with increased safety precautions. They include continuous cleaning throughout the day, hand sanitizing stations throughout the club and increased spacing between equipment, among various other things. A full list of these safety precautions is on the company’s website.”

In the Star Tribune, Neal Justin writes: “When Pat Evans decided to take three months off from KARE to care for his 95-year-old mother, he fully expected to return to the TV station that he has called home for more than 25 years. But family comes first. Evans, who did everything from hosting morning shows to forecasting the weather, confirmed Monday that he has left the NBC affiliate for good and moved to California.”