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Minneapolis and Hennepin County opening three new homeless shelters

Plus: Minneapolis school board considers what re-opening will look like for the district; coronavirus disrupts Somali remittance system; Klobuchar sponsors bill for federal aid to music venues; and more.

New shelters. The Star Tribune’s Miguel Otárola reports: “The city of Minneapolis and Hennepin County will use federal coronavirus aid to help open three new homeless shelters and fund other measures for emergency housing, as many people continue to sleep overnight in local parks. … The shelters would be exclusive to three groups — women, Native Americans and the medically frail — and opened in partnership with the state and social service organizations. A City Council committee is scheduled to advance more than $8 million in CARES Act funding for the shelters Thursday.”

Minneapolis schools consider their re-opening. The Southwest Journal’s Nate Gotlieb reports: “As Gov. Tim Walz considers whether to mandate remote education this fall, Minneapolis schools are working to improve their digital infrastructure and ensure buildings are safe for in-person classes. … At some point before Aug. 1, Walz will announce whether classes can be held in person and, if so, what rules will determine classroom capacity. … While schools won’t be able to accommodate more students than allowed by the governor, they can choose to be more restrictive. That means districts can decide to continue with remote learning. … A draft resolution from Minneapolis School Board member Bob Walser (Downtown/Chain of Lakes) would require the district to start the school year remotely and not resume in-person instruction until at least Nov. 15.

Coronavirus has disrupted Somalis’ ability to send money back home. For Sahan Journal, MinnPost alum Ibrahim Hirsi reports: “Each year, according to Oxfam, an international organization working to end poverty, Somalis living in countries like United States, the United Kingdom, and Canada send about $1.3 billion to their family and friends in Somalia. That amount accounts for 25-40 percent of the country’s overall economy. More than $215 million of that comes specifically from Somalis in the U.S. … In normal times, each of these hawalas sends out carriers, who travel with cash in suitcases from Minneapolis–Saint Paul International Airport to Dubai, where many of the money-transfer companies are headquartered. Now, since COVID-19 struck in March, however, the door to fly money stacks has closed. This dilemma has left many hawalas in Minnesota to either go out of business or watch their revenues plummet.

This rocks. City Pages’ Keith Harris writes: “What’s Amy Klobuchar been up to lately, now that she’s not running for national office? … Well, the senior U.S. senator from Minnesota just co-sponsored a pretty decent bipartisan bill that might help keep the lights on at your favorite music club. … Klobuchar signed on with Sen. John Cornyn (R-Tex.) for the Save Our Stages Act, which would set aside $10 billion in relief over the next month for live music venues, available in chunks up to $12 million or 45 percent of a venue’s 2019 operating costs.

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In other news…

Big deadline approaching:Application renewal required for more than 20K food, cash assistance recipients in Minnesota” [KSTP]

Not working:Ramsey County dissolves gang unit citing low success rate, racial disparities” [KMSP]

Wisconsin’s Sen. Ron Johnson is fighting it:Will Juneteenth become a federal holiday?” [KARE]

Hero:SCSU swimmer saves three lives on Michigan vacation” [St. Cloud Times]