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Some of Minnesota’s largest social service nonprofits struggle amid COVID-19

Plus: Trump uses Mount Rushmore speech to stoke racial divisions; naked man pulled from Duluth sewer system; Twins hold first workout to prepare for COVID-shortened season; and more.

Also in the Star Tribune, Kelly Smith writes: “Some of Minnesota’s largest nonprofits that help the homeless and people with disabilities or mental illness are struggling in the COVID-19 pandemic, caught in a gap that disqualifies them for emergency federal stimulus money. Nonprofits with more than 500 employees don’t qualify for the federal aid that smaller Minnesota nonprofits have received. So a group of nine social services nonprofits are pushing Minnesota’s congressional delegation for help.”

For the Associated Press, Stephen Groves And Darlene Superville write: “At the foot of Mount Rushmore on the eve of Independence Day, President Donald Trump made a direct appeal to disaffected white voters four months before Election Day, accusing protesters who have pushed for racial justice of engaging in a ‘merciless campaign to wipe out our history.’ The president dug further into American divisions Friday, offering a discordant tone to an electorate battered by a pandemic and wounded by racial injustice following the high-profile killings of Black people.”

MPR’s Dan Kraker and Kristi Marohn write: “State and federal officials are warning of high fire danger in northeastern Minnesota this holiday weekend. Recent heavy rains in other parts of the state have mostly bypassed the state’s far northeastern Arrowhead Region. All of northeastern Minnesota remains in abnormally dry or moderate drought conditions.”

Also from the AP: “First responders have pulled a naked man out of the downtown Duluth sewer system. The rescue came Thursday evening after authorities got a report Wednesday that a person had entered a manhole in downtown. City spokeswoman Kate Van Daele said his clothes were found near that manhole. Authorities searched for several hours Wednesday, but called off the search when they could not find him.”

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The Star Tribune’s Zoe Jackson writes: “The nationwide reckoning with racism and diversity has reached the Minnesota craft beer industry. In the past week, Minneapolis’ first Black brewery co-owner and several employees of color departed the North Loop’s One Fermentary & Taproom amid a staff dispute over reopening days after the police killing of George Floyd. Meanwhile, the white CEO of 56 Brewing in northeast Minneapolis stepped down after the revelation of a 2018 incident involving a Black employee drew outrage on social media.”

In the Pioneer Press, Betsy Helfand writes: “Willians Astudillo and one other Twins player tested positive for COVID-19 this week during the Twins’ intake process, president of baseball operations Derek Falvey said Friday. Infielder Nick Gordon and pitcher Edwar Colina had tested positive previously and are still at home in Florida recovering, Falvey said. The Twins had announced positive tests among players in the organization last week but had not named those players.”

In the Star Tribune, LaVelle E. Neal III reports: “The sights and sounds of baseball were back at Target Field on Friday as the Twins held their first workout in front of a spread-out media.  … Baseball has been delayed by the COVID-19 pandemic, but the long and fruitless negotiations between the players and owners over how to start the season played a role as well. The league eventually announced a 60-game season that is expected to start July 23, leaving not much time for the Twins to prepare for the defense of their AL Central title.”