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Walz announces $56 million in federal funds for child care providers

Plus: Legislative special session to convene Monday; Minnesota Senate president’s business got PPP loan; New York Times checks in on Minneapolis distillery; and more.

Gov. Tim Walz
REUTERS/Lucas Jackson
Gov. Tim Walz
Child care provider relief. The Forum News Service’s Dana Ferguson reports (via the Bemidji Pioneer): “Thousands of Minnesota child care providers will be eligible for federal grant funds to offset the cost of guarding kids and staff against the coronavirus, Gov. Tim Walz announced Tuesday, July 7. … Walz announced that he would put $56.6 million in Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act funds toward grants for child care providers to help them pay for protections against COVID-19, the illness caused by the coronavirus, in the workplace. The measure, which uses the federal funds, needs approval from a panel of legislators before it can become accessible to providers.”

Special session starts next week. Also from Ferguson (via the Duluth News Tribune): “Minnesota state lawmakers will return for another special legislative session on Monday, July 13, to weigh an extension of the state’s peacetime emergency to combat the coronavirus, consider a bill to fund public construction projects and potentially compromise on police reform bills. … Gov. Tim Walz on Tuesday, July 7, confirmed he would call lawmakers back a month after they left the Capitol with no meaningful progress on any of either the bonding bill or police reform measures.”

Government works. The Associated Press reports (via MPR): “A more than century-old scrap metal business owned by the Minnesota Senate president was among hundreds of thousands of businesses nationwide to get a boost from the Treasury Department’s Payroll Protection Program. … Miller Scrap, co-owned by GOP state Sen. Jeremy Miller of Winona, got a $200,000 loan that helped the business through the worst of the pandemic downturn without laying off a single employee or cutting benefits, said Miller, the company’s chief financial officer.

Nice national coverage for a local distillery. The New York Times’ Robert Simonson reports:When Chris and Shanelle Montana founded Du Nord Craft Spirits in 2013, they chose the Longfellow neighborhood in southern Minneapolis, ‘in part because it was a little quieter,’ Mr. Montana said. … It didn’t work out that way. Over the past four months, Du Nord has been buffeted and transformed by each new trauma to shake the city, and the world. … In mid-March, with the coronavirus converging on the United States, the couple, like many other distillers, ceased making their gin, vodka, whiskey and liqueurs, and began manufacturing much-needed hand sanitizer. … Mr. Montana handed out that sanitizer to protesters outside the nearby Third Precinct police station after the killing of George Floyd on May 25. The distiller was tear-gassed twice for his trouble.”

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In other news…

Another restaurant closed:In Bloom, the four-star anchor to St. Paul’s Keg and Case Market, has closed” [Star Tribune]

More NYT coverage of the Minnesota food scene:Two Chefs Moved to Rural Minnesota to Expand on Their Mission of Racial Justice” [New York Times]

Rep. Omar featured prominently:Viewpoint: What Donald Trump gets wrong about Somalia” [BBC]

Opening July 24 in Chicago (maybe):Five things to know about the Twins’ 60-game schedule” [Star Tribune]