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State plans to suspend liquor licenses of three more restaurants for defying COVID rules

Plus: congressional leaders reach deal on $900 billion relief package; Woodbury doctor combats COVID misinformation within Hmong community; Gophers decide against accepting bowl invite; and more.

Photo by Kelsey Chance on Unsplash
The Star Tribune’s Kristen Leigh Painter reports, “Minnesota regulators notified three more restaurants Saturday of plans to suspend their liquor licenses for bucking Gov. Tim Walz’s COVID-19 order to close. The Interchange in Albert Lea, Cornerstone in Monticello and the Pour House in Clarks Grove now face 60-day suspensions pending a hearing before an administrative judge. … Violators could face a five-year liquor license suspension by the Minnesota Department of Public Safety’s Alcohol and Gambling Enforcement Division.

The New York Times Emily Cochrane reports: “Congressional leaders on Sunday reached a hard-fought agreement on a $900 billion stimulus package that would send immediate aid to Americans and businesses to help them cope with the economic devastation of the pandemic and fund the distribution of vaccines. The deal would deliver the first significant infusion of federal dollars into the economy since April, as negotiators broke through months of partisan gridlock that had scuttled earlier talks, leaving millions of Americans and businesses without federal help as the pandemic raged. ”

In the Star Tribune, Tim Harlow writes, “Several additional months of inconvenience are ahead for the thousands of drivers who use County Road 81 each day to travel between north Minneapolis and Robbinsdale. Last week, the Hennepin County Department of Transportation closed the southbound bridge over Wirth Parkway and Lowry Avenue and shifted traffic onto the northbound bridge with one travel lane in each direction. That was not supposed to happen until spring, when the county plans to start rebuilding the two deteriorating spans that pass over Lowry Avenue and Wirth Parkway. But repeated weight limit violations raised safety concerns and prompted the swift action.”

For the Pioneer Press, Frederick Melo says, “In the early days of the pandemic, Dr. David Thao braced for a grim reality. Many Hmong elders who had relied heavily on family to survive war, persecution, resettlement through refugee camps and a new life in an unfamiliar country were unlikely to socially distance, especially during important cultural celebrations such as weddings and funerals. His fears proved prophetic. … Rather than shrug off communal gatherings as an inevitability, Thao has taken to YouTube and other media to urge caution, raise awareness and combat misinformation about the virus through interviews with experts and Hmong patients who have tested positive.”

For KMSP-TV Bisi Onile-Ere says, “The Food Group, formerly known as The Emergency Shelf Network, has been serving families for more than 40 years. But in its history, it’s never seen the demand it’s now seeing during the pandemic. … [Food Group executive director] Lenarz-Coy says that the need for food is at historic highs as we entered the ninth month of the COVID-19 crisis. ‘We’re seeing folks who have never struggled with food insecurity before,’ she explained. … The Food Group serves 32 counties in Minnesota and Wisconsin and is doubling its food distribution to keep up with demand.”

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At MPR, Andrew Krueger tells us, “‘Plow’ Bunyan? ‘Salter’ Mondale? The Minnesota Department of Transportation has received thousands of submissions like those in the first days of its new “Name a Snowplow” contest. The agency is giving people the chance to name eight snowplows — one in each MnDOT district around the state. MnDOT communications director Jake Loesch said there were about 8,000 entries just in the first day, after the contest opened on Thursday. They’ve come from all corners of the state — and beyond.”

Also from KMSP-TV: “Protesters in Minneapolis on Sunday were rally against the construction of the Enbridge Line 3 pipeline project in Minnesota. This past week, at least 22 people who call themselves ‘Water Protectors’ were arrested for trespassing in the area where Line 3 will be constructed. Sunday, hundreds rallied at West River Parkway Bridge to support those water arrested.”

Also in the Star Tribune, Megan Ryan writes: “The Gophers announced Sunday morning they would not seek nor accept a bowl invite after dropping 20-17 in overtime at Wisconsin on Saturday, ending the regular season at 3-4. With 4-5 Penn State having opted out Saturday night, the Gophers could have made a low-tier bowl even with their losing record since the NCAA did not set bowl eligibility requirements for this pandemic year.”