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‘Hero pay’ appeals to stretch into September

Plus: Public hearing over Hiawatha golf course’s future draws a crowd; Minneapolis council to vote on 12-week paid parental leave; flooding hits Cambridge in Isanti County; and more.

healthcare worker
REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

At KSTP-TV Tom Hauser says, “The number of people who applied for Frontline Worker Pay far exceeded the state’s initial estimate of 667,000, but the $500 million pot of money to be divided stays the same. That means bonus payments once projected at about $750 will now likely end up around $500. We won’t know the final number until early September after all appeals are considered from workers who had applications rejected this week. Nearly 1.2 million people applied for the bonuses, but 214,000 of those were rejected. … The 214,000 rejections were based on criteria set by the Minnesota Legislature. They were rejected for one or more of the following reasons: 55,000 collected too much unemployment pay; 55,000 couldn’t have their employment verified; 43,000 earned too much money; 95,000 couldn’t have their identity verified and 47,000 submitted duplicate applications.”

Stribber Susan Du reports, “A packed Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board hearing on the future of the Hiawatha Golf Course matched impassioned park users who want to restore the waterlogged course’s floodplain function against staunch advocates of preserving 18 holes of golf. … Following the two-hour public hearing, the Park Board’s Planning Committee voted to advance the 9-hole plan to the full board in two weeks. The course is 4 feet below the level of Lake Hiawatha in the Minnehaha Creek floodplain. It has experienced major floods throughout its history and beginning in 2014 was partially closed by floodwaters for more than a year. Park staffers have been trying to redesign the course for better water management ever since. They created a plan that would reduce the number of holes to nine and create a channel for stormwater to flow more naturally through the course into Lake Hiawatha.”

Also, Ben Henry of KSTP-TV says, “Thursday, the Minneapolis city council will vote on a policy change that would increase the city’s paid parental leave to twelve-weeks — tripling its current policy of three-weeks paid parental leave. The policy change was unanimously approved by the Policy & Government Oversight Committee. During his 2023-24 budget proposal Monday, Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey highlighted why this move is important. … Under state law, all workers in Minnesota have the right to twelve-weeks of parental leave — if Minneapolis’ city council approves this change, city workers could be paid for all of that time.”

This from WCCO-TV, “Police say a woman is in stable condition after being shot during a large fight outside of a St. Paul bar Monday night. St. Paul Police Department officers responded to Willard’s Liquor in the Frogtown neighborhood around 10 p.m. on a reported shooting. They found 25-30 people fighting, and a 30-year-old woman who had been shot.”

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Another KSTP story says, “As previously reported by 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS, State Fair Police Chief Ron Knafla had sent a letter to the Ramsey County Sheriff’s Office, saying they were hoping to have 200 officers for the event but had 99 sworn officers at that time. In that letter, Knafla wrote, ‘Please accept this letter as an official request for assistance from the Ramsey County Sheriff’s Office to support our efforts to ensure the health and safety of the State Fair attendees.’ Wednesday, the fair said it reached 200 law enforcement officers.

A Milwaukee Journal Sentinel story by Bill Glauber says, “With a post-primary bump, Democratic U.S. Senate nominee Mandela Barnes surged to a 7-point lead in his race against Republican U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson, while Democratic Gov. Tony Evers was locked in a tight battle with GOP nominee Tim Michels, according to Wednesday’s Marquette University Law School Poll. In the Senate race, Barnes was at 51% while Johnson, who is running for a third term, was at 44%. The race for governor was closer, with Evers leading Michels, 45% to 43%, well within the poll’s margin of error. Independent Joan Beglinger was at 7%.”

For BringMeTheNews, Joe Nelson reports, “Heavy rain from slow-moving storms has led to flooding in parts of eastern Minnesota, namely in Isanti County where the City of Cambridge was inundated with water, making travel difficult and dangerous throughout the town of almost 9,000 people.  A flash flood warning was issued for Isanti County at about 6:45 p.m., with the National Weather Service saying flash flooding was happening or expected to begin shortly. Images out of Cambridge show flooded streets and yards, with the City of Cambridge issuing this warning on Facebook:  ‘Please do not drive unless absolutely necessary at the current time. There is significant flooding on several streets throughout the City as well as several downed power lines as a result of heavy winds, rain, and hail.'”

Tim Nelson of MPR News reports, “A stretch of Twin Cities freeway remained closed Wednesday, a day after an oversized vehicle struck a pedestrian bridge spanning the road. The closure affects westbound Highway 62 — the Crosstown — between Interstate 35W and Highway 100. The bridge that was hit crosses the freeway near Rosland Park in Edina, just west of Valley View Road. The Minnesota Department of Transportation says the collision bent the steel truss on the underside of the bridge. That caused concerns about the concrete deck on the span above the westbound lanes.”

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