Axios Twin Cities
July 21, 2022
Good morning! One more day til Friday. We can do it!
Today's weather: Sunny, with a high near 86.
Today's newsletter is 708 words, a 3-minute read.
1 big thing: 🦸♀️ Who counts as a hero?
More than 1 million applicants want a piece of the state's $500 million frontline worker pay fund.
The big picture: Interest in the $750 bonus checks, meant to serve as a thank you for people who worked in essential in-person roles in the early days of the pandemic, has far exceeded initial projections.
- As of Thursday morning, the state had received more than 1,075,000 applications. The deadline for applying is 5pm tomorrow.
Why it matters: If more than 667,000 applicants end up qualifying, the size of the individual payments will shrink.
The intrigue: While officials have started the process of vetting the applications, the Department of Labor has repeatedly declined to say ahead of tomorrow's deadline how many have been deemed ineligible.
Between the lines: Legislation creating the program set parameters for eligible professions and income levels, among other criteria.
- Based on the response to other local direct payment programs, it's possible many requests came from people who didn't meet those requirements — or who were from outside the state.
What's next: The Department of Labor will let applicants know via email if their request was denied.
- Rejected workers will be able to submit an appeal next month.
The bottom line: State officials say they won't be able to determine the final number of eligible workers — or the check sizes — until that process is complete.
- The payments should go out in "early fall," Minnesota Department of Labor spokesperson Blair Emerson told Axios.
2. Beer and baseball just over the border
Hudson is set to get a brewery and 1,400-seat ballpark.
Driving the news: The Wisconsin city's council on Monday approved Lift Bridge's proposal for a taproom and beer garden at the former St. Croix Meadows dog track site, the Pioneer Press reports.
- A stadium for the St. Croix River Hounds, a summer league team featuring college players, will be built next door.
Details: The two-story brewery will include a restaurant, a 17,000-square-foot beer garden and a separate space for events for up to 300 people.
- Lift Bridge taprooms in New Richmond and Stillwater will stay open, owner Brad Glynn told the paper.
What to expect: Both projects are slated to open in 2023.
3. The Spoon: No more vaccine-or-test for state workers
🚨 Minneapolis released police body camera video from last week's shooting of Andrew Tekle Sundberg.
- It shows officers helping a mother and children to safety but does not provide clarity about the moment Sundberg was shot following an overnight standoff. (Star Tribune)
💉 The state quietly rescinded its vaccine-or-test mandate for most government workers in May. (MPR News)
🎤 First Avenue canceled Dave Chapelle's Wednesday night show at the last minute following backlash over his controversial comments. He performed at Varsity theater instead. (Twitter)
🥗 The restaurateur behind Joey Meatballs is opening a second location of his Salad Slayer concept on the skyway level of RBC Plaza in downtown Minneapolis.
- Expect a mid- to late-August opening. (Minneapolis-St. Paul Business Journal)
🐆 An officer found a dead cougar near Highway 13 in Savage this week after several sightings were reported. (Bring Me The News)
4. 📸 Pics du jour: New murals in Minneapolis
It's a great time to take a walk around LynLake. After the LynLake Street Art Series wrapped up on Sunday, there are now 50 new murals scattered around the neighborhood.
Organizers invited artists from across the country to transform the open walls over the course of a weekend, with the public invited to watch.
- Local businesses could sponsor the festival, and visitors can contribute to a GoFundMe.
Tip: Don't be afraid to duck into back alleys. Many of the murals aren't visible from the street.
- And, most are clumped together. If you check out the map before you go, you can spot all of them during a 90-minute walk.
Audrey's pick: Look up! It's not on a wall, but the moth on the smoke stack near Evolution Experience Hair Culture is gorgeous.
Fresh job openings around town
5. 🥵 1 hot question to go ...
Our Axios Local colleagues in Philadelphia had a burning question for readers as heat waves sweep the nation: What's your thermostat set to during the summer months?
- Given the heated debate it sparked in our internal Slack chat, we thought we'd take your temperature on this important topic, too.
📬 Reply to this email with your preferences. We'll feature responses in a future newsletter.
Editor's note: The last item in yesterday's newsletter mistakenly called golfer Jason Day Justin. We also misspelled Colombian in the story about the metro's population center.
- Thanks to our eagle-eyed readers for pointing out the typos! We promise to drink more coffee before pressing send moving forward.