Axios Twin Cities

Picture of the Twin Cities skyline with MSP written across it.

Good morning!

  • ☀️ Now this is what June is supposed to be like — 82 and sunny today.

Reminder: We're still on "vacation mode" this week, so we're keeping things short and light. We'll be back to our regular sends on Monday!

Today's newsletter is 439 words, a 1.5-minute read.

1 big thing: Celebrate Black Music Month

Price holds up his first while playing the guitar in a hazy room

Prince performs live at the Fabulous Forum on February 19, 1985 in Inglewood, Calif. Photo: Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

It's Black Music Month, and we have many, many musicians to thank for shaping the Minneapolis Sound.

  • Hit reply and share your favorite Black artists or composers from the Twin Cities, past and present. We'll feature some of your answers later this week.

Why it matters: While Black music is the bedrock of American music, Black artists and producers haven't always been recognized for their contributions or reaped the financial benefits.

  • Honoring Black Music Month is also about fighting for Black musicians to maintain ownership of their work.

How to celebrate: MPR's The Current is airing a special program every Monday at 10pm throughout June to celebrate the evolution of Black music and its influence across genres.

  • Catch up quick: The first episode featured music "inspired, produced and performed by Twin Cities artists." Check it out.
  • On Wednesday, 12 local choral groups are hosting a concert at Orchestra Hall to affirm and amplify Black lives. It's being streamed for free, kicking off at 7pm. Tune in on the Chorus America YouTube channel or broadcast via YourClassical MPR (99.5 FM,

2. Catch up quick: Hunter is back; U of M won't require vaccines

Danielle Hunter hold his arms out

Danielle Hunter is coming back to the Vikings. Photo: Harry How/Getty Images

  • Vikings star defensive end Danielle Hunter agreed to a reworked contract that gives him more money upfront, NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported yesterday. He won't skip the team's minicamp that starts today, as fans had feared. (
  • A special session of the Minnesota Legislature got underway yesterday and will likely last most of the rest of the month; lawmakers must pass a new two-year budget to head off a state government shutdown. (MPR News)
  • The Minneapolis Park Board, after a years-long debate, has agreed to cut back on the use of pesticides throughout its park and trail system. (Star Tribune)
  • The Ohio-based owner of Maplewood Mall, Northtown Mall and around 100 other retail centers has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection as it restructures. (Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal)
  • Pricey pest: The cost for removing and replacing 13,000 ash trees in St. Paul — due to the invasive emerald ash borer — comes in at $18 million over the next five years. (Pioneer Press)
  • The University of Minnesota won't require students, faculty and staff to get vaccinated for the fall semester. A campus survey showed 96% have gotten at least one dose. (KSTP)
  • The woman killed by a driver who plowed into protesters in Uptown has been identified as Deona Erickson, a mother of two. Police don't yet know of a motive, but say drugs and alcohol could be a factor. (MPR News)

3. Where you can fly now

A map of destinations from MSP airport

A map of destinations with nonstop service from MSP airport. Image courtesy of Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport

There are now 404 daily departures from Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport, and that number will jump to 431 in July.

Context: The number of daily departures is nearly triple what it was a year ago, when there were 139.

  • As of late May, only 40 MSP routes remained suspended.

Planning a trip? See where can you fly nonstop right now by checking out the airport's new interactive map.

Don’t forget your mask: You can’t get on a plane without wearing one.

Have a wonderful day.