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Wednesday's Axios Twin Cities stories

Jun 9, 2021 - Axios Twin Cities

Why many Minneapolis beaches, pools lack lifeguards this summer

Lake Harriet is one of several Minneapolis-area beaches that won't have life guards this summer. Photo: Nick Halter/Axios

People flocking to beaches and pools during this early summer heat wave are finding lots of empty lifeguard chairs.

What's happening: Pandemic-related closures at aquatic centers led to a slowdown in the training of new lifeguards, and the backlog comes as many summer-oriented businesses are forced to compete for workers.

Why it matters: Without lifeguards for parts of last summer, Minnesota saw a rise in drownings and near-drownings. Last year, 49 people died in non-boating drownings in the state, the most since 2011, according to the state Department of Natural Resources.

Rochester coffee shop expands into Twin Cities metro

Fiddlehead, whose Rochester location is shown here, is opening in Bloomington. Photo courtesy of McGough

Rochester-based Fiddlehead Coffee Co. is opening a hybrid shop-cafe on the ground floor of the newly built Fenley Apartments in Bloomington.

The intrigue: This is a bit of change-up from the developing trend of Twin Cities-based businesses rushing south to Rochester to take advantage of the Destination Medical Center-related boom.

Details: Fiddlehead will open in Bloomington in October at 8051 33rd Ave S., which is just east of Mall of America.

  • The coffee shop roasts it own beans and will bring its "world-class pastry program" to the city, according to a press release by developer McGough, which owns the apartment building.
  • The cafe will serve lunch, dinner, beer, wine and cocktails.
Jun 8, 2021 - Axios Twin Cities

How close will the Twin Cities get to the 1936 heat wave?

Expand chart
Data: Fox 9; Chart: Axios Visuals

Five days into a stretch of 90-degree heat, the Twin Cities are poised to make it into the top three longest heat waves in the area's history if the forecast holds true.

Driving the news: Highs have hit 90 or above every day since last Thursday, and forecasters expect temps in the 90s through Friday. That would put the area at nine straight days of 90-degree weather.

  • That's still short of the record in 1936, when Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport recorded 14 consecutive days in the 90s.

Yes, but: The forecast calls for upper 80s Saturday through next Wednesday. A couple more degrees warmer and that's flirting with 1936.

Flashback: That heat wave 85 years ago was really something. It hit 108 on July 14, 1936, and 51 people died from the heat on that day alone, according to a Pioneer Press story.

  • "It was so oppressive that notorious criminal Alvin Karpis pleaded guilty to kidnapping St. Paul brewery president William Hamm Jr., preferring to face a possible life sentence instead of enduring a trial in the stifling federal courthouse (now Landmark Center)," the paper reported.

What's ahead: Meteorologist Paul Douglas, who warned of a hot and dry summer weeks ago, is doubling down, saying the climate models "predict excessive heat into August."

The big picture: "One of the most robust conclusions of climate studies is that as average temperatures increase, heat waves are becoming more likely and more severe not just in the Upper Midwest, but worldwide," said Axios' Andrew Freedman.

Jun 8, 2021 - Axios Twin Cities

Push for rent control growing in the Twin Cities

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

Efforts to limit the amount landlords in the Twin Cities can increase apartment rent are heating up.

Driving the news: A coalition called Housing Equity Now Saint Paul has collected roughly 4,000 of the 5,000 signatures needed to get a rent control measure on the St. Paul ballot this November. They're hoping to have 10,000 by June 15.

  • In Minneapolis, the commission that revises the city's charter will consider on July 7 a proposed amendment that would allow the City Council to implement rent control. If approved, the issue would then go to voters in November.