The leases, reinstated during the Trump years, would have allowed a Chilean mining conglomerate to dig for copper and nickel near the Boundary Waters wilderness in Minnesota.
Scott Quiner, who was unvaccinated and hospitalized with Covid-19, had been on a ventilator for weeks when doctors told his wife they would be taking him off the machine.
Sinclair Lewis captured the narrow-mindedness and conformity of middle-class America in the first half of the 20th century. On the 100th anniversary of his best-selling novel “Babbitt,” Robert Gottlieb revisits Lewis’s life and career.
In Minnesota, an ambitious initiative is training hundreds of Guard members to become certified nursing assistants and relieve burned out nursing home workers.
The former Minnesota police officer testified at her manslaughter trial on Friday, saying she had never fired her Taser or gun before she accidentally shot Mr. Wright during a traffic stop.
A tornado watch was issued for parts of six states as wind gusts of more than 70 miles per hour bore down on parts of the Upper Midwest on Wednesday.
Nine Minnesota hospital systems published a joint letter Sunday saying that all of their beds are full, doctors and nurses are overwhelmed and demoralized, and their ability to provide care is threatened.
“We’re heartbroken, we’re overwhelmed… The situation is critical,” they wrote in the letter, which was published as full-page ads in newspapers statewide. It was signed by executives from Allina Health, Children’s Minnesota, CentraCare, Essentia Health, Fairview Health Services, HealthPartners, Hennepin Healthcare, Mayo Clinic, and North Memorial Health.
Minnesota currently has the third-highest rate of new daily COVID-19 infections of any state in the US, with 76 cases per 100,000 people. Cases have risen 24 percent over the last two weeks, and they are expected to continue rising. Test positivity in the North Star State is currently over 11 percent, and only 64 percent of the state is fully vaccinated.
Over three decades, she placed thousands of Korean orphans with families in the Midwest and made sure the children never forgot their heritage.
A health care analyst came to Manhattan for an anime convention. His trip shows how the virus once again outpaced the public health response.
Officials said they found the virus variant in a test sample from a man who had recently traveled to New York City for Anime NYC 2021 convention at the Javits Center.
His most famous, and most controversial, work was “Iron John: A Book About Men,” which made a case that American men had grown soft and feminized. It made him a cultural phenomenon.
The federal government allowed a stockpile of spent fuel on a Minnesota reservation to balloon even as a dam project whittled down the amount of livable land.
New daily cases have risen by 29 percent in the last two weeks and hospitalizations by 17 percent, according to a New York Times database.
Physicians are raising awareness of the reproductive toll that work stress, long hours, sleep deprivation and years of training can exact.
According to a transcript released Friday, a member of the Minnesota State Patrol said there was “a purge of emails and text messages” after troopers responded to protests in Minneapolis last year.
Having a loved one with specialized care needs is incredibly challenging, but not something that people who have never had to deal with the issue would necessarily quite understand.
For anyone who has had to help care for someone with special needs, the lack of options out there to navigate finding access to care providers is almost shocking.
Twin sisters Melanie Fountaine and Melissa Danielsen know the problem firsthand, having helped take care of their brother, who had a developmental disability and severe epilepsy, for years.
“We saw the struggle for our family to find reliable care,” Danielsen told TechCrunch.
After he passed away 12 years ago at the age of 29, the siblings decided they wanted to dedicate their careers to making disability care accessible to families with complex care needs. They founded Josh’s Place, a company that provided group home accommodations and other services to adults across Minnesota, which ended up being acquired by REM Minnesota in early 2020.
The pair then came up with the concept behind Joshin, a digital care platform that aims to connect care providers to families with specialized care needs. (Both companies were named after the sisters’ brother, who was named Josh). And today, that startup is announcing it has closed on a $3 million seed round of funding co-led by Anthemis Group and The Autism Impact Fund.
Joshin started out as an app that creates a care plan that helps it match families to a “carefully vetted” trained caregiver. It has evolved to also include a corporate benefits program with Joshin partnering with companies who want to offer an inclusive care benefit to their employees.
An estimated one in five families have complex health needs, ranging from children with neurodivergence to dependent adults with developmental and physical disabilities. The COVID-19 pandemic has only highlighted the need for support, making it even more difficult to find necessary care. As such, many people (most of which are women) are finding they have to leave jobs to become full-time caregivers.
“For too long, people with special health needs and their families have been underserved and had fragmented access to disability care providers,” said CEO Danielsen.
COO Fountaine says that historically the care economy has focused on children under 12, or adults over 65 — childcare and eldercare, respectively.
“Joshin really is positioned to be the leader in that huge age gap that’s out there,” she said. “We work with people at all stages of life, and I think it’s unfortunate that until now, that’s been missing from the conversation.
The company plans to use its new capital in part to grow its network of care providers. It also aims to expand its corporate benefits program.
“We’re continuing to scale our technology to lessen the burden of caregiving responsibilities for employees and their families,” added Danielsen.
Over the past 12 months, Joshin’s community of members and caregivers has grown 200%. With the new funding, the startup plans to expand its services to Los Angeles and Seattle. It is currently operational in its home base of Minneapolis, Minn., Chicago and New York City. Joshin will be soft launching in 8 new markets over the next few weeks and hopes “to be national very soon,” Fountaine said.
The startup is starting with employers, and building up the data that it derives from that effort. Over the next year, it intends to partner with managed Medicaid organizations, and with both private and public insurance companies so that it “can get families access to this care, quickly,” said Danielsen.
“Our goal is to make this to make quality care free for families who need it,” she told TechCrunch.
Chris Male, co-founder of the Autism Impact Fund, said his organization backs companies that are addressing unmet needs of the autism community. Finding, retaining, and coordinating care are three of the biggest hurdles that individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and their families face, according to Male.
“Joshin has a proven ability to provide a reliable means to source caregivers with diverse skill sets and potential to serve as a platform for streamlining access to a variety of critical yet highly fragmented services for the special needs community,” he said. “Given the current insurance payer landscape and employer emphasis on DEI, Joshin is not only generating strong impact for a large disability market, but is a monetizable opportunity as both a reimbursable service and as a benefit to employees.”
By partnering with employers, Male added, Joshin will help provide an environment of support that will allow “employees to quickly and easily access key resources and thus minimize downtime. “
Matthew Jones, managing director at Anthemis, said his firm doubled down on its investment in the startup because it saw in its founders “one of the strongest examples of founder-market fit out there.” (Anthemis also led the company’s $1.6 million funding round in July of 2020).
“The progress that they have made since our last investment – coupled with the insights that they have collected – led us to believe that doubling down in this round was a no-brainer,” he told TechCrunch.
Also, the complexity that comes with building technology in the space “makes the barriers to entry very high,” Jones added.
“The team’s grit, combined with their understanding of the problems and opportunities associated with disability-related care, set Joshin apart,” he wrote via email. “No other platform comes close in terms of having such specialized leaders at the helm, so it’s no surprise that corporates are lining up to add Joshin to their roster of employee benefits.”
The Greenwood fire in the Superior National Forest has burned about 25,000 acres near the Canadian border since Aug. 15.
The fire, in the northeastern portion of the state near the Canadian border, has burned more than 19,000 acres and is zero percent contained.
Last summer, in the wake of George Floyd’s murder, Best Buy committed to “do better” when it came to supporting communities of color. As part of the retail giant’s self-proclaimed mission to better address underrepresentation and technology inequities, the company announced today that it is investing up to $10 million in Brown Venture Group.
Minnesota-based Brown Venture Group is a three-year-old venture capital firm that has pledged to exclusively back Black, Latino and Indigenous technology startups in “emerging technologies.” Black and Latin communities were the recipients of just 2.6% of total funding in 2020, according to Crunchbase data.
Brown Venture Group is in the process of fundraising for its targeted inaugural $50 million fund, 75% of which has been committed, according to its principals. This means that Minneapolis-based Best Buy’s pledge to invest “up to $10 million” could represent as much as 20% of the total capital raised, making it a lead LP in the fund.
Brown Venture Group co-founder and managing partner Dr. Paul Campbell said that in the early days of forming the firm, he and co-founder Dr. Chris Brooks were told by “multiple people locally” that they should leave the Twin Cities metro area because “all the capital was on the coasts.”
“We just made a firm decision in the very early stages to stay put in the Twin Cities and that we wanted this to be a Twin City story,” Campbell told TechCrunch. “So when we thought about our Twin Cities ecosystem and who we wanted to be leading partners with, Best Buy was at the top of the list. So we are just more than excited to have Best Buy as a lead LP in our fund.”
For its part, Best Buy — which notched $47 billion in revenue last year — said the move is aimed at helping “break down the systemic barriers often faced by Black, Indigenous and people of color (BIPOC) entrepreneurs — including lack of access to funding — and empowering the next generation within the tech industry.”
The company added: “The partnership with Brown Venture Group will work toward making the technology startup landscape more inclusive and creating a stronger community of diverse suppliers.”
In conjunction with announcing Best Buy’s commitment to the fund, the company and venture firm said they would jointly launch an entrepreneurship program at Best Buy Teen Tech Centers to help develop young entrepreneurs through education, mentorship, networking and funding access.
Brown Venture Group — whose name was chosen to represent an “inclusive” skin color of the groups it represents — has so far invested in five companies, including clean energy startup Ecolution kwh.
Ten million dollars seems like a drop in the bucket for a company that generated sales of $47 billion last year. Best Buy said this initiative is just one of several that it has underway to support BIPOC businesses, including plans to provide $44 million to expand college prep and career opportunities for BIPOC students and a pledge to spend at least $1.2 billion with BIPOC and diverse businesses by 2025. The company has also said that by 2025 it will fill one out of three new non-hourly corporate positions with BIPOC employees and hire 1,000 new employees to its technology team, with 30% of them being diverse, specifically Black, Latinx, Indigenous and women.
“We’re committed to taking meaningful action to address the challenges faced by BIPOC entrepreneurs,” Best Buy CEO Corie Barry said in a written statement. “Through partnerships like this, we believe we can begin to do this by helping to build a stronger, more vibrant community of diverse innovators in the tech industry, some of whom we hope will become partners of Best Buy in the future.”
Letters to WinRed and ActBlue, which process online campaign donations for Republicans and Democrats respectively, ask for documents related to their use of prechecked boxes.
The administration urged a court to throw out a challenge brought by tribal and environmental groups, backing a pipeline that would carry Canadian oil across Minnesota and Wisconsin.
The Trump G.O.P.’s voter-suppression efforts and surging murder rates leave Democrats vulnerable.
The fight over the pipeline will be, at least for now, where Biden’s climate commitment will be judged.
The Line 3 pipeline would carry oil from Canada across Minnesota, crossing sensitive waterways as well as tribal lands. On Monday, protesters gathered to try to stop construction.
Barry Lee Whelpley, now 76, was charged with killing Julie Ann Hanson, who was 15 when her body was found in Naperville, Ill., the authorities said.
Covid may be waning. But businesses at the Northwest Angle, a tourist-dependent slice of Minnesota accessible by land only from Canada, still feel the pain.
After situations involving forceful detentions or worse, the organization seeks prompt accountability and change.
Mobile Covid-19 vaccine clinics in vans and buses are rolling up to neighborhoods in Delaware, Minnesota and Washington State to reach people who have been unable to travel to vaccination centers.
Upsie, a consumer warranty startup, has raised $18.2 million in a Series A round led by True Ventures.
The financing brings the total raised for the St. Paul, Minnesota-based startup to $25 million since its 2015 inception.
A large group of investors participated in the round, including Concrete Rose VC, Avanta Ventures, Kapor Capital, Samsung Next, Massive, Backstage Capital, Awesome People Ventures, Draft Ventures, Matchstick Ventures, M25, Silicon Valley Bank and Uncommon VC, among others. A number of angels also put money in the round.
Clarence Bethea (pictured below) founded Upsie after realizing the significant markup that retailers were placing on warranties.
His goal was to focus not on the retailer, but rather the end user and making the process more transparent, more affordable and simpler. For example, Upsie claims that it saves its customers anywhere from 50% to 90% compared to competitor warranty plans. Most other companies in the space, such as SquareTrade, offer warranties at the point of sale via retailers.
“I’m sure you’ve walked into a Best Buy or a Target, and when you’re checking out somebody at the register is offering you a warranty. But what most customers don’t know is that you’re paying as much as 900% more for that warranty than you should,” Bethea said. “There’s no transparency at the register and you never get to ask what’s covered and what’s not covered, or what should you do if you need to make a claim.”
Just like many other companies, Upsie saw a bump in business last year thanks to the COVID-pandemic and resulting increase in consumer electronics sales (17%, according to the NPD Group Retail Tracking Service). In particular, there was a spike in demand for laptops, desktops and tablets for distance learning and remote work. As a result, Upsie’s revenue surged by 2.5x over the past 12 months, although Bethea declined to reveal hard revenue figures.
“With people working from home, devices were no longer a luxury but a necessity,” he told TechCrunch.
Rather than at the point of sale, Upsie gives consumers an opportunity to purchase a warranty for a product via its website or mobile app after the transaction has taken place. The company offers protection for thousands of devices — from smartphones to appliances to gaming consoles to lawn and garden tools — or about 60% of the warranty market, according to Bethea.
Consumers have up to 120 days to purchase smartphone protection, 11 months to purchase appliance, TV and fitness equipment protection and up to 60 days for other consumer electronics. All warranty information, including a copy of the product receipt, is stored and accessible on demand. Upsie says it also aims to offer same-day repairs on many devices.
The process, according to Bethea, is straightforward. Consumers need only upload an image of their receipt and provide purchase price and serial/IMEA numbers. When they need to file a claim, it’s a matter of pressing a button. And to make the process even easier, it will give consumers the ability to say, take their items directly to the Apple store for repair, and then get reimbursed afterwards by Upsie.
“We want more people to be able to protect what they buy with their hard-earned money,” Bethea said. “Removing the worry around paying out of pocket to repair, say, your kid’s laptop is huge for families who have had to go with remote learning when the system doesn’t make this easy for everyone.”
Upsie plans to use its new capital to increase customer awareness and continue building out its warranty product offerings and verticals, as well as to double its current headcount of 15.
“We want to continue to grow our presence online through digital channels such as Facebook and Google, for one thing,” Bethea told TechCrunch.
Puneet Agarwal, partner at True Ventures, says his firm doubled down on its investment in Upsie after witnessing its solid growth over the years. (True Ventures led the startup’s $5 million seed round in April of 2019.)
True Ventures was initially attracted to the sheer size of the warranty industry (estimated at $100 billion globally) and “how broken it was from the consumer experience perspective.” The firm also viewed Bethea as a “very special entrepreneur” who “exudes authenticity,” which must be refreshing to VCs who get inundated with pitches.
“We love to invest in old, staid industries where companies can disrupt from a business model and product perspective,” Agarwal said. “Upsie has done that in a big way.”
He went on to describe Bethea’s move to go direct to consumer in the warranty space as “bold.”
“Upsie is the only one doing that, and it’s the biggest swing to take in this type of industry,” Agarwal said. “We believe he’s cracked the code and that’s why we doubled down.”
Bethea’s background is not the same as a “typical” startup founder, which also was viewed as an advantage by True Ventures.
“He came from the streets of Atlanta, Georgia, and had to overcome so much in his life,” Agarwal told TechCrunch. “Clarence is the type of person that when we started True, we wanted to fund. We admire his perseverance and grit to come to this point.”
A 23-year-old Brainerd, Minn., man was also ordered to pay $12 million for his role in the fire in Minneapolis, U.S. prosecutors said.
A bipartisan effort to change policing practices collapsed last summer after George Floyd’s murder by a white officer. Can a “guilty” verdict and President Biden’s call for action resurrect it?
Neither murder charge required the jury to find that Mr. Chauvin intended to kill George Floyd. Nor did the manslaughter charge.
The vice president was my role model — and my friend.
The former Minneapolis police officer faces three charges in the death of George Floyd: second-degree murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter.
The 42nd vice president, who died Monday at 93, was recalled for his collaborative role in the Carter administration and his liberal advocacy.
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Chicagoans reacted with grief to the shooting of Adam Toledo, a seventh grader. Some recalled Laquan McDonald, another teen killed by the police.
For the past several nights, Ebonie McMillan and her children watched in real time as protests over the death of Daunte Wright turned violent. Here’s what they saw.
As I walk around my hometown, I see so many boarded up buildings. Who is really being protected?
The state’s reputation belies some of the country’s largest racial disparities.
The beloved stereotype about our state’s cult of politeness would have you believe that there’s no toehold for white supremacy here.
Police say, ‘This is not who we are.’ Prove it.
Prosecuting police in cases of so-called weapon confusion has happened before, but the legal landscape is complex.
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The officer was put on administrative leave, the authorities said.
The officer was put on administrative leave, the authorities said.
A police officer fatally shot Mr. Wright on Sunday in Brooklyn Center, Minn., about 10 miles from where Derek Chauvin is on trial in the killing of George Floyd.
Officials from Brooklyn Center said that the fatal shooting was an “accidental discharge,” and released body-camera video of the encounter.
The state Supreme Court tossed out a man’s conviction on a third-degree sexual conduct charge because the woman he was accused of assaulting was “voluntarily intoxicated” at the time.
The events were recorded on video by an eyewitness and came as residents had been protesting another teenager’s arrest in connection with what police said was a “violent felony carjacking.”