MDI, a pioneer in workforce inclusion, seeks further expansion

One morning last week, Steve Reinardy, a nine-year employee of Minnesota Diversified Industries in northeast Minneapolis, sanitized surfaces to guard against the coronavirus. “I clean everything a human might touch,” Reinardy said. Reinardy, who has a disability that sure doesn’t impede his diligence and enthusiasm, is also an award-winning, multiyear volunteer at the Dodge Nature Center in West St. Paul. Nearby, a group of employees with a job coach checked seals and packaged nozzles and cans of lubricant for industrial customer Graco. They are part of a customized-solutions group that recycles, refurbishes and otherwise processes and packages a few million units annually of myriad products that are shipped from the Minneapolis plant. In a newer business, MDI’s employees use computer-driven

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UnitedHealth Group opens ‘pop-up’ infusion center for COVID-19 patients

UnitedHealth Group has launched a temporary infusion center in Minnetonka to provide antibody treatments that could help a subset of COVID-19 patients avoid hospitalizations. Many hospitals and clinics in Minnesota already provide the infusions, but the offering by the Minnetonka-based health care giant is unusual in its home state. In Las Vegas, where UnitedHealth Group’s Optum division already operates a large multi-specialty clinic, the company’s new dedicated space for antibody infusions fits with its broader push into direct patient care. The infusion center in the Twin Cities, meanwhile, is a “pop-up” option, officials said, that’s meant simply to respond to the public health crisis — not a first step toward a long-term outpost for clinical care. Located near the UnitedHealth

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Target’s investment in stores — which paid off during pandemic — isn’t over

As more consumers wanted to avoid in-person shopping as the coronavirus pandemic heightened, Target’s store-first policy allowed for a quick expansion of curbside pickups and deliveries. Analysts and industry watchers have lauded Minneapolis-based Target’s forward-looking pre-pandemic strategy of investing in brick-and-mortar stores as the key to its success in the last year as some other retailers had to pivot on the fly. But back in 2017, when Target, facing sluggish sales, introduced the concept, the response was not widely applauded. But the company stayed firm that to compete with the likes of Amazon, the stores had to be built out to fulfill online orders at the same time they became more welcoming to in-person shoppers. “We knew we had all

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Lileks: On the weary feeling you should have an opinion on Post Office trucks

If I can be honest, it’s time to talk about what’s wrong with some of you people, and what’s wrong with me. But first we need to discuss the new post office vehicles. They’re called Oshkosh New Generation Delivery Vehicles, or NGDVs (pronounced “Nuh-Gud-Vees.” Not really, but we should start a campaign). They look … odd. Low front like a duck’s bill, huge windows that look as if they should have eyeballs, like a character from Pixar’s “Cars.” As you might expect, the revelation of the new design brought out some opinionated types. The Twitter verdicts went like this: “LOL like I get any mail anyway. waste of money.” “Why isn’t it electric? Amazon is buying electric trucks. Thanks Post

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Are VHS tapes immortal? Fans drive a robust marketplace for the bygone tech

The last VCR was produced in 2016 by Funai Electric in Osaka, Japan. But the VHS tape might be immortal. Today, a robust marketplace exists for it. On Instagram, sellers tout videos for sale, like the 2003 Jerry Bruckheimer film “Kangaroo Jack,” a comedy involving a beauty salon owner — played by Jerry O’Connell — and a kangaroo. Asking price, $190. If $190 feels outrageous for a film about a kangaroo accidentally coming into money, consider the price of a limited-edition copy of the 1989 Disney film “The Little Mermaid,” which is listed on Etsy for $45,000. There is, it turns out, much demand for these old VHS tapes, price tags notwithstanding and despite post-2006 advancements in technology. Driving the

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Inspired Matt Dumba scores with .3 seconds left in overtime; Wild wins sixth in a row

The day was already a meaningful one for Matt Dumba, with the defenseman’s inaugural hockey camp to spark more diversity and inclusion in hockey kicking off Saturday morning in Roseville — a passion project Dumba hoped would give more kids the chance to fall in love with the game like he has. But the participants weren’t the only ones impacted by the event. Dumba was also inspired, and the Wild was the beneficiary. With 0.3 seconds remaining in overtime, Dumba pushed the Wild past the Kings 4-3 at Xcel Energy Center, securing the team’s sixth consecutive victory in dramatic fashion. This is the Wild’s longest winning streak since its franchise-best 12-game run Dec. 4-29, 2016. “To see the videos of

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Matt Dumba scores with under a second remaining to give Wild 4-3 OT win over Los Angeles

The Wild has just one game left this season against the Kings, but the team might wish it could petition for more. The Wild capped off a sweep of the Kings with a 4-3 overtime win Saturday at Xcel Energy Center that pushed the Wild’s win streak to a season-high six games. Matt Dumba scored with 0.3 second left in overtime, this after Los Angeles’ Adrian Kempe tied it at 3 on the power play with 2:45 to go in the third period. Joel Eriksson Ek opened the scoring at 14:17 of the first period with his team-leading eighth goal, a puck that he flipped over Petersen. Through 18 games, Eriksson Ek has matched his career-high for goal set in

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Washington comes alive after slow start to hand Timberwolves seventh loss in a row

A day before Saturday’s game at Washington, new Timberwolves coach Chris Finch was talking about his nonstop pace since he was introduced as Wolves coach Monday. He was so busy, he said, that he hadn’t had time to pause and reflect on the opportunity he has been given. So, like everything else he has done since jumping into the mix, he’s doing that on the fly. “I’m soaking it in every minute,” he said. “Because when you get the opportunity to realize your dream, it’s a daily thing. Working in the NBA has been a dream come true, no matter the job.” Finch’s tenure is closing in on its first week. But already he has learned, firsthand, the challenges that

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Marcus Carr’s 41 points not enough for Gophers basketball in loss at Nebraska

Marcus Carr cared more about leading the Gophers basketball program back to the NCAA tournament than individual accolades this season. The standout junior has proven to be one of the top point guard in the country, but even his outstanding play at times hasn’t been enough lately to lift Minnesota against the Big Ten’s bottom teams. In a must-win game to stay in realistic contention for the NCAA tourney, Carr’s career-high 41 points couldn’t get the Gophers past Nebraska in their fifth straight loss Saturday, 78-74, in Lincoln. Carr scored the second most points in Gophers history, and the highest scoring game since Andre Hollins’ 41 points vs. Memphis in 2012. The latest display of heroism from Carr came with

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Minnesota’s COVID cases are down, but for how long?

COVID-19 cases in Minnesota and across the country have dropped sharply this winter, but doctors and health officials say they aren’t exactly sure of all the reasons why. Adherence to social distancing, mask wearing and other health measures clearly helped slow the spread, and the rollout of vaccines may have started to make a difference, they say. Some speculate the virus might also have run up against cyclical factors as well as sizable pockets of immunity from prior infections, although there’s not agreement among health officials on the magnitude of that protection. Despite the decline, there’s considerable uncertainty about whether it can be sustained, particularly as more contagious versions of the virus spread. Federal officials warned on Friday the U.S.

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