5 things to know today: Nursing home infection, candidate visit, fatal shooting, beating COVID-19, coronavirus costs
1. Coronavirus devastates Moorhead nursing home with 9 deaths: 'It's too late for us'
The coronavirus has swept through Lilac Homes here infecting 100% of residents in one building and killing a total of nine elderly people, making it one of the hardest-hit nursing homes in the metro area.
The death toll climbed dramatically in the past two weeks, said Gina Nelson, owner of Lilac Homes, an assisted living facility with memory care.
“It’s too late for us. It’s been awful. It’s too late for Lilac in Moorhead,” Nelson said. “We had a major outbreak of COVID, and we’re going into our third week of it. We’re a very small facility, and very close to our residents. I had 18 residents test positive, five test negative."
The nine deaths at Lilac Homes make up half of all reported COVID-19 deaths in Clay County, which had 18 total deaths and 273 confirmed cases as of Thursday, May 14.
Read more from The Forum's C.S. Hagen
2. Senate hopeful visits Moorhead amid push to reopen businesses
Jason Lewis, a former GOP congressman from Minnesota who's now running for the U.S. Senate seat held by Democrat Tina Smith, stopped by Moorhead's Speak Easy Restaurant Thursday, May 14, as part of his "Reopen Minnesota for Business" tour.
Lewis talked to the restaurant's owner, Larry Hauger, about Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz's announcement Wednesday night that certain types of businesses would be allowed to reopen Monday, May 18, at half capacity, including certain stores, malls and other vendors.
However, Walz's order didn't loosen rules for dine-in restaurants like the Speak Easy, which now will have to remain closed for at least two more weeks, at which time Walz said he will revisit whether to continue loosening restrictions on businesses.
That wasn't welcome news to Hauger, who said his employees had been preparing to reopen the restaurant and were excited about going back to work.
Read more from The Forum's Dave Olson
3. Drug deal gone wrong led to fatal shooting in north Fargo, court documents say
A drug deal gone awry led to two men being shot, one fatally, in north Fargo this week, according to charging documents.
Reng Zechariah Ayong, 21, of Fargo, appeared Thursday morning, May 14, in Cass County District Court on six charges, including a Class AA felony of murder for the shooting death of Fargo resident Anquine Lamont White, 39. Ayong faces the possibility of life in prison without parole.
Ayong and Darrell Lamont Simmons, 28, also of Fargo, were arrested Tuesday, May 12, in connection to the shooting that ended with a vehicle crashing on a boulevard at 25th Avenue North and Seventh Street North near the Hornbacher's grocery store in the Northport Shopping Center.
Read more from The Forum's April Baumgarten
4. ‘I got it and I will survive,’ North Dakota woman says before beating COVID-19
There was a time when the words “just pneumonia” would not have brought a sigh of relief. But for Glenda Crain, the diagnosis wasn’t the worst news — she feared COVID-19 was back.
“Well just pneumonia. My test came back neg,” she posted to Facebook on May 7.
A prior test, about a month before on April 2, showed she tested positive for the coronavirus that causes the respiratory disease COVID-19. She caught the virus from an asymptomatic friend, she said, and had to quarantine herself in her bedroom while her husband stayed mostly in the kitchen and her son stayed in his bedroom.
“This whole thing started on March 25; that was my first day off of work. By the 27th I figured out I had been exposed,” Crain, 54, said.
By April 5, she began posting about her experience fighting the deadly virus that has sickened more than 4 million people and taken more than 283,000 lives across the world so far.
5. Minn. legislative committee advances bills to aid individuals, local governments with coronavirus costs
With the clock ticking for Minnesota lawmakers to get their work done, a legislative committee on Thursday, May 14, advanced a bill that would establish a $50 million community grant program to provide aid to individuals harmed by the coronavirus pandemic.
House File 4611 author Rep. Aisha Gomez, D-Minneapolis, said the bill is to help those who have "slipped through the cracks" of other government aid programs, such as undocumented, tipped wage and "other 'nontraditional' workers." More than 70 community organizations in Minnesota support the bill.
"These workers have been equally impacted by the pandemic, yet their plight has been largely ignored, and government aid has been extremely limited," Gomez said following the House Ways and Means Committee's vote of approval. "It is critical that we stick to our values and stand by the most vulnerable during this crisis.”