The Minnesota Daily

Lydia Morrell

Lydia Morrell, Staff Reporter

Name: Lydia Morrell
Email: [email protected]
Twitter: @Lydia_Morrell
Pronouns: she/her/hers

Lydia Morrell is a neighborhoods reporter at the Minnesota Daily. She joined the Daily in 2020. A second-year student at the University of Minnesota, she is majoring in journalism and English. Lydia is originally from Willmar, Minnesota, and enjoys going to art museums and playing with her dogs.

All content by Lydia Morrell
Two national guard troops look out over the balcony of the Hennepin County Government Center on Monday, April 19. on Monday, April 19. A coalition of activist groups held a protest calling for justice for George Floyd on the day of closing arguments in the trial against Derek Chauvin.

Chauvin sentenced to 22 and a half years in prison

June 25, 2021
The jury convicted Derek Chauvin of the murder of George Floyd in late April.
Megan Caswell, former Surly bartender, poses for a portrait at Sheridan Memorial Park on Saturday, April 17.

Surly to reopen after failed union effort

April 22, 2021
The destination beer hall has been mired in criticism since announcing its closure two days after employees declared an intent to unionize last year.
Two national guard troops look out over the balcony of the Hennepin County Government Center on Monday, April 19. on Monday, April 19. A coalition of activist groups held a protest calling for justice for George Floyd on the day of closing arguments in the trial against Derek Chauvin.

Chauvin trial: The final arguments and possible charges

April 20, 2021
A breakdown of the charges, sentencing and cases brought forward by the prosecution and defense.
Minneapolis Mayoral Candidate AJ Awed poses in front of Minneapolis City Hall on Sunday, April 18.

A.J. Awed announces candidacy for Minneapolis mayor

April 19, 2021
Awed, co-director of the Cedar-Riverside Community Council, said he would be able to better represent communities of color for issues like policing and housing.
Brooklyn Center is still reeling from the police killing of Daunte Wright. On the fifth day of unrest outside the police department, protesters latched umbrellas and tarp to the barricade surrounding the building.

Police tactics change on fifth night of Brooklyn Center unrest

April 17, 2021
University-area Council members joined a resolution opposing the use of “less-lethal” weapons against protesters.
Following the police killing of 20 year old Daunte Wright, protests formed outside the Brooklyn Center Police Department and Kenyan Community SDA Church on Monday, April 12. Heavily armed officers stood anticipating the 7 p.m. curfew.

Brooklyn Center protests erupt in flash-bangs and fireworks past curfew Monday

April 14, 2021
The timing of Wright’s death, community leaders said, is not lost on Minneapolis and the surrounding cities, as many of the same messages from last summer’s protests rang out over megaphones.
A group of protesters stand outside of the barricaded Brooklyn Center Police Department on Monday, April 12.

Frey issues second nightly curfew in Minneapolis after Daunte Wright killing

April 13, 2021
Tuesday's 10 p.m. curfew follows Monday's 7 p.m. curfew, which hundreds of activists defied protesting the police killing of Daunte Wright. 
A rendering of Africa Village, a cultural mall plan including retail and affordable housing in Cedar-Riverside.

Africa Village seeks developer designation to move forward

April 3, 2021
Cedar-Riverside’s Africa Village project stalled due to COVID. But under a new City Council member, the project is still moving forward.
Protesters march in downtown Minneapolis on Monday, March 29. A coalition of activist groups held a protest calling for justice for George Floyd on opening statement day of the trial against Derek Chauvin.

First day of Chauvin trial met with protests, demonstrator chaining herself to fence Monday

March 31, 2021
Kaia Hirt chained herself to a fence and organizers sought signatures on a petition for community control of police.
Maria and Miguel Cisneros pose in front of their home in Golden Valley, Minnesota with their dogs on Sunday, March 21. The City of Minneapolis signed onto the Just Deeds project, which provides a pathway for homeowners to remove racial covenants from their deeds. Maria proposed this project to the Golden Valley City Council and has removed a covenant on her own deed.

Minneapolis homeowners can now reject racial covenants on their deed

March 22, 2021
With the help of the University of Minnesota’s Mapping Prejudice, the Just Deeds initiative helps homeowners to remove racially exclusionary language from their property contracts.
Nurse Carol Gilbert administers a COVID-19 vaccine to Rep. Ilhan Omars Deputy District Director Ali Isse at the Brian Coyle Center on Friday, March 12. The Brian Coyle Center has started offering COVID-19 vaccinations on Fridays from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.

Community leaders promote COVID-19 vaccines in Cedar-Riverside

March 19, 2021
The Brian Coyle Center has begun hosting vaccine clinics every Friday.
Toshira Garraway speaks at the Demand a Fair Jury Selection protest in downtown Minneapolis on Monday, March 15.

Activists demand fair jury selection in Chauvin trial

March 17, 2021
Protesters expressed concerns about jurors who being dismissed while jurors with ties to police were seated.
Houses on 13th Avenue Southeast in Southeast Como on the morning of Tuesday, March 9. Minneapolis is considering a proposal for rent stabilization.

Average rent around University saw highest increase in city, CURA study shows

March 11, 2021
The study will be considered by the city as officials weigh enacting rent stabilization.
The entrance of I-94 pictured from the Cedar-Riverside neighborhood on Thursday, Feb. 25. The Minnesota Department of Transportation is currently hearing citizen concerns about the highways impact on Cedar-Riverside communities.

Rethinking I-94: How the freeway impacted Cedar-Riverside

March 6, 2021
As the state reimagines the freeway, neighbors want officials to improve walkability in the West Bank neighborhood.
Patrick Clough, the owner of Oaks TW Hardware, poses for a portrait with his dog Frankie on Tuesday, March 2. Oaks TW Hardware is closing after 109 years.

Oaks TW Hardware closes after 109 years in Southeast Como

March 4, 2021
Owner Patrick Clough and his dog Frankie have long provided a sense of community in the ever-shifting neighborhood, residents say.
Uncommon Apartments in Dinkytown on Thursday, Feb.18. Minneapolis City Council members are considering a cap on dramatic rent increases.

Minneapolis council members consider cap on rent increases

February 19, 2021
A majority of renter households in University-area neighborhoods are considered cost burdened.
The Glendale Townhome complex is a 184-unit public housing project owned by the Minneapolis Public Housing Authority and is the only public row-house development left in the U.S.

Ordinance allowing renters to buy their homes could overlook public housing residents

February 11, 2021
The Tenant Opportunity to Purchase Act aims to help renters but leaves out public housing, advocates say.
Courtesy of ESG Architecture & Design.

Contentious St. Anthony Main project gains approval

February 5, 2021
The developers are set to start construction in 2021 on 360 market-rate apartments.
The Republic building November 2016 via Google Maps.

Republic bar and restaurant closes with plans to relocate

February 1, 2021
The West Bank restaurant shuttered last November with an uncertain timeline for reopening.
Michelle Kwan poses for a portrait in front of her family-owned restaurant, Keefer Court Bakery and Cafe on Monday, Jan. 25.

West Bank restaurants withstand pandemic

January 27, 2021
Though Acadia has temporarily closed and the Malabari Kitchen shuttered, many restaurants in Cedar-Riverside have remained open — if just for takeout and delivery.
Demonstrators march down East Lake Street Street in response to the Presidential Inauguration on Wednesday, Jan. 20. The protest lasted around two hours.

Inauguration Day protesters demand radical change from new president

January 22, 2021

Protesters gathered near South High School in Minneapolis on Inauguration Day to “demand a people’s agenda” as President Joe Biden’s administration enters the White House with promises of change. Local...

Rachel Selly, Amanda Holscher, and Maddy Personius pose for portraits on Monday, Jan. 18 outside the former Dinkytown McDonalds that closed January 9th. Selly discusses her thoughts on the closure, “This year has done a toll on Dinkytown and it will never look the same without those arches.”

A campus icon: Students mourn the loss of Dinkytown McDonald’s

January 20, 2021
Developers will clear the popular University landmark to prepare for construction.
Jake and Maggie, former students at the University of Minnesota, check out one last time at the Dinkytown Wine and Spirits on Saturday, Jan. 9. “I am going to miss the deals and the people here, truly an experience, and I hope for the best for the owners.”

The last day: Dinkytown Wine & Spirits shutters after 30 years

January 18, 2021
Students and regular customers crowded in the popular liquor store on its final day open to say goodbye to the owners and the store’s legacy.
A small group of protesters gather in front of the Minnesota Capitol during the Hold the Line protest on Saturday, Jan. 16. The event was held to protest the presidential election results.

Scant turnout at State Capitol right-wing protests before Inauguration Day

January 17, 2021
State Patrol and media outnumbered right-wing protesters during a weekend of demonstrations outside the Capitol building.
Christine Diindiisi McCleave, CEO of the National Native American Boarding School Healing Coalition.

Indigenous-led survey centers boarding school, adoption experiences

December 7, 2020
The Child Removal Survey looks at how the federal government upended Native American communities and how they have sought healing.
Following new state COVID-19 restrictions, University to close museums, sit-down dining

Following new state COVID-19 restrictions, University to close museums, sit-down dining

November 19, 2020
University gyms and entertainment venues will close Saturday, and dining options will shift to “grab and go.”
Volunteers from the Nonviolent Peaceforce oversee crowd safety at the “Together We Rise” protest event on Saturday, Nov. 7.

From Iraq to Minneapolis, nonviolence group worked to prevent voter intimidation during election

November 14, 2020
Nonviolent Peaceforce, which is stationed in conflict zones around the world, brought unarmed civilian protection tactics to the Twin Cities during election week.
Walz announces new COVID-19 restrictions

Walz announces new COVID-19 restrictions

November 10, 2020
As cases hit record highs around the state, the governor’s new orders apply mostly to social gatherings and restaurants.
A protester wearing a Make America Great cap engages in a verbal altercation with a counter-protester at an event outside the Minnesota Governor Tim Walzs residence on Saturday, Nov. 7.

Trump supporters clashed with counter-protesters outside governor’s mansion

November 10, 2020
Heated debates quickly ensued between the two groups, with competing chants like "Black lives matter" and "all lives matter" ringing out from either side.
As speakers call out the names of people of color killed by police officers, participants sport apparel bearing parallel messages, such as masks declaring I cant Breathe in honor of George Floyd in South Minneapolis on Saturday, Nov. 7.

‘There is still more work to be done’: Lake Street rally stirs community, stresses postelection action

November 9, 2020
Though activists were happy to see Trump out of office, many said it is just one step of many toward justice for underrepresented communities.
Protesters march on Cedar Ave. S. on Wednesday, Nov. 4. The rally was held to address a People’s Mandate requesting action be taken to end racism, COVID-19 and the recession no matter who wins this year’s presidential election.

‘It’s outrageous’: Over 600 protesters surrounded, detained and arrested on I-94

November 6, 2020
After 20 minutes of marching, police detained protesters for nearly five hours before arresting and citing 646 activists on the closed-off highway
The Kollege Klub, a popular bar in Dinkytown, on Saturday, June 20.

Kollege Klub and Sally’s Saloon report highest COVID-19 case numbers in Minneapolis

October 31, 2020
Though COVID-19 precautions are in place, the restaurants continued to report cases in September as University students returned.
The empty lot of what used to be a Roof Depot, and the proposed location for the East Philips Urban Farm, stands empty on Monday, Sept. 19.

South Mpls residents sue city to turn warehouse into urban farm

October 21, 2020
University students have joined forces with the East Phillips neighborhood in an ongoing battle to establish an indoor urban farm plan rather than the city’s plan for a public works facility.
Cyclists and art car drivers made their way around Cedar-Riverside on Saturday, Oct. 17 to build community and increase voter turnout.

Cedar-Riverside celebrates community and end of summer at bike ride event

October 21, 2020
Flashy “art cars” led the community caravan down to the river.
Sophomore Same Ahmed poses for a portrait on Sunday, Oct. 11 in front of Northrop Auditorium.

Students passionate about interests, underwhelmed by candidates

October 16, 2020
Students talked with the Daily about issues that are inspiring them to cast a ballot.
Umami Fries, seen here on Thursday, Oct. 1 on 14th Avenue Southeast in Dinkytown, is one of the many businesses that has changed their service options due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Restaurants around campus remain closed as students return

October 2, 2020
Some restaurants around the University campus remain closed or rely on online ordering to sustain sales through an uncertain fall season.
Sophomore Rose Lloyd-Slifkin, who studies political science and gender, women and sexuality studies, poses in front of the Weisman Art Museum on Thursday, Sept. 24. The Weisman is one of the voting locations available to students who are living on campus in dorms.

University students are determined to surpass past voter turnout in the upcoming election

September 25, 2020
The presidential election is mere weeks away, and students are showing more interest in engagement than in past election years.
With rapidly approaching census deadline, UMN neighborhoods still undercounted

With rapidly approaching census deadline, UMN neighborhoods still undercounted

September 21, 2020
University neighborhoods are reporting at some of the lowest rates in Minneapolis, and experts fear that the updated deadline will exclude student populations.