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  • U of M announces free tuition

    Minnesota Public Radio|Nov 12, 2021

    The University of Minnesota plans to extend "substantial financial support" including, in many cases, completely free tuition, to its campuses across the state to enrolled members of the state's 11 federally recognized tribal nations. University of Minnesota president Joan Gabel announced the creation of the Native American Promise Tuition Program in a memo this month to the state's tribal leaders, calling it a "significant expansion of Native American student tuition support." Starting in the... Full story

  • Minnesota Public Radio|Aug 6, 2021

    Three weekends ago, Cody Sheik was at a friend's wedding on Duluth's Park Point, sipping champagne on the Lake Superior beach, when he spotted something unusual in the normally crystal clear water. "It was definitely a bloom,” he recalled. “It’s indescribable. Chalk-green, when it should be nice and clear." Sheik would know. He’s a microbiologist at the University of Minnesota Duluth's Large Lakes Observatory who studies blue-green algae blooms. He snapped some pictures, but he didn't have a...  Website

  • Minnesota Public Radio|Jun 4, 2021

    Minnesota’s pandemic picture continues to improve rapidly in the early days of June. Wednesday’s data shows new and active Covid-19 caseloads falling to levels not seen since April of last year. Only 128 new cases were added, with no new deaths. (Late last month, a person in their 80s from Carlton County died from Covid-19 complications.) The only anxious trend right now: the vaccination pace continues to slide. But the overall disease trends remain solid enough that Minneapolis and St. Paul have dropped their masking requirements, joining othe...  Website

  • Minnesota Public Radio|Apr 23, 2021

    Even as people flocked to downtown Minneapolis Tuesday to celebrate the guilty verdict in the case of former police officer Derek Chauvin, many of Minnesota’s elected leaders vowed the state’s fight for racial justice wouldn’t end with this case. “I would not call today’s verdict justice, however, because justice implies true restoration,” said Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison. “But it is accountability, which is the first step towards justice, and now the cause of justice is in your hands.” The verdict of guilty on all three counts of...  Website

  • Vaccination throttle is wide open

    Minnesota Public Radio|Apr 2, 2021

    In a major milestone for the state’s Covid-19 vaccination strategy, all Minnesotans 16 and older are now officially eligible to be vaccinated — regardless of age, location, occupation, health conditions or living situation. But state health officials are cautioning that the expansion won’t mean that vaccine doses will be immediately available to everyone who’s eligible. The Health Department on Wednesday reported about 48,000 new vaccinations, pushing the seven-day trend to nearly 51,000... Full story

  • Minnesota Public Radio|Feb 26, 2021

    Tim Nelson MPR News Minnesota is launching a new “vaccine connector” website to help line people up with Covid-19 shots. The site includes a questionnaire, asking enrollees for their address, age, occupation, medical history and other data that may factor into their eligibility for a vaccine. It also asks for race, gender and sexual orientation data, but says that is optional. The site isn’t a one-stop for vaccinations. “When a Minnesotan becomes eligible to receive a vaccine under state guidelines, the Vaccine Connector will alert them of...  Website

  • Vaccine Q&A

    Minnesota Public Radio|Jan 29, 2021

    Q Who’s now eligible to get their vaccines? A While Minnesota continues to work through its highest-priority groups — like front-line health care workers; those directly caring for, and exposed to, Covid-19 patients; residents of long-term care facilities and long-term care workers — the state has also expanded the pool of people who are eligible to be vaccinated. In this new group: People who are 65 and older, as well as teachers and child care providers. But this is not a full-scale rollout. This expansion comes in response to new guida... Full story

  • Covid-19 cases surge in state

    Minnesota Public Radio|Oct 30, 2020

    Covid-19’s toll in Minnesota continued its grim ascent Tuesday with the Health Department reporting 15 more deaths, nearly 2,200 more cases and a record number of hospitalizations. Newly confirmed cases were up on relatively low testing, skyrocketing the positive test rate above 15 percent — more than three times the threshold officials say is concerning. It’s a jump so startling that MPR News checked with the department to see if it was an error. It was not, although it’s unclear yet if this is an anomaly or evidence of a problematic trend.... Full story

  • Minnesota Public Radio|Oct 2, 2020

  • Ojibwe author is named 2020 'Distinguished Artist'

    Minnesota Public Radio|Aug 28, 2020

    The McKnight Foundation has chosen author Marcie Rendon to receive its 2020 Distinguished Artist Award. The annual award recognizes a Minnesota artist who has made significant contributions to the state's cultural life. Rendon, an enrolled member of White Earth Nation, is the first Native American woman to receive the award in its 25-year history. Last year the award went to Ojibwe painter Jim Denomie. Rendon said she's honored and humbled to receive the award. "I am pleased that I am the...

  • State wants to ramp up saliva tests to meet demand

    Minnesota Public Radio|Aug 28, 2020

    Faced with demand for more Covid-19 tests this fall, the state is using $14 million in federal coronavirus relief funds to build capacity by doing up to 30,000 saliva tests daily. The strategy relies on a saliva-based test developed by Vault Health and Rutgers University that can be done at home. Minnesota is already doing 22,000 tests daily. But Minnesota Health Commissioner Jan Malcolm said more than doubling that capacity with saliva tests will help meet demand for tests as schools reopen. “For schools, it’s going to be critically imp... Full story

  • State Covid-19 case counts keep rising

    Minnesota Public Radio|Aug 7, 2020

    Minnesota’s COVID-19 hospitalizations continue to head the wrong way, with counts of people currently hospitalized and needing intensive care rising to levels not seen in six weeks. The Health Department Tuesday reported 328 people still hospitalized with 159 of those need ICU beds. Officials have been bracing Minnesotans to expect hospitalizations and ICU cases to grow in response to the case surge the past few weeks as Minnesota began allowing customers to return to indoor gathering spaces, including bars, stores and restaurants. While curren... Full story

  • Split decision on sports

    Minnesota Public Radio|Aug 7, 2020

    The Minnesota State High School League on Tuesday agreed to move high school football and volleyball to spring seasons this year while other fall sports maintain modified schedules in response to COVID-19. The football and volleyball seasons will take place from March to May and spring sports will be pushed back to a May start. Practices will be allowed this fall with conditions. Girls tennis, boys and girls cross country and girls swimming and diving, boys and girls soccer will be allowed to...

  • Minneapolis schools will go all virtual

    Minnesota Public Radio|Jul 31, 2020

    Minneapolis Public Schools students will not go back to school in a traditional manner this fall, instead starting out the school year virtually. District officials announced their plan to resume full distance learning at a board meeting Tuesday. A final vote is set to take place in August. The decision comes ahead of a delayed statewide announcement that Gov. Tim Walz was expected to make Thursday. By comparision, many schools in more rural areas, like in Carlton County, are considering plans that would combine distance learning days with...

  • State urges vigilance; cases skew younger

    Minnesota Public Radio|Jul 17, 2020

    Wednesday pressed Minnesotans to stay vigilant to slow the spread of COVID-19, emphasizing personal responsibility and cautioning that the recent rapid increase in new cases will lead to more deaths. They also encouraged families to make plans for others to care for young children should parents and other caregivers fall ill with the disease. “We are, in fact, at a worrisome point that our numbers are going up,” Dr. Ruth Lynfield, the state epidemiologist, said of the two-week trend in daily case counts. “This really is a moment for all of us... Full story

  • Walz: 'Stay at home' to expire

    Minnesota Public Radio|May 15, 2020

    Written by MPR News Dan Kraker, Nancy Yang, Brian Bakst and Nina Moini Gov. Tim Walz is loosening social distancing restrictions that he put in place at the end of March to slow the spread of COVID-19. The "Stay Safe Minnesota" order replaces his stay-at-home order, which expires May 18. Under the new order, retail businesses will be allowed to reopen with limited capacity and group gatherings of 10 or fewer people, including at places of worship, will be permitted once again. Restrictions on... Full story

  • Land O' Lakes 'maiden' disappears

    Minnesota Public Radio|Apr 24, 2020

    It’s an image everyone knows. A young Native woman kneels on a patch of grass, blue waters and green trees behind her. She’s wearing a buckskin dress and has two feathers in her hair. She holds out both hands, smiling, as she offers the viewer a pound of Land O’Lakes butter. “Mia the butter maiden,” as she’s called, first appeared on packaging in 1928. Her presence at the American kitchen table has spanned generations — until the last several months, when Land O’Lakes phased her out. In the 1950s, Red Lake Chippewa artist Patrick DesJarlait was...

  • Fear spreads at Willow River prisoner camp

    Minnesota Public Radio|Apr 24, 2020

    After the first positive case of COVID-19 was confirmed at the Moose Lake prison on March 30, inmates at the Willow River correctional facility, just 8 miles down the road, started getting nervous. By then, no visitors had been allowed into either facility for more than two weeks. But the Moose Lake and Willow River programs share a warden and some staff. And until last week, nobody on either campus was required to wear masks. Prisons, jails and other correctional facilities, where inmates live... Full story

  • Statewide crisis builds as surge expected

    Minnesota Public Radio|Apr 3, 2020

    As COVID-19 cases and deaths continued to rise, Minnesota officials on Wednesday said they were still working to secure needed testing supplies and get unemployment checks to people as quickly as possible. And with religious holidays approaching, they again pleaded with Minnesotans to keep their distance to help check the disease’s spread. Gov. Tim Walz said he would decide next week on whether to extend his stay-at-home order beyond April 10. He did say this year’s open water fishing season will go on, the Governor’s Fishing Opener weeke... Full story

  • Appeals court strips Polymet permits

    Minnesota Public Radio|Jan 17, 2020

    The Minnesota Court of Appeals dealt a blow to the proposed PolyMet copper-nickel mine Monday, overturning three key state permits that had been issued to the project - and requiring the state to conduct a hearing before it works to reissue those permits. In one of several legal challenges to the proposed northern Minnesota mine, eight different groups had asked the court to overturn a permit to mine and two dam safety permits that were among several the state Department of Natural Resources...