>>UMNPD Takes Down Student Encampment in Solidarity with Palestine, Arrests 9 Individuals

(Minneapolis, MN) — University of Minnesota students are demanding campus police immediately release the students who were arrested this morning for setting up an encampment in front of the Walter Library advocating for the school to “divest from Israel’s genocide.” Around 4:30 a.m., the UMN Divest Coalition, a collective of organizations, undergrad-, and grad students fighting state violence, colonialism, and imperialism with their connection to the U of M, set up tents on the campus mall in solidarity with Gaza and Palestine. Around 6:30 a.m., UMNPD allegedly started harassing the encampment, took down the tents, and arrested nine individuals, seven of whom are members of Students for a Democratic Society. Students are asking their supporters to call the UMNPD (612-624-2677), the Office of the President (612-626-1616), and the Vice President and Provost (612-625-0051).


>>Steele County Man Federally Indicted for International Sexual Exploitation of Children

(Minneapolis, MN) — A Blooming Prairie man has been federally indicted for international sexual exploitation of children. Court documents say between November 2021 and April 2022, 61-year-old Steven Sokel aided and abetted other individuals to coerce three minor girls outside of the U.S. to engage in sexually explicit content to produce visual media. He also possessed sexually explicit images and videos of minors. Sokel is ordered to remain in custody pending a formal detention hearing.


>>Former Gov. Carlson Thinks MPCA’s New Water Quality Initiative is “Inadequate”

(Undated) – Former Governor Arne Carlson says the state Pollution Control Agency’s plan for water testing along the entire length of the Mississippi River in Minnesota is “a positive” — however, he thinks it’s “wholly inadequate. They’ve had years and years. I mean, we knew about this, really, at the turn of the century.” Carlson says the state should ask the U-of-M for an in-depth study of the current condition of Minnesota waters, plus a supply-and-demand analysis. M-P-C-A Commissioner Katrina Kessler says data gathered from Mississippi River water testing will direct river clean-up resources for decades to come.


>>Minnesota Receives $62 Million from EPA for Solar Projects

(St. Paul, MN) — Minnesota is getting 62 million dollars from the E-P-A for solar projects across the state. State Commerce Commissioner Grace Arnold says, “The Solar for All grant will save Minnesotans money, reduce energy costs, and reduce pollution from carbon emissions.” Officials say the federal funds will support a variety of solar programs serving low-income and disadvantaged communities. The feds are awarding a total of seven billion dollars in solar grants today.


>>U of M Receives $900K State Grant to Boost Training for Opioid Use Disorder Care

(Minneapolis, MN) — The University of Minnesota has received a nearly $900,000 grant from the State Department of Health (MDH) to enhance workforce development and training for healthcare professionals caring for persons with opioid use disorder (OUD). Beginning this spring, funding will go towards the Advancing Stigma-Free Education and Integrated Behavioral Services for Opioid Use Disorder in Primary Care project to expand training on OUD as a chronic disease, harm reduction, and reducing stigma towards people with substance use disorders. Funds will also be used to purchase and distribute fentanyl/xylazine testing supplies, naloxone kits, and wound care kits to community partners.


>>MDH Promotes National Infant Immunization Week

(Undated) – This week is National Infant Immunization Week and the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) is urging families to get their kids back on track with their shots and well-child check-ups. MDH Spokesperson Jessica Hancock-Allen says childhood immunization rates dropped dramatically in Minnesota due to the COVID-19 pandemic, dropping from 69.2% of all two-year-olds being up to date on vaccines in 2019, to only 63% in 2023. Hancock-Allen encourages parents on the fence about vaccines or just wanting to know more to reach out to a health provider they trust and ask questions.


>>GMG Names Della Schmidt as New President, CEO

(Mankato, MN) — Greater Mankato Growth (GMG) has named Della Schmidt its new president and CEO. Schmidt brings over three decades of experience leading chamber, economic, and workforce development, and regional partnership organizations and initiatives with southern Minnesota and southeastern Iowa. She’s spent the past five years as President and CEO of the Greater Burlington Partnership. Schmidt begins her new role in June.


>>Special Bow Hunt Under Consideration in East Grand Forks

(East Grand Forks, MN) — The East Grand Forks City Council will take another look at establishing a special bow hunt to help reduce the number of deer in the Greenway. Over the years the city has received numerous complaints from residents about the animals eating shrubs and gardens and causing accidents when they run into the road. If approved the archery hunt would be held November 15-24.


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