>>State Park Land Returned to the Upper Sioux Community

(Granite Falls, MN) — Governor Tim Walz attended a ceremony in Granite Falls this morning transferring a former state park to the Upper Sioux Community of the Dakota. Upper Sioux Agency State Park occupied 1400 acres of land at the confluence of the Minnesota and Yellow Medicine Rivers east of Granite Falls since 1963. But last year, the Minnesota legislature voted to give the land back to the Upper Sioux Community over the objections of local county commissions, Granite Falls City Council Members, and area lawmakers who fear loss of tourism and a hit to the local economy. DNR officials say money has been set aside to provide recreational opportunities to replace the park, although local officials say it isn’t near enough.

>>Amendments To Sports Betting Bill Drop Revenue Estimates

(St. Paul, MN) — Amendments to a bill being considered in the state legislature are reducing the estimated revenue from legalizing sports betting. The changes have cut revenue projections from 40 million dollars to 18 million dollars annually. The amendments provide guardrails to keep compulsive gamblers from losing too much money. They would ban in-game wagering and allow gamblers to set daily limits on how much they can bet.

>>UMD Names Three Finalists for Chancellor

(Duluth, MN) — The University of Minnesota-Duluth is moving closer to naming a new chancellor. This week, the university named three finalists for the position. Dwight Watson is the former chancellor of the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater. Charles Nies is vice-chancellor of student affairs at the University of California Merced. Fernando Delgado is the president of Lehman College, which is part of the City University of New York. The university has been without a full-time chancellor since Lendley Black retired nearly two years ago.

>>New Census Numbers Show Most MN Counties with Stable Populations

(Undated) — New numbers from the U.S. Census Bureau show that the population of most Minnesota counties remains stable. The numbers reflect the population change from 2022 to 2023. Seventy-three of the state’s 87 counties saw only minimal gains or drops over the period. Pine and Wright counties had the most significant increase, growing by over two percent. Traverse County’s population shrank the most from year to year, dropping by more than three percent.

>>MDA Planning to Spray Parts of State to Fight Spongy Moth

(St. Paul, MN) — The Minnesota Department of Agriculture wants to spray parts of seven counties to help slow the spread of an invasive insect. The agency plans to use an insecticide in Carlton, Chisago, Fillmore, Houston, Isanti, Pine, and St. Louis counties to reduce the number of spongy months. The spraying will cover about 160 thousand acres and disrupt the insect’s ability to mate. Next month, the agency is planning a series of in-person and virtual meetings to discuss the plan.

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