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Disease continues to decimate Minnesota’s bat population

white-nose syndrome
REUTERS/U.S. Geological Survey/Greg Turner
Bats are dying in 33 states and seven Canadian provinces from white-nose syndrome, a disease caused by a fungus that was unknown before it began decimating North America’s bat population.

In the Duluth News Tribune, John Myers writes, “Minnesota’s bat population continues to be devastated by white nose syndrome, with now a 90 percent decline in bats at the Soudan Underground Mine near Lake Vermilion and a 94 percent drop at Mystery Cave in southern Minnesota. The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources on Thursday reported the continued bat decline, saying it was expected but not welcome. … Fish and Wildlife Service officials have called it the most catastrophic wildlife disease in U.S. history.”

In the Star Tribune, Maya Rao and Paul Walsh report, “Isabella Wreh-Fofana screamed with joy when she heard the news that the Trump administration had approved another year’s delay in removing immigration protections for Liberians living in the United States. The White House announcement on Thursday came just before she was to appear at the State Capitol alongside Gov. Tim Walz, Attorney General Keith Ellison, and fellow Liberians to advocate for an extension of the Deferred Enforced Departure (DED) program, which was set to end Sunday.”

For the PioneerPress, Nick Woltman says, “Rice Park in downtown St. Paul is expected to reopen in mid-May, city officials say. The park’s $2.2 million facelift was originally slated to wrap up in late 2018, but bitter winter weather delayed elements of the project, said Clare Cloyd, spokesperson for St. Paul Parks and Recreation. City officials are coordinating with nearby businesses to plan a reopening celebration sometime in June.”

The Star Tribune’s Erin Golden reports: “Minnesota schools won’t have to add days to the end of the school year to make up for this year’s run of weather-related cancellations under a bill approved by state lawmakers on Thursday. The measure known as the “Snow Day Relief Act” now heads to the desk of DFL Gov. Tim Walz, who has previously said he wants to provide flexibility to schools that canceled classes amid record-setting runs of snow and extreme temperatures.”

From the AP: Minnesota newcomer Marwin Gonzalez hit a two-run double in the seventh inning, Jose Berrios outdueled Corey Kluber and the Twins gave manager Rocco Baldelli a win in his debut, starting the season by beating the Cleveland Indians 2-0 Thursday. Berrios set a Twins opening day record with 10 strikeouts, with the 24-year-old right-hander picking up where he left off as an All-Star in 2018.”

Says Miguel Otarola in the Star Tribune, “Up the street from the Minnesota Twins home opener, a different kind of debut took place: the first storefront dedicated to hemp and CBD products in downtown Minneapolis. During the opening celebration of Stigma, a new shop at 250 3rd Av. N. in the North Loop, Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey expressed his support for the rapidly growing industry and renewed his push to legalize cannabis statewide.”

In the Star Tribune, Torey Van Oot at J. Patrick Coolican say, “A push by Gov. Tim Walz and DFL lawmakers to make Minnesota one of a handful of states with paid family leave faces stiff opposition from Republicans brandishing new cost estimates that they say show the plan would force an unaffordable tax increase. A recent report from the state’s budget office estimates the program would cost about $450 million in 2021, its first year, and $900 million annually once fully implemented. The program would also require an additional 352 state workers to administer.”

For CNBC, Kate Rooney says, “The embattled CEO of Wells Fargo is stepping down. Tim Sloan, who took over as chief executive of the bank in October 2016, is resigning as CEO immediately, the bank said Thursday in a release. The bank’s general counsel, Allen Parker, will take over as interim CEO, and the bank is searching externally for a permanent successor. Sloan, the three-decade Wells Fargo veteran who was supposed to clean up the mess that had claimed his predecessor, had struggled to satisfy regulators’ demands to overhaul the sprawling institution.”


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