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House Speaker Melissa Hortman tests positive for COVID-19

Plus: Saint Mary’s University cutting 11 programs and laying off more than a dozen staff members; masks no longer required at the U of M; Rochelle Cox named interim superintendent of Minneapolis schools; and more.

House Speaker Melissa Hortman
House Speaker Melissa Hortman
MinnPost file photo by Peter Callaghan

From Brian Bakst at MPR News: Minnesota House Speaker Melissa Hortman, DFL-Brooklyn Park, disclosed Wednesday she has tested positive for COVID-19. In a tweet, Hortman said she is “fully vaccinated, boosted and feeling fine.” She said she took a test after experiencing congestion she thought might be attributable to spring allergies. Hortman has been in close proximity lately with Gov. Tim Walz, Senate Majority Leader Jeremy Miller, other key legislators and top Capitol staff.

Kalle Benallie at Indian Country Today examines a U.S. Department of Interior investigative report on the Federal Indian Boarding School Initiative. Approximately 53 different schools had been identified with marked or unmarked burial sites. The department expects the number to increase as the investigation continues.

Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota has announced it will be cutting 11 academic programs and laying off more than a dozen staff as it narrows its focus “to better position itself financially for long-term sustainability and success,” via Adam Uren at Bring Me the News.

In other university news from FOX9: The University of Minnesota announced that masks will no longer be required in classrooms beginning Thursday, a day after spring semester ends.

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From WCCO: The Minneapolis Public Schools Board of Education has appointed an interim superintendent for the next school year. The board unanimously voted Tuesday to name current Associate Superintendent Rochelle Cox to the interim position. She’ll start as superintendent July 1.

St. Paul nonprofit Keystone Community Services announced that, over the weekend, catalytic converters were stolen from both of its Foodmobile vehicles, which are food shelves on wheels, via FOX9.

Anthony Lonetree at the Star Tribune is reporting that the push to rename Ramsey Middle School in St. Paul is headed to the school board next Tuesday with students offering a rundown of finalists in awards-show fashion. The community’s recommendation is Hidden River Middle School.

Jenelle Reilly at Variety covered actor James Hong receiving his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. The Minneapolis-born actor is 93, the oldest person to ever receive a star, and has over 650 credits to his name, including “Blade Runner,” “Big Trouble in Little China” and this year’s “Everything Everywhere All at Once.”