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Report harshly criticizes University of Minnesota treatment of Native Americans

Plus: Senate Majority Leader Kari Dziedzic not ready to return to the Capitol after cancer surgery; pork processing plant in Windom could lay off 1,000; Minnesotans get ready for weather whiplash as cold returns this weekend; and more.

Northrop Auditorium
Northrop Auditorium, University of Minnesota

For MPR News, Dan Kraker and Melissa Olson report, “A massive new report details the University of Minnesota’s long history of mistreating the state’s Native people and lays out recommendations, including ‘perpetual reparations,’ to improve relations between the university and Minnesota’s 11 tribal nations. Among its troubling findings, the report by the TRUTH (Towards Recognition and University-Tribal Healing) Project concludes: The U’s founding board of regents “committed genocide and ethnic cleansing of Indigenous peoples for financial gain, using the institution as a shell corporation through which to launder lands and resources.”

This from Renee Cooper at KSTP-TV, “Walking by the AT&T Tower, the latest company to announce it’s moving out of downtown Minneapolis, Steve Cramer, the CEO of the Minneapolis Downtown Council who moved to the city in 1979, reminisced about bustling streets and booming business. That hustle and bustle in the heart of downtown Minneapolis is mostly left to memory. 64% of office employees have returned to downtown offices at least one day a week from pandemic-prompted remote work, Cramer said. The city, as a result, is grappling with how to reimagine the space as businesses continue to downsize their offices or move to the suburbs. … The reality is downtown will never be what it once was, but it can be re-imagined, Mayor Frey said, starting with the roughly $92 million conversion of the former commercial Northstar Center East building into housing.”

Michelle Griffith of the Minnesota Reformer says, “Senate Majority Leader Kari Dziedzic didn’t announce publicly that she had cancer before she underwent surgery to remove a tumor and with it her spleen, appendix and uterus. Rather, she took an approach characteristic of her stoicism and introversion. She announced the day after surgery that everything went well and she would be working remotely in the meantime. … The surgery was far more serious than Dziedzic revealed at the time, however. She said her doctors believe they removed all of the cancer — they didn’t know what type it was — but she’s unsure whether she will fully recover in time to return to the Capitol in person for the remainder of her first term as Senate majority leader.”

This at Politico, “House Majority Whip Tom Emmer on Tuesday announced a whopping $2.2 million haul in the first quarter of the 2024 cycle. That figure is part of a massive GOP fundraising push this year, led by Speaker Kevin McCarthy, to seek record-breaking sums as Republicans work to hold onto their narrow House margin next November. Details: The former GOP campaign chief transferred roughly $500,000 to the National Republican Congressional Committee. He also contributed about $150,000 directly to GOP’s most endangered incumbents.”

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Stribbers Brooks Johnson and Christopher Vondracek report, “A pork processing plant in southern Minnesota is poised to shut down and permanently lay off more than 1,000 people if a new owner for the Windom operation can’t soon be found. The move reflects challenging economic conditions for portions of the pork industry. HyLife Foods filed notice with the state this week that its efforts to turn the business around have been unsuccessful.”

William Bornhoft at Patch says, “Welcome to Minnesota, where highs in the 80s and snow showers can happen in the same week. It’s no joke. Temperatures are expected to hit at least 80 degrees on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. But lows in the 30s will return Saturday through Monday, as will chances for snow and freezing rain. The snow likely won’t stick around, if it accumulates at all. But this weekend will certainly mark the end of April’s brief (but intense) heatwave.”

A WCCO-TV story by Pauleen Le says, “WCCO’s Pauleen Le spent some time with University of Minnesota Horticulture Extension Educator Julie Weisenhorn at the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum to learn the dos and don’ts of spring planting. Here are some common questions home gardeners may have and Weisenhorn’s advice to help:

Q: What are some first steps homeowners and gardeners should take?

  • Be careful not to get ahead of yourself.
  • The biggest issue we’re seeing is that our yards are wet with all the melting snow!
  • If your soils are soggy, they are not ready to be planted, seeded, raked, tilled or even — in the case of lawns — walked in heavily.
  • We don’t want to mess with wet soil because it can become compacted easily.
  • I’d recommend gently walking your yard to pick up sticks and branches.
  • If you have dry areas, such as a south-facing slope, then you can do more sooner.”

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For KMSP-TV Melissa Turtinen says, “The cold, snowy weather this winter and spring delayed the start of mosquito season this year. The Metropolitan Mosquito Control District found its first mosquito larvae in the Twin Cities metro on March 18 in 2022. Here’s a look at the previous first larvae discoveries in recent years:

  • March 18, 2021
  • March 20, 2020
  • April 5, 2019
  • April 24, 2018.”