Stories from June 14, 2024

Health commissioner: State office dedicated to African American health ‘beacon of hope’
The Office of African American Health, established during last year’s legislative session, focuses on identifying and addressing the health disparities faced by African American communities in the state.
Native boarding school healing group responds to Catholic bishops’ apology
At a meeting Friday, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops approved a document that acknowledges the church’s role in Native American boarding schools. Minnesota had more than a dozen such schools.
New I-94 BMX track in Fergus Falls hosts national registration week 
This week the gaze of the BMX world fell on Fergus Falls as USA BMX promoted national registration week. With a new starting gate — the first of its kind in Minnesota — the event offered potential BMX’ers an opportunity to try the sport at the nonprofit I-94 BMX.
The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops has approved a resolution focused on outreach to Native American communities, after acknowledging the church's role in boarding schools. A draft also apologized to Indigenous Catholics. The church operated at least 80 of more than 500 government-funded boarding schools that separated children from their families and suppressed Indigenous cultures. Also, University of Minnesota students will pay more in tuition next school year as part of a budget approved by the Board of Regents Thursday. This is the afternoon MPR News update for Friday, hosted by Emily Bright. Theme music by Gary Meister.
Second-chance smells? Gustavus Adolphus College’s corpse flower is also a reluctant bloomer
If you weren’t one of the 20,000 people to catch a whiff of Horace at Como Park Zoo and Conservatory, you might get a second chance with Gemini, Gustavus Adolphus College’s corpse flower. But like Horace, it’s taking its time to bloom.
Drop the puck! Minnesota PWHL star scores a hockey cameo in ‘Inside Out 2’
Kendall Coyne Schofield, captain of Minnesota’s Professional Women’s Hockey League team, voices a hockey announcer in the animated coming-of-age movie opening Friday. For her, it’s another way to elevate the profile of women’s sports.
University of Minnesota delays plan to hire genocide studies director
The University of Minnesota will likely wait more than a year to hire a new director for its Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies, after pausing a hiring process amid controversy. A new search committee will include further community input.
Minnesota Chippewa Tribe general elections have concluded, new chairperson to lead Fond du Lac Band
Several band’s incumbent candidates were reelected, while the Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa will have a change in leadership come July with a newly elected chairperson.
Vettel, Gohdes move on in Cass County Commission District 5 race in North Dakota
Joel Vettel of Fargo and Keith Gohdes of Mapleton will move on to November’s general election after receiving enough votes in the Tuesday, June 11, primary.
Cows infected by bird flu in Minnesota, but human threat very low
The bird flu outbreak has impacted 17 million poultry across 26 states to date so far this year, 1.7 million of those affected poultry are in Minnesota. Threat to human health is very low, with only four known cases of human infection so far this year.
University of Minnesota raises tuition for next school year
In a split vote on Thursday, the university’s Board of Regents approved tuition increases as part of a $5 billion budget. It’s the university’s highest tuition increase in over a decade.
Rain to continue through June with warm temperatures
Heavy rainfalls are continuing through June but this time warm weather is on the horizon again. Climatologist and meteorologist Mark Seely discussed the rain and heat in his weekly weather chat.
Samira Ahmed on ‘This Book Won't Burn’
After a family tragedy, Noor Khan is forced to finish her senior year of high school in a small town where she discovers — to her horror — that books are disappearing from the school library.
Illinois is hit with cicada chaos. This is what it's like to see, hear and feel billions of bugs
Cicada chaos is flourishing and flying in the American Midwest. Trillions of once hidden baby bugs are in the air, on the trees and perching upon people’s shirts, hats and even faces.
Politics Friday: How are voters in the state feeling about the upcoming election? A new poll says the race is close
MPR News host Brian Bakst and his guests talk about the poll results and what they suggest about where this election year is headed. 
U.S. Catholic bishops approve outreach to Native Americans and acknowledge boarding school ‘traumas’
U.S. bishops on Friday approved new guidelines for ministering to Indigenous Catholics, a long in-the-works effort to reinvigorate the ministry and assure those communities that they don't need to feel torn between their Native identity and their Catholic one.
Minnesota man who joined Islamic State group is sentenced to 10 years in prison
Abelhamid Al-Madioum cooperated with federal authorities ahead of Thursday’s open court hearing. Prosecutors factored into their recommendation a lower sentence than the statutory maximum of 20 years. 
Joe Ryan fans 5 in 7 strong innings, Carlos Correa slugs 2-run HR as Twins beat Athletics 6-2
Joe Ryan struck out five in seven strong innings and Carlos Correa had a two-run homer among his three hits as the Minnesota Twins beat the Oakland Athletics 6-2. 
National Weather Service confirms EF2 tornadoes touched down in Minnesota on Wednesday
The National Weather Service says two of the four confirmed tornadoes that touched down in central Minnesota on Wednesday evening were rated EF2, with maximum winds of 115 to 120 mph.
Bill Gates is going nuclear: How his latest project could power U.S. homes and AI
The billionaire philanthropist tells Morning Edition host Steve Inskeep his new TerraPower nuclear plant is safer than traditional builds. He’s putting his own money behind the project.
Several tornadoes touched down in the Brainerd Lakes region during severe thunderstorms on Wednesday, but meteorologists are still working to figure out the rating and exact path of each twister. And the family of a bystander killed during a high speed police chase in 2021 is suing the city of Minneapolis. 
First of its kind animal health and wellbeing gathering examines issues through an Indigenous lens
The first Indigenous animal health and wellbeing gathering will be held in Walker this coming weekend. It’s a partnership between the Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe and veterinary leaders from four states. A total of 11 tribes will be represented. 
Volunteers are needed for the statewide bumble bee survey
The Minnesota Bumble Bee Atlas wants to expand its statewide survey of bumble bees, but needs more volunteers to do the work. The ambitious project aims to expand the knowledge of where bumble bees are found in Minnesota.