WINONA — Homecoming will not be an autumn event for Winona State University in 2020.

Homecoming, which was scheduled for Oct. 8-11, includes the homecoming parade, the Warrior Waddle, the Athletic Hall of Fame banquet and the Distinguished Alumni banquet, and Warrior game-day events.

Instead, due to COVID-19 restrictions, Warrior Homecoming will be held during the spring 2021 semester.

"Each year, we look forward to welcoming our alumni and friends to campus, and to celebrating with our students, employees and the greater Winona community," said WSU President Scott R. Olson. "However, we feel that by suspending this event and all associated activities, we are doing our part to reduce the spread of this virus and preserve the health and safety of our community."

Athletic events planned for the weekend of Oct. 9-11 are still scheduled to take place and are not affected by the recent NSIC fall season delay.

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New Water Resources Development Act should bring funding, focus to Upper Mississippi

UPPER MISSISSIPPI RIVER — The recently passed Water Resources Development Act will help with watershed management and public safety along the Upper Mississippi River.

Olivia Dorothy, Upper Mississippi River director for American rivers, said the act's provisions will help improve river ecosystems and prioritize natural infrastructure. That includes provisions that will authorize a watershed study on flooding, and increase available funding for restoration, science and monitoring.

The Upper Mississippi River Restoration Program was the first environmental restoration and monitoring program undertaken on a large river system in the U.S.

"For the first time in a long time, the UMRR Program is getting a much-needed boost," said Ryan Grosso, of Prairie Rivers Network. "It has a great record of success, and we hope these changes will continue that pattern and open doors to more critical habitat restoration projects. In the midst of a changing climate, a healthy river and scientific research are crucial to the safety of the environment and communities along the Upper Mississippi."

MPCA looking for school districts to join electric bus program

The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency plans to invest up to $3 million from the state's Volkswagen settlement to encourage the replacement of diesel-powered school buses with new electric models.

“Our children deserve clean air and a better climate,” says MPCA Commissioner Laura Bishop. “This innovative pilot will make cleaner bus technology more accessible for schools, and provide valuable information about how we can continue to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in Minnesota. If the pilot is successful, our goal is to make more of these smart investments in the future.”

The pilot grant project for electric school buses will support cleaner vehicle technology in an effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, a stop toward Minnesota's goal of reducing emissions by 80% by 2050. Replacing one diesel bus with an electric model can reduce emissions by 29 tons of CO2, which is equal to removing six passenger vehicles from Minnesota roads. Currently, there is one electric school bus in Minnesota, serving the Lakeville Public School District.

Minnesota will be the first state in the Midwest to implement a pilot project that will gather data and information about the buses’ performance and reliability. The MPCA hopes to fund at least six new electric school buses across the state, with one or two projects in each of four regions.

To learn more, visit www.pca.state.mn.us/air/electric-school-bus-pilot.