Minnesota residents' concerns about the economy apparently have eased, and education and government budgets now top the list of what people worry about when it comes to the state's quality of life, according to a new Wilder Research report.
Faced with a need to make important government budget decisions, Minnesotans say they would rather reform the way education, health care and social programs work than simply reduce spending on them.
Minnesota cities have continued the trend of relying increasingly on property taxes to pay for the services they provide, a state auditor's report shows. The report shows that over the past decade cities have both raised property tax revenue and spent less money overall.
For the next two years, a couple hundred people in central Minnesota will be arguing -- with civility they hope -- about how to fix transportation, housing, land use and the economy.
The state Commerce Department and the organization Connect Minnesota on Thursday are going to unveil the latest report on the status of broadband availability in the state, and it shows again the wide disparity in access to the Internet around the state.
As many as one in 10 Americans can't get
Internet connections that are fast enough for common online activities such as watching video or teleconferencing, according to the U.S. Commerce Department. It unveiled a detailed online map showing what types of high-speed Internet connections are available in every last corner of the country.
Last month, money started flowing through a stimulus grant aimed at getting more Minnesotans to make better use of the broadband access they already have.
More than 50 elected officials -- county commissioners, city council members, township board supervisors -- gathered in the Arlington Community Center last night to inch ahead a plan to lay fiber optic lines to every home and business in the county plus those in and around neighboring Fairfax in Renville County.
The people charged with tracking whether Minnesota is keeping up with broadband access to the Internet have produced their first tally, and you have to conclude the picture is mixed at best.
Partly because of the federal stimulus and partly for other reasons, people all over Minnesota are pushing projects to improve broadband access to the Internet.
Residents rural central Minnesota have launched started a conversation, not just about whether to build a fiber optic network that would give them world-class Internet access, but about how to share the cost burden between town and farm.
Signs of a growing local food movement are everywhere. You can see them, at Saturday farmers markets and on restaurant menus. Local apples are now served at school cafeterias. There are community gardens in city neighborhoods and small towns.
That number is down from an estimated 110,000 a year earlier. The numbers are deep in a national report that says illegal immigration has dropped for the nation as a whole, partly due to the poor economy.