An experiment to get more locally grown food on resort menus this summer by six Brainerd chefs and eight area farmers was one of a variety of efforts on the local food front. It showed both how things might work and why it's difficult.
What a city spends on its police force or its parks doesn't usually get any attention in the Minnesota governor's race, but because the state's budget problems loom so centrally this year, local spending issues have been pulled in as well.
Two Minnesota domestic violence shelters are getting national grants from the Dallas, Texas-based Mary Kay Foundation.
What seemed like a good idea in the early 1980s -- build a municipal facility that would pull recyclable material from the garbage residents generate and then burn the rest to create usable steam -- has become a target in this budget-strapped city.
Minnesota cities with regular bills and salaries to pay typically set aside several months' worth of cash in a fund balance, but those fund balances are now taking a hit because of the recession.
Budget uncertainty is leading many Minnesota cities to negotiate one-year contracts with their unionized employees, instead of for longer terms.
Neither the unions nor the cities want to lock in agreements that are not going to be financially workable.
As the days get shorter, many people might take it for granted that city streetlights will burn longer.
But struggling with falling revenues and cuts in state aid, some Minnesota cities are turning off streetlights in selected areas.
If you're trying to balance a budget in a rural Minnesota city, chances are you have run through all the options. Lay off personnel, check. Increase fees, check. Raise property taxes, check and perhaps re-think.
As city officials try to reach agreement on how much money to spend, how much to tax and how much to guess they will receive from the state the fall, a lot of attention focuses on police and public safety.