Nancy Lebens Feature Archive

Road closures threaten commutes in southwest suburbs of the Twin Cities. Legislators consider bonding projects related to floods. (03/23/2011)
A 16-year-old girl and a 17-year-old boy are both dead after a shooting Monday night at their home in western Minnesota. (03/22/2011)
Immigrant farmers are fixtures at farmers' markets in the Twin Cities, but they are not nearly as well represented in other parts of the local food scene. (01/07/2011)
The Food Safety Modernization Act passed by the U.S. House Tuesday strengthens government oversight of food processing facilities and farms, but a controversial part of the bill exempts small farms from most safety oversight. (12/22/2010)
Increasing consumer interest in the presumed health and economic benefits of local food has meant that not only do store like Lunds need to keep up with customer demand, they also have to compete with other retailers like Walmart -- both for customers and for the growers that produce the food. (12/10/2010)
Food service directors say the programs will improve students' health and might lead to better success at school. (12/03/2010)
Harvest Thyme Bistro in Wadena has a simple message for its customers: fresh food in season tastes better, and it's healthier. (11/26/2010)
A list of co-ops, local farms and grocers where you can find local ingredients for your Thanksgiving meal. (11/23/2010)
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. (11/16/2010)
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. (10/29/2010)
Two Minnesota domestic violence shelters are getting national grants from the Dallas, Texas-based Mary Kay Foundation. (10/22/2010)
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. (10/12/2010)
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. (10/04/2010)
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. (09/23/2010)
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. (09/21/2010)