MPR News Update

Flood frustrations rise with water; booming farms and silent songbirds; turning a nasty yard natural

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

  • Flood updates: Guardsmen leave Int'l. Falls; emergency declaration extended
    As flood waters around the state keep rising, Gov. Mark Dayton has extended an emergency declaration for 35 counties for another 30 days, saying he expects a new $3 million disaster assistance account will be exhausted.
  • In Scott County, flooding, frustration rise together
    High water and mudslides these past few days have made the roads around the Scott County township of Blakeley precarious to impassable, and people in the town are trying to figure out how to resume their lives after they were cut off from their homes.
  • 12 ways to stay safe after a flood
    The Minnesota Department of Health says people should avoid contact with flood water and take precautions even though skin contact usually isn't harmful. "People need to remember that flood water may be contaminated with sewage, disease-causing germs and other potential contaminants," said Kristen Ehresmann, director of infectious diseases for the Minnesota Department of Health.
  • Why sump pumps may cause sewage backups
    Why do sewage spills and backups happen when it rains, and rains and rains? The largest contributing factor: sump pumps that drain into the wastewater sewer instead of the storm water sewer. This overwhelms the sanitary sewer system and sewage treatment plants. That's what happened earlier this month in Mound, which got permission to release sewage into Lake Minnetonka.
  • As farming booms, some Minnesota prairie songbirds fall silent
    The rebounding grain market has led farmers to withdraw land from the federal Conservation Reserve Program and plow it back into crops. Now, the birds that returned two decades ago are leaving again, raising concerns about the prairie's long term health.
  • The natural: Transforming a yard from nasty to native
    When Susan Damon and her husband bought their St. Paul home a couple decades ago, invasive plants had a stranglehold. Now their yard is home to more than 100 species of native plants and a food source for an array of critters. It's proof that even city dwellers can create a welcoming habitat for butterflies, bees and songbirds.
  • Money men tally cost of climate change
    A report, released Tuesday, is designed to convince businesses to factor in the cost of climate change in their long-term decisions and to push for reductions in emissions blamed for heating the planet.
  • Toxic weed shows up in eastern Minnesota
    Officials say the weed is poisonous, and both fresh and dried plant parts are toxic. The plant's leafy portions could be mistaken for lettuce or other leafy greens.
  • Crews remove plane wreckage from Lake Superior
    The sheriff's office has identified the plane's owner as 47-year-old Alexander Obersteg of Steinfeld, Germany.
  • Police: Burglar busted when fails to exit Facebook
    Police say the burglar used the homeowner's computer and logged onto Facebook last week. But, he failed to log off.
  • Minneapolis woman key to Obama visit
    A Minneapolis working mother named Rebekah will play a central role in President Barack Obama's next visit to Minneapolis on Thursday. According to the White House, Obama will launch the first in a series of day in the life visits by spending the day with Rebekah (whose last name has not been made public yet).

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Simply, it is Minnesota news on your schedule. The MPR News Update brings you up to speed with the state's top news, the best of our blogs and smart talk radio in the format that fits you best.

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