MPR News Update

More good jobs numbers; where to watch July Fourth fireworks; listening for disappearing frogs

Thursday, July 3, 2014

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  • A job seeker fills out an applicationUS jobless rate lowest rate since Sept. 2008
    The United States economy created 288,000 jobs in June, the fifth straight month of strong job creation above 200,000 per month. The unemployment rate dropped to 6.1 percent, the lowest rate since September 2008.
  • 'Jobs' sign at the U.S. Chamber of CommerceEnviable Twin Cities numbers, too
    Unemployment in the Twin Cities region is lower than any other major metropolitan area in the nation: 4 percent in May, slightly better than Austin, Texas, which came in second place among metro areas with 1 million people or more.
  • Fireworks at Music in Plymouth, 200917 great places to watch July 4th fireworks
    Flooding has shifted some of the festivities this year, but from Grand Marais to Albert Lea, Independence Day is expected to go off with a bang this year across Minnesota.
  • Boater safety enforcement8 things to know about water safety this weekend
    While there have been fewer boating and swimming accidents in 2014 compared to 2013, the drop is mostly attributable to fewer people going out onto lakes and rivers because of the bad spring weather.
  • National Park Service workersStill need a campsite?
    The holiday weekend marks the start of peak camping season. While Minnesota's state parks weren't immune from recent heavy rains, reservation numbers predict a very busy weekend.
  • Painting beside Lake Harriet5 (free) things to do in the Twin Cities
    Like many places that endure long, difficult winters, Minnesota comes alive when the weather warms up. So many people from the Twin Cities -- as Minneapolis and St. Paul are known -- head to lakes in northern parts of the state that the city's attractions truly open up to out-of-towners.
  • Swatting mosquitosListening in on the declining frog population
    Data collected from 34 sites across North America allowed researchers to quantify the decline in frog populations for the first time. They found that between 2002 and 2011 all frog populations were down nearly four percent.
  • A Car2Go sits outside St. Paul City HallCar2Go ready to go in St. Paul
    The St. Paul City Council approved a deal with Car2Go to allow 185 of the company's SmartCars to be parked on city streets. The service will also rebrand from Car2Go Minneapolis to Car2Go Twin Cities, said Josh Johnson, the company's local manager.
  • 16,000 MNsure applicants left hanging
    Minnesota's Department of Human Services failed to send 16,000 notices to Minnesotans whose Medical Assistance applications are pending through MNsure, the state's online insurance marketplace.
  • Facebook's Sandberg apologizes for experiment
    Facebook's No. 2 executive apologized on Wednesday over an experiment that manipulated the news feeds of more than 600,000 users. The Wall Street Journal reports Sheryl Sandberg said the study was communicated "poorly."
  • A new mosquito-borne virus lands in the US
    Chikun-what? A year ago, chikungunya didn't even exist in the Western Hemisphere. It was only found in Africa and Asia. But in October, the mosquito-borne illness cropped up on the island of St. Martin. Then it spread like wildfire.
  • Can we predict which teens are likely to binge drink?
    It may be possible to predict with about 70 percent accuracy which teens will become binge drinkers, based on their genetics, brain function, personality traits and history, according to a study published Wednesday in Nature.
  • Dark, not milk chocolate, may help blood flow
    The idea that eating cocoa-rich, dark chocolate may offer greater health benefits than milk chocolate is not new. And now a small study published in the Journal of the American Heart Association offers evidence of another possible benefit: improving vascular health by increasing blood flow.

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About MPR News Update

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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