Statewide: April 8, 2011 Archive
Posted at 11:00 AM on April 8, 2011
by Dan Gunderson
Filed under: Flooding
Volunteers and homeowners handing sandbags down the line in Fargo got a few surprises this year.
The North Dakota State University sandbag art project decorated thousands of sandbags like this one spotted atop a pile of unused bags in a south Fargo neighborhood.
The project was the idea of Michael Strand, associate professor of visual arts at NDSU. He took several thousand empty sandbags and distributed them to places like daycare centers and senior living facilities. The bags were decorated with permanent markers.They were then added to the stacks of sandbags filled earlier this year at sandbag central in Fargo.
Strand said the idea was to maybe bring a smile to tired sandbaggers. He also used it as a teaching tool for his art students.
"It gets our students to think about the inclusion of community with their own work," he said. "Art can exist as creative activity, community outreach, research and service all at the same time."
It's likely Fargo will have more than a million unused sandbags left over from this years flood fight. The plan is to store them in a warehouse for the next flood. So some of the sandbag art could show up in sandbag lines during the next flood too.
Posted at 8:43 AM on April 8, 2011
by Michael Olson
Filed under: Around MN
The Minnesota Twins have their first home game today at Target Field. It is the second season they will play at the park that provides fans with an outdoor experience. One of the factors at the park is that it favors pitchers. The Star Tribune has the stats:
As a team, the Twins hit 142 homers last season -- but only 52 came at their shiny, new ballpark. First baseman Justin Morneau, in half a season before a concussion ended his campaign, hit 18 homers, four at home. Catcher Joe Mauer, coming off a career-high 28 homers in 2009, hit nine all of last year, including four at home.
Consequently, the players expressed concern over the dimensions. Behind the scenes, there was a request to move the fences in, which was turned down.
MPR's Brandt Williams takes a look at the other numbers.
Target Field has been a financial success for the Twins. More than 3 million fans -- the most in team history -- attended home games in 2010. The team doesn't disclose revenue data to the public, however, Forbes Magazine estimates that Target Field brought in an additional $70 million to the team.
Williams report continues in an exploration of if the Twins are contributing to the local economy beyond tax revenue. It isn't clear. Certainly businesses close to the field are feeling a bump, but it is hard to say if that isn't coming at the expense of other buisnesses around the metro.
While the outcome of today's game remains as uncertain as the economic impact, the odds are high that national anthem will be sung beautifully and the beer will be ice cold.
Mississippi on the rise again
Water on the upper Mississippi River is on the rise again, passing flood stage in many places and heading toward another crest next week (Rochester Post Bulletin).
The flood picture in Minnesota's river valleys
Crests and second crests arrived Thursday in some rivertowns, while others awaited the weekend and watched the skies (Star Tribune).
River levels dropping in Crookston
The Red Lake River may have already crested in Crookston. The last of the ice appears to have passed by Wednesday, causing some jamming that caused river levels to spike but now it looks like they've fallen (Grandforks Herald).
Years of flood preps paying off in Granite Falls
Granite Falls is benefiting first from river levels more than six feet lower than '97. But also from more than $15 million worth of flood mitigation, funded with local and federal funds, but mostly with money from the state's Flood Damage Reduction Program (KARE).
Farmers in Minn. tripled their income last year
Minnesota farmers more than tripled their income last year, helping shore up the state's economy. Based on a survey of 2,500 farms, the average farmer made almost $120,000 (MPR).