Statewide: April 28, 2011 Archive
Posted at 9:00 AM on April 28, 2011
by Michael Olson
Filed under: Around MN
A developer that's using funds from the City of Duluth to redevelop the Old City Hall is encountering resistance from trade unions for not signing an agreement to use unionized construction workers and pay the prevailing wage.
The Duluth News Tribune reports that developer Rod Raymond says he's willing to talk with the hope of reaching a compromise, but that contracts have been signed with non-union contractors.
Assistant City Attorney Bob Asleson said that after reviewing city code he found no clear requirement that developers receiving DEDA [Duluth Economic Development Authority] money be required to pay prevailing wages to construction workers.
The city, however, does have such a requirement, and all the BID grants authorized by DEDA on Wednesday will require approval from the Duluth City Council before any money can flow.
The city council is scheduled to vote on the project at it's meeting on May 9. City leaders hope the parties will find a workable solution before then.
Also clicking on MN TodayForest Service won't increase BWCA motor permits After a legal battle that spans 12 years, the Forest Service decided not to make adjustments to BWCAW motorboat quotas in what has become known as the "chain of lakes" issue (Ely Echo).
Outer ring cities were people magnets in the 2000s
Saint Croix County's population grew by 34 percent in the first decade of the 21st century, making the western Wisconsin area a poster child for a demographic trend in the United States (KARE11).
Panel criticizes bill that could harm stem-cell work
Efforts to cure disease and grow biotech jobs in Minnesota would be hampered by a proposal to criminalize a procedure that could be used for stem-cell research, a University of Minnesota panel said (St. Cloud Times).
Pilot, instructor at fault in fatal crash, Cirrus says
A lawyer for Cirrus Aircraft told a jury Wednesday that New York Yankees pitcher Cory Lidle and a flight instructor, not Cirrus, were to blame for the crash that killed the men in 2006 (Duluth News Tribune).
Opinion editor to lead Pioneer Press newsroom
The Pioneer Press said Wednesday that Mike Burbach, its opinion page editor, will become the newspaper's editor and vice president (Pioneer Press).
Music, art programs at ACGC survive the budget ax
A preliminary budget approved this week by the Atwater-Cosmos-Grove City School District includes a reduction in expenditures of about $200,000, yet makes additions to the districts music and art programs (West Central Tribune).
Posted at 1:13 PM on April 28, 2011
by Julie Siple
Filed under: Hunger
Crystal Blaski and her sons Joshua (left) and Anthony (right) get three square meals a day at the Family Service Center, a homeless shelter for Ramsey County families.
Crystal Blaski once found it hard to feed her two children.
Blaski, 23, knocked on her neighbors' doors asking for food. She skipped meals so her kids could eat. She even stole baby formula.
But that changed last month, when Blaski found shelter at Catholic Charities' Family Service Center in Maplewood. There, she and her children, ages 1 and 3, get three square meals a day.
This afternoon on the MPR News program All Things Considered, we explore how a group in Ramsey County aims to improve the quality of food that shelters and free meal programs provide.
Many homeless Minnesotans rely on those meals. But one of the toughest moments for people who struggle with hunger is when they leave the shelter, advocates say.
When she finds permanent housing, Blaski will once again have to figure out how to feed her children.
Homeless families typically have the most trouble finding food before they enter a shelter and immediately after they leave, said Patrick Ness, policy director at the Minnesota Coalition for the Homeless.
Years ago, Ness worked as a housing advocate. He remembers moving people into empty apartments.
"They wouldn't have a chair to sit in, much less a pot to boil their macaroni and cheese in, or a can opener to open those string beans they got from the food shelf," he recalled. "They had nothing."
He said families often spend their money on a damage deposit or first month's rent.
"At the end of the night, it's got to be a bittersweet feeling, to realize that you and your family are finally home, and your kids are looking at you wondering what they're going to eat at night," Ness said. "And you have nothing to offer them except some potato chips from the corner store."
These days, agencies are doing everything they can to help people with that transition, said Cathy ten Broeke, director of the Minneapolis/Hennepin County Office to End Homelessness.
"We wouldn't just plop them down and say, 'Good luck.' " she said. "We would do everything we could to make sure it is a sustainable situation."
After leaving a shelter, some people need help setting up their homes, ten Broeke said.
Some agencies provide cooking supplies. Others provide food for the first couple of meals. They make sure people are signed up for food stamps if they're eligible.
Still, it can be a tough time for people, as they set up their new homes.
"I think those people are more likely to be hungry and have food instability than the folks that are literally homeless," ten Broeke said.