Statewide: May 4, 2011 Archive
Posted at 9:05 AM on May 4, 2011
by Michael Olson
Filed under: Around MN
Housing prices may be low, but financing is hard to come by leaving a large segment of the market looking for a place to rent. A study by the National Low Income Housing Coalition indicated that most Minnesotans don't make the needed $15.67 per hour to support the Fair Market Rent of $821 per month on a two bedroom apartment.
In Minnesota, the estimated mean (average) wage for a renter is $11.61 an hour. In order to afford the FMR for a two-bedroom apartment at this wage, a renter must work 54 hours per week, 52 weeks per year. Or, working 40 hours per week year-round, a household must include 1.4 worker(s) earning the mean renter wage in order to make the two-bedroom FMR affordable.
The City Pages reports that Minnesota "is dead last in a ranking of affordable housing markets in the Midwest." There are now more Minnesotans who can't afford the market than those who can.
Also clicking on MN TodayLegislator predicts end to local government aid in Minnesota As hard as it may be for the city to wean itself from local government aid, Roger Reinert, D-Duluth, told constituents Tuesday not to count on state money to flow as it has in the past (Duluth News Tribune).
Updated The Duluth News Tribune ran an editorial that addressed the above headline:
"In no way am I predicting the death of LGA," Reinert told the News Tribune Opinion page yesterday following an unfortunately worded headline in the morning paper.
Red drops below flood stage
The Red River at Fargo dropped below major flood stage overnight for the first time since April 6.
Today marks the 35th day above flood stage since the Red rose out of its banks in Fargo on March 29. The record for consecutive days above flood stage is 61 days set in 2009 (Fargo Forum).
Lawmaker makes case for black bear to become state's official mammal
The bears could have an uphill legislative slog, if history is any guide: white-tailed deer, timber wolves and ground squirrels have been nominated for state mammal at least 16 times in the past, but those bills never made it to the governor's desk (Star Tribune).
The 17 official Minnesota state symbols.
Cooler temps could mean fewer mosquitoes in Twin Cities Hate the below average temps?There's one group that wouldn't mind keeping it cool for awhile. The Metropolitan Mosquito Control District has loved mother nature's stubbornness (KARE11).
Lost Bay Habitat Drive opens
The Lost Bay Habitat Drive at Agassiz National Wildlife Refuge northeast of Thief River Falls is open for the season.The four-mile route offers the opportunity to experience the sights and sounds of spring, including up to 17 species of ducks that breed on the refuge (Grand Forks Herald).
This can't be good for subscriptions
A former Duluth News Tribune carrier is accused of using his knowledge of when homeowners were on vacation to burglarize their homes (Duluth News Tribune).
Humphrey editorial cartoons go on display in Minneapolis
A Minnesota politician through the eyes of an editorial cartoonist [slideshow] (Star Tribune).
Should you be required to provide a state-issued photo ID in order to vote?
Insight Now weighs the pros and cons of Voter ID. Have your say.
Local never sounded so good
The Current local stream is now in HD -- it is a close 2nd to being at a local show.
Posted at 1:02 PM on May 4, 2011
by Dan Gunderson
Filed under: Flooding
The Cass County, N.D., sheriffs department is still patrolling roads closed or damaged by floodwaters, as flooding remains a problem in some rural areas of the Red River Valley.
This week, the Federal Emergency Management Agency recognized the department's work in the 2011 flood. Region 8 FEMA Administrator Robin Finegan sent a letter to Sheriff Paul Laney praising the sheriffs Tactical Operations Center set up to respond to flood emergencies.
The TOC helps coordinate emergency response among local, state and federal agencies including the North Dakota National Guard, the North Dakota Highway Patrol, the United States Coast Guard, the United States Customs and Border Protection, and the United States Fish and Wildlife Service.
The Tactical Operations Center uses smart board technology to allow emergency responders to pull up photos of every home and road in the county.
FEMA staff were apparently impressed with the operation. In her letter to the sheriff, Regional Director Finegan wrote "FEMA's Response Operations staff plans to propose this Tactical Operations Center (TOC) approach as a 'best practice' for national implementation."