Statewide: May 27, 2011 Archive
Posted at 8:28 AM on May 27, 2011
by Michael Olson
Filed under: Around MN
Two Harbors, like many towns across Minnesota, can't keep up with increasing urban blight. It's a tough cycle for local governments: foreclosures are up, the number of abandoned homes is increasing and fewer people are around to pay property taxes that support the enforcements of nuisance ordinances.
Meghan Koss is tired of dealing with a raccoon problem that stems from the abandoned house next to her home. The Lake County News Chronicle reports that the vacant home has been in a state of disrepair for four years. Two Harbors police are reportedly trying to contact the Duluth owner, but that only works in roughly half of the cases.
Two Harbors Mayor Randy Bolen said he will look to neighboring Duluth for advice.
The City of Duluth used grant money to create a program that has fire fighters and a city attorney working together to identify problem properties and try to resolve ordinance violations. Last year, according to the Chronicle, the new program identified 400 problem properties in Duluth.
The City of Keewatin recently enacted a three-strikes blight ordinance.
There really doesn't seem to be a quick and easy way to address the problem of blight. Without additional support to cities, residents can pursue a civic case against violators that could result in enforcement or a lien against the property.
Also clicking on MN Today
Virginia hospital to join forces with Essentia
According to Virginia Mayor Steve Peterson, the city has entered into a letter of intent with Duluth-based Essentia Health. Negotiations are ongoing and it's unclear whether the agreement will result in a merger or an outright sale of the facility (Ground Level).
An Online Forum: Virginia, rural health care and public hospitals (Insight Now)
Big changes ahead for Virginia hospital (MPR)
Rural hospitals struggle with rapidly changing health care (MPR)
Fish tumors tell tale of Duluth harbor's health
A roundup of smallmouth bass will help determine how widespread toxic chemicals have become in the St. Louis River estuary (Duluth News Tribune).
Dayton vetoes voter ID bill
Gov. Mark Dayton vetoed the voter ID bill saying it lacked "broad legislative bipartisan" support. The bill would have required Minnesotans to show a photo ID in order to cast a vote (KSTC).
Roll call on Voter ID vote (NewsCut)
Research on Voter ID and voter turnout (NewsCut)
The Assertion: Minnesota law should require that people show a photo ID before they can vote (Insight Now debate)
Shop class takes riding mowers to new levels
Hot rod mowers are this year's shop project at Two Harbors High School. The hot rodded mowers have improved gears and hopped up motors which experienced a few gremlins early on (Northland News Center).
Walleye fishing on Lake Vermilion is touch and go
The past week brought some good fishing during windows of opportunity. Those windows were mostly around the low light periods of very early morning and the last hour of the evening. With the clear conditions and light east winds, the day time bite was sporadic and tough at times (Hometown Focus).
Skatepark underway, all they need now is money
Thanks to support from the city of Cloquet, local skateboard enthusiasts are one step closer to their goal of resurrecting a local skate park (Pine Journal).