Statewide: August 11, 2011 Archive
A really interesting competition is happening this week in Grand Forks, N.D. Its the 6th
International Aerial Robotics Competition, featuring 13 teams of students from around the world
built micro flying machines.
Students are competing based on a real world scenario. This year, the teams must fly into a secure building and retrieve a small computer drive filled with sensitive information.
The students spend up to a year designing and building small robotic aircraft from scratch, in hopes of successfully completing the mission.
Sponsored by the Association for Unmanned Vehicles International, this year's competition takes place at the Betty Englestad arena at the University of North Dakota in Grand Forks.
Organizers say no currently existing micro aircraft can perform this years mission, but they expect one of the teams new designs to succeed and grab the $20,000 first prize.
What these students learn from the competition might well influence the next generation of military micro unmanned aircraft.
The competition wraps up on Friday.
Posted at 11:29 AM on August 11, 2011
by Michael Olson
Filed under: Around MN
Brewing now: a debate over the merits of the Stillwater bridge request. While U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann is joined by unlikely bedfellows including Sen. Al Franken and Gov. Mark Dayton in support for a new Stillwater bridge, her calls to cut government spending appear to contradict the $700 million request.
DEBATE: Is the bridge worth it?
Representative Michele Bachmann, the conservative Republican running for president, has little in common, ideologically, with her fellow Minnesotan, Senator Al Franken, a Democrat. But when it comes to fighting for federal approval of a big bridge project -- in this case, a $700 million freeway-style span over the St. Croix River between Minnesota and Wisconsin -- they are joined at the hip (New York Times).
There are less harmful, less expensive and more sensible alternatives to building a $700 million bridge -- Walter Mondale.
The Stillwater Bridge reconstruction is not one of those indefensible pork-barrel projects; it will help rejuvenate the economies of two states that badly need it. -- Christian Schneider, Wisconsin Policy Research Institute.
Bipartisanship in pursuit of wasteful spending -- isn't that the Washington-politics-as-usual that angers American taxpayers? -- Ryan Alexander, Taxpayers for Common Sense.
Why not support a project that favors growth and regional dynamism? -- Matt Kramer, St. Paul Area Chamber of Commerce.
Why not a smaller-scale bridge that would not violate the 43-year-old Wild and Scenic Rivers Act? -- Carol Hardin, St. Croix Valley Interstate Group of the Sierra Club.
Also on MN TodayMinnesota Seals remembered
Second Minnesota SEAL killed on copter always gave his all
John Faas, a redheaded kid from Minneapolis, was just a big sweetheart with a smile that radiated from his eyes. So those who knew him well thought the idea that he wanted to be a Navy SEAL was hard to imagine (Star Tribune).
Airstrike kills Afghan Taliban militants who downed helicopter
The commander of U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan says an airstrike has killed the militants responsible for last week's helicopter crash that killed 38 Americans and Afghans (Voice of America).
Making updates to bluegrass tradition
With three sets scheduled for this weekend's 32nd annual Minnesota Bluegrass & Old Time Music Festival in Richmond, 19-year-old Sierra Hull is ready to show the Minnesota bluegrass community how a modest Berklee College of Music grad picks the mandolin (Saint Cloud Times).
Study: Minnesota, Wisconsin adding to kill zone in Gulf of Mexico
Minnesota and Wisconsin are contributing an increasing share of the Mississippi River pollution that is killing a wide swath of the Gulf of Mexico. Nitrogen flowing into the river from the two states has increased 75 percent over the past two decades (Star Tribune).
Iron-ore co. with Cargill tie inks power deal
Magnetation, a company with new technology for producing iron from used ore, recently entered a joint venture with Cargill and plans to open its new plant in northern Minnesota in May (TCB).
Minneapolis soldier gets life sentence for murders
An Army sergeant from Minneapolis was sentenced on Wednesday to life in a military prison without parole for shooting and killing his infantry squad leader and another U.S. soldier in Iraq after they criticized him for poor performance (Star Tribune).
This is not funny
Al Franken: Maybe the Treasury Department should have supported my bill against ratings agencies (National Journal).
Minn. counties to pay more for sex offender treatment
Up until recently the state had been paying 90 percent of that with counties paying 10 percent.Under the new formula that percentage will be bumped up to 25 percent.It's a cost shift that legislators argue, will save the state more than $2 million a year (KAAL).
Lessons from the Apostle Islands
Few other locations, once "spoiled" by human intervention, carry such a reputation as now being unspoiled by human intervention (News Cut).