Statewide: October 6, 2011 Archive
The University of Minnesota's extension service, which has served the state for more than a century, continues to shrink. The service plans to close regional offices in Fergus Falls and Hutchinson at the end of the year, Extension Dean Bev Durgan said.
About 14 employees will be affected. Some will retire and others may be moved to other extension offices.
Durgan said a drop in state funding forced extension officials to close the offices.
"We have seen budget cuts at the state level for the last three years," she said.
The extension service started in 1909, with the goal of bringing the University's research to every corner of the state. Through the years extension has provided answers and support to everyone from farmers to home gardeners and 4-H clubs. The service went through a major reorganization in 2002-2003 when it ended state-funded offices in most Minnesota counties. Instead, it established 18 regional centers.
Offices in Albert Lea and Mora closed two years ago.The latest cutbacks in Fergus Falls and Hutchinson will reduce the number of regional centers to 14.
Durgan still believes the extension service can serve all citizens of the state.
"We are throughout the state, we're working in all the program areas we always have," she said. "But reduction in funding does affect some of the programs that we can offer and some of the things that we do, there's no doubt about that."
Signs of life return to Pagami Creek area as firefighters continue to battle Boundary Waters blaze. Paddlers report:
- "grass" already found in some places 2-3" long
- wolf tracks seen in burned areas
- deer seen in burned areas
- frogs seen in burned areas
- so many jackpine seeds have burst open that they are floating on top of the water (BWCA.com)
Thanks to MPR's Nate Minor for Tweeting the trip report.
Also on MN Today
State scientists have found evidence that pumping too much water from underground is damaging lakes, streams and wetlands, particularly during summer.
"We're a water rich state, and I think for the first time we're bumping up against limits to what we thought of as a limitless resource" -- Andrew Streitz, hydrologist, (MPR News).
St. Cloud's plan to restore the Mississippi River applauded by river group (Saint Cloud Times).
Top officials of the governor's administration have delayed for a second time the approval of 94 leases to explore for copper, nickel and other valuable minerals in northeastern Minnesota (MPR News).
Map: Occupy Wall Street spreads nationwide, Minnespolis is next
Now in its third week, the loose-knit protest movement known as Occupy Wall Street has stirred action from New York City to Los Angeles and many cities in between.
Obama administration to fast-track CapX2020
A planned electric transmission line project passing near Rochester on a 150-mile route from Hampton to LaCrosse, Wis., has been picked by the Obama administration as one of seven such projects in the United States to receive expedited treatment by federal regulatory agencies (Rochester Post Bulletin).
Fairmont schools won't seek levy hike
Fairmont Area Schools has proposed a zero percent property tax increase for the 2012-2013 school year (Fairmont Sentinel).
When I needed help, I got propaganda
Parading babies around as props is only a stunt. While Republicans have made their concern for the unborn clear, the fact that many of them proposed cutting nutrition programs for infants by about 10 percent earlier this year suggests that their concern for babies may end once they're born. And if they truly want to support women, they should focus on transparent, nonpartisan, fact-based education for those who are facing what is likely to be the most difficult decision of their lives. - Katie Stack is a graduate student in gender and women's studies at Minnesota State University, Mankato (New York Times).
Arts and Culutre
Duluth arts panel, Cascade Park muralists find unity at last
The final words on the "Unity in Community" mural in Cascade Park: It stays (Duluth News Tribune).
Clark, labor leaders back Obama's jobs act
Congressional candidate Tarryl Clark joined labor and environmental leaders in St. Cloud on Wednesday to urge passage of President Obama's jobs act (Saint Cloud Times).