Statewide: February 17, 2012 Archive
Bingo never really went away.
What was viewed as the retiree's, pensioner's and widow's past time swooned a bit a decade ago, but in Minnesota some easing of charitable gaming rules is bringing players back to the parlors.
Some of the fastest action is here at Flamingo Bingo in Rochester, Minnesota where the neon sign on the front desk greets the hundreds of players who visit during the week.
People play as many as twelve cards. They may also have rented a bingo tablet computer that basically does everything for them including alerting them to when they should shout, "bingo."
There are hundreds of bingo operations around Minnesota operated by all kinds of groups, but there are only 8 state licensed bingo parlors - places exclusively devoted to bingo.
The state keeps fairly meticulous records of the bingo goings-on. In fact according to state numbers bingo ranks second just behind "raffles" and ahead of pull-tabs for 2011 charitable gaming revenue. And the money adds up. About $590,000 in bingo profits (out of a total, by the way, of more than $18 million in charitable gaming profits last year - not exactly spare change.)
Last year's Flamingo Bingo contribution of $90,000 went to it's operator, the Rochester Senior Center Foundation.
Ok, that's about it - one can go on and on about bingo including memories of those first childhood games with the kernels of corn on bingo cards, the first bingo for money game, maternal and paternal grandmothers, aunts and others who are devoted to bingo and never miss an event, even one miles away from where they live.
Then there's "on-line" bingo - goodness, what an antiseptic experience that must be.
And according to various accounts on the world wide web the mania traces its roots to a middle ages lotto game in Italy, by way of Bavaria, brought to this country by immigrants and then things really took off when an enterprising bingo businessman hired a math professor to devise all kinds of number combinations.
Minnesota Sounds and Voices: Flamingo Bingo in Rochester
Posted at 7:09 AM on February 17, 2012
by Michael Olson
Filed under: Around MN
Widow of oil worker hopes others won't take decision to work in oil fields lightly
Forum of Fargo Moorhead: "Cathy Ries has some blunt advice for anyone thinking of going to North Dakota's oil fields to make extra money: 'Don't.'"
Minnesota: A human trafficking battleground
KARE11: "The FBI ranks Minnesota as the nation's 13th largest center for human trafficking of children."
Minnesota House passes bill stripping seniority as key factor in teacher layoffs
Pioneer Press: "Proponents of basing teacher layoffs on performance rather than seniority got a big victory Thursday, with the Republican-led Minnesota House passing a bill that would end the practice of using experience as the deciding factor when schools have to let teachers go."
Chairwoman says Fond du Lac Band made 'great inroads' in 2011
Duluth News Tribune: "The year 2011 was a successful one for the Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa on economic, community and cultural fronts, Chairwoman Karen Diver said Thursday, hours before delivering her annual State of the Band address."
McCollum grills Salazar on St. Croix River crossing
Hot Dish Politics: "U.S. Rep. Betty McCollum, who has been swimming upstream to stop a $700 million 'mega' bridge across the St. Croix River, took her fight Thursday to the House Appropriations Subcommittee on the Interior, where she got a chance to cross-examine Interior Secretary Ken Salazar."
Fishing for eelpout continues to grow in popularity
Bemidji Pioneer: "The ice conditions are good on most lakes in the Bemidji area. Temperatures were near or above freezing during the day most of the week but the temperatures were cold enough overnight to re-freeze any melting on the lakes."
Bong's tale takes flight
Superior Telegram: "The story of America's Ace of Aces, Maj. Richard I. Bong, was more than a decade in the making."
CEC closes out alpine, Nordic ski seasons
Pine Journal: Esko's trio of downhill speedsters turned in a respectable finish for Cloquet-Esko-Carlton at the 2012 Minnesota state Alpine ski meet Wednesday afternoon at Giants Ridge in Biwabik, Minn."
Washington County Fair owes $120,000 for back taxes
Pioneer Press: "The fair paid sales taxes until 2002, said Dan Dolan, who has been president of the Washington County Agricultural Society since 2006. At some point before the 2002 event, fair officials were told they no longer needed to pay them, he said."
(Photo courtesy of Anne Queenan)
A disputed plan to quarry granite along the Minnesota River in the western part of the state has moved a step forward. But it may also face a significant new hurdle.
The North Dakota-based Strata Corporation wants to mine the stone for use as aggregate in road construction and other projects. The Big Stone County Planning Commission Thursday evening recommended that the full county board approve the idea, if certain conditions are meet.
Darren Wilke, a county environmental officer, said the vote was 5-3 to recommend in favor of the project. But the planning commission also recommended that the county board require the company to address about a dozen environmental concerns connected to the project, for dust, noise, water quality and other issues.
Quarry opponents say it would cause irreversible damage to a scenic leg of the Upper Minnesota River near Ortonville, Minn. They're concerned the operation would harm wild animal and plant life in the area, lower property values and damage the region's tourism potential.
And there's another potential roadblock for the project. The Ortonville Township Board has passed a moratorium on new projects like the proposed quarry. The township plans to set up its own planning and zoning commission which would have to approve Strata's plans. Strata officials say they are reviewing the township action.
Several other agencies also must sign-off on the project, including the state Department of Natural Resources, the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.