Statewide: July 23, 2012 Archive
Posted at 8:30 AM on July 23, 2012
by Michael Olson
Filed under: Around MN
Minnesota: Many students fail math grad exam -- but still graduate (Pioneer Press).
Demographic snapshot: Who has HIV/AIDS in Minnesota?
Star Tribune: "As of December 2011, 7,136 Minnesotans were living with HIV -- about half with the virus and half with full-blown AIDS."
Owner: New state law won't stop sales of fake pot at Last Place on Earth
Duluth News Tribune: "Although a new state law designed to crack down on sales of synthetic marijuana will take effect Aug. 1, Jim Carlson, owner of the Duluth head shop Last Place on Earth, expects it will have little effect on his sales of those products."
History in the making
Marshall Independent: "As Hope Lutheran Church in Minneota plans to celebrate its 140th anniversary next weekend, it's also looking ahead to preserve history."
High commodity prices threaten conservation lands
West Central Tribune: "Contracts on 60 percent of the land enrolled in the Conservation Reserve Program in Minnesota will expire in the next five years, and conservationists and hunters are bracing for the inevitable."
Some commodities start 2012 cheaper
St Cloud Times: "A couple of key commodities in Minnesota have been much cheaper through the first half of 2012 than they were in 2011. With the possibilities of a drought affecting the forecast for the Upper Midwest through the remainder of the growing season."
Bike trail a boon to Lanesboro
Chicago Tribune: "Tucked into a wooded valley in the southeast corner of Minnesota, it could be easy to overlook the village of Lanesboro. With a population of just 754, it appears in tiny font on the state map but lures visitors from throughout the Upper Midwest."
Short-staffed by oil boom, Dickinson looks to Grand Forks
Forum of Fargo Moorhead: "Grand Forks city staff could be working for the city of Dickinson in the not too distant future, under a proposal the City Council is considering."
New poll suggests Presidential race tightening in Minn.
KSTP: "Romney and Obama are effectively even among male voters. All of Obama's advantage comes from female voters, where Obama leads by 14 points. Romney edges Obama among Minnesota's Independents, but not by enough to offset Obama's 2:1 advantage among Minnesota's moderates. Romney leads in Northeastern MN, but Obama leads in the rest of the state." The survey also found 52% of respondents supported the constitutional amendment to define marriage as something that exists between one man and one woman.
Our View: Bachmann must answer her peers
St Cloud Times: "Bachmann faces a simple fact: Immediately either substantiate her accusations or retract them and apologize. To choose any other route, especially silence, is to lose even more of her credibility."
Obama joins Romney in silence about guns after Aurora shooting
Swampland: "Obama didn't mention that the alleged shooter had spent two months legally stockpiling a fearsome arsenal -- four guns, 6,000 rounds of ammunition purchased online, head-to-toe body armor and a gas mask. Romney didn't note that as Massachusetts governor, he had signed a ban on the kind of semiautomatic weapon the Aurora gunman used to murder 12 people. Neither mentioned gun laws at all."
Posted at 4:30 PM on July 23, 2012
by Dan Gunderson
The U.S. Department of Agriculture has given final approval to the use of herbicide resistant sugar beets.
The decision was expected. USDA proposed deregulation of Roundup Ready sugar beets last month.
Farmers in Minnesota and elsewhere have used the Roundup Ready sugar beets for several years. After environmental and food safety groups sued, saying the crop should be regulated to prevent genetic contamination of organic beets and swiss chard, a federal judge ruled the USDA must complete an environmental impact statement and plant pest risk assessment. Farmers were allowed to plant the crop while the study was conducted.
In June the agency announced it's proposal to fully deregulate the crop. Now the final documents are available. The USDA says there's no evidence the genetically modified sugar beets pose a "plant pest risk."
But the legal action around Roundup Ready sugar beets is not over.
The Center for Food Safety has a pending lawsuit against USDA over the earlier partial deregulation of the genetically modified crop. Staff Attorney Paige Tomaselli says there's a good chance the group will file another lawsuit challenging the final USDA environmental impact statement.
An American Crystal Sugar Company spokesman didn't respond to a request for comment on the USDA ruling.