Some good economic signals; health care via webcam; photos of January in Minnesotaby John Wanamaker, Minnesota Public Radio,
Melanie Sommer, Minnesota Public Radio
ST. PAUL, Minn. — Today on the MPR News Update: Some better economic news coming from Wall Street and the job market; some pharmacists are now consulting with patients via webcam; we ride along on a train trip through Mexico with Central American immigrants; and your photos of Minnesota in January.
STOCK MARKET HITS A NEW/OLD HIGH: The Dow Jones industrial average briefly topped 14,000 on Friday morning, a milestone not seen since before the financial crisis rocked the markets and the world economy.
BETTER JOBS OUTLOOK: U.S. employers added 157,000 jobs in January, and hiring was stronger at the end of last year than previously thought, providing reassurance that the job market held steady even as economic growth sputtered. A downside is that the unemployment rate rose slightly, to 7.9 percent.
MORE TIME FOR BEST BUY DEAL: Best Buy founder Richard Schulze has more time beginning today to make a bid for the struggling retailer. Schulze has been trying to buy the company and take it private since last summer. Best Buy agreed to allow Schulze to review the company's holiday performance before making a sales pitch anytime during the month of February.
ONLINE PHARMACISTS: For some seniors, getting out to see a pharmacist can be difficult in good weather, and treacherous during Minnesota winters. Some health systems are offering an alternative -- virtual visits with pharmacists.
PART-TIME COLLEGE STUDENTS WANT HELP: The phrase "Work doesn't pay" is a complaint you'll hear a lot from many part-time higher education students in Minnesota. They say the State Grant -- the state's main financial aid program -- penalizes them for holding a job while studying. They're asking lawmakers to reconsider the formula.
THE BLACK GOLD BOOM IN NORTH DAKOTA: The oil boom in North Dakota can be seen from space. Recent satellite images have captureD the light at night from the oil fields. Journalist and North Dakota native Todd Melby has moved back to Williston, N.D., to document what he calls the black gold boom. He spoke with MPR's Tom Crann about what he's been seeing.
THE HARROWING TRIP THROUGH MEXICO FOR IMMIGRANTS: Much of the debate over immigration in the U.S. focuses on the southern border with Mexico. For people in the United States, the story appears to start there. But for migrants from Central America, the U.S. border comes after a long traverse through Mexico. A local human rights advocate has been documenting their harrowing journey.
WHAT IS PAINTING? The people behind a new show of abstracts at the Walker Art Center called "Painter, Painter" are quick to admit it asks more questions than it answers. MPR's Euan Kerr talked to three of the artists in the show, about how they struggle with the question "what is painting?"
YOUR PHOTOS HERE: MPR News is looking for general interest photos of all kinds: wildlife, landscapes, festivals -- pretty much anything that you think reflects life in Minnesota. Here you'll find our picks from our audience for January.
John Wanamaker is a newscaster for MPR News.