Land of 30,000 cameras: Minnesota cities focus on video surveillance ‘ring of protection’

By   /  May 21, 2015  /  Local Government, Minnesota, News  /  No Comments

MnDOT photo

Don’t look up. You may be “live” on one of the 30,000 government surveillance cameras that security experts estimate to be mounted in the greater Twin Cities.

Not so slowly, but surely, metro cities and some government agencies are installing video technology capable of networking surveillance systems in a so-called ring of protection — and detection.

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Education week-in-review: Mayoral candidates and Matthew McConaughey

By   /  May 15, 2015  /  Colorado, Education, Education Blog, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Pennsylvania, Texas, Wisconsin  /  No Comments

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Mayoral candidates in Philadelphia want to end state control public schools, while in Washington, D.C., a charter school founder accused of misusing taxpayer money agreed to pay $3 million to settle a lawsuit. In Texas, actor Matthew McConaughey charged the University of Houston $135,000 to speak at the graduation ceremony, but university officials can’t explain where the money to pay him is coming from.

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Stranger than fiction: Book bike pedals more library use

By   /  May 15, 2015  /  Legislature, Lobbying, Minnesota, News, State Budgets, State Government  /  No Comments

Rochester Public Library Photo

They call it a little library on wheels. Not a bookmobile, but a book bike — the latest twist in the plot to drive more traffic to flagging Minnesota libraries.

The state’s first book bike just rolled out from the Rochester Public Library, and $7,000 in taxpayer-provided grants from the Legacy Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund and regional library system paved the way.

But libraries hoping to follow in Rochester’s tracks may need to get in gear. Legislators are negotiating a cut in regional libraries’ $3 million annual Legacy Fund appropriation.

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City subsidizing Ralston Arena with over $1 million per year

By   /  May 13, 2015  /  Minnesota, Nebraska, News  /  No Comments

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The city of Ralston is subsidizing its 2-year-old Ralston Arena to the tune of more than a million dollars a year, and yet the arena is still losing money, according to a recent audit.

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Poor marks for MN teacher board lead to state investigation

By   /  May 13, 2015  /  Education, Government Regulation, Legislature, Minnesota, State Government, Uncategorized  /  No Comments

Copyright MN Hse of Rep. Photo by Paul Battaglia.

It’s responsible for ensuring public schools get quality teachers, yet the Minnesota Board of Teaching is getting progressively poorer marks from administrators, legislators, teachers and education advocates.

The board now faces its toughest exam — a 10-month investigation by the Office of the Legislative Auditor — the equivalent of going to the principal’s office.

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Car and truck groups gear up to stop Minnesota biofuel mandate

By   /  May 11, 2015  /  Energy and Environment, Government Regulation, Minnesota, News  /  No Comments

MN Commerce Dept Photo

Minnesota has long been considered part of Midwestern flyover country. Now the North Star state is becoming drive-over country, among truckers and other drivers of diesel vehicles.

The state’s 10 percent biodiesel mandate is propelling some to go out of their way to refuel in bordering states — and a federal lawsuit to eliminate the nation’s highest required bio-diesel blend.

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