Change tests popular high school program for college credits

By   /  October 2, 2015  /  Education, Minnesota, News  /  No Comments

Watchdog photo

Concerned educators, legislators and parents predict the policy change will gut a popular program that enables thousands of students in 19 states–24,000 in Minnesota alone—to take college courses free prior to graduation.

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Unpaid bill comes back to bite Minnesota muni-broadband network

By   /  September 30, 2015  /  Economy, Minnesota, News  /  No Comments

RS Fiber photo

Two counties and twelve cities were blindsided in early September by a $120,000 lawsuit they never saw coming, for legal fees for a controversial taxpayer-funded broadband network that never got going, as originally envisioned.

But a proposed agreement quietly circulating among the parties now calls for a settlement of $75,000, ironically to be paid from $8 million in bonds issued this summer to start construction on a scaled-back network.

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Minnesota weather clouds solar power potential

By   /  September 28, 2015  /  Energy and Environment, Minnesota, News  /  No Comments

GRE photo

Minnesota’s notoriously fickle climate not only challenges weather forecasters. First year results from a Twin Cities solar power demonstration project show the state’s moody meteorology also makes the sun a relatively unpredictable source of electrical generation.

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Minnesota county closes the tap on ‘hydration stations’

By   /  September 25, 2015  /  Budget and Spending, Energy and Environment, Minnesota, News  /  No Comments

Anoka Co. photo

County employees in Anoka County, Minnesota want to to replace 38 old-fashioned water fountains with more user and environmentally friendly “hydration stations,” but the price tag — $133,000 to $190,000 — got county commissioners thinking about another sort of waste.

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After 20 years, FAA push leads city to approve controversial runway

By   /  September 22, 2015  /  Budget and Spending, Federal Government, Minnesota, News  /  No Comments

Submitted photo

The council’s action had marked another reprieve for Greg Yankowiak. Since 1995, the landscaper has opposed what he considers unnecessary spending and use of eminent domain authority to annex nine acres of his woods and wetlands for the project.

“I’m just fighting for the things that are going to be disrupted by going right through the middle of this woods with this runway,” Yankowiak said. “…Just as a citizen, I’m fighting to stop wasteful government spending, especially when it involves destruction and impairment of our natural resources.”

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Minnesota aims to predict ‘social costs’ of energy 300 years from now

By   /  September 18, 2015  /  Economy, Energy and Environment, Minnesota, News, State Government  /  No Comments

AP photo

The Minnesota Department of Commerce and Pollution Control Agency tried and gave up last year on the goal of establishing climate-change damages for carbon dioxide and three related greenhouse gas emissions.

Now, state officials and environmentalists want Minnesota to adopt the controversial Interagency Working Group statistical model used by the EPA to estimate so-called climate change damages per metric ton of emissions—through the year 2300.

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