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Wednesday, April 20, 2016 7:44 AM
This early in the legislative session, the easier bills tend to move forward through the Minnesota legislative process. Among those are a buffer bill that corrects a controversy, a fireworks bill that is surprisingly controversial and a fantasy sports bill that should be more controversial.

  • This early in the legislative session, the easier bills tend to move forward through the Minnesota legislative process. Among those are a buffer bill that corrects a controversy, a fireworks bill that is surprisingly controversial and a fantasy sports bill that should be more controversial.

  • A man, although never identified, made the news earlier this spring when he tried to be a good Samaritan to a 9-year-old boy who lost his dog. The reason he made the news, though, is because the initial fear was that he was up to something no good.

  • Last week’s column about the health of residents in Fillmore and Houston counties noted that the results don’t follow trends in other rural counties of Minnesota. One reason could be that we aren’t as rural as we think.

  • Fillmore and Houston counties continue to defy the trends when it comes to the health of local residents. A recent survey of national county health rankings by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation showed Houston County is ranked fifth in Minnesota and Fillmore County ninth in the state in health outcomes.

  • Rural Minnesota is losing a community hub — the local grocery store — in many towns. Between 2000 and 2013, Greater Minnesota lost 14 percent of its grocery stores. In southeastern Minnesota, the decline was 12 percent.

  • The mythical town of Lake Wobegon created by Garrison Keillor is “where all the women are strong, all the men are good looking, and all the children are above average.” In many ways, Minnesota holds up to those impossible standards as the state regularly tops, or places high in, surveys measuring such conditions as health, education, voter turnout and, recently, the economy.

  • “Water is gold, and it is getting more valuable,” says U.S. Environmental Protection Agency administrator Gina McCarthy.

  • As legislators prepare to meet in St. Paul in a few weeks, one of the main topics of discussion will be transportation funding. It’s a familiar topic as it was also a priority before last year’s legislative session.

  • More than a year after Alco announced it was closing all 198 of its discount stores spread across the United States in small towns, the Alco stores in Cresco, Spring Valley and Zumbrota, among others, remain empty. The former store in Caledonia was torn down, but the lot remains empty.

  • Courses in which students receive both college and high school credit are becoming more common in area high schools. A student last spring received a high school diploma from Kingsland High School and a two-year associate of arts diploma from Riverland Community College after taking several College in the Schools classes at the high school for dual credit. More Kingsland High School students are on track to do the same this year.

  • For an industry that is supposed to be dying, there was certainly a lot of youthful energy at the Minnesota Newspaper Association annual convention last week. 

  • What changes would you make in your life if you found out you had just four months to live? The question may seem morbid, but it has more relevance than asking what you would do with the millions of dollars if you won the lottery.

     
  • As an experiment a few weeks ago, we started allowing anonymous comments on our website, a practice some news organizations follow. The reason many don’t is because the conversation often devolves into unsubstantiated personal attacks and crude, divisive dribble.

  • The beginning of the year is when experts and their predictions blanket the media with projections, or guesses, on all sorts of topics, including politics, the economy, culture, technology, even war. Many will be forgotten by the end of the year so most people will never remember how far off they really ended up being. 

  • Our website has become an integral part of our operation as many people like to get their news electronically rather than in paper form or share our news with others, which is easiest through online links. 

Voting Rights for Felons

Currently, felons in Minnesota must fulfill their probations or parole before having their voting rights restored, but some Minnesota senators believe these voting rights should be restored sooner for felons who are no longer incarcerated. Do you agree?


 

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