Minnesota this week: extreme ice fishing

Rescuers used a boat like the one above to save two stranded fishermen on Lake Superior. It looks much more serene than the depiction of the rescue. Massive waves broke apart ice which led the fishermen to think this was the end.

MPR: Wick was about 500 yards from shore when cracks suddenly appeared. He and Popko made their way shoreward as heavy swells below the ice expanded the fractures. But as they jumped from one ice chunk to another they ran out of steppingstones.They rode out the storm on separate floes while waves raged as high as 12 feet.

What’s a guy gotta do to get a doctor around here?

This week in Virginia, Minnesota Public Radio and Hometown Focus hosted a discussion with community members and leaders about the possible privatization of the Virginia Regional Medical Center.

The healthcare challenges in Virginia are similar to those around rural America with no easy solutions and as Mayor Steve Peterson stated candidly, “This is really a difficult situation, If we as city leaders do nothing, what is the outcome? I fear a lot worse for all.”

Join the conversation and let us know: How would you save a struggling hospital in rural Minnesota?

Police Chief has a different question in Virginia

One of the biggest mysteries Virginia police chief Dana Waldron is trying to get to the bottom of right now is why he’s on leave. The 32-year veteran of the Virginia police force tells the Dultuh New Tribune:

“I suspect some things, but I’m dumbfounded to be honest with you. … Not that relations haven’t been strained here lately.”

Waldron was sent a letter a letter late in the week that indicated that a complaint of unbecoming conduct” had been filed against him. He still says he’s baffled about what spurred the complaint.

Economic indicators say yes, no and maybe

Interest rates continue to stay low, unemployment is on the decline and job outlook appears to be picking up. But local governments, and the good people who pay the taxes that support those governments, continue to be dogged with serious budget problems. Some schools are heading toward extracurricular activities for only those who can afford them. As the growth in the Minnesota Today LGA tag page suggests, more action is being taken every day as local governments prepare for expected cuts to the Local Government Aid (LGA) by the Minnesota Legislature.

Michael Olson is online editor for Minnesota Today. His weekly news roundups will appear on Friday.

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