Body recovered of backhoe operator, Highway 22 collapses

The body of Michael J. Struck has been recovered from the Minnesota River. A tributary of the river swallowed Struck as he was working with a backhoe to clear an ice jam. The Star Tribune has more on that story.

The other big flood news this morning is a collapse of a section of Highway 22 near Mankato. Thankfully the highway was free of traffic at the time of the collapse. KARE reports, “MnDOT officials say a levee broke, causing water to spill out and erode the area. Dirt under the road eroded, causing the road to collapse. The highway is expected to be closed for several weeks and could take months to repair. Highway 22 is a popular route for motorists who travel from St. Peter to the western side of Mankato.”

KARE also reported on preparations along the St. Croix River in Prescott, Wisc.

There’s a bit of good news on the flooding front this morning. Emergency responders are equipped with that will allow them to communicate with eachother. KSTC reports on the marvelous SATCOW.

Marshall and New Ulm are cautiously optimistic with their flood preparedness at this point.

Also clicking on MN Today

Road salt turning Minnesota lakes into dead seas

Once it gets into our waters, most never leaves, creating toxic soup in which little may live (Star Tribune).

Three Duluth councilors jump off train project

A group of Duluth City Council members wants to ask for the city’s money back from the organization trying to bring passenger rail service back to the Twin Ports (Duluth News Tribune).

10 teaching positions cut in Perham

At least 10 teaching contracts were terminated for next year at the March 13 Perham-Dent School Board meeting (EOT Focus).

Blog Box

Tim Pawlenty’s Path to the Republican Nomination

1. “Place” or “Show” in the Invisible Primary

2. Don’t Alienate Anybody

3. Manage Expectations in Iowa (Weekly Standard)

GOP budget estimates off by tens of millions of dollars

State Sen. Dick Cohen, DFL-St. Paul expressed his extreme distress with the budget being proposed by the Senate State Government Innovations and Veterans Committee. The chair’s recommendations include several proposals that are purported to provide cost-savings (release)

Minnesota combined temperatures

Minnesota has 33 USHCN stations, from Ada to Zumbrota and has three GISS stations listed, at Rochester, Duluth, and International Falls. Check out the historic data and temperature trends (Bit Tooth Energy).

Insight Now

Common Cents Conversations – K-12 reform and budget realities. How do they fit together?

The Common Cents discussions move to education.

The Citizens League held forums around the state aimed at getting you talking about the budget.

Education came up time and again.

Now MPR News will expand the discussion online, right here.

The goal for our online standing roundtable is simple: To better define what your priorities and values are. We’ll take the next week to look at k-12 education, both reform and funding.

The Common Cents report said you wanted reform of government services, and first on the list was K-12 education.

But this is a budget cycle that seeks to close a $5 billion shortfall. So the first question for you is this: How in the world do you enact reforms in K-12 education while dealing with a hole in the state budget?

We’ve got a two minute visual presentation that sets up this discussion. Have a look… then have your say.

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