Around MN: No really we’re fun, distressed home sales drag prices down, Keetac mine expansion vote

snow blower

Minnesota tourism seeks image makeover

Many Americans see Minnesota as stodgy and cold. Tourists don’t know about the fun stuff, survey says (Star Tribune).

Distressed home sales push down price data

When banks are sellers, prices have dropped far more than when individuals list a house (Star Tribune).

New St. Thomas housing index breaks out median prices on traditional sales

The University of St. Thomas’ new housing price index shows a price decline of nearly 10 percent for traditional sales in the Twin Cities since the peak period of early 2005 – far less than other reports (Pioneer Press).

Settlement of Somali harassment complaints in Minn. schools to require reporting

A Minnesota school district must report to the federal government any future allegations of harassment against Somali students as part of a tentative agreement to end a civil rights investigation, the district’s superintendent said Monday (AP).

US Steel’s $300M Keetac mine expansion up for vote

United States Steel Corp. will clear one of its last regulatory hurdles for the planned $300 million expansion of its taconite mine and processing plant in Keewatin if a state board approves two key water quality permits Tuesday (CNBC).

It’s jobs, jobs, jobs at the Capitol

Minnesota politicians started 2011 talking about jobs, talk that faded during the contentious budget-dominated legislative session but is resurfacing as they look toward a new year (Worthington Globe).

Number of Minnesota government employees retiring sets record

The number of employees retiring from Minnesota state government has hit an annual record, and some officials worry they won’t be able to replace the skills walking out the door (Duluth News Tribune).

Minnesota eggs recalled In salmonella probe

Larry Schultz Organic Farm of Owatonna, Minnesota, is recalling organic eggs after at least six people became ill from salmonella, state officials said (Fox News).

Occupy MN blame ‘provocateur’ for ‘riot equipment’ box

At the site of the almost three-week long Occupy Wall Street demonstration in Minneapolis, Hennepin County security made a strange discovery Monday: a box filled with rocks and labeled “riot equipment” (Minnesota Independent).

Some Jefferson Avenue Bikeway neighbors try to brake project

The Twin Cities usually gets high marks as a great place to ride a bike. Federal dollars are paying for more programs to encourage alternatives to driving. But one proposal to expand cycling in St Paul has some residents considering legal action (MPR News).

Democrats say sudden concern over civic center all politics

Rochester’s DFL lawmakers say they believe a decision by some community leaders to back away from the $77 million Mayo Civic Center expansion has more to do with politics than with concerns about the project (Rochester Post Bulletin).

Rybak insists Minneapolis stadium site is best deal for Vikings

Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak says he thinks a new Vikings stadium could be built in Minneapolis for less money than a proposed stadium in Arden Hills (MinnPost).

Minnesota angler makes unique catch on Buffalo River

They are few and far between, but every once in a while, a local angler will come across a spooky aquatic creature. And it’s not what many of you’d expect to see lurking beneath the waters of Minnesota (WDAY).

Harvest draws to early close across region

Last week was nearly ideal for harvesting in North Dakota and Minnesota, with huge chunks of the last of the corn and sugar beets taken off (Fargo Forum).

Franken plan would remove hurdles to Minnesota energy efficient projects

Retrofitting commercial buildings to be energy efficient not only saves energy and money, it also creates jobs, U.S. Sen. Al Franken said Monday as he launched an initiative to spur more retrofitting projects for private buildings in the state (Grand Forks Herald).

Op-Ed: Some surprises on state mineral lease issue, education needed

Pessimism says innovation and technology will always fail. If that was the case, we’d still be listening to Walkmans and Steve Jobs would’ve died penniless selling cassette tapes on the corner. Optimism says tourism and mining can exist in the same area (Ely Echo).

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