Mayo loses whistleblower case, frac sand road repairs, income disparity

Dayton going for hopeful in State of the State address

Pioneer Press: “Gov. Mark Dayton will emphasize making Minnesota a better place to live by creating jobs, using education as a workforce development tool and making government more efficient in his second State of the State address today.”

Follow the Big Story Blog today for coverage throughout the day and instant analysis as the speech begins at 7:00pm. MPR News will carry the address live on-air and online.

Today’s Question: In your view, what’s the state of the state?

Whistleblower wins case against Mayo Clinic

Rochester Post Bulletin: “The U.S. Department of Labor has found that Mayo Clinic discriminated against a Rochester employee who made legally protected safety complaints.”

Who pays for road damage from frac sand trucks?

Winona Daily News: “Commissioners agreed that relying on the state’s aggregate tax isn’t viable — county projections show it would not generate enough money to cover the significant repairs expected. Commissioners instead began to look at a road use agreement, which would require mining companies to pay to upgrade the roads their trucks use.”

Minnesota GOP wants to phase out statewide business property tax

Forum of Fargo Moorhead: “A Minnesota Republican tax priority is lowering and eventually eliminating a statewide property tax on businesses, but Democrats say they are funding the tax cut with money from poor, disabled and elderly renters.”

Data: Examining income trends around Minnesota

MinnPost: “It turns out that incomes across Minnesota vary greatly, but there are some definite patterns in the variation.”

NCAA imposes sanctions on WSU basketball

Winona Daily News: “The NSIC plans to nullify the Winona State University men’s basketball team’s first 13 conference games of the season after discovering that Grant Johnson was ineligible to play. The ruling means WSU’s hopes to host the regional playoff tournament are now in serious doubt, though the Warriors, currently ranked third in the country for Division II, will still likely make it to the postseason.”

Tenacious local group wants new route for CapX 2020

Saint Cloud Times: “When Xcel Energy wouldn’t take the landowners’ proposed route change to the state Public Utilities Commission because it didn’t have unanimous landowner support, the E-5 landowners took the rare action of taking it to the commission themselves.”

Battle is on over 2.5 million acres of school trust land in northern Minnesota

Duluth News Tribune: “Natural vs. economic resources is at the center of the debate over control of Minnesota’s 150-year-old school trust land.”

Minnesota Vikings commit to staying for 2012 season

Pioneer Press: “The Minnesota Vikings on Tuesday cemented their intent to remain in Minnesota by announcing they will not file a league-required ‘intent to relocate’ by today’s deadline.”

Occupy movement plans Midwest regional gathering

AP: “Organizers of Occupy protests around the Midwest will gather next month in St. Louis, pledging to emerge from a “winter lull” as a bigger and stronger force. Occupy Midwest Regional Conference will start with a gathering at 7 p.m. March 15 beneath the Gateway Arch, organizer Chuck Witthaus said Tuesday. A mass occupation will continue through March 18, but not on the Arch grounds. Organizers aren’t disclosing the location.”

Decision time for researchers of deadly bird flu

Reuters: “Michael Osterholm, policy director at the Minnesota Center of Excellence for Influenza Research and Surveillance and an NSABB member, has limited hope for what one meeting can achieve. ‘Nothing will be solved in one meeting,’ he said. ‘This is a complicated issue that requires a great deal of international input. It is not a simple yes or no … We have no margin for error here.'”

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Minnesota Scenes

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“Captured at sunrise on a -2F morning along Lake Superior just south of Grand Portage, MN. I’d seen several images made of this location before, but wanted to create a unique perspective. Putting on my insulated hip waders I waded out into the frigid water with my tripod, knowing that once I pulled it from the water it would freeze up instantly. Just as I found the composition that felt right the sun began rising behind the clouds of fog that had been created during the frigid night. I continued shooting until my toes could take no more, then waded back out, with water instantly freezing the bottom of my boots to the first dry pebbles along the shoreline” — Ryan Tischer © 2012 – All Rights Reserved.

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