Minnesota economy stronger as state becomes more diverse

New numbers from the U.S. Census show that Minnesota is becoming more diverse. “More than 80 percent of the state’s population growth since 2000 is attributable to minorities” (USA Today). The state’s Hispanic population grew by 75 percent and now makes up nearly 5 percent of Minnesotans. The black population is up 59 percent and the Asian population grew by 51 percent.

The Star Tribune reports on Minnesota’s appeal to immigrants. “Jobs, family ties and a low crime rate are among the reasons” why more Latinos are making Minnesota home.

“We’re becoming a more diverse state. That said, we’re still one of the least diverse states in the country” – State Demographer Tom Gillaspy (KARE).

The state’s economic diversity and new immigrant populations have “helped Minnesota weather economic downturns that have hurt other cold-weather states” reports Business Week.

Rochester rises to become state’s third largest city as Duluth loses population (KAAL). Scott, Wright and Sherburne counties saw the most growth over the last decade while Swift, Kittson and Traverse counties saw the largest percentage of population loss.

The population shifts in the state could have political implications. Both Reps. Bachmann and Kline’s districts will have to “shed substantial numbers of voters” (The Hill).

Also clicking on MN Today:

Bachmann sponsors bill to make English official U.S. language

Rep. Michele Bachmann has sponsored a bill that would make all federal government operations use English and require all people undergoing citizenship testing to demonstrate their ability to speak English. The bill is very similar to one offered by Republicans in the Minnesota Legislature (Minnesota Independent).

St. Cloud Hospital suspends nurse after 23 inadvertently infected

A St. Cloud Hospital nurse is suspended pending an investigation into claims that the nurse inadvertently introduced bacterial infections into 23 patients while stealing pain medication from patients’ IV bags for personal use.

Franken, Bachmann talk nuclear power post-tsunami

The Minnesota Legislature is debating lifting a moratorium on new nuclear power plants. Both Sen. Al Franken and Rep. Michele Bachmann weighed in on the safety of nuclear power, and the two politicians, diametrically opposed on most issues, both said roughly the same thing: Proceed but with caution (Minnesota Independent).

Duluth school board approves millions in tentative cuts

The Duluth public school board voted to move forward with a tentative budget, requiring $5.7 million in cuts for the 2012 fiscal year (Northland News Center).

Study would look at MnSCU administration salaries

A new bill by a local state lawmaker would prompt a study of the state’s network of public colleges and universities and slash the salaries of its top administrators (Winona Daily News).

Bill proposes fee increase to finance invasive species fight

“This isn’t a Democratic issue, a Republican issue, an independent issue. This is a Minnesota issue. You can look at the increased funding fees but I like to look at it as in investment in our tourism industry ..It is also an investment in our natural resources” – state Rep. John Ward (Brainerd Dispatch).

Online suicide coach to appeal conviction

A Minnesota man found guilty of convincing Carleton University student Nadia Kajouji to commit suicide plans to appeal, according to his lawyer’s office (Toronto Sun).

Mauer makes his 2011 debut

Joe Mauer’s first game action of the spring came on Wednesday afternoon, when he was the designated hitter against the Mets. And perhaps to no one’s surprise, it didn’t take long for the three-time American League batting champion to look right back in form at the plate (MLB.com).

Grab your popcorn: Film festival grows in Brainerd

For movie buffs, a film festival at the Chalberg Theatre in Brainerd may be an opportunity to see the early work of future masters. The two-day EgoFest short video film festival this Friday and Saturday grew from a single event in 2006 (Brainerd Dispatch).

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