Sand mining moratoriums expand, winter wallop, rosy budget forecast

Fillmore, Houston counties OK yearlong sand mining moratoriums

Winona Daily News: “Houston and Fillmore counties both passed yearlong frac sand moratoriums Tuesday, adding their names to a growing list of area counties seeking time to study the issues that surround the booming mining industry.”

Leap Day Storm

Northland watches a winter wallop

Duluth News Tribune: “It’s official: Duluth will not break its record for the least snowy winter on record. Now that we have that out of the way, we can sit back and enjoy the biggest snowstorm in more than two years.”

DNT: Closings around the Arrowhead

No travel advised north of St. Cloud

St Cloud Times: “The Minnesota Department of Transportation has issued a no travel advisory for U.S Highway 10 north of St. Cloud.Travel is difficult because of heavy and blowing snow and lack of visibility.”

Big Story Blog tracks the weather all day.

Forum editorial: This storm is not off the charts

Forum of Fargo Moorhead: Conversation overheard among newcomers spending their first winter in Fargo-Moorhead: “This is the ‘toughest weather’ place in the nation? I don’t see it. Hasn’t been all that cold, not much snow. I don’t see it.” Well, today first-winter residents can “see it.”

Also on MN Today

Rosy budget forecast doesn’t solve everything

Star Tribune: “State leaders who spent years draining reserves and borrowing money to patch up leaky budgets will get a sober reminder Wednesday that it will take years before the state’s finances fully recover. The strengthening economy has many legislators feeling upbeat before the state economic forecast is released Wednesday, but it’s tempered by the knowledge any new surplus must immediately go to restore budget reserves and repay money owed to public schools.”

Job challenge: Grow more entrepreneurs

Ground Level: “Cities and counties in Minnesota are doing what they can these days to encourage entrepreneurism. Especially in rural areas, small startups are viewed as the best hope for economic growth in a sluggish economy that may keep bigger, established companies from building a new plant or opening a new office.”

Minnesota, Wisconsin close to restoring tax reciprocity deal

Winona Daily News: “Lawmakers and state officials in Minnesota and Wisconsin are close to finalizing an agreement that would allow residents who live in one state and work in the other to file just one income tax return beginning next year.”

MPCA rules to cut haze in BWCA, Voyageurs Nat’l Park

MPR News: “The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency is working on rules aimed at reducing haze in Voyageurs National Park, the Boundary Waters Canoe Area, and Isle Royale.”

Do bike paths promote bike riding?

The Atlantic: “A recent study of Seattle residents found that those living near bike paths had an increased likelihood of riding, but saw no effect for bike lanes. Then again, a study in Minneapolis reached the opposite conclusion.”

Stillwater bridge plan faces hurdle in the House

The U.S. House is expected to debate today and vote Thursday on a bill to allow a new $700 million, freeway-style bridge across the St. Croix River. Both the bill’s sponsor, Republican Michele Bachmann, and its biggest opponent, Democrat Betty McCollum, are part of a lobbying effort to sway the final outcome, which could end decades of debate over what to do about the aging Stillwater Bridge.”

KARE11 counts Minn. lawmaker votes.

Op-ed: The truth about sulfide mining

Greg Seitz: “We have heard a lot from PolyMet, Twin Metals and other companies proposing this new form of mining in our state that they will practice ‘environmentally safe mining,’ but they have not presented a single piece of evidence to back that claim up.”

Radinovich runs for 10B seat

Brainerd Dispatch: “Radinovich, 25, said he would emphasize jobs, education and care for seniors. He said he would work to fix Minnesota’s budget rather than relying on accounting gimmicks that deny school districts adequate funding while cutting local government aid and increasing property taxes.”

Council wants to consider domestic partnership registry

Northfield News: “A municipal ordinance registry is the only government-issued documentation same-sex couples can access in the state, according to Outfront Minnesota.Currently, nearly 20 Minnesota cities offer domestic partnership registries.”

Brainerd High School dance cut short after complaints of “grinding” on the dance floor

Brainerd Dispatch: “BHS Principal Andrea Rusk. Rusk said the small group of about 20 students was acting inappropriately, such as “grinding” on the dance floor and being disrespectful. Rusk said when a song came on that the group of students didn’t like, they sat down on the floor.”

By the numbers

Amount of tax on a meal in Minneapolis: 10.775%

That includes state/city sales taxes and a downtown restaurant tax. The Star Tribune reports on a study that finds it is the highest in the nation.

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