Legacy fund water studies reveal early findings, protesters block mining trucks, budget crunch

Ephemeral Pool, Ephemeral Tree Photo by Blue Corgi via Flickr

Study: Minn. groundwater contamination levels low, but chemical health risks unknown

MPR News: “A new study finds Minnesota groundwater is contaminated with low levels of chemicals, but the chemicals are not as widespread in groundwater as they are in lakes and streams. This is the first study to examine groundwater across the state for “chemicals of emerging concern.” Researchers tested 40 shallow wells around the state for 92 contaminants. They found 20 different contaminants. One or more chemicals were found in about one-third of the sampled wells. Minnesota Pollution Control Agency scientist Sharon Kroening said the chemicals come from products like plastics, medications, detergents, insect repellents and fire retardants.”

MPR News: “A new report is giving Minnesotans a first look at how their tax dollars are helping improve water quality in the state. The six state agencies receiving Legacy Amendment money for clean water projects reported their progress in some of the 18 different categories, including mercury in fish and phosphorus discharges from wastewater treatment plants. But for many of the categories, it’s too early to know whether progress is being made.”

Take a deeper look at Minnesota’s ground water with MPR’s Ground Level.

Minnesota’s black middle class is shrinking

MPR News: “Erica Kantola considers herself part of the middle class, even though she has a modest income.But for Kantola, an enrollment services specialist at Inver Hills Community College in the Twin Cities, her status has less to do with how much money she makes than what she can do with it.”

In Minnesota, health care, farmers may feel budget squeeze

Star Tribune: “Budget proposals would reach all walks of life.”

Political rhetoric, state and federal budgets will impact residents

Faribault Daily News: “Political negotiations, state of state addresses, presidential budgets and bonding bills — what does all the rhetoric mean to a factory worker in Faribault? In pure dollars, a lot.”

Protesters block mining trucks in Winona

KARE11: “In the heart of downtown Winona, there is an explosive issue brewing underground, and above it.Monday afternoon, dozens of protesters blocked trucks carrying specialized sand into a processing plant. The sand is used in the controversial practice of hydraulic fracturing or ‘fracking.'”

Target: Paper no more?

Star Tribune: “Target’s apparent penchant for plastic comes at a time when retailers are increasingly focusing on ways to reduce their environmental impact. The Retailers Industry Leaders Association, which last month elected Target CEO Gregg Steinhafel as its chairman, recently issued its first ever report on sustainability.”

Duluth School Board considers range of possible budget cuts

Duluth News Tribune: “The School Board saw the first draft of possible cuts, generated by labor management groups and other staff, which will also be presented at community meetings this week where other ideas will be sought by the district.”

Mayor Rybak: The best plan for Vikings, at the fairest cost

Star Tribune: “Minneapolis can do this using only taxes that are already collected.”

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