rural

A snapshot of tribal libraries: 40-89 percent do not have broadband access!

The first 6 months of the year I spent time every month on the Fond du Lac reservation – specifically at the tribal center in Cloquet. There’s a library in the tribal center – with computers and good broadband. And once I month I was in the building providing some kind of Internet/computer training. Turns out FdL is top of the class when compared to other tribal libraries.

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Affordable rent gap widening across Minnesota

Rising rent prices and falling household incomes continue to put the squeeze on housing costs for Minnesotans in the lower income brackets, the Minnesota Housing Partnership found in its annual study for 2014, and the gap between incomes and rental costs are especially acute in rural Minnesota.

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Crowded classrooms: Mapping it out

Minnesota has consistently ranked among the relatively low in terms of pupil-teacher ratios in recent years. However, the pattern shown on the map below reveals that even adjacent school districts can have dramatically different average student-teacher ratios. Thus, it is clear that there is no single cause for the variation in ratios across the state; race, income, and basic population density all come into play.

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One rural community responds to climate change

Extreme weather brought on by climate change will affect each community differently. Rural communities face particular challenges, as they often have higher transportation and energy costs, and their economy is frequently linked to agriculture—a sector directly impacted by a changing climate. But as we learned at the first Rural Climate Dialogue held in Morris, Minn., last week there are effective community-level options to respond to these climate concerns—as well as important opportunities for rural communities to be part of the climate solution.

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Internet fast-lane bypassing rural Minnesota?

The issue of net neutrality has dominated headlines recently, and the outcome of this ongoing debate could have profound implications for the expansion of high speed internet into rural areas of Minnesota. Monopoly power among internet providers has allowed them to raise prices and offer faster content delivery to select customers, creating an internet “fast lane”.

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A rural response to climate change

The U.S. Global Change Research Program released their Third National Climate Assessment on May 6; compiled by over 300 experts and peer reviewed by members of the public, climate change experts, federal agencies, and a panel of the National Academy of Sciences, the report details the impacts of climate change on the United States, including impacts on water, energy, transportation, agriculture, and human health, among other sectors.

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War on Poverty debate: By the numbers, there's little argument in Minnesota

Minnesota governor Karl Rolvaag addresses the 1966 DFL state convention, with a poster of President Lyndon Johnson prominently displayed in the background. (Courtesy of the Minnesota Historical Society/Jerome Liebling)

“It will not be a short or easy struggle, no single weapon or strategy will suffice, but we shall not rest until that war is won.”

Lyndon B. Johnson

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Bill to boost broadband in Minnesota struggles in legislature

In a revealing video about the Internet access problem in rural Minnesota, Annandale City Administrator Kelly Hinnenkamp [above] describes her town's struggle with connectivity. The video is the latest in a series on the Minnesota Senate DFL YouTube page intended to shed light on the critical situation in the state.

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