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Winthrop Taps Reserves, Cuts Cops and Pothole Repairs to Subsidize Internet Network Debt

Recently American Experiment shared the predicament of ten southern Minnesota cities facing an unexpected property tax hike to subsidize their new high speed internet system. The RS Fiber network was was supposed to pay for itself, but that's not how it's working out. The first phase of construction wrapped up in early 2018, connecting all ten cities to the fiber-to-the-home network and providing wireless service in rural areas. Some 2,000 residents signed on, more than 30 percent of available homes and businesses, yet short of the 3,000 subscriber break-even point. Then in an August bombshell, RS Fiber announced discontinuation of bond payments for...

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Duluth to “Rebrand” by Streamlining Some City Services

The city government may have a long way to go, but give Duluth Mayor Emily Larson credit. Turnover at top positions in City Hall has paved the way for the proposed consolidation of the planning, construction services and economic development units into one department. The goal? To increase efficiency and streamline services, according to the Duluth News Tribune. As part of the restructuring, the city has eliminated a position — director of business and economic development — a move that is expected to yield significant savings. The salary range for the now-vacant post was between about $84,000 and $127,000. With benefits factored...

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Being pro-free enterprise is not the same as being pro-big business

There is no problem with big businesses per se. If they have grown and stayed big by producing goods and services that consumers want to purchase, they are to be applauded. This is a good thing. But where they have gained and maintained their size by sucking up to the government, that is to be opposed. ...

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Taxpayers Push for Vote on City’s Pricey Community Center Plan

One issue won't be on the ballot in the Twin Cities suburb of Andover. It's the mega-bucks proposed expansion to the city's community center. The nearly $19 million price tag has stirred up controversy and calls for a referendum, according to the Star Tribune. The project has split the City Council, which voted 3-2 last month to move forward while directing staffers to cut costs. An $18.9 million project budget would mean a property tax hike of about $113 for owners of a $250,000 house, the median value in town. Some residents point out that would come on top of the tax sting from...

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Public Safety Does It Again with Long Delays for Driver’s Licenses

Minnesota motorists can't get a break. The Dayton Administration's Department of Public Safety continues to struggle to salvage the disastrous roll-out of the motor and vehicle registration system that has rivaled the MNsure state health exchange  for technical malfeasance.  Nearly a year and a half later, the so-called MNLARS system remains tens of millions of dollars over budget and in dire need of expensive technical triage. Yet now comes word via the Star Tribune that many applicants for new driver's licences face their own frustrating delays in customer service for road tests and licenses. New driver Priscilla Thomas said the state told...

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Embarrassed Duluth City Council Considers Crack Down

There may be hope for the Duluth City Council after all. Days after council members impotently stood by while a mob of masked and screaming protesters shut down a meeting over protective riot gear for cops, the city's leaders appear to have come to the realization it's their duty to take charge of public meetings and to maintain order. But first city leaders want to dust off the rules book on how to conduct oneself in public places, according to the Duluth News Tribune. Council President Noah Hobbs said he is working with the city attorney's office to propose some changes to the...

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Dayton Administration Data Breach Exposes Minnesota’s Most Vulnerable to Identity Theft

Minnesota’s most vulnerable population has been exposed to a data breach at the state agency that is supposed to guard their privacy and well-being. According to a letter mailed to Medicaid recipients on October 9th, the Department of Human Services (DHS) was hacked twice last summer. Sensitive, private information may have been compromised including name, birthdate, Social Security number, home address, telephone number, medical information, educational records, employment records, and/or financial information. ...

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Unruly Mob Takes Over Duluth City Council Meeting

Anyone who doubts mob rule increasingly defines many leftists' politics needs to see the video of last night's Duluth City Council meeting. The News Tribune's written account does not do justice to the video the paper posted online of the chaos that ensues as city council members allow the crowd to take over and shut down their meeting. Protesters temporarily shut down the Duluth City Council Monday night, shouting: “No Line 3. No riot gear for the DPD.”  About 10 minutes into their meeting, councilors recessed and waited to see if the meeting could more peacefully resume. The protest actions resulted merely...

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St. Paul Residents Resist Mandated Garbage Collection

The more St. Paul residents find out about the city's newly mandated organized garbage collection program, the less they like about it. City Hall not only took away their citizens' right to choose a hauler, but forced all property owners to sign up for the service, whether they needed it or not. But there's a mounting rebellion underway in response to the city's heavy-handed tactics, according to the Star Tribune. Last week, opponents delivered petitions with more than 6,000 signatures demanding a public vote they hope will end the garbage service forever. The main objection is the $20 to $34 monthly cost, and no...

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