Monday, January 30, 2023


Massachusetts could restrict police use of facial recognition technology, Wyoming mulls more health coverage for workers, and a report finds low salary contributes to social workers leaving the field.


Civil rights activists push for the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act following the killing of Tyre Nichols, House Speaker Kevin McCarthy says he can reach a deal with President Biden on the debt ceiling, and election experts say 2023 could shape voting rights across the country.


"Brain Gain?" Research shows rural population is actually growing, especially in recreational areas; other small towns are having success offering relocation incentives like free building lots, cash, complimentary dinners and even internet credits; and researchers say the key is flexibility and creativity.

It's a Whole New Ball Game for MN Local Governments


Monday, November 21, 2022   

Over the weekend, a conference featuring thousands of local government leaders from around the U.S. wrapped up. A Minnesota mayor was in attendance and acknowledged the job requires a more dynamic approach to meet the needs of people in their communities.

This year's summit, hosted by the National League of Cities, was held in Kansas City. It featured a schedule covering such topics as closing racial wealth gaps and strengthening mental health care.

Jake Spano, mayor of St. Louis Park, felt it reflects an evolving mindset for municipalities.

"Mayors and council members that have been sort of responsible for things like, 'Are potholes filled? And is the water clean to drink?' are increasingly dealing with homelessness and housing issues, and mental health," Spano outlined.

He acknowledged the scarcity of mental health providers is a big challenge. But he added after taking on extra duties the past couple of years, local leaders have expressed a desire to share ideas for solutions. For cities like his, Spano noted aging infrastructure is another priority. This past summer, St. Louis Park experienced two water-main breaks, leading to backlash from some residents.

While insurance helped cover damage, the city also used American Rescue Plan funding to provide reimbursements to the affected property owners. Spano emphasized extra federal support has helped deal with these issues, but thinks local leaders cannot always wait for assistance, and they have to avoid closing themselves off from community partners.

"It's been a challenge, but I think what the last two years have reinforced is all of those relationships we built up with those in our community and school system and the business world, were really, really pivotal to getting through the last couple of years," Spano pointed out.

The conversations come as municipal leaders, especially in rural areas, noted they are facing more budget pressure these days, which affects services like public safety. In Minnesota, local government funding is likely to come up when state lawmakers reconvene next year with a major budget surplus in hand. Political analysts say with one party now in control, there might not be as much gridlock, but many other priorities will be competing for aid.

get more stories like this via email
Facial-recognition technology companies, which originally partnered with law enforcement, are now working with schools and universities to increase safety and prevent shootings by denying campus access to people who have been banned, or to monitor activity inside school buildings. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

Lawmakers in the Commonwealth are considering legislation to ensure police use of facial-recognition technology also protects people's privacy and civ…


Next week, Ohio farmers and their advocates head to Washington, D.C., to push for shifting federal programs toward growing nutritious food, as …

Social Issues

Social justice advocates have just launched a new public education campaign. It's called "Just Safe," and it's aimed at changing the conversation …

Since the beginning of 2022, seven Western states have initiated programs to maintain wildlife habitat and safe passage, through fencing, signs, overpasses and underpasses, according to Pew research. (TaborChichakly/Adobe Stock)


Reducing the number of wildlife-vehicle collisions is the goal of a bill before the New Mexico Legislature this session. Sen. Mimi Stewart, D-…

Social Issues

A Nevada nonprofit is celebrating a 94% graduation rate among its high school seniors for the 2021-2022 school year. Tami Hance-Lehr. CEO and state …

Super Bowl LVII will be held at State Farm Stadium in Glendale on Feb. 12. (Katherine Welles/Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

Super Bowl LVII is right around the corner, which means Arizona will see hefty spending and wide exposure because of the massive sporting event…

Health and Wellness

It is not a pandemic yet, but eye doctors worry the constant use of digital devices could eventually result in long-term health problems for many …


Maine's small farmers are encouraged to complete the latest U.S. Department of Agriculture census to ensure they have a voice in federal decisions …


Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021