Jun 05

News Projects Archive

Minnesota Public Radio’s Public Insight Journalism unit asked veterans and families of veterans to reflect upon the meaning of their service and sacrifice. (May 2006)

The changing face of Pelican Rapids

While immigration has been a hot topic of debate recently, the town of Pelican Rapids in northern Minnesota has been on the front line of immigration reform for years. Minnesota Public Radio’s All Things Considered broadcasts live from Pelican Rapids to explore how the town has been affected by an influx of immigrants. (May 2006)

Growing pains on the Iron Range

The Iron Range in northern Minnesota is undergoing an economic transformation. How that will affect the long standing communities there is open to question. (May 2006)

“Consumer driven health care” is designed to get employees to be smart health care shoppers who can save money at the same time. Health Savings Accounts cheap jerseys are the most familiar form so far, but companies are creating a host of ways to shift the cost of health care while encouraging employees to live healthy lifestyles. (January 2006)

Hard Choices for Small Communities

Rural cities and towns want to define their future, but the challenges in creating sustainable economic development can be great. How communities look ahead is at the center of many of today’s debates. (February 2006)

In 2004, journalist Jonah Eller Isaacs spent six months traveling alone through sub Saharan Africa. While living with local families and working with newfound friends, he recorded music of a surprising nature. He found that residents were using music as an effective tool in fighting HIV and AIDS. (November 2005)

Polluted Waters: A Long and Costly Cleanup

It’s estimated up to 40 percent of Minnesota lakes and rivers are polluted. Federal law requires the state to monitor polluted waters and develop a cleanup plan for those that don’t meet standards. But there’s not enough money to test or clean up the water. (October 2005)

3M announced in 2000 that it was phasing out its popular Scotchgard product, because the anti stain spray contained chemicals toxic to lab animals. The chemicals had also turned up in the blood of 3M workers, though the company said its employees were not harmed.

3M produced the chemicals at its plant in Cottage Grove, Minnesota. An investigation by Minnesota Public Radio and American RadioWorks found that even after 3M said it would no longer make the toxic chemicals, the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency let two years pass before it began any inquiries.

The story raises questions about who is responsible for the safety of the public and the environment, and about whether state agencies are doing enough to protect citizens from toxic chemicals. (February 2005)

Since the November, 2004, election, much has been said about moral values. Many people say their beliefs don’t just play an important role in their life, but also in how they vote. Conservative Christians voted in large numbers, helping to re elect President Bush. We held a series of conversations with parishioners from around the region about how their moral values play into their political decisions. (November 2004)Minnesota students are traditionally among the nation’s top performers on key standardized tests. Unfortunately, the statewide averages mask an embarrassing reality. Students of color consistently score far below their white classmates. This disparity in academic performance between groups of students is known as the achievement gap. It’s a national problem. But Minnesota’s gap is particularly wide. (September 2004)

When economists coined the term “economic recovery” to describe an economy that is growing, it’s doubtful they considered the multiple layers of meaning it would carry. The word “recovery” seems to imply hope, happiness and comfort or at least movement in that direction. But to some http://www.cheapjerseys11.com/ in Minnesota, the period of recovery has brought continued unease and difficulty. (September 2004)

Meth in Minnesota: The costly addiction

Meth is taking its toll in Minnesota. Methamphetamine, a highly addictive drug that’s been around for decades, has become the drug of choice for many in recent years because it’s cheap, easy to make, and a “good high.” But it is a costly drug in terms of the devastation it causes for users and their families, and the challenges it brings for law enforcement and health officials. (June 2004)

School fundraising is a multi billion dollar business nationwide, and shows no signs of shrinking schools say tight budgets are forcing them to seek funding any way they can. Traditionally, that’s meant turning students into a sales force marketing candy, wrapping paper, and frozen pizzas. Increasingly, schools are also making more direct pleas for support. As the contributions grow, critics worry about exacerbating inequities between school districts based on their ability to raise funds from private sources. (March 2004)

A Bad State of Mind: Minnesota’s fractured mental health system

Minnesota has one of the highest teen suicide rates in the nation. Families in crisis may have to wait months for treatment of mental health diseases, and health care organizations are closing mental health treatment facilities even as the rates of mental health disease soar. Some mental health experts say the state is “a basket case” when it comes to providing proper treatment. (February 2004)

America is proud of its democratic values: accountable leaders, honest voting and a free press. But recently Americans have begun to ask Whose Democracy Is It? (November 2003)

The legacy of the Reserve Mining case

Lake Superior was once a battleground. Reserve Mining Company dumped its waste rock into the lake. Tons of sediment poured into the lake every day. Duluth’s drinking water, 50 miles away, was contaminated with a fiber that might cause cancer. A court ultimately forced Reserve to stop the dumping, laying down the principle that the government can force industry to clean up its pollution. (October 2003)

The concept of wind power dates back some 5,000 years to ancient Egypt. Since then humans have used wind to power sailboats, grind grain, pump water, and most recently, generate electricity. Over the past few decades Minnesota has emerged as a national leader in that area. Despite that success, wind experts say developing the resource more fully remains a tricky prospect. (September 2003).

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