Wednesday, March 20, 2013
A windchill of minus 10 on the first day of spring. Have you considered moving out of state to get away from this climate?
It's 5 degrees above zero on the first day of spring—10 degrees below zero if you count wind chill. Why do you live in Minnesota again? Today is the vernal equinox, when the Earth decides which end it wants to tip toward the sun. Why do our chances of being warm again seem less than 50-50? Spring has sprung, but the climate seems to have sprung a gasket. It's the coldest it's been this late in the season since 1996. Why haven't you moved someplace warm yet? Watch the video above, titled Why We're Here: Twin Cities. It was shot two years ago—entirely in the summer. Coincidence? Leave a comment below and share five good reasons you still live in Minnesota—one reason for each degree above zero this morning.
Tuesday, March 12, 2013
The committees' approvals send same-sex marriage bill to the floor of both legislature branches.
Last update: 9 p.m. Tuesday, March 12, 2013 Both Minnesota House and Senate committees approved respective versions of a bill that would extend marriage rights to same-sex couples Tuesday. First the Senate Judiciary Committee approved SF 925 in a 5-3 vote down party lines. The House Civil Law Committee later approved HF 1054 in a 10-7 vote. The approvals push the measure to the floors of both legislature branches for all Minnesota lawmakers to vote on. The deadline for the bill to make it through committees was this Friday. Now that the committees have given their approval, it's unknown when legislators will vote on whether to make the bill law. Richfield Patch will update readers as more infomation becomes available. *** Original text: …
Friday, March 8, 2013
An expert in urban wildlife explains why residents are seeing so many coyotes and shares tips on how to keep them from becoming a nuisance.
Coyotes have been spotted all across the west metro—and have even reportedly killed a handful of dogs. With so much concern about coyotes, St. Louis Park hosted a talk Thursday by Lynsey White Dasher—a Washington, DC-based urban wildlife specialist with The Humane Society of the United States. Dasher explained why coyotes are so visible in the metro and what residents can do to ensure they are good neighbors. See the PDFs to the right for a more-detailed look at how to deal with coyotes. Watch the video for an example of how to haze a coyote. Coyotes have always been among us. Coyotes aren’t that big. Coyotes aren’t out to eat your pets or your children. But coyotes can still prey on pets. Coyote bites are rare. Coyotes can still cause …
Thursday, February 28, 2013
As some school districts struggle with budget reductions, elementary music programs might be the first areas cut.
It has become a common scenario across many Twin City school districts. No passage of an operating levy in November equals a spring of budget reductions. Some school boards have been considering cutting some of the music programs out of their district offerings. A recommendation in District 834 to cut fifth- and sixth-grade instrumental music programs to save $300,000 if a November levy doesn’t pass brought criticism from the Stillwater Area High School Orchestra Director. “The elementary cost center’s suggestion appears disingenuous and may lack the integrity that the Stillwater community expects from its schools and from its School Board,” Stillwater Area High School Orchestra Director Jerry Jones said. “This elimination looks as …
Tuesday, February 26, 2013
Minnesota has about 59,000 federal employees and retirees. See where they’re located and which agencies they work for in Patch’s interactive table.
Washington, D.C., may be the hub of the federal workforce, but Minnesota has tens of thousands of federal employees and retirees who could be hurt by the looming sequestration crisis. If the president and Congress can’t strike a deal by Friday, a series of mandated federal budget cuts would automatically kick in. That would force more than a million federal employees to take unpaid leave, according to the Washington Post. Minnesota, alone, has about 59,000 federal employees and retirees. Hennepin County accounts for 16,780 of that total, or about 28 percent. Most of those are federal retirees or Veterans Affairs and Postal Service employees. Use the table above to see how many federal employees and retirees Minnesota’s counties have. Just …
Friday, February 22, 2013
Minnesota is among a number of states considering legalizing the growth of industrial hemp.
A pair of Minnesota legislators teamed up this week to introduce a bipartisan bill aimed at creating an industrial hemp production industry in the state. Reps. Phyllis Kahn (DFL-Minneapolis) and Mary Franson (R-Alexandria) introduced HF 736—also known as the "Industrial Hemp Development Act"—which aims to develop the use of industrial hemp to "improve the state's economy and agricultural vitality." Industrial hemp, as defined in the legislation, includes all parts and varieties of the plant Cannabis sativa L containing less than three-tenths percent tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). Hemp plants can be used to create fabrics, plastics, paper, ropes and other merchandise. While it's perfectly legal to own, purchase or sell hemp products in the U.S…
Wednesday, February 20, 2013
The National Weather Service is predicting up to 6 inches of snow to fall between Thursday and Friday.
Updated: 11 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 20, 2013 The National Weather Service has replaced the winter storm watch in effect for Hennepin County to a winter weather advisory. However, 3 to 6 inches are still possible for Richfield and much of the metro area from Thursday into Friday. Patch will update readers as more information becomes available. *** Original text: The National Weather Service has issued a winter storm watch for Richfield and much of the state, which will be in effect from Thursday night to Friday afternoon. According to the NWS, 3 to 6 inches of snow is possible between Thursday and Friday. High temperatures expected for Thursday and Friday are 20 and 26, respectively. Low temperatures are 17 and 11, respectively. The following …
Friday, February 8, 2013
Many areas of the country are expecting heavy snowfall this weekend.
Monday morning’s commute could be a major mess, as the National Weather Service has issued a winter storm watch for the entire Twin Cities region, beginning early Sunday morning and continuing through Monday afternoon. Snow accumulations of up to 10 inches are possible. The precipitation should begin with a light, wintry mix Saturday night, turning to heavy snow by late Sunday. To top it all off, strong winds on the back end of the front will result in blowing, drifting snow on Sunday night and Monday morning. The Twin Cities region isn’t getting hit nearly so hard as other areas of the country. A blizzard watch is in effect for western and central Minnesota, which could see more than a foot of snow, along with winds of up to 45 mph. …
Department of Health's latest numbers indicate worst of outbreak behind us.
Minnesota's 2013 flu outbreak is definitely on the wane. The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) reported Thursday afternoon that influenza killed 15 more state residents during the week of Jan. 27-Feb. 2--less than half the number of deaths reported the previous week. So far this season, a total of 127 Minnesotans have died of flu-related illness. According to this report from the Star-Tribune, the vast majority of deaths and hospitalizations have occurred among the elderly. Only 108 people were hospitalized with laboratory-confirmed influenza during the Jan. 27-Feb. 2 period. Three weeks ago, 476 people were hospitalized. The MDH reported that only one long-term care facility and 19 schools reported outbreaks of influenza during the …
Wednesday, February 6, 2013
Watch Dayton address the full Minnesota Legislature Wednesday
See what was said Wednesday, Feb. 6, 2013, as Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton delivers his State of the State Address to a joint session of the Minnesota House of Representatives and Senate. Read excerpts from Dayton's prepared remarks. Video via The UpTake and the Minnesota House of Representatives. Related: Follow Richfield Patch on Twitter | Like us on Facebook | Sign up for our daily newsletter