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Some women working in northwestern Minnesota have virtually closed the wage gap with their male counterparts, according to one measure cited in a recent state report. "Since the end of the recession, median hourly wages increased faster for women than for men in health care and social assistance — so much so, wage rates in the industry were relatively even in 2016," said the report by regional labor market analyst Chet Bodin.
Farmers and small rural businesses have until April 30 to apply for federal aid to lower energy costs and boost renewable energy. Offered through the Rural Energy for America Program, the money can be used to improve energy efficiency or for renewable projects such as biomass systems, hydropower, hydrogen systems and wind and solar power. In Minnesota, all small businesses outside large cities such as St. Cloud, Duluth and the Twin Cities are eligible to apply, as are all farmers no matter their location.
An exhibit describing the Muslim experience in Minnesota will arrive in Alexandria on Monday, April 9, for a three-week stay. Called "Tracks in the Snow," it features photos and experiences narrated by 25 Muslim Minnesotans. It has traveled around the Midwest for several years and is organized by the Saint Anthony-based Islamic Resource Group. It will be on display in the hall connecting the 700 Building and the Law Enforcement Center, and a reception is planned for 5:30 p.m. Monday, April 23, at the school.
Mark Twain — er, Don Shelby — is returning to Alexandria with VocalEssence, the much-lauded Twin Cities vocal group, to reprise "River Songs and Tales with Mark Twain." They'll hit five north-central Minnesota cities in five days, starting in Grand Rapids and ending at the Alexandria High School Performing Arts Center at 4 p.m. Sunday, April 8.
Douglas County Board of Commissioners Regular Board Meeting Tuesday, April 3 Location: Douglas County Courthouse board room, 305 Eighth Ave. W. in Alexandria 9 a.m. Call to order, invocation, approve agenda, approve minutes from March 20 regular board meeting 9:05 a.m. Troy Wolbersen, Douglas County sheriff 1. Joint powers agreement — action 2. Resolution: Donation — action 3. Jail Food Service bid — action 9:10 a.m. Brent Birkeland, Information Technology director 1. Telecomm audit — action
It looks like Andes Tower Hills ski resort is about to set two new records, thanks to unseasonably cold weather last October. The ski, snowboard and tubing resort in Kensington expects to remain open through March 31, setting a new duration record of staying open for 22 weeks. That is two weeks longer than its previous longest season of 1996-1997. "It was cold enough for us to start making snow on October 27," said Tom Anderson, Andes Tower Hills manager. "It never warmed up very much so our snowmaking crew did an outstanding job of making snow early and often."
Viking Financial Corporation, the holding company of Viking Bank in Alexandria, will buy First State Bank of Ashby, the company announced this week. The Ashby bank has one location and assets of $35 million and will be the corporation's second bank. With this acquisition, the names of the banks will not change for the time being, the company said.
Many years ago, Roma Thompson says, prayer saved the life of the man who would become her husband. At age 19, Tenner Thompson's leg began collapsing during basketball games. Mayo Clinic doctors discovered he had a brain tumor and planned surgery. The night prior to the operation, his church held an all-night prayer vigil for him. To everyone's joy, the tumor was safely removed and discovered to be benign. Tenner went on to letter in tennis in college, became a Lutheran pastor and even played tennis into his 80s, Thompson said.
U.S. Sen. Tina Smith's staff will stop at the Douglas County Library in Alexandria on Wednesday, March 28, as part of a statewide tour to assist constituents, her office announced Monday. From 3:30-5:30 p.m., staff members will meet one-on-one with those who need help working with federal agencies such as the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services, Social Security Administration, and the passport agency.
This morning, as my husband hunched over his cereal bowl, bars of morning light slanted through the mini-blinds across his face — light, dark, light, dark. When I pointed that out to him, and also that he was guarding his granola like a ravenous wolf, he straightened up with military precision. "No, no," I said. "I wasn't judging you for slouching, just noticing that you were doing it." It's a new game for me, noticing the world.