rural

Bill to boost broadband in Minnesota struggles in legislature

In a revealing video about the Internet access problem in rural Minnesota, Annandale City Administrator Kelly Hinnenkamp [above] describes her town's struggle with connectivity. The video is the latest in a series on the Minnesota Senate DFL YouTube page intended to shed light on the critical situation in the state.

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Technology credited with rural revival – what if we boosted technology?

Over the weekend the Minneapolis Star Tribune ran a story of rural revival. The article features towns such as Osakis, Jackson, Mankato, Brainerd, Kiester, Benson, Hancock and Morris and notes their progress and growth. Technology – broadband technology – is given some of the credit for progress and growth. That’s exciting and I’m sure that technology has played a role BUT it also feels as if maybe the towns could do even better with more technology or as if maybe we’re being satisfied with minimal improvements when we should be aiming higher.

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Transit without a route map

In six counties of west-central Minnesota, residents don't need bus schedules or route maps to get around by public transit. They just call the Rainbow Rider dispatcher to schedule a pickup. It's a common dial-a-ride system for rural transit, but one that's become more efficient and economical thanks to recently introduced software called RouteMatch.

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Cooperatives for Broadband? A primer on an option for rural areas

Cooperatives are an important part of Minnesota’s economic and cultural history and, for those in attendance at the Co-op= Community Development Conference last Friday, a path to future community vitality. I felt lucky to attend. Mark Ritchie, MN Secretary of State was the keynote speaker and talked about the link between Minnesota’s long standing culture of community engagement, voting, volunteerism and our standing as the land of cooperatives. Kudos to Secretary Ritchie for sticking around and participating in small group round table discussions after his speech proving that learning is a two-way street.

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Mobile internet use in Minnesota: Residential report

Connect Minnesota released results of two surveys this week. Residential use of mobile broadband and business use. There are a couple of observations that seem to emerge in both reports – such as rural use lags urban use – but otherwise I think the reports are different enough to merit two posts. This post is about the residential use.

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No Farm Bill, sequestration hit rural Minnesota housing

The Uptown Apartments in Silver Lake are among 35 multifamily housing entities in rural Minnesota that have learned they are a month away from losing rental assistance funds from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

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Rural communities feel neglected

Bipartisan pollsters have found rural Americans feel policymakers are ignoring them at a time when they need public infrastructure investments to compete and thrive in 21st century economic opportunities.

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Suburban guys dominate MNGOP gubernatorial field, eroding party's divisive rural-metro rhetoric

While rural Republicans spend a lot of time pitching along a rural-metro divide, that pitch conceals the moneyed power base within their own party: enclaves of suburban contributors.

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Rural disparities in ending hunger

As I’ve written before, the Summer Food Service Program will serve thousands of hungry Minnesota children this summer—children who may ordinarily rely on school-provided meals to keep their stomachs full. While the SFSP provides millions of these meals statewide, only about 15 percent of children in need participate.

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