don heinzman

In Minnesota there is a state safety net for an estimated 800,000 disabled, elderly and families with children who need help paying for their health care. During fiscal year 2010 and 2011, the Minnesota Department of Human Services spent $7.5 billion for health care with Medical Assistance (Medicaid) funds. Of that $7.5 billion, the federal [...]

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Joel Myhre of the Fergus Falls Daily Journal has it right. Most of us have not been interested in the Affordable Health Care Act (Obamacare), because we personally haven’t felt it. We aren’t affected because we have health insurance and aren’t all that concerned for the 36 million or so who don’t have it. We [...]

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A study by the League of Minnesota Cities reveals the people value their basic community services and are willing to pay higher taxes for them — different than what political parties would have you believe. Republican Party legislators want their constituents to believe that the body public opposes increasing state taxes and favors cutting aid [...]

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The power of an idea and a commitment to a mission could bring baseball to Benin, Africa, badly in need of giving poor young people something constructive to do. (Benin is a small French-speaking country of 8 million people, sandwiched between Nigeria and Ghana.) Two men who are involved in the Robbinsdale Little League program [...]

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Thanks to the Minnesota Legislature and Gov. Mark Dayton, Minnesota 10th graders will be able to take college-level accredited courses while  in high school, starting the next school year. This dual-credit program is a win-win for 10th graders who now will be able to earn high school and college credits, with the state funding the [...]

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Parents are convinced and research shows that students who participate in extracurricular activities do better in school and in life. That’s why seeing school boards increase fees for students to play sports, act, debate and sing is so frustrating to parents who are strapped to pay the fees. Granted, school districts are short of funds, [...]

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There is a bill that if passed by the Minnesota Legislature would allow the public to use publicly owned or managed shooting ranges, some in local police stations. It originated in the city of Plymouth, where a firearms safety instructor wanted to use the police shooting range to teach firearms safety and was denied. The [...]

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At a time when more people than ever are using their community libraries, the funding gradually is being reduced. A good library is essential in a community now more than ever, when people cannot afford to buy books and more people are using its computers, downloading e-books and checking out audio materials. At this time, [...]

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How teachers should be evaluated and laid off in a school system with tenure are hot topics at the Minnesota Legislature. Republicans, who are in the majority in both houses, seem to favor a measure that would use test scores and teacher effectiveness along with seniority in terminating teachers. Now, seniority (years of experience) is [...]

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