Local-Option Sales Tax: A long-term solution to county transportation funding needs?

Back in 2013, the Center released a report and fact sheet on the future of highway funding for Greater Minnesota, Roads Less Traveled: How emerging issues are creating hazards for rural highway funding.[1] The report and its accompanying fact sheet, Rough Roads Ahead, discussed how policy changes and our own driving habits are shaping the ...
Community services availability

Mental health services in Greater Minnesota

Limited resources are putting growing pressure on rural communities May 2017 By Marnie Werner, Research Director The mobile crisis and outreach teams of the Northern Pines Mental Health Center in Brainerd are busy. In 2016, they made 1,200 calls in the counties they cover—Aitkin, Cass, Crow Wing, Morrison, Todd and Wadena—and most of those calls ...

Hastings Star Gazette: Rural areas continue to see higher rates of impaired driving

EXCERPT: “Metropolitan areas in Minnesota and Wisconsin have seen significant declines in the number of impaired driving offenses, but the rate of drunken driving in rural areas remains high. Minnesota’s Dakota, Washington and Hennepin counties saw the steepest reductions in chronically impaired drivers between 2015 and 2016. Hennepin, Minnesota’s largest county, experienced nearly a 100-person ...

The Washington Post: We need a smarter narrative about rural America

EXCERPT: “We’ve heard a lot about America’s struggling rural areas in the past year. Forgotten America, where men and women lead hardscrabble lives marked by poverty, lack of opportunity, addiction and despair. Rural America, we’ve been told, is falling behind: on everything from Internet access to health care to business to youth. But recent Census Bureau data suggests that some of these concerns, at least, may be overstated — particularly when it comes to ...

In These Times: Rural America’s Population Declines for the Sixth Straight Year

EXCERPT: “The number of people living in rural (nonmetro) counties stood at 46.1 million in July 2016—14 percent of all U.S. residents spread across 72 percent of the Nation’s land area. The rural population declined by 21,000 between July 2015 and July 2016, according to the U.S. Census Bureau’s latest population estimates, the sixth consecutive ...

Forum News Service: Rural health — Two small Minnesota hospitals learn how to survive

EXCERPT: “Small-town hospitals and clinics may not have all the bells and whistles of their big-city counterparts, but they offer something patients often cannot find in the cities: quarterbacks. ‘You have a quarterback here,’ said Dr. Heidi Korstad, sitting in the cafeteria of Bigfork Valley, a sprawling medical complex of hospital, clinic, nursing home and ...

Indian Country Today: Fond du Lac Bridges the Digital Divide

EXCERPT: “Some 900 homes on the Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa reservation will soon gain something that 80 percent of U.S. residents already take for granted—home access to high-speed Internet service. Thanks to two $3 million U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) grants, plus an additional $2.2 million investment from the tribe, some 160 miles of ...