State governments have a plethora of services and information available online. People want it. They need it. Pew Research finds that approximately one-third of U.S. adults reported using an app or the internet to access information provided by their state government in the past 12 months. Availability isn't enough, however, and people too often can't get to the information or services easily, based on a new report by Information Technology and Innovation Foundation. The conclusion is that citizens deserve better.
Students are heading back to school. Take a deep breath and it's a heart-warming moment — snapping of first-day photos, meeting new teachers, seeing friends again. Then exhale and fears creep in — being bullied on the bus, being approached by strangers, worrying about school violence and specifically school shootings. No place is completely safe, but schools are the safest place overall for children to be when not at home with a caring, responsible adult. National statistics support this statement. Consider a few findings from two recent, related reports:
Pulitzer Prizes for 2018 will be announced Aug. 16. The awards — 13 each year — recognize achievements in American journalism as well as literature and music. This year's announcement day also will mark a concerted effort by numerous editorial boards across the nation to draw attention to the vital role the free press (i.e. newspapers like this one) plays in our nation.
If you're thinking about skipping Tuesday's primary election, think again. Our representative form of government uses primaries for two main purposes: • to select a candidate to represent a political party for a certain race in the general election. • to narrow the field of candidates in non-partisan races to two for each seat. But there are other, less tangible reasons of equal importance.
Slowly, slowly, the Minnesota judicial system moves closer to the openness in Wisconsin, Iowa and North Dakota courtrooms. A pilot project on video and audio coverage of criminal proceedings proved successful, so the Minnesota Supreme Court this month appropriately made permanent most of the rules tested over the past 2 1/2 years.
Bills passed during the Minnesota legislative session and signed into law by the governor typically take effect Aug. 1. This year four laws had a July 1 date. Three you could consider tweaks to existing laws, but one is of particular note for parents of young athletes: Trainers now need a license.
Three crashes on Wisconsin roads killed five people over the 2018 Memorial Day weekend. Not to be outdone, Minnesota had six deaths in six separate crashes.
You can expect conditions to intensify starting this week as the season officially changes with the summer solstice. The earth is tilting on its axis, heat is rising and storms surely are ahead. Voters need to dress, prepare and act accordingly. Here's a short list to consider before heading out: • Sunscreen
Cheese and chili, milk and strawberries, rivers and water skis. Music, street dances, craft fairs and food. The annual festival march through summer has begun. For many of us, the season officially begins with the first community celebration, then weekend after weekend of community events fill our calendar. Bringing families, friends and cultures together, these festivals keep traditions alive and create new memories. Locally and regionally, the list includes: • Cottage Grove Strawberry Fest, June 14-17 • Afton Strawberry Festival, June 23-24
High school prom. The big dance. Seen by some as a must-do event in the step from childhood to adulthood, the annual spring ritual is upon us. Park High School students will dance the night away starting at 4 p.m. Saturday, April 21. Both Woodbury and East Ridge schools will celebrate on Saturday, April 28. Most area high schools will celebrate prom in April, but on nearly every Saturday from now through early May you can expect that some of the region's students and their dates will be on the road.