Friday, April 26, 2013

Budget Talks Continue In Minnesota

Several budget bills are making their way through the Minnesota Legislature.

The Senate has approved an $11-billion budget for state health and assistance programs.

The Senate also put through its education budget that provides funding for all-day kindergarten.

The State House has backed a higher education financing package that freezes undergraduate tuition at public colleges for two years and steers $150-million more for programming.

Relay For Life In International Falls

Relay for Life in International Falls goes indoors this weekend.

Ten teams will walk around Rainy River Community College tomorrow in support of the American Cancer Society.

Chair Laurie Humbert admits its a departure from past outdoor events at Smokey Bear Park, but feels the College will serve as a suitable location.

The eight-hour event starts at 2 p.m. tomorrow with an outdoor 5K run taking place in the morning at 9 a.m.

Registration for the run takes place at the College at 8 a.m.

MPP Wants Provincial Help For First Nations

The MPP for Kenora-Rainy River is calling on the premier to address the social conditions in First Nation communities.

Sarah Campbell says it's not right that these communities have to declare a state of emergency to get  attention from the government.

Last week, the remote community of Neskataga First Nation declared a state of emergency over a rash of suicides and ongoing problems with prescription drug abuse.

Supreme Court Denies Request To Hear Appeal

The Supreme Court of Canada won't be hearing Pikangikum First Nation's lawsuit against a former Indian Affairs Minister and MP for Kenora-Rainy River.

Pikangikum accused Bob Nault of "misfeasance'' for imposing third-party management on the reserve more than a decade ago.

The band also claimed Nault withheld millions of dollars for infrastructure projects until it dropped its legal challenge.

The band appealed to the Supreme Court after the initial trial judge dismissed the case with appeals courts also siding with Nault.

New NOMA Executive Director

The region's municipal lobby group has a new executive director.

Kristen Oliver takes on the job for the Northwestern Ontario Municipal Association May 6.

She's a former policy assistant to former Thunder Bay Mayor Lynn Peterson and currently president of the organization Leadership Thunder Bay.

Protection For Cellphone Users Proposed

The provincial Liberals are making another attempt to bring in new rules protect consumers from cellphone bill shock.

Consumer Services Minister Tracy MacCharles says the proposed legislation would make it easier to understand the costs and terms of cellphone services.

The Liberals introduced a similar bill a year ago, but it died when the legislature was prorogued last fall.

International Falls Businesses Recognized

Two International Falls businesses have been recognized for their entrepreneurial success.

Wagner Construction and Swanky Sweet Pea earned Joel Labovitz awards at a ceremony in Duluth Wednesday.

Swanty Sweet Pea, a wholesale supplier of dessert-inspired bath and body products, received the "micro" award.

Wagner Construction earned the "Mature" award.