Local Gov't Accountability Roundup: 11/1/11

DULUTH: “Historic” Ski Jumps Now History   Two crumbling ski jumps in Chester Hill Park were demolished in time to make sure Halloween tricksters were not inspired to go there. Ski jump enthusiasts forestalled the demolition in 2007, hoping to raise renovation funds and obtain historic designation.

MOUNTAIN LAKE: Early School Year Start Makes No Difference in Test Scores The initial results are in for a group of 25 school districts that received a waiver to start the school year two weeks early to raise test scores. Despite the extra teaching time, the test scores for students in the first of the three year experiment in southwestern Minnesota districts did not change.

RED RIVER VALLEY: American Crystal Workers Still Off Job After 3 Months The 1,300 union workers locked out for three months are increasingly feeling the financial impact of being off the job. Unlike their North Dakota counterparts, workers at the company’s three Minnesota plants receive unemployment benefits. 

CALEDONIA: City Drains Pool Fund for Study on Improvements Just a few hundred dollars will remain in the community pool fund after paying for a $20,750 study on the viability of raising funds for major improvements, perhaps a water park. While city councilors favor the upgrade, they do not want local taxpayers to fund it.

WADENA: Armed Traffic Surveyors Raise Questions Residents were caught off guard when stopped for a voluntary traffic survey. A private security firm was selected by MnDOT to pull over motorists to reinforce the notion that it was a voluntary survey. But MnDOT had some explaining to do following questions and complaints from drivers wondering why the private security employees were armed. 

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