03/24/10: This week’s Minnesota news from other media

All signs point to continued growth for the Austin school district, the School Board was told Monday. Based on projections presented by an outside demographic consultant, the district should see enrollment grow by roughly 400 students in the next five years, the Austin Daily Herald reported. The district has grown over the last four years, gaining 160 students, an atypical number for a Minnesota school district during that period, consulting demographer Hazel Reinhardt said.

Mark Severson has been studying northern Minnesota rock for 23 years, one foot at a time, more than 1 million times, the Duluth News Tribune reported. On March 11, about 10 miles west of Hoyt Lakes, Severson, a geologist with the University of Minnesota Duluth’s Natural Resources Research Institute, eyeballed his 1 millionth foot of core sample rock, all the while keeping track of the trace elements of minerals he saw and noting where the samples came from. That’s 190 miles of 2-inch-diameter cylinders of rock that would stretch from Duluth to Faribault.

Sentence to Serve, a program that saves Carlton County and the rest of the state of Minnesota millions of dollars annually, may soon be on the chopping block, the Pine Journal reports. Because of budget cuts, the statewide program is slated to be shut down June 30, the Minnesota Department of Corrections informed local STS crew chief Bob Wait, who helped pilot the program in 1985. The program provided an alternative for non-violent offenders going through the criminal justice system to work off their fines and/or jail time through supervised community service.

Delinquent taxes on commercial properties in Crow Wing County now top $2.2 million, the Brainerd Dispatch reports. The delinquent taxes on 290 parcels of commercial property totaled $2,232,511. Some parcels have multiple-year delinquencies. If the delinquent taxes are left unpaid, the property is subject to forfeiture.

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