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MINNESOTA NEWS ROUND-UP: Winona officials to hold public meeting on recent flag burnings

WINONA -   There's a public meeting Thursday in Winona to discuss and address a series of flag burnings in the community. 

Police have responded to 13 American flag burnings recently and most were on poles attached to homes.  Authorities are asking for the public's help in finding those responsible. Members of the Winona Police Department and city council will host Thursday's meeting at the Winona American Legion (6 p.m.


New Ulm Public Schools is asking District 88 voters to approve a $46.9-million bond referendum on today's election ballot.  The funds will be used to build a new high school on a site west of town, to convert the existing high school into a middle school and for renovations at Jefferson and Washington elementaries.  The proposal also includes a performing arts center, security improvements and revised bus loading areas. 


MnDOT is reminding political candidates that placing campaign signs in state highway rights of way is against the law.  District 2 spokesman Reid Baumann says it's a misdemeanor violation and a safety concern.  Baumann says while the law is not always enforced, MnDOT crews can remove unlawfully placed signs and impound them at a local maintenance station.  The Minnesota Outdoor Advertising Control Act also prohibits signs and painting on utility poles, trees, rocks or natural features.


A new report from the U.S. Conference of Mayors claims that jobs gained during the economic recovery pay an average of 23% less than jobs that were lost during the Great Recession.  The study shows the annual wage in sectors where jobs were lost during the downturn was $61,637, but new jobs gained in the past year paid average wages of $47,171, a wage gap that represents $93 billion in lost wages.  The report does hold some good news for a couple of Minnesota metro areas; Fargo-Moorhead and St. Cloud ranked in the top ten for equal wealth distribution, and the Grand Forks, North Dakota-East Grand Forks, Minnesota metro ranked 7th in terms of upward mobility, with a 14 percent increase in the shift of income towards richer households.


You can now enjoy a cold beer or a glass of wine while waiting for your flight at the St. Cloud Regional Airport.  The city council Monday night approved an on-sale wine and three-two beer liquor license for JK Flyers restaurant at the airport.  The service bar will be in the dining/waiting area of the main lobby of the terminal.  The airport has had increased traffic since United Airlines began twice-daily flights to-and-from Chicago's O'Hare Airport in May and twice-weekly flights between Mesa, Arizona that began in December of 2012.  JK Flyers is open from 10:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m. seven days a week.  They're also open three hours before every flight.


Minnesotans who live downstream from one of the Natural Resources Conservation Service's watershed dams may benefit from a new program that will monitor thousands of dams nationwide via the internet.  NRCS Chief Jason Weller says engineers will monitor for threats like significant rainfall or earthquakes, and then send an email or text message to local emergency responders so they can decide whether to evacuate homes and business down stream if there is the potential for the dam to fail.