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Casino workers rally at state capitol to protests state-owned casinos
Tuesday, May 10 2011
 
Written by Story and photo by Jacob Croonenberghs,
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casino employees rallyOver 3,000 workers gathered on the lawn of the Capitol in St. Paul on April 26 to protest legislation that would expand gambling within the state of Minnesota.
"We need to look for solutions to move Minnesota's economy forward, and this isn't one of them," Former House Representative Frank Moe said to protesters who had travelled from across the state for the event. Protesters stood in the rain holding up signs that read "Don't Gamble With My Job!"
The legislation in question proposes allowing racing tracks to carry slot machines, known as racinos, into the state. With a gambling economy that is already considered saturated, rural casinos are worried such tracks would take business away from the small-town communities across the state that rely on jobs local casinos provide.
Minnesota tribes return $1.7M in stimulus grant money
Tuesday, May 10 2011
 
Written by The Circle StaffT,
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When's the last time the recipients of a $1.7 million federal stimulus grant had second thoughts and sent funding back to Washington? That's what happened recently with a high-tech project in northern Minnesota in which a government giveaway turned into a rare government giveback. In fact, it's one of only three out of 233 broadband stimulus awards valued at $3.94 billion to turn down the federal funding, according to the U.S.  House of Representatives Committee on Energy and Commerce.
In July 2010, the Broadband Technology Opportunities Program (BTOP) selected a stimulus project proposal from the Leech Lake, Red Lake and White Earth Bands of Ojibwe to create seven new public computer centers and to renovate ten existing facilities in partnership with the Boys and Girls Clubs on their northern Minnesota reservations.
Republicans introduce legislation for video slot at horse race tracks
Tuesday, April 12 2011
 
Written by Tim Pugmire - Two Republican lawmakers introduced legislation in March thMinnesota Public Radio News,
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Two Republican lawmakers introduced legislation in March that would allow Minnesota' two horse racing tracks to install video slot machines, sweetening the pot with a provision that proceeds would go to create jobs.
For years, supporters of the so-called racino concept have tried without success to pass similar bills. But they're optimistic about their chances this time, as the state's ongoing budget problems have given new life to several proposals to expand gambling.
During a news conference, state Sen. Dave Senjem, R-Rochester and state Rep. Bob Gunther, R-Fairmont said, their racino bill is the sixth and hopefully last version to come before the Legislature.
High School senior plans powwow for her final project
Sunday, March 13 2011
 
Written by Jennifer FairbanksAshlen Delgado (Ogalala Sioux), has set her ambitions high by organizing a powwow,
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high school student plans powwow storyAshlen Delgado (Ogalala Sioux), has set her ambitions high by organizing a powwow for her senior project at Johnson Senior High in Saint Paul. Every year, students at Johnson must complete a senior project for their Finale class in order to graduate. The senior project is the capstone piece to the students’ high school careers. The project the students focus on must align with their career or educational goals, involve community help, or have a concentration on culture.
With the help of her mentor Travis DeCory, a Chemical Dependency Prevention Coordinator for the Ain Dah Yung Center, Delgado was awarded a $2,500 grant to fund the powwow.
Delgado and DeCory worked together to write a grant to the Tiwahe Foundation, (formally the American Indian Family Empowerment Program) in August 2010 asking for $1,600.  Instead, they were awarded the full grant amount of $2,500 in October of 2010.  DeCory has had previous experience with writing grants through his work and was confident that Delgado would receive the grant.
Delgado’s Finale teacher, Mary Voigt was both proud and relieved by Delgado’s grant approval and for wanting to share her culture with the rest of the school. 
“Her American Indian ancestry is so important to her and she was so passionate when she talked about her powwow. It was really hard not to be excited for her,” said Voigt. “Success always breeds more success, so I think it could be a source of inspiration for her in her future.”
Delgado said she first got the idea to put on a powwow for her senior project from attending the Indian Education powwows around Saint Paul. She said another factor was the small population of Native students at her school.  Delgado feels that the fact there are Native students at Johnson often gets overlooked due to more prominent cultures at the school. 
“I want to educate the community and let them know that there’s Natives at Johnson because our Indian Ed is pretty small. It’s to let them know we’re here,” said Delgado.
Minority business presidents to help at-risk students
Saturday, March 12 2011
 
Written by Circle News Staff,
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 Numerous mentoring programs around the country regularly match businesses with kids. The varied programs are critically important and often show positive results. But few, if any, of these initiatives involve the head of the company in a year-long effort to broaden the horizons of at-risk students through the world of business.
In an ambitious effort to prepare vulnerable children for rewarding careers in the future, Risen Christ School (RCS), a 325-student, K-8 grade school located in the Powderhorn Park area of Minneapolis, has created an innovative program, Imagine the Possibilities.
More than 90 percent of RCS's students come from families who are living either at or below the poverty line.  Many of these students will become first-generation high school graduates. Because these students have limited contact with the world of business, the school believes they would benefit from personal interactions with business leaders.

minority business story dave bice mugImagine the Possibilities program will pair the top executives from over a dozen companies with up to six students in grades 6-8. The business leaders/mentors would design a project related to their field to be presented over the course of the school year to their group of six students.
Michael McHugh, president of Midwest Construction Group and Dave Bice, president of Bald Eagle Erectors are teaming up to create a program to introduce the students to a variety of careers in construction beyond manual labor.
"We are going to build our program around a construction project that the students can follow from beginning to end so they can understand each phase," said McHugh, who attended RCS, formerly Holy Name School.

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