Thursday, July 23, 2009

Entrepreneurial center names new director

excerpted from New York Mills Herald

Beth Pridday has been hired as the new director for M State's Business and Entrepreneurial Services Center, located in Detroit Lakes+. Pridday has 20 years of prefessional experience in marketing, advertising, public relations, fundraising and special events. She is an active member of the Detroit Lakes Chamber of Commerce and the DL Kiwanis Club and is a volunteer with the Humane Society and Lakes Crisis & Resource Center.

Pridday and her husband own several businesses in Detroit Lakes.

Alexandria rated highest retail "pull factor" in state

excerpted from Alexandria Echo Press, 07-15-09

An analysis compiled by the U of M Extension Service shows that Alexandria has the highest retail sales "pull factor" in the state. That shows how much draw a community has bringing in people to shop. The study demonstrated a pull factor of 4.36, which means Alexandria has 4.36 times the annual statewide average retail sales per capita.

Copies of the 2007 Alexandria and Douglas County Retail Trade Analysis are available online at or by calling (320) 763-4545.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

DEED awards nearly $16 million for small city projects

The Minnesota Dept. of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) has awarded 39 grants totaling more than $15.9 million to hlep pay for improvements for housing, commercial property and infrastructure in Greater Minnesota.

West central Minnesota communities that have received grants include:

Ashby, $351,600, to rehabilitate 15 owner-occupied houses to benefit Ashby and Wendell.

Glenwood, $505,570, to rehabilitate 15 owner-occupied houses, 10 rental units and eight commercial buildings to benefit the cities of Glenwood, Sedan and Evansville and Polk and Douglas counties.

Hancock and Morris, $288,170, to rehabilitate 10 owner-occupied houses.
Parkers Prairie, $389,121, to rehabilitate 16 owner-occupied houses to benefit Parkers Prairie and Deer Creek.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Atlas helps you navigate socio-economic waters

How does the median household income differ between Minnesota counties? What are the dropout rates? How many physicians or dentists are there in a particular area?

There are many factors that can indicate a county's social and economic health. The Center for Rural Policy and Development, along with the University of Minnesota Extension Service and the Blandin Foundation, have compiled indicators by county in many topics, including people, economic vitality, health, housing education and more.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

News from Traverse County

excerpted from the Wheaton Gazette, May 26, 2009

Officials break ground for Browns Valley Floodway Diversion Project - Saturday, May 26, local and state officials helped break ground for the new floodway diversion on the Little Minnesota River. In 2007, a flood devastated part of Browns Valley. The city and the local watershed district worked with many state and national organizations to develop a flood control plan. Mayor Jeff Backer personally thanked West Central Initiative for providing the funds to organize the recovery effort back in 2007.

Traverse County's jobless rate falls during April - For the first time since last October, the unemployment rate fell, from 9.3 percent in March to 7.5 percent in April. Thirty less people were unemployment in the county. The jobless rate also fell below state and national averages for the first time this year.

Bids accepted for sewer rehabilitation and lift station and force main project - The city of Wheaton accepted bids for two major projects in the city. Officials are hoping construction will start mid-June. The bids came in lower than expected.

Minnesota State Legislature - What's New

Alexandria Echo Press

Breckenridge/Wahpeton Daily News

Detroit Lakes Tribune

Fergus Falls Daily Journal stories

IN-FORUM: Fargo-Moorhead

Morris Sun Tribune : Morris

Perham Enterprise Bulletin : Perham

Pope County Tribune

News & Features from Minnesota Public Radio

Minnesota Legislature from Minnesota Public Radio