- Associated Press - Saturday, June 14, 2014
Schools seeking space for all-day kindergartners

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) - School districts across Minnesota are working to find more space for students, after lawmakers approved $134 million to fund all-day kindergarten.

In the past, some districts required parents to pay tuition for all-day kindergarten, which meant some families opted for free half-day programs - with afternoon and morning sessions often sharing a classroom. With all kindergarteners poised to attend school full-time, though, many schools are looking for ways to accommodate them all, Minnesota Public Radio News reported (http://bit.ly/1nB93TAhttp://bit.ly/1nB93TA ).

Although the new funding will help pay for schools to teach their kindergarteners all day, it can’t be used to add new learning space.

“It’s true they’re getting more money per student. But that’s for the educational costs,” said Greg Abbott, spokesman for the Minnesota School Boards Association. “That didn’t include more money for building additions.”

Forth-five Minnesota districts have gone to voters in the last 18 months to seek property tax increases for building projects. The Minnesota School Boards Association said 36 of the requests were related to building new schools or classrooms to help create space for all-day kindergarten students.

___

High winds cause problems in Twin Cities area

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - High winds caused problems around the Minneapolis area.

The Star Tribune reports (http://strib.mn/1y1rINHhttp://strib.mn/1y1rINH ) sailboats capsized Saturday on Lake Minnetonka, air travel was delayed and power was knocked out to thousands.

The National Weather Service reported peak wind of 68 mph in the area just before 1 p.m.

According to the Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office, the regatta boats toppled in several bays on Lake Minnetonka and people had to be rescued from the water.

Just before 2 p.m., no planes were being allowed to take off or land from Minneapolis-St. Paul Airport and officials later advised travelers to check with airlines regarding delays.

___

Sanofi, Medtronic join on diabetes drugs, devices

French drugmaker Sanofi and U.S. medical device manufacturer Medtronic Inc. have joined in a project to develop new combinations of drugs and devices for diabetes care.

The two major companies announced Saturday the “global strategic alliance,” which they said was aimed at improving experience and results for people with diabetes around the world. The companies say the initial priorities will be developing drug-device combinations and providing care-management services to simplify insulin treatment.

Paris-based Sanofi has expertise in developing insulin drugs while Minneapolis-based Medtronic makes insulin pumps and devices for monitoring glucose to control blood sugar.

According to the World Health Organization, an estimated 347 million people worldwide have diabetes. In the U.S., about 30 million people have the disease.

___

Biting fly explosion affects loon reproduction

MILWAUKEE (AP) - Swarms of biting flies are attacking loons in northern Wisconsin this season like never before, causing the birds to abandon their nests in record numbers, according to researchers.

The explosion of the black fly population just as the loons began incubating their eggs has caused more than 80 percent of the loons to abandon their nests in Vilas County and more than 70 percent of nests in Oneida County, according to the wildlife scientists who track the tuxedoed birds with the mournful cries.

A cold spring in Wisconsin and rapid warm up in May caused the black flies to arrive en masse, said Walter Piper, a researcher at the School of Earth and Environmental Sciences at Chapman University in Orange, Calif.

“There’s always a burst that comes out in May. This happens to be one that is particularly devastating,” said Piper, who spends six weeks in Oneida County studying the loons each year.

A species of black flies, Simulium annulus, has a particular attraction to loons, according to research by Michael W. Meyer, of the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. His 2012 study published in the Journal of Vector Ecology found the fly species was chemically drawn to the loons.

Copyright © 2017 The Washington Times, LLC.

blog comments powered by Disqus

 

Click to Read More

Click to Hide