Thursday, March 23, 2023


A proposed flavored tobacco ban is back on the table in Minnesota, Trump attorney Evan Corcoran must testify in the documents probe, and a "clean slate" bill in Missouri would make "expungement" automatic.


The Fed raises interest rates and reassures the banking system is sound, Norfolk Southern reaffirms a commitment to the people of East Palestine, and TikTok creators gather at the Capitol to support free expression.


Finding childcare is a struggle everywhere, prompting North Carolina's Transylvania County to try a new approach. Maine is slowly building-out broadband access, but disagreements remain over whether local versus national companies should get the contracts, and specialty apps like "Farmers Dating" help those in small communities connect online.

MN Fares Well in New Volunteer Rankings


Monday, January 30, 2023   

New data on volunteering in the U.S. carries good news for Minnesota. Every other year, the independent government agency AmeriCorps works with the Census Bureau to track how many people are signing up for volunteer work.

The latest report showed Minnesota is among the top 10 states for formal volunteering, which includes helping others through nonprofits.

Michael Smith, CEO of AmeriCorps, said nationally, the nation saw a drop in this area, suggesting the effects of the pandemic were a likely factor. But he added there was good news, with informal volunteer numbers remaining steady.

"People continued to shovel the walks for their neighbors," Smith outlined. "They continued to ask their homebound neighbors, or maybe their immune-compromised neighbor, 'Do you need me to go to the grocery store for you?' "

Minnesota's formal volunteer rate for 2021 was 35%, third-highest in the country. It was also in the top 10 for informal help. Meanwhile, Smith hopes the nationwide drop on the formal side is only temporary because of shutdowns at the start of the pandemic. He added his agency will do more digging to see what exactly is behind some of the numbers.

The effects of the pandemic were felt in southwestern Minnesota.

Michelle Baumhoefner, executive director of Advocate, Connect, Educate of Southwest Minnesota, said part of their focus is finding volunteer opportunities for retired individuals, but noted they saw some people decline to return to their roles as the pandemic continued. She hopes the volunteer spirit in Minnesota will convince younger retirees to consider helping out.

"We owe it to our older generation and our younger generation to teach them how to volunteer and to engage with their communities," Baumhoefner asserted.

Overall, the report said more than 60 million people across the U.S. formally volunteered with organizations in 2020 and 2021. The number more than doubled when looking at people who helped their neighbors and community without any group affiliation.

get more stories like this via email
In 2020, 35% of Idaho mothers had Medicaid at the time of their child's birth. (WavebreakMediaMicro/Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

With concerning trends emerging for pregnant and postpartum women, frustration is growing that Idaho lawmakers could end the session without …

Health and Wellness

Health advocates are promoting a package of bills this legislative session to make health care easier to get - and more affordable. The Care 4 All …

Social Issues

A new study from the University of New Hampshire found New England's LGBTQ+ residents experience higher rates of food insufficiency, the measure of …

According to the Center for American Progress, nearly nine in 10 employers, four in five landlords, and three in five colleges use background checks to screen for applicants' criminal records. (Yurii Kibalnik/Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

A large percentage of Missourians who could to have their criminal records "expunged" have not done so, despite the effects expungement -- referred …

Social Issues

A person's work personnel file can be important to review, but some Washingtonians are finding them hard to obtain. A bill in Olympia would ensure …

The most recent Farm Bill covered areas such as agricultural conservation, trade and foreign food assistance, farm credit and research. (Adobe Stock)


The U.S. Farm Bill is up for reauthorization, and Congress faces calls to avoid any delays so certain programs can keep helping farmers and consumers …

Social Issues

Youth advocates continue to sound the alarm over the impact flavored tobacco products have on teenagers, and hope Minnesota lawmakers take another …


As wildfire seasons in Colorado and across the American West become longer, less predictable and increasingly destructive, a new report aims to …


Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021