Minneapolis

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Posted by sonny 03/11/2009 @ 07:16

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News headlines
Six-run seventh inning ignites Minnesota Twins to sweep of Detroit ... - Pioneer Press
... Santiago (39) is forced out at second as Minnesota Twins second baseman Matt Tolbert, left, relays to first to complete the double play hit into by Magglio Ordonez during the fourth inning of a baseball game, Thursday, May 14, 2009 in Minneapolis....
Defense lays out case in Minneapolis police corruption trial - Minnesota Public Radio
by Brandt Williams, Minnesota Public Radio Lawyers for Minneapolis police officer Mike Roberts called their first witnesses as the defense began its arguments in a police corruption trial. Earlier in the day, an FBI agent testified that Minneapolis...
Minneapolis Hospital To Cut an Additional 75-100 Jobs - Hospital Review
Hennepin County Medical Center in Minneapolis announced that it will cut 75-100 more jobs by the end of next month, according to a report by the Star-Tribune. The newly announced layoffs are the second round of job cuts at the hospital this year....
Informant says murder defendant confessed to killing bicyclist - Minneapolis Star Tribune
A confidential informant feeding information to Minneapolis police in 2007 testified Wednesday that Jamaal Freeman confessed to killing bicyclist Mark Loesch, although the witness also said he sometimes lied to police. David Tyus, 20, who is in prison...
Art-A-Whirl is this weekend in NE Minneapolis - MinnPost.com
The vibrant creative community of Northeast Minneapolis — a neighborhood that's home to a slew of studio complexes like Northrup King, the California Building, the Q.arma Building, and the Grain Belt Bottling House, not to mention hundreds upon...
Should Minneapolis stop busing students all over the city? - Bridge
by Lisa Peterson-de la Cueva (May 14, 2009) Editor's note: Earlier this month, the Minneapolis Public Schools (MPS) District postponed the timeline for its Changing School Options plan, which was submitted to the School Board on April 28....
Study: African immigrants 'largely untapped' market - Bizjournals.com
African immigrants in the United States represent a growing, but “largely untapped” market segment, according to a national study of immigrant consumer habits partly funded by The Minneapolis Foundation. “Marketers have an opportunity to deliver...
Minneapolis realtors: Home prices down, sales up - Bizjournals.com
Foreclosed homes and short sales continue to drive down the sales price of Twin Cities-area homes, according to data released Tuesday by the Minneapolis Area Association of Realtors. The median sales price for all home properties in the Minneapolis-St....
'Got milk' mustache mobile comes to Minneapolis - Minneapolis Star Tribune
mustache mobile tour comes to Minneapolis' Peavey Plaza from 11 am to 2 pm Tuesday with the chance to pose for your own milk mustache photo. US milk processors are promoting milk as naturally rich in nutrients with activities on the plaza,...
First time for everything: Patrick Wolf, the Germs headed to ... - Decide Twincities
by Sean O'Neal May 14, 2009 The slowly climbing temperatures and sudden decline in your desires to do anything but lay around in your underwear all day can mean only one thing: Summer is fast approaching, and with it the annual ironic increase in the...

Minneapolis

Prince studied at the Minnesota Dance Theatre through the Minneapolis Public Schools.[51]

Minneapolis (pronounced /ˌmɪniˈæpəlɪs/) is the largest city in the U.S. state of Minnesota and is the county seat of Hennepin County. The city lies on both banks of the Mississippi River, just north of the river's confluence with the Minnesota River, and adjoins Saint Paul, the state's capital. Known as the Twin Cities, these two form the core of Minneapolis-St. Paul, the sixteenth-largest metropolitan area in the United States, with 3.5 million residents. The United States Census Bureau estimated the city's population at 377,392 people in 2007.

The city is abundantly rich in water with over twenty lakes and wetlands, the Mississippi riverfront, creeks and waterfalls, many connected by parkways in the Chain of Lakes and the Grand Rounds Scenic Byway. Minneapolis was once the world's flour milling capital and a hub for timber, and today is the primary business center between Chicago, Illinois, and Seattle, Washington. Among America's most literate cities, Minneapolis has cultural organizations that draw creative people and audiences to the city for theater, visual art, writing, and music. The community's diverse population has a long tradition of charitable support through progressive public social programs and through private and corporate philanthropy.

The name Minneapolis is attributed to the city's first schoolmaster, who combined mni, the Dakota word for water, and polis, the Greek word for city. Minneapolis is nicknamed the "City of Lakes" and the "Mill City".

Dakota Sioux were the region's sole residents until French explorers arrived around 1680. Nearby Fort Snelling, built in 1819 by the United States Army, spurred growth in the area. Circumstances pressed the Mdewakanton band of the Dakota to sell their land, allowing people arriving from the east to settle there. The Minnesota Territorial Legislature authorized present day Minneapolis as a town on the Mississippi's west bank in 1856. Minneapolis incorporated as a city in 1867, the year rail service began between Minneapolis and Chicago, and joined with the east bank city of St. Anthony in 1872.

Minneapolis grew up around Saint Anthony Falls, the highest waterfall on the Mississippi. Millers have used hydropower since the 1st century B.C., but the results in Minneapolis between 1880 and 1930 were so remarkable the city has been described as "the greatest direct-drive waterpower center the world has ever seen." In early years, forests in northern Minnesota were the source of a lumber industry that operated seventeen sawmills on power from the waterfall. By 1871, the west river bank had twenty-three businesses including flour mills, woolen mills, iron works, a railroad machine shop, and mills for cotton, paper, sashes, and planing wood. The farmers of the Great Plains grew grain that was shipped by rail to the city's thirty-four flour mills where Pillsbury and General Mills became processors. By 1905, Minneapolis delivered almost 10% of the country's flour and grist. At peak production, a single mill at Washburn-Crosby made enough flour for twelve million loaves of bread each day.

Minneapolis made dramatic changes to rectify discrimination as early as 1886 when Martha Ripley founded Maternity Hospital for both married and unmarried mothers. When the country's fortunes turned during the Great Depression, the violent Teamsters Strike of 1934 resulted in laws acknowledging workers' rights. A lifelong civil rights activist and union supporter, mayor Hubert Humphrey helped the city establish fair employment practices and a human relations council that interceded on behalf of minorities by 1946. Minneapolis contended with white supremacy, participated in desegregation and the African-American civil rights movement, and in 1968 was the birthplace of the American Indian Movement.

During the 1950s and 1960s as part of urban renewal, the city razed about two hundred buildings across twenty-five city blocks—roughly 40% of downtown, destroying the Gateway District and many buildings with notable architecture including the Metropolitan Building. Efforts to save the building failed but are credited with jumpstarting interest in historic preservation in the state.

The history and economic growth of Minneapolis history are tied to water, the city's defining physical characteristic, which was sent to the region during the last ice age. Fed by receding glaciers and Lake Agassiz ten thousand years ago, torrents of water from a glacial river undercut the Mississippi and Minnehaha riverbeds, creating waterfalls important to modern Minneapolis. Lying on an artesian aquifer and otherwise flat terrain, Minneapolis has a total area of 58.4 square miles (151.3 km2) and of this 6% is water. Water is managed by watershed districts that correspond to the Mississippi and the city's three creeks. Twelve lakes, three large ponds, and five unnamed wetlands are within Minneapolis.

The city center is located just south of 45° N latitude. The city's lowest elevation of 686 feet (209 m) is near where Minnehaha Creek meets the Mississippi River. The site of the Prospect Park Water Tower is often cited as the city's highest point and a placard in Deming Heights Park denotes the highest elevation, but a spot at 974 feet (296.88 m) in or near Waite Park in Northeast Minneapolis is corroborated by Google Earth as the highest ground.

Minneapolis has a continental climate typical of the Upper Midwest. Winters can be cold and dry, while summer is comfortably warm although at times it can be hot and humid. On the Köppen climate classification, Minneapolis falls in the warm summer humid continental climate zone (Dfa); and has a USDA plant hardiness of zone 5. The city experiences a full range of precipitation and related weather events, including snow, sleet, ice, rain, thunderstorms, tornadoes, and fog. The warmest temperature ever recorded in Minneapolis was 108 °F (42.2 °C) in July 1936, and the coldest temperature ever recorded was −41 °F (−40.6 °C), in January 1888. The snowiest winter of record was 1983–84, when 98.4 inches (2.5 m) of snow fell.

Dakota tribes, mostly the Mdewakanton, as early as the 16th century were known as permanent settlers near their sacred site of St. Anthony Falls. New settlers arrived during the 1850s and 1860s in Minneapolis from New England, New York, and Canada, and during the mid-1860s, Scandinavians from Sweden, Finland, Latvia, Norway, and Denmark began to call the city home. Migrant workers from Mexico and Latin America also interspersed. Later, immigrants came from Germany, Italy, Greece, Poland, and Southern and Eastern Europe. These immigrants tended to settle in the Northeast neighborhood, which still retains an ethnic flavor and is particularly known for its Polish community. Jews from Russia and Eastern Europe settled primarily on the north side of the city before moving in large numbers to the western suburbs in the 1950s and 1960s. Asians came from China, the Philippines, Japan, and Korea. Two groups came for a short while during U.S. government relocations: Japanese during the 1940s, and Native Americans during the 1950s. From 1970 onward, Asians arrived from Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, and Thailand. Beginning in the 1990s, a large Latino population arrived, along with immigrants from the Horn of Africa, especially Somalia. Into the 21st century, Minneapolis continues its tradition of welcoming newcomers. The metropolitan area is an immigrant gateway with a 127% increase in foreign-born residents between 1990 and 2000.

U.S. Census Bureau estimates in 2007 show the population of Minneapolis to be 377,392, a 1.4% drop since the 2000 census. The population grew until 1950 when the census peaked at 521,718, and then declined as people moved to the suburbs until about 1990. The number of African Americans, Asians, and Hispanics is growing. Non-whites are now about one third of the city's residents. Compared to the U.S. national average in 2005, the city has fewer white, Hispanic, senior, and unemployed people, while it has more people aged over 18 and more with a college degree. Among U.S. cities, Minneapolis has the fourth-highest percent of gay, lesbian, or bisexual people in the adult population, with 12.5%.

Compared to a peer group of metropolitan areas in 2000, Minneapolis-Saint Paul is decentralizing, with individuals moving in and out frequently and a large young and white population and low unemployment. Racial and ethnic minorities lag behind white counterparts in education, with 15% of black and 13% of Hispanic people holding bachelor's degrees compared to 42% of the white population. The standard of living is on the rise, with incomes among the highest in the Midwest, but median household income among black people is below that of white by over $17,000. Regionally, home ownership among black and Hispanic residents is half that of white though Asian homeownership doubled. In 2000, the poverty rates included whites at 4.2%, blacks at 26.2%, Asians at 19.1%, American Indians at 23.2%, and Hispanics or Latinos at 18.1%.

The economy of Minneapolis today is based in commerce, finance, rail and trucking services, health care, and industry. Smaller components are in publishing, milling, food processing, graphic arts, insurance, and high technology. Industry produces metal and automotive products, chemical and agricultural products, electronics, computers, precision medical instruments and devices, plastics, and machinery.

Five Fortune 500 headquarters are in Minneapolis proper: Target Corporation, U.S. Bancorp, Xcel Energy, Ameriprise Financial, and Thrivent Financial for Lutherans. Fortune 1000 companies in Minneapolis include PepsiAmericas, Valspar and Donaldson Company. Apart from government, the city's largest employers are Target, Wells Fargo, Ameriprise, Star Tribune, U.S. Bancorp, Xcel Energy, IBM, Piper Jaffray, RBC Dain Rauscher, ING Group, and Qwest.

Availability of Wi-Fi, transportation solutions, medical trials, university research and development expenditures, advanced degrees held by the work force, and energy conservation are so far above the national average that in 2005, Popular Science named Minneapolis the "Top Tech City" in the U.S. The Twin Cities ranked the country's second best city in a 2006 Kiplinger's poll of Smart Places to Live and Minneapolis was one of the Seven Cool Cities for young professionals.

The Twin Cities contribute 63.8% of the gross state product of Minnesota. The area's $145.8 billion gross metropolitan product and its per capita personal income rank fourteenth in the U.S. Recovering from the nation's recession in 2000, personal income grew 3.8% in 2005, though it was behind the national average of 5%. The city returned to peak employment during the fourth quarter of that year.

The Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, with one branch in Helena, Montana, serves Minnesota, Montana, North and South Dakota, and parts of Wisconsin and Michigan. The smallest of the twelve regional banks in the Federal Reserve System, it operates a nationwide payments system, oversees member banks and bank holding companies, and serves as a banker for the U.S. Treasury. The Minneapolis Grain Exchange founded in 1881 is still located near the riverfront and is the only exchange for hard red spring wheat futures and options.

The region is second only to New York City in live theater per capita and is the third-largest theater market in the U.S., supporting the Illusion, Jungle, Mixed Blood, Penumbra, Bedlam Theatre, the Brave New Workshop, the Minnesota Dance Theatre, Skewed Visions, Theater Latté Da, In the Heart of the Beast Puppet and Mask Theatre, and the Children's Theatre Company. The city is home to Minnesota Fringe Festival, the United States' largest nonjuried performing arts festival. French architect Jean Nouvel designed a new three stage complex for the Guthrie Theater, the prototype alternative to Broadway founded in Minneapolis in 1965. Minneapolis purchased and renovated the Orpheum, State, and Pantages Theatre vaudeville and film houses on Hennepin Avenue now used for concerts and plays. Eventually, a fourth renovated theater will join the Hennepin Center for the Arts to become the Minnesota Shubert Performing Arts and Education Center, a home to twenty performing arts groups and a provider of Web-based art education.

The Minneapolis Institute of Arts, built in 1915 in south central Minneapolis is the largest art museum in the city with 100,000 pieces in its permanent collection. A new wing designed by Michael Graves was completed in 2006 for contemporary and modern works and more gallery space. The Walker Art Center sits atop Lowry Hill, near downtown, and doubled its size with an addition in 2005 by Herzog & de Meuron and is continuing its expansion to 15 acres (6.1 ha) with a park designed by Michel Desvigne across the street from the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden. The Weisman Art Museum, designed by Frank Gehry for the University of Minnesota, opened in 1993. An addition, also designed by Gehry, is expected to open in 2009.

The son of a jazz musician and a singer, Prince is Minneapolis' most famous musical progeny. With fellow local musicians, many of whom recorded at Twin/Tone Records, he helped make First Avenue and the 7th Street Entry venues of choice for both artists and audiences. The Minnesota Orchestra plays classical and popular music at Orchestra Hall under music director Osmo Vänskä who has set about making it the best in the country. In 2008, the century-old MacPhail Center for Music opened a new facility designed by James Dayton.

Tom Waits released two songs about the city, Christmas Card from a Hooker in Minneapolis (Blue Valentine 1978) and 9th & Hennepin (Rain Dogs 1985) and Lucinda Williams recorded Minneapolis (World Without Tears 2003). Home to the MN Spoken Word Association and independent hip-hop label Rhymesayers Entertainment, the city has garnered notice for rap and hip hop and its spoken word community. The underground hip-hop group Atmosphere (natives of Minnesota) frequently comments in song lyrics on the city and Minnesota.

Minneapolis and Seattle are tied as America's most literate city. A center for printing and publishing, Minneapolis was a natural place for artists to build Open Book, the largest literary and book arts center in the U.S., made up of the Loft Literary Center, the Minnesota Center for Book Arts and Milkweed Editions, sometimes called the country's largest independent nonprofit literary publisher. The center exhibits and teaches both contemporary art and traditional crafts of writing, papermaking, letterpress printing and bookbinding.

Professional sports are well-established in Minneapolis. First playing in 1884, the Minneapolis Millers baseball team produced the best won-lost record in their league at the time and contributed fifteen players to the Baseball Hall of Fame. During the 1940s and 1950s the Minneapolis Lakers basketball team, the city's first in the major leagues in any sport, won six basketball championships in three leagues before moving to Los Angeles. The American Wrestling Association, formerly the NWA Minneapolis Boxing & Wrestling Club, operated in Minneapolis from 1960 until the 1990s.

The Minnesota Vikings and the Minnesota Twins arrived in the state in 1961. The Vikings were an NFL expansion team and the Twins were formed when the Washington Senators relocated to Minnesota. Both teams played outdoors in the open air Metropolitan Stadium in the suburb of Bloomington for twenty years before moving to the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome, where the Twins won the World Series in 1987 and 1991. The Minnesota Timberwolves brought NBA basketball back to Minneapolis in 1989, followed by the Minnesota Lynx WNBA team in 1999. They play in the Target Center. The NHL ice hockey team Minnesota Wild and the National Lacrosse League team Minnesota Swarm play at the Xcel Energy Center. The USL-1 soccer team Minnesota Thunder plays in Blaine, a suburb of Minneapolis.

The downtown Metrodome, opened in 1982, is the largest sports stadium in Minnesota. The three major tenants are the Vikings, the Twins, and the university's Golden Gophers football and baseball teams. The Metrodome is the only stadium in the country to have hosted a Major League Baseball All-Star Game, the Super Bowl, the World Series, and NCAA Basketball Men's Final Four. Runners, walkers, inline skaters, coed volleyball teams, and touch football teams all have access to "The Dome". Events from sports to concerts, community activities, religious activities, and trade shows are held more than three hundred days per year, making the facility one of the most versatile stadiums in the world.

The state of Minnesota authorized replacement of the Metrodome with three separate stadiums that estimates in 2007 totaled at about $1.7 billion. Six spectator sport stadiums will be in a 1.2-mile (2 km) radius centered downtown, counting the existing facilities at Target Center and the university's Williams Arena and Mariucci Arena. The new Target Field is funded by the Twins and 75% by Hennepin County sales tax, about $25 per year by each taxpayer. The Gopher football program's new TCF Bank Stadium is being built by the university and the state's general fund. The Vikings Stadium plan for Blaine, Minnesota changed and as of 2007 was estimated at $954 million for rebuilding on the Metrodome site. Feasibility studies for Dallas, Texas-based design and local construction (Mortenson Construction of Minneapolis) of a new stadium are expected in early 2009.

Major sporting events hosted by the city include Super Bowl XXVI, the 1992 NCAA Men's Division I Final Four, and the 1998 World Figure Skating Championships.

Gifted amateur athletes have played in Minneapolis schools, notably starting in the 1920s and 1930s at Central, De La Salle, and Marshall high schools. Since the 1930s, the Golden Gophers have won national championships in men's baseball, boxing, football, golf, gymnastics, ice hockey, indoor and outdoor track, swimming, and wrestling.

The Minneapolis park system has been called the best-designed, best-financed, and best-maintained in America. Foresight, donations and effort by community leaders enabled Horace Cleveland to create his finest landscape architecture, preserving geographical landmarks and linking them with boulevards and parkways. The city's Chain of Lakes is connected by bike, running, and walking paths and used for swimming, fishing, picnics, boating, and ice skating. A parkway for cars, a bikeway for riders, and a walkway for pedestrians runs parallel along the 52 miles (84 km) route of the Grand Rounds Scenic Byway. Residents brave the cold weather in December to watch the nightly Holidazzle Parade.

Theodore Wirth is credited with the development of the parks system. Today, 16.6% of the city is parks and there are 770 square feet (72 m2) of parkland for each resident, ranked in 2008 as the most parkland per resident within cities of similar population densities.

Parks are interlinked in many places and the Mississippi National River and Recreation Area connects regional parks and visitor centers. The country's oldest public wildflower garden, the Eloise Butler Wildflower Garden and Bird Sanctuary located within Theodore Wirth Park which is shared with Golden Valley and is about 60% the size of Central Park in New York City. Site of the 53-foot (16 m) Minnehaha Falls, Minnehaha Park is one of the city's oldest and most popular parks, receiving over 500,000 visitors each year. Henry Wadsworth Longfellow named Hiawatha's wife Minnehaha for the Minneapolis waterfall in The Song of Hiawatha, a bestselling and often-parodied 19th century poem.

Runner's World ranks the Twin Cities as America's sixth best city for runners. The Twin Cities Marathon run in Minneapolis and St. Paul every October draws 250,000 spectators. The 26.2-mile (42.2 km) race is a Boston and USA Olympic Trials qualifier. The organizers sponsor three more races: a Kids Marathon, a 1 mile (1.6 km), and a 10 miles (16 km). Minneapolis is home to more golfers per capita than any major U.S. city. Five golf courses are located within the city, with nationally ranked Hazeltine National Golf Club, and Interlachen Country Club in nearby suburbs. The state of Minnesota has the nation's highest number of bicyclists, sport fishermen, and snow skiers per capita. Hennepin County has the second-highest number of horses per capita in the U.S. While living in Minneapolis, Scott and Brennan Olson founded (and later sold) Rollerblade, the company that popularized the sport of inline skating.

Minneapolis is a stronghold for the Minnesota Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party (DFL), an affiliate of the Democratic Party. The Minneapolis City Council holds the most power and represents the city's thirteen districts called wards. The council has twelve DFL members and one from the Green Party. R. T. Rybak also of the DFL is the current mayor of Minneapolis. The office of mayor is relatively weak but has some power to appoint individuals such as the chief of police. Parks, taxation, and public housing are semi-independent boards and levy their own taxes and fees subject to Board of Estimate and Taxation limits.

Citizens have a unique and powerful influence in neighborhood government. Neighborhoods coordinate activities under the Neighborhood Revitalization Program (NRP), funded in the 1990s by the city and state who appropriated $400 million for it over twenty years. Minneapolis is divided into communities, each containing neighborhoods. In some cases two or more neighborhoods act together under one organization. Some areas are commonly known by nicknames of business associations.

The organizers of Earth Day scored Minneapolis ninth best overall and second among mid-sized cities in their 2007 Urban Environment Report, a study based on indicators of environmental health and their effect on people.

Early Minneapolis experienced a period of corruption in local government and crime was common until an economic downturn in the mid 1900s. Since 1950 the population decreased and much of downtown was lost to urban renewal and highway construction. The result was a "moribund and peaceful" environment until the 1990s. Along with economic recovery the murder rate climbed. The Minneapolis Police Department imported a computer system from New York City that sent officers to high crime areas despite accusations of racial profiling; the result was a drop in major crime. Since 1999 the number of homicides increased during four years, and to its highest in recent history in 2006. Politicians debate the causes and solutions, including increasing the number of police officers, providing youths with alternatives to gangs and drugs, and helping families in poverty. For 2007, the city invested in public safety infrastructure, hired over forty new officers, and has a new police chief, Tim Dolan.

Minneapolis Public Schools enroll 36,370 students in public primary and secondary schools. The district administers about one hundred public schools including forty-five elementary schools, seven middle schools, seven high schools, eight special education schools, eight alternative schools, nineteen contract alternative schools, and five charter schools. With authority granted by the state legislature, the school board makes policy, selects the superintendent, and oversees the district's budget, curriculum, personnel, and facilities. Students speak ninety different languages at home and most school communications are printed in English, Hmong, Spanish, and Somali. About 44% of students in the Minneapolis Public School system graduate, which ranks the city the 6th worst out of the nation's 50 largest cities. Besides public schools, the city is home to more than twenty private schools and academies and about twenty additional charter schools.

Minneapolis' collegiate scene is dominated by the main campus of the University of Minnesota where more than 50,000 undergraduate, graduate, and professional students attend twenty colleges, schools, and institutes. The graduate school programs ranked highest in 2007 were counseling and personnel services, chemical engineering, psychology, macroeconomics, applied mathematics and non-profit management. A Big Ten school and home of the Golden Gophers, the U of M is the fourth largest campus in the U.S. in terms of enrollment.

Minneapolis Community and Technical College, the private Dunwoody College of Technology, Globe University/Minnesota School of Business, and Art Institutes International Minnesota provide career training. Augsburg College, Minneapolis College of Art and Design, and North Central University are private four-year colleges. Capella University, Minnesota School of Professional Psychology, and Walden University are headquartered in Minneapolis and some others including the public four-year Metropolitan State University and the private four-year University of St. Thomas have campuses there.

The Hennepin County Library system operates the city's public libraries. The Minneapolis Public Library faced a severe budget shortfall for 2007, and was forced to close three of its neighborhood libraries. The new downtown Central Library designed by César Pelli opened in 2006. Ten special collections hold over 25,000 books and resources for researchers, including the Minneapolis Collection and the Minneapolis Photo Collection. At recent count 1,696,453 items in the system are used annually and the library answers over 500,000 research and fact-finding questions each year.

In 2007, Minneapolis was named America's most literate city. The study, conducted by Live Science, surveyed 69 U.S. cities with a population over 250,000. They focused on six key factors: Number of book stores, newspaper circulation, library resources, periodical publishing resources, educational attainment and Internet resources. In second place was Seattle, Washington and third was Minneapolis' neighbor, St. Paul, followed by Denver, Colorado and Washington, D.C.

Half of Minneapolis-Saint Paul residents work in the city where they live. Most residents drive cars but 60% of the 160,000 people working downtown commute by means other than a single person per auto. Alternative transportation is encouraged. The Metropolitan Council's Metro Transit, which operates the light rail system and most of the city's buses, provides free travel vouchers through the Guaranteed Ride Home program to allay fears that commuters might otherwise be occasionally stranded if, for example, they work late hours. The Hiawatha Line LRT serves 34,000 riders daily and connects the Minneapolis-St. Paul International airport and Mall of America to downtown. Most of the line runs at surface level, although parts of the line run on elevated tracks (including the Franklin Ave. and Lake St./Midtown stations) and approximately 2 miles (3.2 km) of the line runs underground, including the Lindbergh terminal subway station at the airport. By the end of 2009, the line will be extended a quarter mile west, with the new terminus at Target Field, the upcoming home of the Minnesota Twins. The planned Central Corridor LRT will connect downtown with the University of Minnesota and downtown St. Paul via University Avenue. Expected completion is in 2014. The 40-mile Northstar Commuter rail line, which will run from Big Lake through the northern suburbs and terminate at the multi-modal transit station at Target Field will open in December 2009.

Seven miles (11 km) of enclosed pedestrian bridges called skyways, the Minneapolis Skyway System, link eighty city blocks downtown. Second floor restaurants and retailers connected to these passageways are open on weekdays.

The taxicab ordinance requires 10% wheelchair accessibility by 2009 and some use of alternative fuel or fuel efficient vehicles. Starting in 2011 the city's limit of 343 taxis will be lifted.

Minneapolis ranks second in the nation for the highest percentage of commuter by bicycle. Ten thousand cyclists use the bike lanes in the city each day, and many ride in the winter. The Public Works Department expanded the bicycle trail system from the Grand Rounds to 56 miles (90 km) of off-street commuter trails including the Midtown Greenway, the Light Rail Trail, Kenilworth Trail, Cedar Lake Trail and the West River Parkway Trail along the Mississippi. Minneapolis also has 34 miles (54 km) of dedicated bike lanes on city streets and encourages cycling by equipping transit buses with bike racks and by providing online bicycle maps. Many of these trails and bridges, such as the Stone Arch Bridge, were former railroad lines that have now been converted for bicycles and pedestrians. In 2007 citing the city's bicycle lanes, buses and LRT, Forbes identified Minneapolis the world's fifth cleanest city.

Minneapolis-Saint Paul International Airport (MSP) sits on 3,400 acres (1,400 ha) southeast of the city between Minnesota State Highway 5, Interstate 494, Minnesota State Highway 77, and Minnesota State Highway 62. The airport serves three international, twelve domestic, seven charter and four regional carriers and is a hub and home base for Northwest Airlines, Mesaba Airlines, and Sun Country Airlines.

Amtrak's Empire Builder between Chicago and Seattle stops once daily in each direction at nearby Midway Station in St. Paul. Expected to open in 2009, a commuter rail line, the Northstar Corridor between downtown and Big Lake, Minnesota has been funded. It will utilize existing railroad tracks and will serve a projected 5,000 daily commuters.

Five major newspapers are published in Minneapolis: Star Tribune, Finance and Commerce, Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder, the university's The Minnesota Daily and MinnPost.com. Other publications are the City Pages weekly, the Mpls.St.Paul and Minnesota Monthly monthlies, and Utne magazine. In 2008 readers of online news also used Minnesota Independent, Twin Cities Daily Planet, Downtown Journal, Cursor, MNSpeak and about fifteen other sites. The New York Times said in 1996, "Now there are T-shirts that read, 'Murderapolis,'" a name for the city that members of the local media have mistakenly attributed to the paper.

Minneapolis has a mix of radio stations and healthy listener support for public radio but in the commercial market, a single organization Clear Channel Communications operates seven stations. Listeners support three Minnesota Public Radio non-profit stations, the Minneapolis Public Schools and the University of Minnesota each operate a station, the networks broadcast on affiliate stations, and religious organizations run two stations.

The city's first television was broadcast by the St. Paul station and ABC affiliate KSTP-TV. The first to broadcast in color was WCCO-TV, the CBS affiliate which is located in downtown Minneapolis. The city also receives FOX, NBC, PBS, MyNetworkTV, and The CW through their affiliates and one independent station. Twins Brandon and Brenda Walsh were from Minneapolis on the TV series Beverly Hills, 90210. American Idol held auditions for its sixth season in Minneapolis in 2006 and Last Comic Standing held auditions for its fifth season in Minneapolis in 2007.

A statue of Mary Tyler Moore downtown on the Nicollet Mall commemorates the legendary 1970s CBS television situation comedy fictionally based in Minneapolis, The Mary Tyler Moore Show. It marks the site where part of the series' iconic opening sequence was shot.

The show was awarded three Golden Globes and thirty-one Emmy Awards.

The Dakota people, the original inhabitants of the area where Minneapolis now stands, believed in the Great Spirit and were surprised that not all European settlers were religious. Over fifty denominations and religions and some well known churches have since been established in Minneapolis. Those who arrived from New England were for the most part Christian Protestants, Quakers, and Universalists. The oldest continuously used church in the city, Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church in the Nicollet Island/East Bank neighborhood was built in 1856 by Universalists and soon afterward was acquired by a French Catholic congregation. Formed in 1878 as Shaarai Tov, in 1902 the first Jewish congregation in Minneapolis built the synagogue in East Isles known since 1920 as Temple Israel. St. Mary's Orthodox Cathedral was founded in 1887, opened a missionary school in 1897 and in 1905 created the first Russian Orthodox seminary in the U.S. The first basilica in the U.S., the Roman Catholic Basilica of Saint Mary near Loring Park was named by Pope Pius XI.

The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, Decision magazine, and World Wide Pictures film and television distribution were headquartered in Minneapolis for about forty of the years between the late 1940s into the 2000s. Jim Bakker and Tammy Faye met while attending the Pentecostal North Central University and began a television ministry that by the 1980s reached 13.5 million households. Today, Mount Olivet Lutheran Church in southwest Minneapolis has 6,000 active members and is the world's largest Lutheran congregation. Christ Church Lutheran in the Longfellow neighborhood is among the finest work by architect Eliel Saarinen. The congregation later added an education building designed by his son Eero Saarinen.

Philanthropy and charitable giving are part of the community. More than 40% of adults in Minneapolis-St. Paul give time to volunteer work, the highest percent in the U.S. Catholic Charities is one of the largest providers of social services locally. The American Refugee Committee helps one million refugees and displaced persons in ten countries in Africa, the Balkans and Asia each year. Although no Minneapolis businesses are top corporate citizens, Business Ethics was based in Minneapolis and was the predecessor of CRO magazine for corporate responsibility officers. The oldest foundation in Minnesota, the Minneapolis Foundation invests and administers over nine hundred charitable funds and connects donors to nonprofit organizations. The metropolitan area gives 13% of its total charitable donations to the arts and culture. The majority of the estimated $1 billion recent expansion of arts facilities was contributed privately.

Minneapolis has six hospitals, three ranked among America's best by U.S. News & World Report—Abbott Northwestern Hospital (part of Allina), Hennepin County Medical Center (HCMC) and the University of Minnesota Medical Center. All three were founded under other names during the 1800s and early 1900s. The Britton Center for Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation and Children's Hospitals and Clinics also serve the city. North Memorial Medical Center is the home of a Level one Trauma center, and The Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota is a 75-minute drive away.

Cardiac surgery was developed at the university's Variety Club Hospital, where by 1957, more than two hundred patients had survived open-heart operations, many of them children. Working with surgeon C. Walton Lillehei, Medtronic began to build portable and implantable cardiac pacemakers about this time.

HCMC opened in 1887 as City Hospital and was also known as General Hospital. A public teaching hospital and Level I trauma center, the HCMC safety net sees 350,000 patient visits and 95,000 emergency room visits each year and in 2006 provided about 18% of the uncompensated care given in Minnesota.

Utility providers are regulated monopolies: Xcel Energy supplies electricity, CenterPoint Energy supplies gas, Qwest is the landline telephone provider, and Comcast is the cable service. In 2007 city-wide wireless internet coverage began, provided for 10 years by US Internet of Minnetonka to residents for about $20 per month and to businesses for $30. Minneapolis is one of the first cities to implement city-wide, public Wi-Fi, and as of July, 2008, much of the city was covered, although spots lacking coveage persisted on the East- and West-Central sections of the city. The city treats and distributes water and requires payment of a monthly solid waste fee for trash removal, recycling, and drop off for large items. Residents who recycle receive a credit. Hazardous waste is handled by Hennepin County drop off sites. After each significant snowfall, called a snow emergency, the Minneapolis Public Works Street Division plows over one thousand miles (1609 km) of streets and four hundred miles (643.7 km) of alleys—counting both sides, the distance between Minneapolis and Seattle and back. Ordinances govern parking on the plowing routes during these emergencies as well as snow shoveling throughout the city.

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Minneapolis – Saint Paul

Capella Tower in downtown Minneapolis

Minneapolis-Saint Paul is the most populous urban area in the state of Minnesota, United States, and is composed of 186 cities and townships. Built around the Mississippi, Minnesota and St. Croix rivers, the area is also nicknamed The Twin Cities for its two largest cities, Minneapolis and Saint Paul, the former the larger and the latter the state capital.

The area is part of a larger U.S. Census division named Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington, MN-WI, the country's 16th-largest metropolitan area composed of eleven counties in Minnesota and two counties in Wisconsin. This larger area in turn is enveloped in the U.S. Census combined statistical area called Minneapolis-St. Paul-St. Cloud, MN-WI with an estimated population of 3.5 million people in 2006, ranked the 13th most populous in the U.S. When Metropolitan Statistical Areas and Combined Statistical Areas are compared on the same table, Minneapolis-St. Paul is shown to be the 15th largest metro area in the country.

To remind everyone there were actually two cities, people started using the phrase Dual Cities around 1872, which evolved into Twin Cities. Despite the "Twin" moniker, the two cities are independent municipalities with defined borders and are quite distinct from each other. Minneapolis has more broad boulevards, easily navigable grid layout, and modern downtown architecture. Saint Paul has narrower streets laid out much more irregularly, clannish neighborhoods, and a vast collection of well preserved late-Victorian architecture. Also of some note is the differing cultural backgrounds of the two cities: Minneapolis being affected by its early (and still influential) Scandinavian/Lutheran heritage, while St. Paul was touched by its early French, Irish and German Catholic roots.

Often, the area is referred to as simply "The Cities," both within Minnesota and in the bordering states of Iowa, Wisconsin, and the Dakotas. Today, the two cities directly border each other and their downtown districts are about 9 miles (14 km) apart. The Twin Cities are generally said to be in "east central" Minnesota. The Cities draw commuters from as far away as Rochester, St. Cloud, Mankato and Eau Claire.

The U.S. Census Bureau defines the Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington Metropolitan Statistical Area as a region of eleven counties in Minnesota and two in neighboring Wisconsin, an area which had a population of nearly three million people (2,968,805) in 2000. The area is growing rapidly; its population is projected to increase to four million in 20 years, and the Minnesota counties in this area were estimated to have a population of 3,090,377 as of April 1, 2005. Bloomington, Minnesota, home of the Mall of America, is the third-largest city in the metro area and is in close contention for third place in the state, coming in at just about the same size as Duluth and Rochester in the 2000 census. Most locals do not consider Bloomington to be a major city but a very large suburb. Since the 2000 Census it has been included as a named city in the MSA.

When speaking of the Twin Cities many locals are referring to an older seven-county area entirely within Minnesota, which is under the jurisdiction of the Metropolitan Council. The seven-county metro area contains a continguous urbanized area stretching from each core city with the exception of a few satellite cities. It is common for outstate Minnesotans to refer to the area as The Cities since the metro area is subdivided into distinct municipalities. The multiple "rings" of suburbs extending from the core area results from limited annexation powers in the early 20th century which halted the expansion of Minneapolis and Saint Paul. Under current state legislation, an incorporated city status is more protected from annexation than townships (or towns). Presently, there are 188 municipalities in the seven-county region and 334 in the total eleven-county region ("Greater Twin Cities"). This differs from other major cities and associated metropolitan areas where the central city is the primary landholder.

The majority of Minnesota residents live in the Twin Cities region. However fewer than one in four people in the metro area lives in the two core cities--even though most metro area residents will indicate they are from Minneapolis (and to a lesser extent Saint Paul) on a national level. The Twin Cities share a common cultural lore through facets of arts, media, food, celebration, and history. Twin Citians also still primarily work in the two core cities. The metropolitan area is one of several distinct regions of Minnesota.

Minneapolis and Saint Paul have competed since they were founded, resulting in duplication of efforts such as building bigger or more extravagantly. Both cities have campuses of the University of Minnesota, and after Saint Paul completed its elaborate Cathedral in 1915, Minneapolis quickly followed up with the equally ornate Basilica of St. Mary in 1926. In the late 19th and early 20th-centuries the rivalries became so intense that an architect practicing in one city was often refused business in the other. The 1890 United States Census even led to the two cities arresting and/or kidnapping each other's census takers, in an attempt to keep either city from outgrowing the other.

The rivalry could occasionally erupt into inter-city violence, as happened at a 1923 game between the Minneapolis Millers and the St. Paul Saints, both baseball teams of the American Association. In the 1950s, both cities competed for a major league baseball franchise (which resulted in two rival stadiums being built), and there was a brief period in the mid-1960s where the two cities could not agree on a common calendar for daylight saving time, resulting in a period of a few weeks where people in Minneapolis were one hour "ahead" of anyone living or traveling in Saint Paul.

The cities' mutual antagonism was largely healed by the end of the 1960s, aided by the simultaneous arrival in 1961 of the Minnesota Twins of the American League and the Minnesota Vikings of the National Football League, both of which identified themselves with the state as a whole (the former explicitly named for both Twin Cities) and not with either of the major cities (unlike the earlier Minneapolis Lakers). Since 1961, it has been common practice for any major sports team based in the Twin Cities to be named for Minnesota as a whole, with the Twins and Vikings followed by the Minnesota North Stars (1967–93), Minnesota Muskies (1967–68), Minnesota Moose (1994–1996), Minnesota Pipers (1968–69), Minnesota Fighting Saints (1972–77), Minnesota Kicks (1976–81), Minnesota Strikers (1984–88), Minnesota Timberwolves (1989–present), Minnesota Thunder (1990–present), Minnesota Lynx (1999–present), Minnesota Wild (2000–present) and Minnesota Swarm (2005–present). In terms of development, the two cities remain distinct in their progress, with Minneapolis absorbing new and avant-garde architecture while Saint Paul continues to carefully integrate new buildings into the context of classical and Victorian styles.

The Twin Cities area is considered the capital for the arts in the Upper Midwest(provided the definition for Upper Midwest does not include Chicago), the lead region among others such as the Twin Ports (Duluth, Minnesota-Superior, Wisconsin), Madison, Wisconsin and Milwaukee, Wisconsin (though it is fair to say that Madison and Milwaukee are more easily grouped and identified with the Chicago-dominated region). There is a very high per-capita attendance of theatrical, musical, and comedy events across the area, which some believe may be boosted by the cold winters but can be more realistically attributed to the large number of colleges, universities, and a generally strong economy, providing strong supply and demand for arts. In 2000, 2.3 million theater tickets were sold in the region. There are more theatre seats per capita than in any other American city, besides New York City.

Minnesotan musicians from all genres have gained notoriety over the years, with the singing Andrews Sisters gaining worldwide prominence during World War II, followed most notably by Hibbing, MN native Bob Dylan (who launched his career playing free shows on the West Bank of the University of Minnesota Minneapolis campus), to the rise of punk rockers the Suburbs, Hüsker Dü, Soul Asylum, the Replacements, and the rhythm and blues stylings of Morris Day and the Time and Prince in the 1980s. R&B mega-producing team Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis have origins in the Twin Cities, and musicians Lester Young and Jonny Lang grew up in the Twin Cities.

These later sources brought the Minneapolis music scene to national attention; the period from about 1977 to 1987 was a period of incredible dynamism in the Minneapolis music scene, with offshoots in the punk scene including Soul Asylum, Babes in Toyland, the Clams and many other seminal favorites, while Prince's immense power in the industry (which peaked during this period) created a Rhythm and Blues mini-empire at his Paisley Park Studios, based in suburban Chanhassen.

While contemporary local artists continue to enjoy critical acclaim — examples include hip-hop duo Atmosphere and frontman Slug's label Rhymesayers Entertainment; Saint Paul's independent record label Kamorra Entertainment; South Minneapolis born hip hop artist Young Son and his hip hop/rap and soul based indie label Influential Melodiez; alternative metal band American Head Charge; and commercially successful pop-rockers Semisonic — things have slowed considerably, but the Twin Cities are still the region's musical hotbed. The area has also shown an unusual affinity for certain artists. For instance, while largely unnoticed on their home turf in New York City, the Twin Cities accounted for the majority of national sales for Soul Coughing's second album Irresistible Bliss during its first eight weeks of release; this followed from the fledgling fan that Soul Coughing found here while touring for their first effort, Ruby Vroom. The legendary First Avenue also is noted as the first venue to let the now worldwide famous Nickelback perform when they were turned down elsewhere.

There are a number of record labels located in the Twin Cities, including the hip-hop label Rhymesayers Entertainment (whose staff also operate a record store beneath their Uptown office) and 50 Entertainment (the best-staffed label in the Twin Cities, with 8 staff and 12 interns managing their two signed bands).

Minnesota and Wisconsin have also contributed significantly to comedy in its many different forms. Garrison Keillor is known around the country for resurrecting the old-style radio comedy with A Prairie Home Companion. Local television had the satirical show The Bedtime Nooz in the 1960s, while area natives Lizz Winstead and Craig Kilborn helped create the increasingly influential Daily Show decades later. The standup scene of Minneapolis-St. Paul during the 1980s and 1990s was a major force in national comedy. Joel and Ethan Coen have produced many films featuring dark comedy, and numerous others brought the offbeat cult shows Mystery Science Theater 3000 and Let's Bowl to the national cable-waves from the Twin Cities.

There are a number of lakes in the region, and cities in the area have some very extensive park systems for recreation. Organized recreation includes the Great River Energy bicycle festival, the Twin Cities Marathon, and the U.S. pond hockey championships. Some studies have shown that area residents take advantage of this, and are among the most physically fit in the country, though others have disputed that. Nonetheless, medicine is a major industry in the region and the southeasterly city of Rochester, as the University of Minnesota has joined other colleges and hospitals in doing significant research, and major medical device manufacturers started in the region (the most prominent is Medtronic). Technical innovators have brought important advances in computing, including the Cray line of supercomputers.

It is common for residents of the Twin Cities area to own or share cabins and other properties along lakes and forested areas in the central and northern regions of the state, and weekend trips "up North" happen through the warmer months. Ice fishing is also a major pastime in the winter, although each year some overambitious fishermen find themselves in dangerous situations when they venture out onto the ice too early or too late. Hunting, snowmobiling, ATV riding and numerous other outdoor activities are also popular. This connectedness with the outdoors also brings a strong sense of environmentalism to many Minnesotans.

Minneapolis-Saint Paul is also a major center for religion in the state, especially Christianity. The state headquarters of the missionary efforts of four churches are found here: The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis, the Episcopal Diocese of Minnesota the Presbyterian Synod of Lakes and Prairies and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormon) Minnesota Mission find themselves in, respectively, Saint Paul and Minneapolis; Minneapolis; and Bloomington (for both the Presbyterian and LDS(Mormon) Churches).

The headquarters of the former American Lutheran Church (TALC), Evangelical Lutheran Church, Lutheran Free Church and the Augustana Evangelical Lutheran Church were located in Minneapolis; the headquarters of Augsburg Fortress publishing house still is. The Minneapolis Area Synod and the Saint Paul Area Synod are the first and third largest synods of the ELCA, respectively.

The Evangelical Free Church of America has its headquarters in Bloomington.

The Twin Cities have always had a Jewish population and are home to several Jewish synagogues. The Twin Cities' Jewish population is concentrated in the western suburbs of Minneapolis with large numbers of Jewish people residing in Golden Valley, St. Louis Park and Minnetonka. There is also a strong Indian community and in 2006, the first Hindu temple opened in the Twin Cities suburb of Maple Grove. A recent influx of immigrants from Laos and Northern Africa has brought many more religions to the area. There are several Islamic Masjids in the area .There is a temple for the religion of Eckankar in the suburb of Chanhassen known as the Temple of Eck. In addition, Hmong and Tibetan Buddhist communities exist in Saint Paul; a Hmong Buddhist temple opened in suburban Roseville in 1995. The area's first Mormon temple opened in Oakdale, a suburb east of Saint Paul, in 2000. There are several very strong Unitarian Universalist communities such as the First Unitarian Society of Minneapolis, as well as several Pagan and Buddhist groups.

Some other sports teams gained their names from being in Minnesota. The Los Angeles Lakers get their name from once being based in Minneapolis, the "City of Lakes" (Minne-"lake" or "water" in Dakota, -polis-"city" in Greek). Minnesota is also known as the "Land of 10,000 Lakes". The Dallas Stars got their name from being a Minnesota team, the Minnesota North Stars, as Minnesota is also known as "The North Star State". To avoid favoring either of the Twin Cities, most teams based in the area use only the word Minnesota in their name, rather than Minneapolis or St. Paul.

The annual Twin Cities Marathon is held in the fall with a course running through Minneapolis and St. Paul. Minneapolis was the birthplace of Rollerblade and is a center for inline skating as well as home to the most golfers per capita of any city in the U.S. Additionally, water skiing got its start on Lake Pepin, a short distance southeast of the metropolitan area.

The Republican National Committee held their national nominating convention at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul. Prior, both cities had combined to submit bids to host both the 2008 Democratic National Convention and the 2008 Republican National Convention. They competed against Denver and New York to host the Democratic Convention, and against New York, Cleveland and Tampa to host the Republican Convention.

The first European settlement in the region was near what is now known as the town of Stillwater, Minnesota. The city is approximately 20 miles (30 km) from downtown Saint Paul and lies on the western bank of the St. Croix River, which forms the border of central Minnesota and Wisconsin. Another settlement that began fueling early interest in the area was the outpost at Fort Snelling, which was constructed from 1820 to 1825 at the confluence of the Minnesota River and the Mississippi River.

Fort Snelling held jurisdiction over the land south of Saint Anthony Falls, thus a town known as Saint Anthony grew just north of the river. For several years, the only European resident to live on the south bank of the river was Colonel John H. Stevens, who operated a ferry service across the river. As soon as the land area controlled by Fort Snelling was reduced, new settlers began flocking across to the new village of Minneapolis. The town grew quickly, and Minneapolis and Saint Anthony eventually merged. On the eastern side of the Mississippi, a few villages such as Pig's Eye and Lambert's Landing developed and would soon grow to become Saint Paul.

Natural geography played a role in the settlement and development of the two cities. The Mississippi River valley in this area is defined by a series of stone bluffs that line both sides of the river. Saint Paul grew up around Lambert's Landing, the last place to unload boats coming upriver at an easily accessible point, some seven miles (11 km) downstream from Saint Anthony Falls, the geographic feature that, due to the value of its immense water power for industry, defined the location of Minneapolis and its prominence as the Mill City. The falls can be seen today from the Mill City Museum, housed in the former Washburn "A" Mill, which was among the world's largest mills in its time.

The Grand Excursion, a trip into the Upper Midwest sponsored by the Rock Island Railroad, brought more than a thousand curious travelers into the area by rail and steamboat in 1854. The next year, in 1855, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow published The Song of Hiawatha, an epic poem based on the Ojibwe legends of Hiawatha. A number of natural area landmarks were included in the story, such as Lake Minnetonka and Minnehaha Falls. Tourists inspired by the coverage of the Grand Excursion in eastern newspapers and those who read Longfellow's story flocked to the area in the following decades.

At one time, the region also had numerous passenger rail services, including both interurban streetcar systems and interstate rail. Due to the width of the river at points further south, the Minneapolis-Saint Paul area was briefly one of the few places where the Mississippi could be crossed by railroad. A great amount of commercial rail traffic also ran through the area, often carrying grain to be processed at mills in Minneapolis or delivering other goods to Saint Paul to be transported along the Mississippi. Saint Paul had long been at the head of navigation on the river, prior to a new lock and dam facility being added upriver in Minneapolis.

Passenger travel hit its peak in 1888 with nearly eight million traversing to and from the Saint Paul Union Depot. This amounted to approximately 150 trains daily. Before long, other rail crossings were built farther south and travel through the region began to decline. In an effort by the rail companies to combat the rise of the automobile, some of the earliest streamliners ran from Chicago to Minneapolis/Saint Paul and eventually served distant points in the Pacific Northwest. Today, the only vestige of this interstate service comes by Amtrak's Empire Builder service, running once daily in each direction. That train is named after James J. Hill, a railroad tycoon who settled on Summit Avenue in Saint Paul at what is now known as the James J. Hill House.

Like many Northern cities that grew up with the Industrial Revolution, Minneapolis and St. Paul experienced shifts in their economic base as heavy industry declined, especially in the 1960s and 1970s. Along with the economic decline of the 60s and 70s came population decline in the central city areas, white flight to suburbs, and, in the summer of 1967, race riots on Minneapolis's North Side. By the 1980s and 1990s, however, Minneapolis and St. Paul were frequently cited as former Rust Belt cities that had made successful transitions to service, high-technology, finance, and information economies.

Along with much of Minnesota, the Twin Cities area was shaped by water and ice over the course of millions of years. The land of the area sits on top of thick layers of sandstone and limestone laid down as seas encroached upon and receded from the region. Erosion caused natural caves to develop, which were expanded into mines when white settlers came to the area. In the time of Prohibition, at least one speakeasy was built into these hidden spaces—eventually refurbished as the Wabasha Street Caves in Saint Paul.

While a few of the caverns have been cleaned up and are safe places, most are not. Over the decades, many people have been injured and killed while exploring them. A number of these incidents involved asphyxiation, sometimes caused by smoldering fires which used up much of the oxygen in the caves and left deadly levels of noxious gases behind.

Because it is comparatively easy to dig through limestone and there are many natural and man-made open spaces, it has often been proposed that the area should examine the idea of building subways for public transportation. In theory, it could be less expensive in the Twin Cities than in many other places, but the cost would still be much greater than surface projects.

Lakes across the area were formed and altered by the movement of glaciers. This left many bodies of water in the region, and unusual shapes may appear. For example, Lake Minnetonka out toward the western side of the Twin Cities consists of a complex arrangement of channels and large bays. Elevations in the metropolitan area range from 1,376 feet (419 m) above sea level in the northwest metro to 666 feet (203 m) at the edge of the Mississippi River in the southeast.

Owing to its northerly latitude and inland location, the Twin Cities experience the coldest climate of any major metropolitan area in the United States. However due to its southern location in the state and aided further by the urban heat island, the Twin Cities is one of the warmest locations in Minnesota. The average annual temperature at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport is 45.4 °F (7.4 °C); 3.5 °F colder than Winona, Minnesota, and 8.8 °F warmer than Roseau, Minnesota. Monthly average daily high temperatures range from 21.9 °F (-5.6 °C) in January to 83.3 °F (28.5 °C) in July; the average daily minimum temperatures for the two months are 4.3 °F (-15.4 °C) and 63.0 °F (17 °C) respectively.

Minimum temperatures of 0 °F (-18 °C) or lower are seen on an average of 29.7 days per year, and 76.2 days do not have a maximum temperature exceeding the freezing point. Temperatures above 90 °F (32 °C) occur an average of 15 times per year. High temperatures above 100 °F have been rare in recent years; the last occurring in July, 2006, during an unusually hot period in which the high temperature exceeded 90 °F on 17 of July's 31 days. The lowest temperature ever reported at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport was -34 °F (-36.6 °C) on January 22, 1936; the highest, 108 °F (42 °C), was reported on July 14 of the same year.

Precipitation averages 29.41 in (74.7 cm) per year, and is most plentiful in June (4.34 in, 11 cm) and February (0.79 in, 2 cm) the least so. The greatest one-day rainfall amount was 9.15 in (23.2 cm), reported on July 23, 1987. The city's record for lowest annual precipitation was set in 1910, when 11.54 in (29.3 cm) fell throughout the year; coincidentally, the opposite record was set the following year, which observed a total 40.15 in (102 cm). At an average of 56.3 in (143 cm) per year, snowfall is generally abundant (though some recent years have proved an exception).

The Twin Cities area takes the brunt of many types of extreme weather, including high-speed straight-line winds, tornadoes, flash floods, drought, heat, bitter cold, and blizzards. The costliest weather disaster in Twin Cities history was a derecho event on May 15, 1998. Hail and Wind damage exceeded $950 million, much of it in the Twin Cities. Other memorable Twin Cities weather related events include the tornado outbreak on May 6, 1965, the Armistice Day Blizzard on November 11, 1940, and the Halloween Blizzard of 1991.

A normal growing season in the metro extends from late April or early May through the month of October. The USDA places the area in the 4a plant hardiness zone.

The four tallest buildings in the area are located in downtown Minneapolis. The first skyscraper built west of the Mississippi in 1929 was the Foshay Tower. Today there is some contention over exactly which building is the tallest—most Minnesotans would immediately think of the IDS Center if queried on the point, although most sources seem to agree that 225 South Sixth is slightly taller. But in early 2005, it was found that the IDS Center is taller by a 16-foot (5 m) washroom garage on top, which brings its total height to 792 feet (241 m). 225 South Sixth and the Wells Fargo Center only differ in height by a foot or two, a rather negligible amount when considering all of the factors that can throw off the measurement of large structures. The IDS has communications towers that definitely are the highest points in Minneapolis, though some suburban broadcast towers in the region reach a much greater height.

Buildings have gone up and been torn down rapidly across the region. Some city blocks have been demolished six or seven times since the mid-19th century, and will undoubtedly reach an eighth or ninth cycle in short order. No single architectural style dominates the region. Instead, the cities have a mish-mash of different designs, although structures from a few eras stand out. There were once a great many stone buildings constructed in the Richardsonian Romanesque style (or at least Romanesque-inspired variants). Minneapolis City Hall is one big example of this, though buildings of all types—including personal residences such as the James J. Hill House—were similarly designed. A few decades later, Art Deco brought several structures that survive today, including St. Paul City Hall, the Foshay Tower, and the Minneapolis Post Office. The style of buildings in the two cities varies greatly. In Minneapolis, the trend has been buildings with sleek lines and modern glass facades while St. Paul tends to follow a more traditional style of buildings so as to better accompany its older structures.

St. Paul and Minneapolis in particular went through some massive urban renewal projects in the post-World War II era, so a vast number of buildings are now lost to history. Some of the larger and harder to demolish structures have survived. In fact, the area might be signified more by bridges than buildings. A series of reinforced concrete arch spans crossing the Mississippi River were built in the 1920s and 1930s. They still carry daily traffic, but remain pleasing to the eye despite their age (a number have undergone major repair work, but retain the original design). Several of the bridges are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. They include the 10th Avenue Bridge, Intercity Bridge (Ford Parkway), Robert Street Bridge, and the longest, the 4119 ft (1255 m) Mendota Bridge next to Fort Snelling. The area is also noted for having the first known permanent crossing of the Mississippi. That structure is long gone, but a series of Hennepin Avenue Bridges have been built since then at the site. Both downtowns have extensive networks of enclosed pedestrian bridges known as skyways. Individually, the cities appear to have the largest such networks outside of Canada. However, the combination of the two cities' networks is believed to make the largest system in the world. Skyways have their drawbacks however. Most prominently, they reduce the amount of foot traffic at street level, so the cities appear to have little activity. An additional problem is that the skyways tend to be closed fairly early—especially in Minneapolis—but they are hives of activity on weekdays.

Several prominent buildings in Minneapolis have helped modernize the city. These include the Walker Art Center, Central Public Library, and the Guthrie Theater. Opened in April 2005, the new Walker Art Center, nearly double in size, includes increased indoor and outdoor facilities. The Walker is recognized internationally as a singular model of a multidisciplinary arts organization and as a national leader for its innovative approaches to audience engagement. The Guthrie received a large amount of media coverage for its opening in June, 2006. The design is the work of architect Jean Nouvel and is a 285,000 square foot (26,500 m²) facility that houses three theaters: (1) the theater's signature thrust stage, seating 1,100, (2) a 700-seat proscenium stage, and (3) a black-box studio with flexible seating. In 2002 the National Trust for Historic Preservation put the old Guthrie building on its list of the most endangered historic properties in the United States in response to plans announced by the Walker Art Center to expand on the land occupied by the theater. However, officials at the Walker Art Center say that the original Guthrie building will be torn down late in the summer of 2006. These building projects have rejuvenated the downtown area.

In the 20th century, the Twin Cities area expanded outward significantly. Automobiles made it possible for suburbs to grow greatly. The area now has a number of freeways to transport people by car. The area incorporates a large number of traffic cameras and ramp meters to monitor and manage traffic congestion. There is some use of high-occupancy vehicle (carpool) lanes, though it is not as pervasive as in other regions. When the roads do become congested, buses are allowed to drive on road shoulders to bypass traffic jams.

Interstate 94 comes into the area from the east and heads northwest from Minneapolis. Two spur routes form the I-494/I-694 loop, and I-394 continues west when I-94 turns north. Additionally, Interstate 35 splits in Burnsville in the southern part of the Twin Cities region, bringing I-35E into St. Paul and I-35W into Minneapolis. (This is one of only two examples of an Interstate highway splitting off into branches and then rejoining into one again; the other split occurs in Dallas-Fort Worth, where I-35 splits into I-35E for motorists who want to go into Dallas, and I-35W for traffic heading into Fort Worth.) They join together again to the north in Forest Lake and continue to the highway's terminus in Duluth.

On Wednesday, August 1, 2007, a large portion of the I-35W Mississippi River bridge near University Avenue in the city of Minneapolis collapsed into the Mississippi River around 6:05pm CDT. A replacement bridge opened on Thursday, September 18, 2008.

The main airport in the region is Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport (MSP), which is a major hub for Northwest Airlines. A number of other smaller airports are also in the area, a number of which are owned and operated by the Metropolitan Airports Commission (the same organization operates the main MSP airport). Some people even commute by air to the Twin Cities from the northern part of the state.

Metro Transit, by far the biggest bus service provider in the area, owes its existence to the old streetcar lines that ran in the area. Metro Transit provides about 95% of the public transit rides in the region, although some suburbs have other bus services. The University of Minnesota-Twin Cities operates a free bus system on its campus. This system includes the Campus Connector Bus Rapid Transit line which travels between the Minneapolis and St. Paul Campuses by a dedicated bus line, and throughout the two campuses on normal access roads. The Hiawatha Line light rail corridor began regular operations in June 2004, and is run by Metro Transit. In many ways a return to what existed in the past, it is being used as a stepping-stone to other projects.

A variety of rail services are currently being pondered by state and local governments, including neighborhood streetcar systems, intercity light rail service, and commuter rail options out to exurban communities. In addition, Minnesota is one of several states in the Midwest examining the idea of setting up high-speed rail service using Chicago as a regional hub.

The Minneapolis-St. Paul area has been criticized for inadequate public transportation. Compared to many other cities its size, the public transportation system in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area is less robust. As the metropolitan area has grown, the roads and highways have been updated and widened, but traffic volume is growing faster than the projects needed to widen them, and public transportation has not expanded commensurate with the population. The Minneapolis-St. Paul metropolitan area is ranked as the fifth worst for congestion growth of similarly-sized U.S. metropolitan areas. Although a light rail system, the Hiawatha Line, was added in 2004, additional lines and spurs are needed to upgrade public transportation in the Twin Cities. Plans have been proposed for light rail line connecting downtown Minneapolis to the suburb Eden Prairie while another light rail line connecting Minneapolis and St. Paul along University Avenue has been approved. A commuter line connecting Minneapolis with St. Cloud along the Northstar Corridor is currently under construction (2008).

The Twin Cities have two major daily newspapers: the Star Tribune and the Saint Paul Pioneer Press. Additionally, the Minnesota Daily serves the University of Minnesota's Twin Cities campus and surrounding neighborhoods. There is one general-interest neighborhood weekly newspaper still in the cities: The East Side Review, devoted to the 90,000 residents in the eastern third of St. Paul. Other weekly papers are devoted to specific audiences/demographics including City Pages.

The region is currently ranked as the 13th or 14th largest television market, depending on the source. Twin Cities Public Television operates both KTCA and KTCI. Hubbard Broadcasting Corporation built by Stanley E. Hubbard owns KSTP and has a second TV station, KSTC, which is not affiliated with any network. Diversified from radio, KSTP-TV became the first television channel to air in the region with a show reaching 3,000 television sets in 1948, and the 17th station to broadcast in the U.S.

KMSP and WFTC have now merged as well, and KARE currently has a marketing agreement with KPXM. The only station with its main studios in Minneapolis is WCCO, while St. Paul is host to KSTP/KSTC, KTCA/KTCI, and WUCW. KARE has a sprawling broadcasting complex in west suburban Golden Valley.Other stations are located in the suburbs. For much of the last two decades, WCCO has had the most popular evening newscasts of the area channels. On the other end, KSTP has struggled to maintain ratings on its news programs. KMSP has had a 9 o'clock newscast since at least the early 1990s when it was an independent channel.

Communities in the region have their own public/educational/government-access cable television channels. One channel, the Metro Cable Network, is available on channel 6 on cable systems across the seven-county region.

Several television programs originating in the Twin Cities have been aired nationally on terrestrial and cable TV networks. KTCA created the science program Newton's Apple and distributes a children's program today. A few unusual comedic shows also originated in the area. In the 1980s, KTMA (predecessor to KMWB) created a number of low-budget shows, including cult classic Mystery Science Theater 3000. The shortlived Let's Bowl started on KARE, and PBS series Mental Engineering originated on the St. Paul cable access network.

The radio market in the Twin Cities is considered to be somewhat smaller than for TV, ranked 16th. For decades, WCCO radio was the most well-known and most popular broadcaster in the region, with an all-day talk format. WCCO was eventually pushed out of the top spot by KQRS-FM, a classic rock station with a popular morning show.

KSTP also has some fairly popular radio stations, with pop music format on FM and a talk format on AM. KSTP-AM and FM are owned by Hubbard Broadcasting. In 1985, Hubbard - valued at $400 million - was one of the larger corporate media companies in the United States; in 2005, valued at US $1.2 billion, Hubbard is a fairly small major-market media operation.

Minneapolis has a peculiar mix of commercial and non-commercial radio. The city's market is dominated by Clear Channel Communications which operates seven stations but two small independent stations are award winners—KUOM operated by the University of Minnesota and KFAI public access radio in Cedar Riverside.

Minnesota Public Radio (MPR) is also a major force in the state and across the country, best known across the U.S. for the variety show A Prairie Home Companion. Doing business under the name American Public Media, the company is the second largest producer of national public radio content, behind National Public Radio (of which MPR is an affiliate).

The Twin Cities is also home to several independent media organizations, including Twin Cities Indymedia and the Daily Planet.

The United States Navy currently has one ship named for the region, the USS Minneapolis-Saint Paul, a Los Angeles-class submarine launched in 1983. Previously, two sets of two ships each had carried the names USS Minneapolis and USS Saint Paul.

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Minneapolis Public Schools

Minneapolis map.png

Minneapolis Public Schools (MPS) or Special School District Number 1 is a school district that covers all of the city of Minneapolis, Minnesota. Minneapolis Public Schools enroll 36,370 students in public primary and secondary schools. The district administers about one hundred public schools including forty-five elementary schools, seven middle schools, seven high schools, eight special education schools, eight alternative schools, nineteen contract alternative schools and five charter schools. With authority granted by the state legislature, the school board makes policy, selects the superintendent, and oversees the district's budget, curriculum, personnel, and facilities. Students speak ninety different languages at home and most school communications are printed in English, Hmong, Spanish, and Somali.

In the past decade enrollment in Minneapolis Public Schools has decreased significantly. In the 2001-2001 school year the district's enrollment was 46,256 students. In the 2002-2003 school year Minneapolis Public School's 46,037 students were enough to be the 98th largest school district in the United States in terms of enrollment. In the following school year (2003-2004) alone, the district's enrollment had decreased 5% to just over 43,000 students. At that time the district was predicted to lose 10,000 more students over the next five years if the then current trend continued. Some of the decline has been from the result of a smaller school-age population.

In the 2007-2008 school year, 10,000 eligible school children in Minneapolis choose to attend other schools such as, in suburban school districts, at private schools or at charter schools. The number of students enrolled in Minneapolis Public Schools is expected to drop under 30,000 students from 2007-2011. As a result of "a severe learning gap, continued enrollment decreases and financial shortfalls" the district has at times proposed closing a number of schools, the majority in North Minneapolis. The district has space for 50,000 students.

A large portion of students that would normally attend schools in Minneapolis instead attend schools in the western suburbs. In 2000 Minneapolis branch of the NAACP sued alleging that students were being denied an adequate education. As a result a program called the "The Choice is Yours" was created that gave low-income students support in attending suburban schools. Around 2,000 students, the majority being from north Minneapois, do so, attending other school districts in the West Metro Education Program. Several studies have revealed that students who remain in Minneapolis Public Schools have better test scores than those that are bused to schools in the suburbs.

On April 1, 2008 a study by the America's Promise Alliance rated the Minneapolis Public Schools near the bottom among large cities in number of students who graduate.

The study, called "Cities in Crisis," rated MPS graduation rates 45th among the nation's 50 largest cities and calculated Minneapolis' four-year graduation rate at 43.7 percent for the 2003-04 school year, more than 8 points below the 50-city average of 51.8. MPS's graduation rate lagged significantly behind its surrounding suburban communities, where average graduation rates hover above 80 percent.

The Minneapolis school system calculated its own graduation rate for that same time period as being at 52.8 percent.

The Minneapolis Board of Education describes itself as a "a policy-making body responsible for selecting the superintendent and overseeing the district's budget, curriculum, personnel and facilities." See Board of education for further details on the functions of a school board. The Minneapolis Board of Education has been granted the power to carry out such duties by the State of Minnesota and the Minnesota Legislature.

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List of tallest buildings in Minneapolis

IDS Tower, the tallest building in Minneapolis and Minnesota

This list of tallest buildings in Minneapolis ranks skyscrapers and high-rises in the U.S. city of Minneapolis, Minnesota by height. The tallest building in the city is the 55-story IDS Tower, which rises 792 feet (241 m) and was designed by architect Philip Johnson and completed in 1973. It also stands as the tallest building in the state of Minnesota and the 44th-tallest building in the United States. The second-tallest skyscraper in the city and the state is 225 South Sixth, which rises 775 feet (236 m). Eighteen of the twenty tallest buildings in Minnesota are located in Minneapolis. Most of the tallest buildings in Downtown Minneapolis are linked via the Minneapolis Skyway System, the largest pedestrian skywalk system in the world.

The history of skyscrapers in the city began with the construction of the Lumber Exchange Building, now also known as the Edison Building, in 1886; this structure, rising 165 feet (50 m) and 12 floors, is often regarded as the first skyscraper in Minnesota and one of the first fire-proof buildings in the country. The Lumber Exchange Building also stands as the oldest structure outside of New York City with at least 12 floors. Minneapolis went through a small building boom in the early 1920s, and then experienced a much larger boom lasting from 1960 to the early 1990s. During this time 24 of the city's 33 tallest buildings were constructed, including the IDS Tower, 225 South Sixth and Wells Fargo Center. The city is the site of eight completed skyscrapers over 500 feet (152 m) in height, including three which rank among the tallest in the United States. Overall, the skyline of Minneapolis is ranked (based upon existing and under construction buildings over 500 feet (152 m) tall) second in the Midwestern United States (after Chicago) and 15th in the United States.

Minneapolis entered into another high-rise construction boom in 2000, and has since seen the completion of five buildings rising over 300 feet (91 m) tall. A sixth high-rise, IVY Hotel + Residences, is under construction and is scheduled to be completed by late 2008. There are also five skyscrapers proposed and approved for construction in the city, the tallest being The Nicollet. This building, originally approved as a 40-story residential tower, has since been redesigned as a 50-floor mixed-use building that would consist of primarily office space. As of April 2008, there are 19 high-rise buildings under construction, approved for construction, and proposed for construction in Minneapolis.

This list ranks Minneapolis skyscrapers that stand at least 300 feet (91 m) tall, based on standard height measurement. This includes spires and architectural details but does not include antenna masts. Existing structures are included for ranking purposes based on present height.

This list ranks Minneapolis skyscrapers based on their pinnacle height, which includes radio and antenna masts. As architectural features and spires can be regarded as subjective, some skyscraper enthusiasts prefer this method of measurement. Standard architectural height measurement, which excludes antennas in building height, is included for comparative purposes.

This lists skyscrapers that are under construction, approved or proposed in Minneapolis and planned to rise at least 300 feet (91 m) in height, but are not yet completed structures.

This lists buildings that once held the title of tallest building in Minneapolis.

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Source : Wikipedia