DFL finally comes together on minimum wage hike

-- Updates at bottom --

Last year, bills raising the minimum wage from $6.15 passed the House and Senate. But the House wanted to raise the floor significantly higher than the Senate ($9.50 to $7.75, respectively), and DFL leaders never came to an agreement.

DFL leaders announced today, however, that not only have they come together behind the $9.50 figure, but they also support indexing the minimum wage to inflation beginning in 2018.

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Rep. Frank Hornstein talks about living on minimum wage for a week

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Rep. Frank Hornstein talks about living on minimum wage for a week

Rep. Hornstein
Rep. Frank Hornstein, D-Minneapolis, is one of five House DFLers taking part in the "minimum wage challenge." So for a week, he'll be working with the federal minimum of $7.25 an hour (or $290 a week before taxes) to eat and get himself around.

RELATED: Rep. Winkler "guardedly confident" minimum wage increase gets done this session

"For me, it's an opportunity to further strengthen my deep commitment to this legislation by putting myself, to some extent, in the position of people who have to deal with it everyday," Hornstein told us.

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The 17 Minnesota cities and streets everyone mispronounces

Categories: How We Live, Lists
Minnesota Historical Society
From where, Minnesota? U.S. Air Force officer's flight bag, circa 1947.
The city of Cairo, Illinois, is pronounced "KAY-ro." Missouri has a Nevada called "Ne-VAY-dah." Here in Minnesota, there's New Prague, as in, "Pray-ge." And those are just the homographs.

Every state has them: Places with names that locals and non-locals alike trip up. They can give away a newcomer, be a point of pride for a townie, and shift from generation to generation. In Minnesota, they offer a historical map: the French-Canadian traders who established a trading post in Faribault, the Czechs who settled around New Prague, the Mdewakanton Dakota who lived near Shakopee.

See Also:
- Top 5 most unpronounceable menu items

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Photo of Bitcoin beggar outside Dinkytown McDonald's goes viral

kingbot on Reddit
A photo of a man begging for Bitcoins outside the Dinkytown McDonald's is blowing up Reddit, with more than 500,000 views since it was posted yesterday.

SEE ALSO: This super cute photo of a Wild player waving to a little kid is ridiculously viral

The photo, visible above, nicely juxtaposes the tech-savvy beggar's "Every Bit Helps" sign with McDonald's plea for workers.

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Interest in flights from MSP to Denver has never been higher since Colorado legalized pot

Image by Tatiana Craine
Searches for flights from MSP to Denver are up more than searches from just about any other airport recently, and don't kid yourself into believing it's because of skiing or the Broncos.

SEE ALSO: Randi Kaye gets stoned on CNN [VIDEO]

Instead, the reason is legal weed, or at least that's the conclusion emerging from a study put together by the travel research website Hopper.

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Amid Polar Vortex, officials make sure nobody has to sleep outside in Minneapolis

Most of us like to complain about the Polar Vortex from the comfort of our climate-controlled homes, cars, or offices. For the homeless, however, the possibility of trying to survive outside on a night when temperatures are set to fall as low as -19 is deadly serious.

SEE ALSO: CNN criticized for torturing reporter by making her stand amid Mpls' polar vortex [VIDEO]

But Joseph Desenclos, program manager of St. Stephen's street outreach team, says area shelters make sure everybody has a warm place to stay on nights like tonight.

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Minnesota is second-best state to live in, according to Politico

Categories: How We Live, Lists
minnesota sign.jpg
Monroe Family Blog
Minnesota is second only to New Hampshire in terms of the best states to live in, according to a list put together by Politico's Margaret Slattery.

SEE ALSO: David Letterman shares his "top 10 least successful Minnesota businesses"

Slattery's list "rounded up 14 different state rankings from reputable sources like the Census Bureau, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the FBI, and on important factors such as high school graduation rates, per capita income, life expectancy and crime rate."

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Minneapolis street homelessness down as Duluth approves Homeless Bill of Rights

Categories: How We Live
The city of Duluth made headlines earlier this week for becoming the first city in Minnesota to approve a Homeless Bill of Rights.

SEE ALSO: Tim Pawlenty jokes about punching homeless woman

But according to Mikkel Beckmen, director of the office to end homelessness for Hennepin County, Minneapolis has quietly made progress in recent years in reducing the number of people who have no choice but to live on the streets.

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High school girls here use tanning beds at a dangerous rate

Upstate Options Magazine
Another reason to stay away: This is the creepy-looking inside of a tanning bed.
This time of year, you're as likely to see a natural tan on a home-bound Minnesotan as you are a bronze on a polar bear. Eleventh-grade girls, however, are still trying to fight nature.

More than one-third of Minnesota girls in 11th grade reported tanning indoors in the last year, according to data released today by the Minnesota Department of Health. More than half of those girls hit the tanning bed 10 or more times.

"It strikes me as high," says Michelle Strangis, cancer policy coordinator with the MDH, of the new numbers. "Indoor tanning is a very risky behavior. Very risky. To have that percentage of 11th graders using indoor tanning facilities is very concerning."

See Also:
- Indoor Tanning Association blames Mayo cancer findings on your pale skin

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Minnesota is third-healthiest state, says America's Health Rankings

Cyclists along Minneapolis's Midtown Greenway.
Out of all 50 states, Minnesota was the third-healthiest in 2013. This past year, Minnesotans had the fewest days of poor physical health, fewest heart-related deaths, and lowest number of years lost to early death.

So says the latest edition of America's Health Rankings, a comprehensive index that reviews big chunks of data to determine health outcomes in each state every year.

See Also:
- Twin Cities rated the most healthy and fit metro for the third year in a row [GRAPHIC]

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