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Fodor's highlights reasons to visit Minneapolis

Travel website and guidebook company Fodor's recently showcased the Twin Cities in its feature, "5 Reasons to Go to Minneapolis Now."
 
The author, Deb Hopewell, noted that the city is an ideal vacation spot thanks to its many parks, bicycling options, restaurant scene, proximity to St. Paul, and arts options.
 
She added that this is probably the best time of year to visit, when the summer heat starts to soften and fall is not far off (she wisely avoids mentioning winter at all).
 
Restaurants highlighted include The Bachelor Farmer, Piccolo, and Aster, and Hopewell points to the revitalized North Loop as a central hub for the robust local food scene. 

Twin Cities suburb named a top place to live

In its annual Best Places to Live feature, Money Magazine focused on 50 small U.S. towns that are thriving economically and benefit from strong communities, ample green space, and good schools.
 
Coming in at fourth on the list is Chanhassen, with a population of just over 23,000 and located about 20 miles southwest of Minneapolis.
 
"Chanhassen was affected by Minnesota's woes during the downturn, but the town is bouncing back and taking fresh steps to improve," the article noted, pointing out that the area school district recently rolled out Wi-Fi on school buses and increased classroom tech projects. The town also beefed up commuter options, the article added.
 
One perk of living so close to the Twin Cities, Money stated, is that residents of Chanhassen have access to 34 parks, 90 miles of trails, and proximity to the popular Minnesota Landscape Arboretum. Even in the winter, residents know how to make the most of the area, Money added: "When below-zero wind chills set in, there's February Festival with ice-fishing contests, sledding, and cookouts."

Local Community Supported Art program gets a nod in the New York Times

Community-supported art, a takeoff on community-supported agriculture, provides locally made art to its members. 

Since its start with the St. Paul-based nonprofit organization Springboard for the Arts, in collaboration with the local artists behind mnartists.org, four years ago, the concept has caught on in a number of cities across the country, the New York Times reports.

It has also taken on new forms as it has sprung up in different places, the story reads.  

“The goal, borrowed from the world of small farms, is a deeper-than-commerce connection between people who make things and people who buy them,” the story reads. 

It helps that many people were already familiar with the CSA model, the story points out.  





Outside Magazine names local agency Haberman as a top workplace

For the second year in a row, Haberman, a Minneapolis-based full-service marketing agency, landed on Outside Magazine’s list of the top 100 workplaces nationwide, according to a prepared statement from the publication. 

Haberman, which came in 36th in the list, stands out for innovative and healthy work-life balance, the statement reads. 

Outside Magazine arrived at its results by looking at company benefits, compensation and policies, job satisfaction, environmental initiatives, and community outreach programs, the statement reads. 

The magazine celebrates companies that “enable employees to pursue active lifestyles while also supporting their social and environmental contributions.”












Minnesota a top state for income mobility, study says

The potential for a child born in the bottom one-fifth of households by income to rise into the upper one-fifth was the subject of a major Harvard University study, called The Equality of Opportunity Project.
 
Researchers looked at whether tax expenditures from policies such as the Earned Income Tax Credit were effective in reaching the goal of enabling children to rise out of poverty.
 
The results around the nation were very mixed, the researchers noted: "We find substantial variation in mobility across areas." Looking at other additional factors such as K-12 school quality, economic and racial segregation, income inequality, and intergenerational mobility, the researchers were able to create a map of the U.S. highlighting economic mobility by state and major metropolitan areas.
 
In some areas, such as much of the South, upward mobility is extremely unlikely, but Minnesota fared well, according to the map. Of the 100 largest U.S. cities, Minneapolis came in at no. 18 for upward mobility. Salt Lake City was in the top spot, while Memphis was last on the list.

Top foodie site singles out 18 Minneapolis restaurants

Food and restaurant site Eater.com recently ran a story about The 18 Essential Minneapolis Restaurants, calling the eateries a "highly elite group" that covers the entire city, spans myriad cuisines, and satisfies all of a diner's restaurant needs.
 
The list is continually evolving, the site notes. For example, Sen Yai Sen Lek, Pizzeria Lola, and Fika were rotated off the list "simply because their time has come," according to Eater.com. New to the list this go-round are St. Paul's Meritage, the North Loop's Borough, and Sea Salt in Minnehaha Park.
 
The top three on the list are all south of downtown: Broders' Pasta Bar, Piccolo, and Tilia. There are plenty of Northeast favorites as well, like Brasa Premium Rotisserie and Masu Sushi & Robata.
 
Not surprisingly, the comments section already contains some lively opinions about what other restaurants should be included — and which ones deserved to be kicked off the list.

Wall Street Journal piece highlights the 'ultimate long weekend' in Minneapolis

“The Ultimate Long Weekend in Minneapolis” is the headline of a recent Wall Street Journal story that highlights the city’s attractions. 

The scenic city “may bring to mind parkas before parks, and Vikings before biking, but Minneapolis is as sweet in summer as it is frigid in winter,” with everything from outdoor activities to cultural offerings to take in, it reads. 

The story lays out a step-by-step itinerary for visitors who visit the city for a weekend. Local restaurants like Burch, Icehouse (also an entertainment venue) and Matt’s Bar get a shout-out. The American Swedish Institute, Forage Modern Workshop, and the Walker Art Center also get props, as do a number of theaters, shops, and parks.  



Midtown Greenway named the best bike path in the nation

ActiveTimes.com recently ranked the Midtown Greenway in Minneapolis as the nation’s top bike path, CBS Minnesota reports. USA Today picked up the story.   

The over-five-mile-long trail sees up to 5,000 people daily. “It runs right through the center of Minneapolis with little interruption from street traffic or pedestrians,” the story reads. 

On the path, ActiveTimes says, riders get views of the Mississippi River, the Chain of Lakes, and the Martin Sabo suspension bridge. And the site takes note of the fact that many people take the bike path to work. 

To come up with its results, ActiveTimes evaluated “whether the path allows you to skip traffic while at the same time giving you a view of nature.”


Study highlights Minnesota's innovation and manufacturing

Minnesota's manufacturing scene is rife with innovation and productivity, according to a recent study.
 
The 2013 Manufacturing and Logistics Report Card, prepared by an economics professor at Ball State University, ranked Minnesota high on a state-by-state analysis of manufacturing climates.
 
The state excels when it comes to obtaining manufacturing patents and spending on research and development. Also, Minnesota's high-quality labor force put the state ahead of others in the country, giving us a competitive advantage and making Minnesota attractive for relocation.
 
About 10 percent of Minnesota's economy depends on manufacturing, and the abundance of local talent garnered through access to university laboratories and nonprofit research activities plays a part in the state's manufacturing strength, the study noted.

Five Minnesota hospitals rank high on national list

U.S. News & World Report recently released it annual Best Hospitals list, and five Minnesota hospitals were ranked high in terms of performance.
 
Coming in at no. 3 in the ranking, Rochester-based Mayo Clinic was highlighted in numerous categories, nabbing the "best" designation for specialties like endocrinology, gastroenterology, gynecology, and diabetes care.
 
The other four hospitals that made the list are Allina Abbott Northwestern Hospital, the University of Minnesota Medical Center, Allina Mercy Hospital, and St. John's Hospital.
 
The magazine sorted data for nearly 5,000 U.S. hospitals, looking at factors like patient safety, hospital reputation, and death rates. Only 147 hospitals were nationally ranked.

Forbes calls Minneapolis one of the most inventive cities in the world

Minneapolis is a highly inventive city on an international level, according to a recent Forbes study. 

Forbes used a metric called “patent intensity” to come up with a list of the 15 most inventive cities across the globe. 

Minneapolis came in ninth place, as it produced 5.06 patent applications for every 10,000 residents, according to the magazine. 

Eindhoven, in the Netherlands, topped the list, while Raleigh, North Carolina, rounded it out. 




A couple of local companies among the most giving nationwide

The Chronicle of Philanthropy’s recent list of the most giving Fortune 500 companies includes Wells Fargo & Company and the Target Corporation, according to Minnpost.  

To get the results, the Chronicle examined last year’s charitable donations from many of the top Fortune 500 companies, the story states. 

Wells Fargo, which calls San Francisco home, but has strong ties to Minnesota, led with $316 million. “Meanwhile, Wells Fargo may be poised to add new Minnesota jobs, or at least, move existing employees to a new location,” the story reads.   

Target came in ninth place, having given away $147 million in cash and $77 million in products.






Anytime Fitness named world's fastest growing fitness club

For the sixth year, Hastings-based Anytime Fitness has nabbed the title of "world's fastest-growing fitness club" from The International Health, Racquet, and Sportsclub Association (IHRSA), an industry trade group.
 
The designation is based on the number of locations that Anytime Fitness added within the past year, as well as other factors like revenue and membership numbers.
 
The fitness behemoth opened 260 new locations in 2012, bringing its total to 2,035 clubs. It came in second in the IHRSA report for revenue growth, posting $484 million in 2012, a 33 percent increase over the previous year. The club was third on the list for number of members, reporting 1.5 million in 2012, coming in behind massive 24 Hour Fitness with 3.8 million members and Curves International, with 2 million members.
 
IHRSA President and CEO Joe Moore noted in a statement that the growth of Anytime Fitness indicates strong demand from consumers for "companies that meet their expectations."

Minneapolis named one of the best cities for recent college grads

Minneapolis landed at the no. 10 spot on Apartments.com's annual list of "Top 10 Best Cities for Recent College Graduates."
 
Now in its sixth year, the list examines 100 U.S. cities and determines rankings based on apartment availability, affordability, unemployment rates, median income, and the percentage of single people between the ages of 25 and 29.
 
According to the report, Minneapolis has a high number of people falling within that age range, as well as a low unemployment rate.
 
The average rent for a one-bedroom apartment is just over $1,000, the report noted, which lands within the affordability range for recent college grads.
 
At the top of the list is Phoenix, with $708 as average rent for a one-bedroom apartment, and coming in at second and third place were Orlando and San Antonio.
 

Minneapolis/St. Paul lowest unemployment rate among big U.S. cities

Minneapolis/St. Paul recently nabbed a headline on Slate.com. Recent information from the U.S. Bureau of Labor shows that the Twin Cities is the “lowest-unemployment big city in America,” the website states.
 
“It has long been the position of this blog that you should move to Minneapolis based on the high wages and low cost of living, but until recently Oklahoma City had a lower joblessness rate,” the Slate.com post reads.
 
The writer encourages readers to get past Minnesota winters and to see that “Now Minneapolis is both a place with high wage jobs and a place with plentiful jobs.”
 

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