Weekend Round-up: Rough times for student loaners and safe cigs

by Mike Rose

Hey, gang. Hope your turkey breaks were great. After a few days off here at the Digest (we need turkey too, you know), let’s get back into things with a Weekend Round-up:

*Interesting article from the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel on a wave of students who may be leaving college–for a semester or perhaps permanently–because financial aid packages have beome so unaffordable. The story focuses on one student who just started at Winona State but has already dropped out because she couldn’t afford more loans. Some admission counselors and financial aid advisors are concerned that more students will follow this path. It will interesting to see if this starts to happen next semester at the University of Minnesota and elsewhere.

*The Star Tribune (via the AP) is reporting on the new fire-safe cigarette rule. Starting Monday, all cigarettes sold in Minnesota must be a safer, self-extinguishing model that stops burning if left unattended for too long. The Minnesota Fire Chiefs Association has called the legislation the most important fire-prevention law passed in more than 30 years. Check mndaily.com and Monday’s paper for more on this story.

*Lastly, MinnPost recently rolled out a new series on the financial health of the Mall of America. The series is being put together as part of a University journalism school program, and contributors include Daily reporters Karlee Weinmann and Trevor Born, and Daily photographer Ali Haupt. Trevor’s installment details how the mall has been weathering the storm by being as much a destination as a store. Karlee takes a different angle and writes about how proposed mall expansions are being put on hold because of the sagging economy and more pressing needs in the area. You folks should take a look.

That’s all for now. Mike Rose Managing editor