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Electric bus has Rochester riders charged up

A 60-foot electric-powered bus parked at Rochester’s downtown transit hub caught some eyes Tuesday.

That was the point.

Rochester Public Transit officials parked the bus at the hub, on Second Street Southwest, as a preview of things to come. A similar model is expected to join the city transit fleet by the end next year, said Nick Lemmer, marketing and outreach coordinator for Rochester Public Transit and Parking.

However, since the bus on display isn’t owned by the city and is not in service, the drivers of the 40-foot diesel buses running their routes at the hub needed the space it occupied.

The bus was moved around the corner onto Second Avenue Southwest.

“We got more traffic there, but we were in the way,” Lemmer said.

The large bus still drew onlookers. “The shape, the attractive color, it’s pretty,” said Robert McIntosh.

The bus attracted at least one transit driver who parked the bus he was driving to see the electric bus up close.

Lemmer said the articulated frame gives the bus a tighter turning radius than the 40-foot buses have. The electric motor generates a smoother and quieter ride.

“You hop on the thing now and you hear the air conditioning fan and that’s about it,” Lemmer said.

The bus has about a 150-mile range on a charge, he added. The city’s long-range transit plan calls for nine electric buses to join the fleet.

The first buses will be used for direct routes and not continuous service. One of the buses can carry about 60 people seated and about another 60 people standing. That’s up 50 percent more than the 40-foot diesel buses carry.

“We’re looking to move larger to and from our park and rides,” Lemmer said.

That means the first bus will be put in service twice a day and can be charged between morning and afternoon runs, even though the bus could likely run both routes on a single charge, Lemmer said.

Transit officials have been watching the performance of Duluth’s electric buses to gauge how well they run in the winter. The first electric bus will likely be equipped with a diesel heater for extreme cold running. Running the electric heater shortens the bus’s range, as does the cold weather itself. The Duluth buses have performed well, Lemmer said, and have to deal with more extreme hills than Rochester presents, he added.

A $2.29 million grant through the federal Low- or No-Emission Grant program made purchasing the bus possible and is helping fund a charging station at the city’s bus garage. An expansion project there will accommodate the charging station.

Delivery of the bus from the manufacturer, New Flyer, is still a year or more away because grant requirements and contracts need to be completed before the order is officially placed.

“Once those are done, the order will be placed and the bus will be on its way,” Lemmer said.

Published by John Molseed Post Bulletin

Rochester, MN is the Best City for Registered Nurses

Today, AdvisorSmith, a leading information resource for small businesses, released a study ranking 375 U.S. cities based on their attractiveness for Registered Nurses. The study considered the following data: • Average salaries for registered nurses • Availability of nursing jobs in each city • Cost of living Key Findings • The #1 city for registered nurses was Rochester, Minnesota, which is home to the world-renowned Mayo Clinic, a nonprofit academic medical center. • The top cities in the report hosted regional medical centers that employed many nurses. These medical centers offered substantial career opportunities for registered nurses and also benefited from a combination of high salaries or low costs of living. • The top large cities for Registered Nurses were Modesto, CA, McAllen, TX, and Augusta, GA. The top midsize cities were Rochester, MN, Flint, MI, and Redding, CA. The top small cities were Bay City, MI, Bloomsburg, PA, and Lima, OH. The first choice for Registered Nurses:

Rochester, MN Rank: 1 Annual Wage: $77920 Cost of Living: 101 Location Quotient: 3.26

For the entire list visit,

Fun for all ages brings families out to Rochesterfest

Rochesterfest is committed to promoting and celebrating the city of Rochester and southeast Minnesota annually by connecting people through a variety of wholesome, entertaining community events. This is located in downtown Rochester with a parade on Saturday. Grand Parade presented by Clements Chevrolet and your Select Chevy Dealers at 2:00pm start on 6th St SW. Enjoy southern Minnesota’s biggest parade with over 100 units! The Rochester Elks and Knights of Columbus assist with the Parade. Check out all of the fun events and activities at ‘’ , going on from June 22nd-3oth.

One Minnesota Town Makes List Of ‘Best Small Cities’.

Rochester, the home of the Mayo Clinic, ranks as the 47th best small city in the nation, according to a new report published this week by researchers at Resonance Consultancy, which offers advice on real estate, tourism and economic development. The firm ranked America’s large and small cities using data and qualitative assessments in six categories: place, product, promotion, prosperity, people and programming, explained below.

Here is a breakdown of Rochester’s rankings out of 50 cities.

•Place: 35 •Product: 75 •Programming: 85 •People: 24 •Prosperity: 20 •Promotion: 102.

The top two small cities couldn’t be more different — respectively, Honolulu, located on Hawaii’s biggest island, and Omaha, Nebraska, which springs up from the cornfields of the Midwest. The report praised Honolulu for its “unparalleled natural beauty” — no argument there — and Omaha for its booming local economy. Indeed, billionaire Warren Buffett still lives in his modest Midwest home and Omaha is home to eight Fortune 500 companies.

  “Thanks in no small part to Buffett, Omaha earns our #1 ranking for prosperity, with the most Fortune 500s (eight) of any city with less than a million people (earning it another #1 ranking for that category as well),” the report said. “But it’s not just stalwarts like Mutual of Omaha that keep this city bustling: a growing tech sector has earned Omaha the nickname ‘Silicon Prairie.’

” After Omaha, the cities rounding out the top five were Charleston, South Carolina; Albuquerque, New Mexico; and Tulsa, Oklahoma. While more than a handful of so-called “best city” rankings are published throughout the year, the Resonancy report stands apart for its comprehensiveness, according to Bloomberg.

It’s “the most comprehensive study of its kind; it identifies cities that are most desirable for locals, visitors, and business people alike, rather than simply looking at livability or tourism appeal,” Bloomberg said.

About The Measurement Categories

The promotion ranking reflects the number of stories, references and recommendations shared online about a city. It includes metrics such as Facebook check-ins, Google search results and TripAdvisor reviews. The place category refers to how people view a city’s natural and built environment. These measurements include the number of sunny days expected, crime rate, number of recommended quality neighborhoods and landmarks, and number of quality parks and outdoor activities are available.

Product was often the most challenging metric for cities, the report said. It looks at major institutions and infrastructure, which can be “expensive and difficult to develop and maintain.” Metrics include number of direct airline destinations served by nearby airports, the number of recommended attractions and museums, the ranking of the best local university and even the number of major sports teams.

The prosperity category assessed metrics such as typical household income and number of Global 500 businesses in a city, while the people category looked at population diversity and educational attainment of residents.

Programming evaluated the “experiential pillars of a great visit.” This includes recommended performing arts, cultural experiences and nightlife, as well as number of great restaurants and shopping venues.

(Patch national staffer Dan Hampton contributed to this report).

Living the American Dream can mean different things to different people when it comes to their material situation.

For some, it might mean a white picket fence. For others, it might mean a gilded penthouse high above a big city. Generally, though, most people agree that the American Dream is about living a full and fulfilling life, surrounded by a community of people doing the same. It means having economic opportunity, having the ability to save enough to own the place where you lay your head at night and living someplace where people from all walks of life can live comfortably. ‘SmartAsset’ combed through data to find the cities where the American Dream is most achievable. Specifically, we considered the five metrics: homeownership rate, diversity rate, upward mobility rate, median home value and unemployment rate. This is the 2019 edition of this study.

1. Aurora, IL Aurora, Illinois, a Chicago suburb, is at the top of our list. It has the highest diversity score in the top 10 and ranks well for economic mobility, coming in third place in this list for this metric. Aurora doesn’t lead any single metric we used to determine the best cities for living the American Dream, but places solidly in all of them.

2. Odessa, TX The highest-ranked Texan city in our top 10 is Odessa, located in the western part of the state. This town is another all-around performer. It has the highest score for economic mobility on our list. It also has a homeownership rate of 63.08%, which is the second-highest rate in this top 10.

3. Midland, TX Midland, Texas, another city in the western part of the state, comes in at No. 3. Midland has the lowest unemployment rate in our top 10, at 2.30%. It also ranks well in other metrics, including the second-highest economic mobility rate of all of the other cities on this list.

4. West Valley City, UT West Valley City, Utah lost its top spot on the list this year, but it still places a respectable fourth. It is tied for the second-lowest unemployment rate on this list, at 2.80%.

5. Abilene, TX Abilene, Texas brings us back to the Lone Star State to round out the top half of this list. Located in Central Texas, Abilene has a homeownership rate of more than 60% and a median home value of $114,900 (the lowest home value in our top 10). Diversity suffers, however: Abilene has the worst diversity score among Texas cities in the top 10.

6. Round Rock, TX Round Rock, Texas, located near Austin, is the final Lone Star State town on this list. The unemployment rate is 3.40%, and it has a homeownership rate of 67.79%. Round Rock, however, does have the highest average home value in the top 10, at $267,500.

7. Des Moines, IA Des Moines, Iowa is the first of two cities in Iowa in the top 10. The city does not have a good diversity index score, ranking seventh for this metric out of the top 10, but it has a relatively low unemployment rate of 3.30%.

8. Cedar Rapids, IA Next up is Cedar Rapids, Iowa, which has the second-worst score for diversity on this list. Cedar Rapids also has the highest homeownership rate of all our top 10 cities, at 73.99%.

9. Rochester, MN Rochester, Minnesota is the only representative from the North Star State in this top 10. Rochester has the second-highest homeownership rate in the top 10, at 72.40%. The average home value there is $211,900, which is the third-highest figure for the cities on this list.

Rochester, MN Ranked Highest for Resilience

The Resilience Capacity Index ranks 361 metropolitan areas for their capacity to recover from stresses — recession, natural disaster, etc. — relatively unscathed.

Metropolitan areas in the South and West did not score well in a new ranking called the Resilience Capacity Index that is available on the website of Building Resilient Regions (BRR), a group of experts whose research is supported by the MacArthur Foundation. The top-ranked metro area is Rochester, Minn., while the lowest-ranked is College Station-Bryan, Texas. The rankings were released July 11.

Houston, Los Angeles, San Antonio, and Miami all ranked near the bottom of the index.

BRR Network member Kathryn Foster of the University of Buffalo’s Regional Institute created the index. She explained in a Q&A on the BRR website that 12 factors are included in the scoring. They are grouped into three categories: regional economy, social and demographic factors, and community connectivity. She said network research shows “there are two basic ways to think about resilience. One is as a performance measure -— how well did my region respond to and recover from a stress? The other is as a capacity measure —- how well positioned is my region to respond and recover effectively from a stress? The RCI focuses on capacity. It is a single ranking number that accounts for 12 factors we believe make regions more resilient.”

Regional economy factors are economic diversification, income equality, regional affordability, and overall business environment. Social and demographic factors are educational attainment in the region, percentage of the population living in poverty, percentage with disabilities, and percentage with health insurance. Community connectivity include voter participation, homeownership, how long people have lived in the region, and civic infrastructure.

Asked why civic participation and health insurance are included, she said civic participation is an indicator of civic engagement. Having community networks affords communities a foundation for assistance and support during crises and also a way for residents to become involved in their own communities, she said, and having health insurance provides a foundation for social, physical, and economic security.

Want the Best Hospital Care in the U.S.? Head to Rochester, Minnesota

For the best medical care in the United States, you should probably head to Minnesota. The Mayo Clinic, located in Rochester, tops the latest U.S. News rankings of the country’s best hospitals for children and adults. For the 27th annual list, U.S. News compared 5000 medical centers across the country, ranking them on their quality of general care as well as their expertise in 25 specialties.

The rankings are based on data pertaining to patient survival rates, number of patients, infection rates, staffing numbers, and other objective measures. Here are the top 20 hospitals in the general excellence rankings:

1. Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota
2. Cleveland Clinic
3. Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston
4. Johns Hopkins Hospital, Baltimore
5. UCLA Medical Center
6. New York-Presbyterian University Hospital of Columbia and Cornell
7. UCSF Medical Center, San Francisco
8. Northwestern Memorial Hospital, Chicago
9. Hospitals of the University of Pennsylvania-Penn Presbyterian, Philadelphia
10. NYU Langone Medical Center
11. Barnes-Jewish Hospital/Washington University, St. Louis
12. UPMC Presbyterian Shadyside, Pittsburgh
13. Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston
14. Stanford Health Care-Stanford Hospital, Stanford, California
15. Mount Sinai Hospital, New York
16. Duke University Hospital, Durham, North Carolina
17. Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Los Angeles
18. University of Michigan Hospitals and Health Centers, Ann Arbor
19. Houston Methodist Hospital
20. University of Colorado Hospital, Aurora

School’s back in Session!

That yellow flashing light means the bus is preparing to stop; the red light means children are getting on or off. A bus stop is less than a minute, but that’s all it takes for something bad to happen.
The bus can control two lanes: the lane it’s in and the next lane over. On a divided highway with a median, the cars behind the bus must top, but the cars on the other side do not. On a two-lane road, all traffic — behind and in front of the bus — must stop.

Avoid the ticket, and more importantly, keep our kids safe; watch for the red lights and stop!

Rochester, Twin Cities Ranked Among Most Innovative On Earth

ROCHESTER, MN — Innovation isn’t easy. Case in point, your kids have heard of Netflix and Facebook, but will give you a blank look if you talk about Blockbuster or MySpace, two companies routinely listed among the biggest to fail specifically because they didn’t innovate.

So when we say three Minnesota cities were just ranked among the most innovative on Earth, it’s — with apologies to Ron Burgundy and the movie “Anchorman” — kind of a big deal.

The Australian data research company 2thinknow, which crunches numbers from cities across the globe, released its 11th annual Innovation Cities Index rankings of the world’s 500 most innovative cities this month. Cities that innovate more tend to bring in more revenue, create more jobs and become the best places to invest, the company said in a release.

The index is meant to measure how well a city creates an environment that encourages innovation. It uses more than 160 indicators based on comparative data sold to corporations.

  • Minneapolis-St. Paul Metro, 61
  • Rochester, 275

This year, Tokyo, Japan — dubbed the “robot capital” of the world — became the first Asian city to be named most innovative on Earth. Tokyo proved it had a clear direction by embracing “smart technology change” to lead innovation, the authors found. It also emerged as a leader in two sectors that will be key to the future: robotics and 3D manufacturing.

“What really surprised us this year, was the resurgence of Tokyo, moving up to eclipse rival cities like Boston,” Christopher Hire, the company’s director data, said in a release.

He added: “While it was close between London and Tokyo, support of new technologies gave it to Tokyo based on 2018 trends, although this could change in 2019.”San Francisco, thanks in large part to the flourishing tech industries in Silicon Valley, was named the most innovative city in America and ranked third overall. New York City and Los Angeles also cracked the top five overall, claiming the fourth and fifth spots behind No. 2 London.

Here are the top 10 U.S. cities that made the list, as well as their overall ranking.

  1. San Francisco (3)
  2. New York (4)
  3. Los Angeles (5)
  4. Boston (7)
  5. Chicago (11)
  6. Dallas-Fort Worth (13)
  7. Seattle (15)
  8. Houston (17)
  9. Atlanta (20)
  10. San Diego (23)

The U.S. performed particularly well, with 37 cities appearing in the top 100. California had the most cities on the list with 12. Florida had the second-most with six cities while New York and Virginia each had five. Some U.S. cities dramatically improved their rankings this year due to what the company called favorable trends and improved economic development. Chicago jumped up nine spots to No. 11 in the world, Seattle improved by six spots to 15th and Austin zoomed up 18 spots to No. 29.

The myriad startup and tech scenes cropping up show the U.S. economy has “strong grass roots of opportunity positivity,” the analysts noted. Much of that is due to how Americans are coming up with new ways to do business “as a service,” such as ride-hailing apps and subscription services for software and clothing. Such ideas allow for new ways for companies to make money on undervalued assets in the digital economy.

The authors also pointed to the success of smaller cities, which performed very well in the rankings.

“This year innovation is likely to come from large cities as usual, but we found on a population-adjusted basis many small cities are punching above their weight. It’s the year of big cities with physical networks and small cities with digital networks, going global,” Hire said.

Films under the stars this summer

Tired of shivering in air-conditioned theaters and paying too much for candy and popcorn? Outdoor movies have the solution. And with options all over Southern Minnesota, your next family night is just a short drive away. As always, check the movies’ ratings and start times before bringing extremely young children.

Movies in the Park

Bring a lawn chair or blanket to Central Park (225 1st Ave. NW, Rochester) for free monthly movies hosted by the Rochester Downtown Alliance. The 9 p.m. movie start time may rule out younger kids, outdoor activities begin at 7. Food and drinks are available for purchase on-site.

  • July 7 – Jumanji
  • Aug. 18 – Coco
  • Sept. 15 – Safe Haven

Movies Under the Stars

The History Center (1195 W Circle Dr. SW, Rochester) has three outdoor movie nights in August, shown on Schmitt Field. General admission is $5, but seniors and children under 12 get in free. Leave the pets and coolers at home, but feel free to grab snacks and drinks before the movie starts at 8:30 p.m.

  • Aug. 10 – CARS 3
  • Aug. 24 – Moana
  • Aug. 31- SING

Byron’s Movies at City Hall

Visit our neighbors to the west for monthly movies on the lawn of Byron’s City Hall (680 Byron Main Ct. NE, Byron). Movies are hosted by the Byron Good Neighbor Days Committee. Bring your own snacks and lawnchairs.

  • July 20 – Finding Dory
  • Aug. 17 – Wonder

Four Daughters Vineyard

About 30 minutes outside of Rochester, Four Daughters Vineyard (78757 Hwy 16, Spring Valley) is screening movies among the grapes. BYO blankets and chairs, and kick back (maybe with a glass of wine?). The free movies begin at 8:30 p.m.

  • July 11 – Pretty Woman
  • July 25 – Apollo 13
  • Aug. 8 – Overboard
  • Aug. 22 – The Greatest Showman