Break it Down

Squash the relationship if it's abusive

When a teenage relationship suffers from dating violence, it is like a pop bottle being shaken up — you’re worried about opening the cap because you know it’s going to blow up in your face.

Test your immigration IQ

What percentage of Minnesota babies have foreign-born mothers? What percentage of Minnesota students are non-English speakers? Test your knowledge of immigration, or learn all about it.

CHECK IT OUT: Minnesota's must-pass math test goes by wayside

Editor’s note: If you’ve been freaking out about the math tests every Minnesota student was going to have to pass in order to graduate, check out this story from Minneapolis’s Star Tribune.

The path to high school graduation for Minnesota’s next few graduating classes got significantly easier this month.

Why do I have to take all these tests!?!

In America, by law everyone is entitled to a public education. People today also believe that every child should receive the same quality of education. The problem is, they’re not.

Why do I have to take all these tests!?!

In America, by law everyone is entitled to a public education. People today also believe that every child should receive the same quality of education. The problem is, they’re not.

Do your own taxes free on-line

I learned that filing taxes isn’t as hard as many think. For teens, it’s easier than for most adults who have deductions or are filing jointly.

All you have to do is to grab your W2 forms and go onto the e-filing services on the IRS Web site

HEADS UP: Minnesota juniors must pass new MCA-II test in April to graduate

“I guessed on every single one,” said Osseo High School senior Andrew Scheffler when asked about how seriously he took the Minnesota Comprehensive Assessments test last year. This is because he knew it didn’t count toward his graduation.

This year, however, the tables have turned. Starting this April, all high school juniors in Minnesota will be required to pass a new statewide math test. If they don’t, they’ll be allowed to keep trying during their senior year. But if they don’t succeed, they won’t be able to graduate.

Some college admissions checking Facebook

College Application? Check. ACT score? Check. College essay? Check. Recommendations? Check. Facebook page? Check?

It’s college application time and as seniors put their final touches on their applications, a new report is showing that they may have one more thing to worry about – their social networking pages.

Researchers disagree on impact of not calling cell phones when polling

Many people have speculated that polls about the upcoming presidential election are inaccurate because they are not calling cell phones. According to a survey by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 31 percent of 18- to 24-year-olds live in households that only use a cell phone, as well as 34.5 percent of 25- to 29-year-olds.

Is school too long or too short?

Every student loves the sound of the bell ringing at the end of the school day. Who decides how long you have to wait for that last bell? Many students think the school day and the school year is already too long, so they may groan when they find out that educators want them in school even longer.

Political conventions a carnival of democracy

It was a hot July afternoon at the Convention Hall that fateful day in 1948. It was inside the Democratic National Convention when Minneapolis’s own mayor Hubert H. Humphrey addressed his party and demanded that Democrats “get out of the shadow of states’ rights and walk forthrightly into the bright sunshine of human rights.” Turmoil ensued and Humphrey’s unprecedented proposal resulted in southern delegates walking out of the convention.

Driving laws get tougher for teens

As of Aug. 1, some new driving laws went into effect that teens should know about.

Avoid the cell:

*Texting or using the Internet while driving is illegal for all drivers, not just teens, and violating this law could cost you up to $300 in fines.

*Talking on the phone while driving, whether it be “hands-free” or not, is illegal for drivers younger than 18, unless it’s an emergency call to 911.

Local adults look beyond statistics

If you are 14, an African American male, and starting high school in the fall in Minneapolis you only have a 1 in 4 for chance of graduating high school.

If you are an African American young man in Hennepin County, you are twice as likely to die as young white men ages 18 to 30 and 27 times more likely to go to jail.

According to studies done in three other states, nearly one in four juveniles released from criminal justice institutions were re-incarcerated with in the next 12 months.

From Wild to welcoming: Remaking the Xcel

With the biggest event the Xcel Energy Center has ever hosted on the horizon, the GOP will transform St. Paul’s major sports and concert venue for the September 1-4 Republican National Convention. The costs will not be low, and it will not be easy. Here’s what they face.

Construction

Between July 21 and August 31, several hundred electricians, carpenters, and other workmen will transform the X into a venue that can hold the 45,000 visitors. Suites will be converted to press boxes where 15,000 journalists will broadcast from 6 a.m. to 2 a.m. daily.

Tips for finding summer work

When it comes to landing a job in this summer’s competitive atmosphere, teens can do a few things to improve their chances.

Step-Up, a program that helps place 16 to 21 year-old Minneapolis residents in summer jobs, suggests putting together a resume and learn how to handle a interview. On the resume, highlight your volunteer work and family responsibilities.

Brighter than white

Weeks before her big date, 22-year-old Gigi Burt was still restless. She bought a new outfit, got her hair done, and most importantly, whitened her teeth. Hoping to restore the radiance in her smile, whitening her teeth was the last step in achieving what advertisers call the “all-American” appearance.

According to the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, the number of bleaching procedures cosmetic dentists have performed has soared by 50 percent for the past three years. Fueled in part by aggressive marketing, this trend toward teeth whitening has a new generation of young people craving the next beauty fix- turning whitening into the newest, easiest, and sometimes cheapest cosmetic fad.

Keeping your information safe online

As more people join online social networking sites, the challenge of maintaining some privacy for information posted to Facebook, MySpace and other sites has increased dramatically.

More people are coming to realize that the information they post about themselves and others is by no means private. Earlier this year, students at Eden Prairie and Woodbury High Schools learned this when online photos of students drinking were given to the school’s administration.

There are ways to limit who can access your private information on Facebook or MySpace, however

Voting in November? Get ready on-line.

So you’re turning 18, and we all know what that means — It’s time to vote!

Here’s what you need to know to get ready…

First of all, U.S. citizens who will be 18 years old by November 4 are eligible to vote. There are also some other rules that vary by state. To vote in Minnesota, you may vote provided
• You have established residency in Minnesota for 20 days prior to the election.
• You have not been convicted of a felony.

Know the rules when you get a job

If you’re under the age of 18 and plan on performing in any aerial or acrobatic acts, Don’t. You would be breaking state law. And if you’re under the age of 16, don’t even think about operating any sort of dry cleaning equipment, meat slicing machinery or even snow blowers. Perhaps it’s for the best that people under 16 just stay away from machines altogether.

Though they may sound slightly absurd, these are real child labor laws put in place to help protect Minnesota’s children from exploitation and out of harm’s way.

Countdown to College: Got FAFSA?

After your school applications are finished, there is still another important application to fill out; the Free Application for Federal Student Aid. Otherwise known as the FAFSA.

Using your parents’ tax information and a simple questionnaire, the FAFSA is crucial in helping determine the amount of aid you’ll receive from your college and outside sources or at the very least the way to a loan with a cheaper interest rates. Although it may seem frightening and tedious, there have been significant changes to the FAFSA that help promote ease of use.

FAFSA Online

www.fafsa.ed.gov is the site for online filing of the FAFSA. The online FAFSA is easier to follow, more secure, and faster for making deadlines. Instead of taking two weeks for processing like with the traditional paper application, the online FAFSA takes up to three business days!

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