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Manitoba is seeking out immigrants and the Canadian province is thriving. 

The New York Times tells how the province in western Canada is welcoming migrants to the plains around Winnipeg in what amounts to a mirror image of policy in many U.S. states. Manitoba asked for more migrants, and then set out to pick people with skills that would help build the local economy. People have been friendly to the newcomers and the immigrants have fit in. There is no such thing as an anti-immigrant politician in Canada, the Times reports. 

• We heard last week that after the most recent election there will be more Republicans holding state legislative office than at any time since 1928.

Dan Balz, in the Washington Post, tells the story of an election that had the Republican party pick up 675 state legislative seats on Nov. 2. 

The word is that if you see a rural Democrat in the state legislature, take a picture. He or she is an endangered species.

• Kentucky has always been proud of its state parks. Now, with state budget cuts, Kentucky is shutting down its park lodges for about half of each week until mid-March. The parks, of course, are in rural communities. 

• The last Crown Vic will roll off the assembly line in 2011. What will police do for a ride? 

• The U.S. Postal Service is due to go broke at the end of fiscal 2011.

The Postal Service has made more than $9 billion in cost cuts in the last two years, eliminating 105,000 full-time jobs. That’s not enough, however. Expect to see more post office closures and limited deliveries.

Fewer people are using snail mail. There has been a 6 billion-piece decline in mail volume in the last year, and the drop in first-class mail has been particularly sharp. 

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