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BRAINERD, Minn.—Miniscule wood chips flit through the air, dust so fine it's almost mist—all that's left of towering trees that existed as giants for decades, then vanished in an instant. Watching an industrial-sized woodchipper process entire trees, it's something of a microcosm for an industry experiencing a similar vanishing act—more than half of the state's paper mills have closed down since 2008, said Scott Dane, the executive director of Associated Contract Loggers & Truckers Inc., a Minnesota association representing these industries.
ISLE, Minn.—Gubernatorial hopeful Jeff Johnson may have his eyes fixed on 2018, but if a stop by Mille Lacs Lake is any indication, he'll have to keep an eye on 1999 if he's elected. That's the year the Supreme Court, in a split 5-4 ruling, upheld an 1837 treaty recognizing Ojibwe rights to hunt, fish and gather under their own rules. While the treaty covers a swath of traditional Ojibwe territories in Minnesota and Wisconsin, Mille Lacs Lake has remained a focal point—particularly since state and tribal authorities agreed to co-manage its resources.
BRAINERD, Minn. — "They said Hole-in-the-Day was like a big log in the road, too high to get over, too big to go around."
CROSSLAKE—At the spry age of 74, Rep. Rick Nolan, D-Crosby, is becoming something of a practitioner of sudden reversals—at least in terms of his future plans.
LEGIONVILLE, Minn.—Volunteer crews finally won the weeks-long battle with the bog Sunday, June 10, the culmination of hundreds of man-hours spent in hot, humid conditions, wielding chainsaws and powering boats to dismember it. "When the last piece went, all the volunteers yelled 'Hey! We did it!'" said Bill Schmidt, the president of North Long Lake Association. "That really tells you about it."
BAXTER, Minn.—Representatives of Minnesotans for Line 3 stopped in Baxter Tuesday, May 15, to present their side of a debate that's been a central focus of environmental issues in the state since 2013, when the Enbridge Line 3 replacement oil pipeline first was proposed. Billed as an informational presentation, the room was furnished for a group setting. One person attended.
DEERWOOD, Minn.—Minnesota Attorney General Lori Swanson was in Deerwood Monday, May 7, "spreading the word" on a wave of newer, modern variants of traditional phone scams that are creating a surge in fraud and identity theft plaguing Minnesotans and people across the United States.
BRAINERD, Minn.—Long-term stewardship—especially in terms of environmental issues—shapes much of Ray "Skip" Sandman's platform, which also places a high emphasis on the issue of health care, addressing the student loan debt crisis, economic revitalization and his opposition to the influx of money in politics and corporate personhood. The Independence Party candidate for District 8 and newly retired member of the Duluth community, Sandman said he is always thinking of things in terms of generations—seven, in fact—as a result of his upbringing.
DULUTH—The 8th Congressional District might be Democratic-Farmer-Labor country, but don't tell that to Minnesota Republicans. Banking on a number of favorable signs, the GOP is looking at a district that's been a DFL stronghold for all but one term since 1947 and they're seeing red. It's been a hard-fought and costly election battleground, with the DFL winning with razor-thin margins the past few elections, while both sides spent in the tens of millions during their campaigns.
WOODBURY, Minn. — Let it be known that while Mary Giuliani Stephens respects experience, she isn't a fan of precedent, tradition or time-honored solutions if they're not getting the job done now. Describing Minnesota as a "good state" that's been "resting on its laurels," Giuliani Stephens—the mayor of Woodbury and a Republican candidate for governor—said there is a need to bring the state into the 21st century.