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BABBITT, Minn. -- Northshore Mining will reopen operations in mid-May in what is the biggest good news to hit Minnesota’s Iron Range in months. Cliffs Natural Resources announced Monday that the Northshore taconite operations, with a mine in Babbitt and processing and shipping center in Silver Bay, would restart May 15 after sitting mostly idle since November.
SOUDAN, Minn. -- White-nose syndrome, the deadly fungus that has killed millions of bats in the eastern U.S. and Canada, has been found in bats in northeastern Minnesota's Soudan Underground Mine. The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources reported the finding this morning. Several hundred bats have been found dead near the main entrance to the mine since January, and a sample sent to a federal wildlife laboratory confirmed the cause was white-nose syndrome.
INTERNATIONAL FALLS, Minn. -- The effort to build centralized sewage treatment plants for developed areas around Voyageurs National Park got a boost Wednesday with a $4.5 million pledge from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The Corps included the project in its 2016 budget that was stocked with $55 million by Congress as part of the 2016 compromise budget bill passed in December.
ELY, Minn. — Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton hasn't finished wading through the state's first-ever copper mine controversy and he's already getting political pressure on the second one. Iron Range lawmakers this week asked Dayton to approve an agreement with Twin Metals Minnesota that would allow the fledgling copper mining company access to state land yet this winter to conduct pre-project activities for its proposed underground copper mine about 10 miles southeast of Ely.
ST. PAUL -- Bernie Sanders hit on all the progressive high notes Tuesday during a two-stop mini-tour of Minnesota. The Vermont senator drew crowds of more than 6,000 at the Duluth Entertainment Convention Center Arena in the afternoon, while more than 4,500 were diverted to overflow viewing on top of the 10,000 admitted to the St. Paul RiverCentre during the nightcap of his visit.
DULUTH — Wolves across the Great Lakes region will remain under federal Endangered Species Act protections under the massive $1.1 trillion compromise budget legislation now moving in Congress.
DULUTH, Minn. -- They are out there all summer, living in the woods and fields, and now they want a snug place to spend the winter. Your house, cabin, camper or deer shack will do just fine, thank you. Orange Asian lady beetles, the little buggers who have replaced ladybugs across much of the landscape, are making their annual trek from the outdoors to indoors, and the infestation seems worse than ever.
Northland hunters may be having a harder time finding deer in the woods, but our drivers are finding more of them on highways, according to an annual survey by State Farm Insurance. State Farm has crunched the numbers to predict odds of any Minnesota driver hitting a deer at about 1 in 81, up from 1 in 89 last year. Wisconsin drivers are even more likely to hit a deer -- about 1 in 77 drivers will do it in 2015. That's up from 1 in 85 last year.
Tinder-dry conditions and winds gusting in excess of 50 mph fueled dozens of wildfires across the Duluth area on Thursday. “It really started to blow up" as winds picked up after 1 p.m., said Jean Goad, spokeswoman for the Minnesota Interagency Fire Center in Grand Rapids. By late afternoon no large fires had been reported, but local fire departments and Minnesota Department of Natural Resources crews responded to many small fires across the region.
MOUNTAIN IRON, Minn. -- The string of bad economic news on the Iron Range compounded Tuesday when U.S. Steel announced that it will dramatically slow production at its Minntac taconite facility in Mountain Iron starting June 1. Local union officials said the move will put 700 Steelworkers off the job, nearly half of the 1,500 people who work at Minnesota's largest taconite mine and processing plant.