Dave Orrick / St. Paul Pioneer Press
STILLWATER, Minn. — The St. Croix River has yielded a record-setting catfish. On Aug. 2, Mark Mosby of St. Anthony landed a 52½-inch flathead catfish while fishing in Stillwater. The fish, which had a girth of 32 inches (ponder that for a moment) and weighed an estimated 70 to 80 pounds, was recognized this week by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources as a new catch-and-release state record.
MINNEAPOLIS — The investigation of the deadly natural gas explosion at Minnehaha Academy will be delayed until the Minneapolis site can be made safe for officials. At a Friday afternoon, Aug. 4 news conference, officials of the National Transportation Safety Board said debris and water have made the site too dangerous to enter. "We need to get inside to learn the condition of the pipes and valves," said NTSB member Chris Hart. The Wednesday morning explosion killed two people and heavily damaged the private Christian college prep school.
MINNEAPOLIS — Federal investigators say contractors had been relocating a natural gas meter at Minnehaha Academy on Wednesday morning, Aug. 2, when something went horribly wrong, causing an explosion and building collapse that killed two employees of the private Minneapolis school and injured at least nine other people, one critically. "We understand this explosion happened in the process of moving the gas meter," Christopher Hart, a member of the National Transportation Safety Board, told reporters at a Thursday afternoon, Aug. 3, news conference.
ST. PAUL — Walleye fishing on Lake Mille Lacs will remain closed longer than originally planned because the state has killed too many fish this year, officials said Friday, July 21. Walleye fishing will now remain completely closed until Aug. 11, when it will re-open for catch-and-release only through Labor Day, Sept. 4, the Department of Natural Resources said.
ROUND LAKE, Minn. — Al Pint set his fishing rod down in the bow of the boat and reached back for an adult beverage, and when he glanced back, he saw his rod "flying over the side" of the boat. But that wasn't the end of the rod, and it's not the end of the tale of the rod-stealing walleye of Itasca County. It was Sunday, May 14, the day after Minnesota's walleye fishing opener, and Pint, a retired engineer from Brooklyn Park, and his brother were on Round Lake, a body of water they'd fished for 50 years. And they were on the fish.
As Gary Gilbert began lifting the thing out of the water, he couldn't believe its size. "It just kept coming and coming," said Gilbert. Gilbert was about to be hoisting a 59½-inch muskie — a rare specimen that likely would have set a state record had it been caught alive and was among the oldest and biggest the fish are capable of getting.
ST. PAUL-- A Minnesota lawmaker whose father's death could have affected last-minute budget negotiations decided to stay at the Capitol to see the job through, because, she said, that's what her father would have wanted. Norman Huse, Republican Sen. Carla Nelson's father, died Monday morning — deadline day for lawmakers and Gov. Mark Dayton to reach an agreement on a $46 billion state budget.
ST. PAUL — Top 10 list: Most important Minnesota plants. Ever. Go. There's a new book out that takes a stab at it. "Ten Plants that Changed Minnesota" (Minnesota Historical Society Press, $29.95) takes its list from a 2012 conference of experts convened by the University of Minnesota Landscape Arboretum. In their paperback, Mary Hockenberry Meyer, a University of Minnesota professor of horticultural science, and award-winning author Susan Davis Price, break down the list, after a foreword by former Gov. Arne Carlson.
ST. PAUL—For the prior 12 years, an assortment of Minnesota Muslim organizations has gathered at the Capitol in St. Paul to make their presence known to lawmakers. This year, "Muslim Day at the Capitol" was different. Those attending the event Wednesday—many decades-long residents of Minnesota—said they feel misunderstood now more than ever, subjected to scrutiny, Islamophobia and outright bigotry.
PRESCOTT, Wis. — For the first time, an invasive silver carp has been captured in the St. Croix River. The carp, one of several invasive species of so-called "Asian carp," was caught March 10 by a commercial fishing boat, according to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, which announced confirmation of the catch Thursday. Silver carp are notorious for their proclivity to leap out of the water when boats approach. They're also regarded as a major threat to native species and the state's deep love of fishing.