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OULU, Wis. — David Lindelof stopped his Buick along Highway B in Bayfield County and watched a bluebird perched on top of a wooden nesting house, just as a ray of sunshine poked through the clouds. "It's a bluebird morning for sure now,'' Lindelof said as he watched the scene through binoculars.
DULUTH — John Hanna started messing with 12-volt electronics when he was in high school, installing stereo equipment in his car. Pretty soon, his friends were asking them to rig their rides as well. "Eventually I started on my boat ... And then I had friends wanting me to do their boats. It was sort of a hobby that's expanded,'' Hanna said. That hobby grew into Psycho Billy Marine Service — we'll explain the name later — a part-time job for Hanna, a Duluth resident and supervising carpenter for Johnson Wilson Constructors during the day.
DULUTH — If you're hoping for a campsite at Gooseberry Falls State Park over Memorial Day weekend, you're probably out of luck. Same for Jay Cooke, Split Rock, Tettegouche and most of the region's other most popular state park campgrounds — they're 100 percent booked for the three-day, unofficial opening of the summer camping season. But if you're willing to drive a little and maybe try some new locations, there are still available campsites in the state park system for the upcoming long weekend.
DULUTH—The Center for Biological Diversity on Monday announced it has petitioned the federal government to protect lake sturgeon under the Endangered Species Act. The U.S. environmental group says the big, long-lived fish needs more help to bolster recovery efforts that have been slow to succeed.
DULUTH — Pass the sunscreen. That's not something we're used to hearing on a Minnesota fishing opener, but that's the kind of weather we had Saturday morning on the St. Louis River. On a day that started cool, with a warning on the truck's dashboard that "Danger: Ice may form,'' the sunshine quickly warmed our faces while the walleyes warmed our hearts. "There aren't many openers like this. Usually it's snowing on us,'' said Chad Clough, of Mahtowa. "I need to take my jacket off."
MINNEAPOLIS—We've known for years that tiny bits of plastic, called microplastics, have become ubiquitous in the oceans and across the Great Lakes. We've also known that so many of these tiny plastic particles are floating around that they are ending up inside fish. Another recent study found plastic particles in many popular brands of supposedly filtered and purified bottled water drawn from multiple sources, including wells and springs.
GRAND RAPIDS, MInn. — Rick Horton of Grand Rapids was just back from a spring turkey when he noticed the ticks, about a dozen of them, dug into his skin. "They were several on my back, between my shoulder blades. And several in places I can't mention," said Horton, who spent three days crawling around in Kansas prairie grass to shoot a tom turkey. "I was camping out. No shower. I was literally crawling on top of ticks for three days. And I didn't do anything to prevent it."
DULUTH — It's been on every Minnesota walleye angler's mind for weeks now, ever since April came in more like February: Will the ice be out for the opener? The answer is a definite ... probably, depending on what lake you're watching. But things were looking much better last week after a string of warm, sunny days interspersed with south winds and some rain — the perfect recipe to melt lake ice. While lakes in southern Minnesota set all-time late ice-out dates this year, it appears most northern lakes won't hold ice as late as 2013, 2014, 1996 or 1950.
SUPERIOR, Wis. — At the height of the Husky Energy oil refinery fire Thursday, April 26, as a massive plume of smoke billowed into the sky for miles, Superior Mayor Jim Paine was asked by reporters if the air was safe for people. Yes, the mayor said, later repeating his claim. While Paine may have been right that the air at his location upwind of the fire was safe, multiple experts say the black plume of smoke from the refinery fire was almost certainly full of toxic fumes and carcinogens.
DULUTH -- Essentia Health said Friday, April 27, that its Duluth and Superior, Wis., hospitals treated a total of 16 victims related to the Husky Energy refinery explosions and fires the previous day. All patients have been released, except one listed in good condition Friday morning. St. Luke’s hospital in Duluth confirmed treating one patient Thursday. The Husky Energy oil refinery sustained a series of explosions and fires rocked the Husky Energy oil refinery, forcing massive evacuations and sending several people to local hospitals.