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DULUTH — Drivers on Minnesota highways are slightly more likely to hit a deer this year than last according to an annual assessment by State Farm Insurance. The company said an estimated 1-in-74 Minnesota drivers will hit a deer or other large animal this year, up from about 1-in-80 drivers in 2016. Minnesota retained its rank as No. 7 among all 50 states in how likely drivers are to hit a deer on the road.
COLERAINE, Minn. — It seems like much of the world is plunging headlong toward renewable energy and away from fossil fuels and the carbon dioxide pollution they create. Ontario has eliminated coal-burning power plants. China is phasing out internal combustion engines for new cars, as are General Motors and Ford. On Wednesday, Oct. 4, the International Energy Agency reported solar energy was the fastest-growing source of new electric power in 2016, the first year solar surpassed all other new energy sources, even coal.
NASHWAUK, Minn.—Tom Clarke, the billionaire health care and coal executive who is trying to become a major player in the global iron ore industry, toured the Iron Range on Monday, touting the potentially bright future of his big projects. Clarke last winter purchased bankrupt Magnetation operations and is moving to restart the Grand Rapids-area processing plant in coming months as soon as air pollution violations left behind by previous owners are settled at the company's Indiana pellet plant.
DULUTH — Seasonal weather experts at the National Climate Prediction Center on Thursday, Sept. 21, forecast a warmer-than-average start to the coming winter but said a developing La Nina cooling of the Pacific could bring colder weather here early in 2018. The meteorologists said current trends show the Upper Midwest, Great Lakes, eastern states and the southwest U.S. have a better-than-average chance of seeing above-normal temperatures from October through December. No portion of the U.S. is expected to see colder-than-normal temperatures through December.
ST. PAUL — State Auditor Rebecca Otto on Wednesday, Sept. 20, became the first and maybe only candidate for Minnesota governor to propose a state "price on carbon," part of a proposed multi-point energy independence plan that's heavy on renewable energy. Her "RenewMN" carbon tax aims to reduce carbon dioxide, the pollutant that the vast majority of scientists who study the issue say is causing global warming, but also aims to create Minnesota-based jobs in renewable energy and energy conservation industries.
GRAND PORTAGE, Minn. — The largest island of the Susie Islands archipelago just off Minnesota's North Shore, habitat for rare arctic-like native plants, has been officially returned to the Grand Portage Band of Lake Superior Chippewa. The Nature Conservancy announced Tuesday, Sept. 19, that it has transferred all of 142-acre Susie Island to the band after a multi-year effort.
SOUDAN, Minn. — Minnesota's first new state park in a quarter-century will open in earnest Tuesday, a decade in the making but apparently worth the wait for eager campers. Just hours after reservations opened last week for Lake Vermilion-Soudan Underground Mine State Park's 33 new campsites, many were already booked for the remaining fall weekends. "And next summer's dates already are filling in," said Dawn Voges, assistant manager at the park.
DULUTH — Human antidepressant drugs are showing up in the brains of fish in the Great Lakes region, an unexpected byproduct of human waste that isn't being removed in the sewage treatment process. The University at Buffalo in New York reported Thursday, Aug. 31, that "high concentrations" of antidepressants are building up in the brains of trout, walleye, bass and several other fish sampled from the Niagara River between lakes Erie and Ontario, the downstream end of the Great Lakes system.
Two catastrophic mine dam failures, one in Canada and one in Brazil, made worldwide headlines in recent years for the downstream damage they caused. Polymet officials say their tailings basin and dams will be so different from those that failed that any comparison is unfair and meaningless. But PolyMet's critics say the failures show the inherent danger of so-called modern mining operations, especially tailing basin dams, even under regulated conditions. Canada