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ST. PAUL—Bacteria and viruses that could make people sick have been discovered in small public drinking water wells across the state, according to a report released Friday by the Minnesota Department of Health. The study, ordered by the state Legislature in 2014, found that, while the overall presence of microbial indicators in samples was low, a high percentage of wells had at least one detection.
DULUTH, Minn.—Many trees common in forests across the eastern U.S., including Minnesota and Wisconsin, won't be able to keep up with the current pace of climate change, according to a new study by the Woods Hole Research Center. The study echoes the findings of other, recent scientific research that shows some northern tree species simply won't adapt fast enough to climate change that scientists say already is occurring.
DULUTH, Minn.—The number of bats counted in the Soudan Underground Mine has dropped 70 percent due to white-nose syndrome, according to the annual survey of the state's largest bat wintering area. Researchers have known since 2013 that the deadly fungus was present on some bats that spend their winter deep underground in the former iron ore mine near Tower. Last winter was the first time they had seen hundreds of dead bats outside the mine during winter months, a sure sign of white-nose syndrome. This winter, the deaths have mounted to catastrophic levels.
DULUTH, Minn.—It's been known for years that forests with lots of different tree species grow better and faster than forests with just one kind of tree. Now, for the first time, scientists say they know why. It's shapes. It turns out trees of different species find a way to get along with their neighbors by spreading branches out to fill in gaps where sunlight is available — they play off each other's shape. And that maximizes their combined ability to soak up the sun falling on a particular plot of land.
Mike Schrage / Special to Forum News Service A large bull moose runs through the snow near Swamp River in Cook County in northeast Minnesota during January's aerial moose survey of northeastern Minnesota. Moose numbers have remained relatively stable in recent years but are still far below numbers of a decade ago and show no signs of improving.
ON LAKE VERMILION — Quick thinking by a resident on Lake Vermilion in northern Minnesota helped save a snowmobiler who crashed through the ice Saturday. Fred Reichel had just sat down in the living room of his Lake Vermilion home Saturday afternoon to watch a little TV when he noticed two snowmobiles buzzing across the ice at Oak Narrows. Only one of the snowmobiles made it. The other, driven by Ronald Hautala of Eveleth, crashed through the ice.
ST. PAUL—Minnesota's troubled moose population remains in the dumps, with only about 3,710 animals according to the annual winter survey by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources and tribal resource agencies. The DNR on Monday released the results from the helicopter survey of random sects of the moose range in the state — namely St. Louis, Lake and Cook counties — showing the population has remained relatively stable since 2012. That stability, a statistically insignificant drop from the 4,020 estimate in 2016, is the good news.
LAKE VERMILLION, Minn. – Fred Reichel had just sat down in the living room of his Lake Vermilion home Saturday afternoon to watch a little TV when he noticed two snowmobiles buzzing across the ice at Oak Narrows. Only one of the snowmobiles made it. The other, driven by Ronald Hautla of Eveleth, crashed through the ice. "I knew, when I didn't see the second one, exactly what happened. I ran outside and from there I could see him in the water," Reichel told the News Tribune on Sunday. "So I ran back in and yelled for my wife to call 911 while I went for the canoe."
DULUTH — A winter storm will bring heavy snow to much of southern Minnesota and central Wisconsin Friday, Feb. 24, but the storm now is expected to just graze the northern Minnesota. The National Weather Service is forecasting 6-12 inches of snow across southern Minnesota, including the Twin Cities, and into central and northern Wisconsin, most of it falling during the day Friday.
GRAND MARAIS, Minn. — If the idea of taking a tour boat across choppy Lake Superior waters has you nauseous, how about a quick flight on a floatplane? The National Park Service on Friday, Feb. 17, announced that, for the first time ever, a private company may be allowed to operate regular seaplane flights from Grand Marais to the island park. While the island sits only 15 miles off Minnesota's North Shore, the park headquarters and much of the focus of park access has been through Houghton, Mich.