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GRAND RAPIDS, Minn. — Tom Clarke has developed a pattern in recent years: finding shuttered, bankrupt companies, buying them for pennies on the dollar and then restarting them at just the right time. He's done it with coal mines — from Alabama to British Columbia — and now he's trying iron ore, restarting the former Magnetation LLC operations on the western Iron Range.
DULUTH — Eleni Pinnow says it still happens often. She sees something interesting or funny in the news or hears it on the radio and reaches for her phone to text her sister about it. But Aletha Pinnow has been gone for a year now, so there is no sister to text. "It's so much worse than anything I could ever have imagined, losing my best friend, my travel companion, my sister, in this way," Eleni Pinnow said. "But then I just think, how can I deal with this in a productive way? It still hurts. Sometimes worse than others. ... But my grief is manageable now."
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.
WASHINGTON — A Congressman from Utah wants to eliminate hundreds of federal police officers who patrol millions of acres of America's national forests and grasslands, but some groups are fighting back. Republican Rep. Jason Chaffetz introduced the "Local Enforcement for Local Lands Act'' in January that calls for eliminating all U.S. Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management officers. Instead, Chaffetz' bill, H.R. 622, would provide federal block grants for local sheriff's offices to expand their patrols to cover the areas now covered by the federal officers.
DULUTH — St. Louis County commissioners will likely approve a resolution Tuesday, Feb. 7, calling on President Donald Trump's administration to overturn a recently imposed copper mining prohibition near the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. The County Board's resolution is part of a region-wide effort to show support for copper mining in the Superior National Forest after the Obama administration decision to at least temporarily ban mining exploration over about 235,000 acres adjacent to the federal wilderness.
DULUTH -- Supporters of the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness protested in front of U.S. Rep. Rick Nolan’s Duluth office Thursday, Feb. 2, against the congressman’s support for copper mining near the federal wilderness. About 100 people packed the entryway outside the Technology Village downtown to voice their opposition to Nolan’s pro-copper position.
DULUTH — Mines off all kinds across the U.S. produced an estimated $74.6 billion of raw mineral materials in 2016, a slight increase from 2015, the U.S. Geological Survey announced Tuesday. The report said Minnesota was the fifth largest producer of mineral value in the nation, including taconite iron ore but also sand, gravel and stone, totaling $3.27 billion. Nevada was the top minerals producer — with copper, gold and silver adding to the value of stone, sand and gravel — at $7.65 billion in 2016.
INTERNATIONAL FALLS, Minn. — An all-new gold mine under development 45 miles northwest of International Falls is running three months behind schedule and $195 million over budget. Toronto-based New Gold Inc. said Monday, Jan. 30, that the first production from its Rainy River mine north of Emo, Ontario, is now slated to occur in November and that the total project now will cost $1.05 billion in U.S. dollars.
DULUTH — Minnesota-based WaterLegacy on Monday, Jan. 30, filed suit in U.S. District Court against the U.S. Forest Service seeking to overturn the agency's approval of a 6,650-acre land swap for the PolyMet copper mine site.
For years the discussion about global climate change has been about how warm it's going to get in many areas, or how wet, how dry or how stormy. But scientists at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and Princeton University wanted to answer a different question: How will worsening climate change impact nice weather? Their answer, for much of the United States and indeed across the Earth, was that there will be far fewer "mild days" in the near future than there has been in the recent past.