Around MN: Blackhawk helicopters dropping water on BWCA fire

Pagami Creek fire is largest Minn. fire since 1918

A fire that started with a bolt of lightning and a puff of smoke nearly a month ago jolted to life over the past few days, storming across 25 miles of forest, blackening 100,000 acres and showing little sign it’s ready to stop (Duluth News Tribune).

BWCA fire huge, fast and erratic

Most of the wilderness area is shut down. Fanned by unanticipated winds and fueled by dry wood, the blaze has spread rapidly to consume more than 100,000 acres, making it one of the biggest forest fires in Minnesota history (Star Tribune).

MPR News: Aerial photos of the fire in BWCA

Calmer winds slow growth of Minnesota wildfire

The U.S. Forest Service expects calmer winds to slow the growth of a huge wildfire engulfing woodland in northeastern Minnesota (AP).

Blog Box

Camper reflects on BWCA wildfire

Camping trip to northern Minnesota turned surreal for Twin Cities local editor when forest fire grew. The smoke from the forest fire is now in Waukesha and southeastern Wisconsin (Waukesha Patch).

Also on MN Today

MPCA approves air permit for taconite plant expansion

The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency approved an air pollution permit Tuesday for a major expansion at U.S. Steel’s taconite plant in Keewatin on the Iron Range (MPR News).

Locked-out Crystal workers attend job fair

Jon Conn has worked at the American Crystal Sugar Co. plant in East Grand Forks since 1977. On Tuesday, he was one of a number of locked out American Crystal workers who attended a job fair at the Alerus Center (Grand Forks Herald).

St. Cloud job fair draws 1,000 seekers

About 1,000 job seekers attended the event, according to Linda Yozamp of the Minnesota Job Service, which helped sponsor the fair. She said that was down from last year, but the number of employers was up (St. Cloud Times).

Duluth, other area schools lag Minnesota test scores in math

Student proficiency in math for the Duluth school district and other area schools lags behind students in the rest of the state, according to data being released by the Minnesota Department of Education today. Some districts also fell below the state average for reading (Duluth News Tribune).

Bemidji nurses approve contract offer from Sanford Bemidji Hospital

Bemidji nurses on Tuesday formally approved a contract offer from Sanford Bemidji Hospital, ending nearly six months of contract negotiations that included informational picketing and a strike vote (Bemidji Pioneer).

After aid cuts, St. Paul faces higher taxes, fewer services

Property taxes and fees will go up for many St. Paul homeowners next year, even as City Hall staffers are let go and the city budget drops (Pioneer Press).

The Kegs placed on national historic register

It has been a local landmark for decades. The Kegs drive-in restaurant in Grand Forks is practically a living, breathing batch of memories and a source of nostalgia for those who have visited the venerable establishment throughout the years (Grand Forks Herald).

Op-Ed

Our View: Farm runoff study benefits everyone

More than 40 percent of waterways tested by the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency are considered polluted. Science-driven studies like the ones outlined above should help Minnesota farmers try to achieve maximum yields without inflicting long-term damage upon their land or the watershed. (Rochester Post Bulletin)

The Bachmann Files

Opinion: HPV shot attack could harm ‘innocent’ girls

Vaccines were the biggest losers in Monday’s GOP presidential candidate’s debate, specifically those that are intended to prevent cervical cancer (MSNBC).

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