PolyMet protest, MnDOT slams alternative Stillwater bridge pitch, Obama looks to Warroad

The Duluth News Tribune reports: The timetable to finish the environmental review for the proposed PolyMet copper mine in Northeastern Minnesota has slowed again as the company works with state and federal agencies to figure how the mine can meet environmental regulations.

The revised state-federal Environmental Impact Statement probably won’t be completed until the second quarter of 2012, Brad Moore, PolyMet’s vice president of environmental and government affairs, told the News Tribune on Tuesday.

That’s months later than predicted in October by state and federal officials, including U.S. Rep. Chip Cravaack, who said the EIS would be ready by January.

Anti-mining rally targets Duluth Chamber, PolyMet

WDIO reports, “There was a protest in Duluth about PolyMet’s proposed base and precious metals project on Tuesday. Over a dozen opponents who are concerned about issue such as wild rice and water quality were outside of the Kitchi Gammi Club, where a chamber luncheon featured a PolyMet presentation. Many of them were Native Americans from tribes in the area.”

“Protesters who say capitalism has run amok and others who say northern Minnesota’s environment might be headed in the same direction joined in a rally in Duluth on Tuesday against the proposed PolyMet copper mine,” reports the Duluth News Tribune. Northland News adds, “PolyMet is on track to be the first working non ferrous mine in Minnesota. It plans to harvest copper, nickel, palladium, platinum and gold for the area that was once the LTV taconite mine in Hoyt Lakes.”

MnDOT thumps ‘Sensible Stillwater Bridge’ plan

“State transportation officials Tuesday again slammed a plan for a smaller alternative to the proposed $690 million St. Croix River Crossing, saying that the lower, narrower bridge would have a significant environmental impact and could delay the start of construction until 2019,” reports the Pioneer Press.

Labor Department errs in Cargill contract amount

The Star Tribune reports: “The agribusiness giant has closer to $60 million in federal contracts, not the $550 million previously stated by the U.S. Labor Department.”

Local bloggers publish book: The Madness of Michele Bachmann

“As Republican presidential candidate Michele Bachmann tours the nation promoting her new memoir, three local writers are hitting the market this week with a book that offers a totally different picture of the 6th District congresswoman’s life,” reports the Pioneer Press.

Bachmann says questions of bias delay Trump debate decision

Rep. Michele Bachmann “said ‘one concern’ about participating was an announcement Trump made that he is close to endorsing a candidate. Trump has also hinted that he might yet run as a third-party candidate against the Republican nominee,” reports ABC News.

President Obama: I think about a company based in Warroad, Minnesota called Marvin Windows and Doors. During the recession, Marvin’s competitors closed dozens of plants and let go hundreds of workers. But Marvin didn’t lay off a single one of their four thousand or so employees. In fact, they’ve only laid off workers once in over a hundred years. Mr. Marvin’s grandfather even kept his eight employees during the Depression.

When times get tough, the workers agree to give up some perks and pay, and so do the owners. As one owner said, “You can’t grow if you’re cutting your lifeblood – and that’s the skills and experience your workforce delivers.” For the CEO, it’s about the community: “These are people we went to school with,” he said. “We go to church with them. We see them in the same restaurant. Indeed, a lot of us have married local girls and boys. We could be anywhere. But we are in Warroad.”

That’s how America was built. That’s why we’re the greatest nation on Earth. [video/transcript]

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