Around MN: Great Lakes collapse, unsustainable cities, Rochester button primary

Report says mussels, nutrients damage Great Lakes

A one-two punch of excessive nutrients and ravenous mussels is causing a sharp drop-off in Great Lakes fish populations and the worst outbreak of algae blooms in decades, says a report released Tuesday.

A group of scientists warned in 2005 that Great Lakes ecosystems were on the verge of collapse because of a dangerous set of problems, including species invasions and degraded water quality. The wildlife federation report said the scientists’ predictions are coming true (Wall Street Journal).

Also on MN Today

Tax-forfeit properties on the rise in St. Louis County

Unpaid taxes exceed $11.1 million in the county. That amounts to 10 percent of the annual county tax levy, “and that’s a pretty significant number,” said Bob Krepps, St. Louis County land commissioner. “It’s enough to make us stand up and take notice” (Duluth News Tribune).

Bauer back home in Minnesota

Bauer and his fiance, Sarah Shourd, were spending time this week at his mother’s rural Minnesota home, taking long walks, singing songs around a fire and cooking meals together. They aren’t spending a lot of time talking about the time Shane lost to prison, Shane’s mother, Cindy Hickey, said (AP).

Ron Paul leads Rochester button primary

A Rochester button maker says that the candidate that sells the most buttons wins the election. That’s been the case every year they’ve been in business. So far this year the leader is Ron Paul (KAAL).

‘We’ve just built more than we can maintain’

A Brainerd engineer argues cities need new priorities. Put simply, his message is that the growth communities have built on and counted on is not sustainable and, in fact, has generated a set of road, sewer and other built-in infrastructure costs that will become increasingly difficult to pay (Ground Level).

City of Truman being sued by U.S. Department of Justice

The DoJ has filed a lawsuit against the city of Truman, accusing the city of violating the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act in its dealings with U.S. Army Reservist Michael Schutz. Shultz returned from deployment and got only part of his job back. The city says it is due to budget cuts (Fairmont Sentinel).

Twenty percent of the 2,800 Iowa National Guard soldiers who returned from Afghanistan earlier this year don’t have jobs waiting for them. (AP)

North Mankato City Council explores cuts, fees

Needing to trim spending or boost fees by $225,000 in the proposed 2012 budget, the North Mankato City Council Monday night discussed everything from street light surcharges for property owners to eliminating school crossing guards (Mankato Free Press).

Repeated police calls now come with a fee

A system of fees Rochester will charge to property owners for repeated police calls to their premises was adopted Monday by the city council (Rochester Post Bulletin).

Cargill lays off 130 at Arkansas production plant

Cargill Inc. has laid off 130 people at its Springdale plant because the company hasnt been able to produce ground turkey since a recall last month (Pioneer Press).

Iron Range may get new taconite plant

Magnetation Inc. on Tuesday sealed a $297 million deal with Ohio-based steelmaker AK Steel to expand operations on the Iron Range, including a potential new taconite production plant in Itasca County (Duluth News Tribune).

Prosecutor: women knew group involved in terrorism

Two women accused of going door-to-door to raise money for al-Shabab knew the Somali-based group engaged in terrorism and “rejoiced” when they heard about its victories in their war-torn homeland, a prosecutor said Tuesday (AP).

Officers prepare for ‘Occupy Minnesota’ protest (MPR News)

Winona State presidential search begins (Winona Daily News)

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