Giant mine project advances; Watching the watchers; VP TPaw?

Giant mine project near Ely takes step forward

Duluth News Tribune: “Twin Metals formally announced Thursday that it has instructed its engineering contractor to draw up plans for an 80,000-ton-per-day mine and processing plant — an operation that would be one of the largest private enterprises in state history.”

A closer look at the role of neighborhood watch programs in local communities

WDAY: “With the national uproar over the Trayvon Martin case, many people are questioning the true role of a neighborhood watch. Seventeen year-old Martin was shot and killed by George Zimmerman, a neighborhood crime watch captain, who claims he felt threatened by Martin who was unarmed.”

State works to cut haze in northern wilderness areas

MPR News: “Today, the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency takes another step in a long-running effort to clean up the air over some of Minnesota’s most cherished places. The MPCA’s Citizens’ Board will consider submitting a state plan to reduce air pollution to the federal Environmental Protection Agency. The Regional Haze Rule is part of a nationwide attempt to return clear skies to the largest national parks and wilderness areas, including the Grand Canyon, Lake Superior’s Isle Royale, and other treasures. The plan also aims to rid the air of pollutants that contribute to heart attacks, asthma, and other health problems. EPA officials have indicated they likely will approve it. But the National Park Service and the U.S. Forest Service, the agencies responsible for the national parks and wilderness areas, have criticized the state’s plan and say it doesn’t cut pollution enough.”

Minn. timber harvest down 25-30 percent since 2006

AP: “Northern Minnesota’s logging industry is suffering along with the rest of the national wood products industry, but leaders of trade groups say loggers who’ve held on so far are likely to survive.”

Op-Ed: Allow logging of downed

Ely Echo: “Let’s face the facts, 90 percent of the BWCAW goes unseen from visitors. If it’s not viewable from the water, a campsite or portage, people don’t see it.”

Housing squeeze tight for Minnesota’s low-income families

MinnPost: “The dramatic decline in home values over the last several years has not resulted in improved access to affordable housing for the people who need it most – extremely low-income families.”

Moorhead taking action to boost housing starts

WDAY: “During the middle of the last decade Moorhead saw over 300 housing starts per year, but since the 2009 flood that number is closer to 100.”

Minority groups oppose new Minneapolis ward map

Star Tribune: “Indian and Hispanic representatives argued that proposed alterations of the electoral map would dilute their voting power.”

St. Cloud rolls out new precinct map

St Cloud Times: “Some St. Cloud residents will vote at new locations, based on changes to the city precincts map.”

Dayton criticizes GOP health insurance exchange efforts

Pioneer Press: “As the U.S. Supreme Court began its historic review of the federal governments sweeping health care overhaul, the political debate in Minnesota over how to implement the law heated up at the state Capitol.”

The veepstakes: Finding Romney’s mini-me

HuffPo: “Marco Rubio, it’s said, can deliver Florida and some of the Hispanic vote; Bob McDonnell, similarly, is a fellow technocrat who can probably deliver the key swing state of Virginia; Tim Pawlenty has crossover appeal to Democrats; Susana Martinez could close the ‘gender gap.'”

Brainerd Parks and Rec closes skate park due to vandalism

Brainerd Dispatch: “Fans and users of Jaycee Skate Park will have to find another place to skate board come Tuesday, with the Brainerd Parks and Recreation Board coming to a unanimous decision to close the skate park until further notice.”

New food shelf site provides space to meet hunger needs

Bemidji Pioneer: “In addition to its main site, the Bemidji Community Food Shelf has about a half-dozen storage locations sprinkled throughout the area.”

Faribault mill weaves new chapter

Star Tribune: “Under new ownership, the Faribault Woolen Mill Co. is continuing its rebirth as the nation’s only fully integrated textile manufacturer, boosting its workforce and landing a contract to produce blankets for J.C. Penney Co.”

U of M grad workers vote down unionization

MPR News: “Results released Monday show University of Minnesota graduate assistants have voted down an attempt to unionize over pay and working conditions.” MN Daily: “About 68 percent of the 4,400 eligible graduate student workers cast votes in last week’s election.”

Crop disease challenges bean farmers

AgWeek: “Area dry bean and soybean farmers will face some new, or at least expanded, challenges this growing season.Dry bean producers are confronted with anthracnose, a little-known disease that can hammer both yields and quality.”

Duluth councilors approve controversial furniture purchase

WDIO: “Duluth city councilors approved a proposal to spend more than $90,000 to refurnish a space in the city hall basement. It’ll be used by 21 employees, according to Dave Montgomery, the city’s Chief Administrative Officer.”

Lake levels are … up?

WWJ: “According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), all of the Great Lakes are higher than they were last year in March, and Lake St. Clair is 4 inches higher.”

Water experts say it’s time to clean Great Lakes

USA Today: “Emerging technologies, new federal programs and global volunteer efforts are aiding in cleaner water, but there still is work to be done.”

Op-Ed: Deep thought is dead, long live deep thought

Scientific American: “Alan Jacobs posted a technology article for The Atlantic titled “Jobs of the Future: A Skeptic’s Response.” In the article, he voices his doubts that a skillset promoted by the internet and social networking would usher in a new wave of future employment.”

By the numbers

Number of snakes in a Coon Rapids Home: over 300

The Pioneer Press reports the Coon Rapids City Council could determine if the local resident may continue to “keep living with more than 300 snakes in his house.”

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