‘Right to work’ amendment debate, silica sand mining on hold, fewer sites in BWCA

BWCA wildfire aftermath includes campsite closures

AP: “Rangers had hoped to have most back in operation when paddlers returned. But standing scorched trees known as snags and burned latrines raise safety and sanitation issues that still must be addressed, spokeswoman Kris Reichenbach said.”

Puzzle of baby found in river weighs on sheriff

Star Tribune: “Months after ‘Angel’ was found in the Mississippi, authorities are still looking for answers. Services for the infant girl will be in April.”

With SE Minn. silica sand mining on pause, groups organize

MPR News: “Silica sand mining is a divisive topic in southeastern Minnesota. Local officials have held town hall meetings with residents, met with environmentalists and industry leaders, and passed moratoriums on mining so they can study the practice that has already swept parts of Wisconsin.” Star Tribune: “Hydro-fracking spawns a new Minnesota industry – and fears about its effects.”

Walz calls for campaign finance reform

Winona Daily News: “Rep. Tim Walz, D-Minn., plans to make his 2012 election finances an open book — and he hopes groups that donate to political campaigns will do the same. Walz is a co-sponsor of a bill that would require corporations, super political action committees, and unions to report campaign donations.”

Minnesota Senate committee takes up “Right to Work”

Pioneer Press: “The state Senate’s Judiciary and Public Safety Committee will take up a proposed constitutional amendment this morning that would forbid contracts requiring workers join unions or pay union dues.”

Appraiser’s work for St. Louis County under scrutiny

Duluth News Tribune: “Jan Jackson and her family are responsible for assessing more townships than any other appraisers in St. Louis County.”

Limiting invasive species in Minnesota waters is one issue state lawmakers agree on

St Cloud Times: “From electric barriers to a proposed research center at the University of Minnesota, aquatic-invader legislation is gaining traction at the state Capitol. Millions of state dollars are almost certain to follow.”

Faribault Daily News: “There is a natural tension between cities and counties and the state when it comes to revenue production — while the state can levy sales and income taxes, it can also manipulate other funding steams that impact cities like the Homestead Market Credit and Local Government Aid. ‘It’s frustrating every time you see a bid, and there is sales tax. Especially on capital purchases,’ said Faribault City Councilor Dave Miller. ‘You think we add it all up, we could get a cop or two.'”

Dayton: Vikings stadium bill has ’50-50’ chance at Capitol

MPR News: “Gov. Mark Dayton said Sunday while he supports a new Vikings stadium, he’s not sure it will win approval at the Legislature.”

Tight G.O.P. primaries suggest less-predictable south

New York Times: “The Deep South base is not as predictable as it once was. National polling companies have found a volatile contest in Alabama and Mississippi, a near toss-up among the three leading candidates. And indeed the primaries represent a rather neat slicing of the Southern electorate at the current moment.”

Ham radio space helps sway couple to buy North Dakota home on ebay

Forum of Fargo Moorhead: “James Stiles doesn’t hunt, fish, bird watch or yet dig for dinosaur bones — the typical hobbies that draw people to North Dakota. He’s moving to the state to increase his stock as a ham radio operator.”

By the numbers

Report: Great Lakes ice down 71 percent since 1973

AP: “A published report says the amount of ice covering the Great Lakes has declined about 71 percent over the past 40 years, a drop that the lead author partly attributes to climate change.”