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New method aims to herd, capture invasive carp in Mississippi

New method aims to herd, capture invasive carp in Mississippi

Under a gray sky threatening rain, Tim Adams steered his fishing boat across the Black River near La Crosse, just upstream from where it empties into the Mississippi.He joined a small fleet looking for something that shouldn't be here: Invasive carp.Adams wants the carp gone.“I enjoy the river as much as anybody, like riding around in our pontoon boat in the summertime,” Adams said. “I don't want the things jumping in the boat." Adams, of Wabasha, fishes and boats on these waters, both for fun and as a commercial fisherman. He's worried that invasive carp will crowd out native species."I'm...

Apr 13
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Plunge in riders sparks debate over Northstar's future

Plunge in riders sparks debate over Northstar's future

Every weekday, Mugesi Ogongi drives from her home in Monticello to the Northstar train station in Big Lake.Then, she takes the commuter train to Minneapolis, where she works as a mental health professional at M Health Fairview University of Minnesota Masonic Children's Hospital. As an essential worker, Ogongi . But in the early days of the pandemic, she said there were sometimes as few as five people on the train. Some riders have returned, she said, but not as many as there used to be before COVID-19.Ogongi attributes the drop in ridership to people losing their jobs to the pandemic. She’s...

Apr 7
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Bemidji settles with 3M over water treatment for ‘forever chemicals’

Bemidji settles with 3M over water treatment for ‘forever chemicals’

The city of Bemidji recently reached a settlement with 3M to help pay for treating contamination in the city's water supply.3M will pay $12.5 million toward building and operating a new treatment facility to remove chemicals known as PFAS, or per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances.The city discovered elevated levels of PFAS in its wells in 2016. It’s believed that the source of the contamination was firefighting foam used during training at the regional airport, which is located near the wells. 3M manufactured PFAS used in aqueous film-forming foam used for suppressing fires for decades.PFAS...

Apr 4
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After Myanmar coup, Karen refugees in Minn. fear for homeland

After Myanmar coup, Karen refugees in Minn. fear for homeland

Fifteen years ago, Tu Lor Eh Paw’s family left their small village in Burma, now known as Myanmar, seeking a better life away from political violence and unrest.Part of her family fled first to Thailand and then to Minnesota in 2011, while others stayed behind.Paw, a student at Bethel University, has been closely watching this week’s news of a , in which the military seized power and detained many of the country's leaders. "I just don't know what's going on with my family that's left over there,” she said. “I feel very uneasy, and not having any type of communication with my aunts and...

Feb 4
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House DFL bill would offer safety protections for meatpacking workers

House DFL bill would offer safety protections for meatpacking workers

A state lawmaker is pushing for stronger safety protections for workers at Minnesota meat and poultry processing plants, where COVID-19 outbreaks sickened hundreds of employees during the pandemic.Rep. Dan Wolgamott, DFL-St. Cloud, is author of a bill that would give meatpacking workers the right to refuse to work in conditions they deem unsafe. It also would require meat processing employers to provide paid sick time for workers to recuperate from illness, injury or to care for ill family members.The bill would impose new requirements on meat processing plants to prevent the spread of...

Jan 27
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Minn. Sen. Jerry Relph dies of COVID-19 complications

Minn. Sen. Jerry Relph dies of COVID-19 complications

Jerry Relph, a first-term state senator from St. Cloud, died Friday of complications of COVID-19, his family and the Senate majority leader confirmed.“Jerry dedicated his life to service, and representing Senate District 14 was one of the highest honors he had,” his wife, Pegi Broker-Relph, said in a statement released Friday night. “I can’t count the number of times he would come home at night and tell me about helping solve a constituent’s problem, or a story he heard from someone in a parade or at a public event, or even just someone he met during a ‘day on the hill’ event. He loved...

Dec 18
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Murdock to vote on permit for whites-only group

Murdock to vote on permit for whites-only group

Officials in the west-central Minnesota town of Murdock are expected to vote Wednesday on whether to allow a controversial religious group that worships ancient Norse gods to use a former church as a regional gathering place.The Asatru Folk Assembly (AFA) bought an abandoned Lutheran church in the Swift County town about 110 miles northwest of Minneapolis. The Murdock City Council is debating whether to grant a conditional use permit that would allow the AFA to use the church building as a place of worship.Some local residents have voiced opposition due to the AFA’s pro-white beliefs....

Dec 9
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Conservation group buys remaining Potlatch land in Minnesota

Conservation group buys remaining Potlatch land in Minnesota

A nonprofit organization has purchased more than 70,000 acres of northern and central Minnesota forest formerly owned by the paper and lumber giant Potlatch.Potlatch once owned 330,000 acres across Minnesota, on which it managed and harvested trees for its paper mills. Now called PotlatchDeltic and based in Spokane, Wash., the company sold off most of that land over the past few decades.This month, The Conservation Fund finalized a deal to purchase the remaining 72,440 acres, scattered over 14 counties, for almost $48 million. The counties include Aitkin, Becker, Beltrami, Carlton, Cass,...

Nov 22
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Mille Lacs County board race highlights old tensions

Mille Lacs County board race highlights old tensions

When Bradley Harrington was an 11-year-old growing up on the Mille Lacs Indian Reservation, members of the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe were in court, arguing that a treaty their ancestors made with the U.S. government gave them the right to harvest fish on Mille Lacs Lake. It was 1992. At his school in Onamia, he said, tensions were high."We were fighting all the time,” Harrington said. “And stuff was being said to me, like, how they want to spear me or wrap me in a net and throw me in the lake."That was Harrington's first taste of the discord that still lingers in the Mille Lacs region, one...

October 28, 2020
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Widened by erosion, iconic Mississippi headwaters to undergo restoration work

Widened by erosion, iconic Mississippi headwaters to undergo restoration work

More than half a million people visit the headwaters of the Mississippi River at Itasca State Park every year, most stepping along the familiar path of stones to cross the river at its humble beginnings in north-central Minnesota.Over decades, those many feet have eroded the shoreline, making the river’s first stretch much wider than it used to be.This fall, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources plans to repair that damage. The project, scheduled to begin in early October, will restore the river channel to its original width and stabilize the streambank.“Due to heavy foot traffic,...

September 6, 2020
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