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Most members of the Duluth-based 1st Squadron, 94th Cavalry of the Minnesota Army National Guard are still in Kuwait, riding armored trucks and escorting supply convoys in and out of Iraq. But through the luck of a draw -- the units were picked out of hat -- about 60 of the 94th's 500 members are home in the Northland for the holidays for a brief break in their yearlong deployment in the Middle East. Jason Gates, 21, was one of the lucky ones.
Sappi paper company announced Thursday that it will stop making pulp at its Cloquet mill and start making chemical cellulose that's made into a fabric for clothing, wet wipes and other consumer products. Sappi Limited's board approved the $170 million investment in the Cloquet mill and hopes to begin producing chemical cellulose by 2013. The stuff, made from the fiber of trees, will be dried and shipped to Asia, where it will be used by the burgeoning textile industry to make rayon fabrics, said Amy Olson, Sappi Fine Papers North America spokeswoman. The announcement, from the company's Sou
The nation's top forecasters are predicting a colder-than-normal winter across the Northland. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration released a 2011-2012 winter outlook today that calls for a better-than-average chance that temperatures will be colder than normal across much of the northern U.S.
ON LAKE THREE -- The last firefighters are set to fly or canoe out of the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness today, leaving any lingering puffs of smoke and flame in the Pagami Creek fire for the first winter snows to snuff. But even as a massive cleanup continues of 150 miles of fire hose, dozens of water pumps, 200 canoes and other gear used to battle the blaze over the past two months, Forest Service officials already are turning their attention to next summer's onslaught of campers. On Wednesday, here on the northwestern corner of the fire, forest officials toured campsites where the
The Pagami Creek fire in the Superior National Forest jumped outside its perimeter in spots in recent days fanned by strong winds in tinder-dry conditions. Trees inside the perimeter of the fire burned as well, sending embers in the wind that landed and started new fires that ground and air crews immediately attacked. Daria Day, an information officer assigned to the fire, said that despite the wind challenge, "we managed to hold our own." She said wind gusts reached as high as 36 mph with a sustained wind in the teens. She said the southeast wind pushed smoke across the Fernberg Trail area
ST. PAUL -- Residents and cabin owners in the Ely and Isabella areas won another reprieve Wednesday from any mining company exploration under their lands. The state's Executive Council voted unanimously to wait six more months before reconsidering a proposal to lease state-owned mineral rights to mining companies to explore in Northeastern Minnesota, including under private property. Gov.
A popular federal program that for 33 years has quietly trapped and killed thousands of wolves in northern Minnesota will become extinct after Friday. The wolves were targeted near where livestock and pets had been killed. And almost everyone who knew about the program -- farmers, conservation leaders, wolf lovers, state natural resource officials, Republican and Democratic politicians -- liked it. But with a moratorium on earmarks in Washington, there's no money assigned to the program after fiscal 2011 ends Friday, when wolf trappers will cease operations.
More than 830 people are now helping stamp out the remnants of the Pagami Creek fire in the Superior National Forest, and they're having an easier time of it after several days of rain. Crews now have more than 30 percent of the fire contained thanks to help from several aircraft, bulldozers, fire trucks and more. But more than an inch of rain since Sunday has been the biggest factor, along with cool temperatures. "It was raining hard enough (Wednesday) that they took the crews off the line by about noon.
Yet another cougar has moved across the Northland, heading east into Michigan's Upper Peninsula. Trail camera photographs taken in northern Douglas County on July 25, in Iron County on Aug. 30 and near Ontonagon, Mich., on Sept.
NINE MILE LAKE -- Patty and Gregg Scott spent four years building their log home, on their own, from the ground up, and they weren't about to sit around and wait for the Pagami Creek fire to burn it down. So on Wednesday, joined by friends and family, they grabbed chain saws and a skid-steer and fire pumps and hoses -- and they hacked out a line in the forest where they would fight the fire on their terms. "This is our dream. We built this with our own hands. It's not just a house," Patty Scott said as she hauled a balsam fir tree out of their woods.