Environment

One Dead in Cloquet House Fire

Multiple Agencies responded to Scene

CLOQUET, Minn.- One person is dead after a fire destroyed a home and attached garage at about 8 p.m. last night near Cloquet. Multiple agencies responded to the fire at 3912 Highway 33 spending hours extinguishing the flames. The body of the victim has been seen to Anoka for an autopsy. The cause of the fire remains under investigation.  …

Protesters Oppose Mining in National Forest

Crowd Gathered Outside Congressman Nolan's Office Following Recent Announcement

DULUTH, Minn. – A group of protesters gathered in front of U.S. Rep. Rick Nolan’s downtown Duluth office Thursday. Earlier in the week, Rep. Nolan coming out in favor of reversing the Obama Administration decision which blocked mining in more than 234,000 acres of the Superior National Forest.  These acres are close to the Boundary Waters Canoe Area, which has…

Ice Orbs Are Gathering for Art Collaborative at Lake Superior Ice Fest

SUPERIOR, Wis. — It’s getting colder and colder this week, which is wonderful news for those organizing the Lake Superior Ice Festival, taking place this weekend. Preschool children from Superior delivered dozens of frozen ice orbs to the festival grounds on Barkers Island earlier this morning. It’s the first of a group of community members that have frozen water balloons to…

Minnesotans Encouraged to Swap Older Stoves

Project Stove Swap Offers Homeowners an Incentive to Replace Wood-Burning Stoves

DULUTH, Minn. – You’ve likely heard of “Cash for Clunkers”; well, there’s now a similar program for wood–burning stoves. Project Stove Swap gives Northern Minnesotans an incentive to replace their older, inefficient wood–burning stoves with a newer more environmentally friendly model. The project is a partnership between Minnesota Power and the non–profit Environmental Initiative.  Organizers say swapping out an old…

Committee to Finalize CWD Recommendations in Wisconsin

MADISON (AP) – An advisory committee is getting ready to finalize its recommendations for revisions to Wisconsin’s long-term chronic wasting disease program. The Department of Natural Resources adopted a 15-year plan in 2010, which calls for a review following the 2015 hunting season. The DNR, state agriculture officials and the Conservation Congress set up a committee to assess the plan…

Cow Moose Rescued After Fall into Idaho Basement

1/2 Show Caption Hide Caption 2/2 Show Caption Hide Caption KETCHUM, Idaho (AP) – Authorities say a female moose is safe after she fell through an unlatched window into the basement of an Idaho home. The Idaho Mountain Express reports that the moose spent about three hours in the basement early Sunday morning. Law enforcement officers and those form the…

MnDOT Applies Seeks Funding for “Can Of Worms” Project

The project would be completed in three phases, the first beginning in 2019

DULUTH, Minn. – The Minnesota Department of Transportation has submitted an application for a federal grant, in hopes of funding a major project to fix the well–known “Can of Worms” interchange on Interstate 35 in Duluth. The grant was submitted to the Federal Highway Administration to fund $45 million towards the first of the three-phase project. If the grant is…

Death Toll from Southeast Tornadoes Rises to 21

Photo: Fox 8 ALBANY, Ga. (AP) – The death toll from a weekend outbreak of tornadoes and severe thunderstorms int he Southeast has increased to at least 21. A 77-year-old woman in southwest Georgia died form storm-related injuries, Thrusday night, at a hospital. Dougherty County Coroner Michael Fowler told The Associated Press on Friday that Patricia Ann Gohman received head…

Minnesota Poultry Farmers Warily Watch Bird Flu Outbreaks

Bird flu has been found in 40 countries, putting WHO on high alert

ST. PAUL (AP) – Poultry farmers in Minnesota are cautiously watching the spread of bird flu in Europe and Asia. Minnesota Public Radio reports that the World Health Organization is on “high alert” because the bird flu virus has been found in 40 countries around the world since last fall and is quickly spreading. Michael Osterholm, director of the University…

Fungus Killing Northern Minnesota Bats

Bats at the Soudan Underground Mine have been dying from white nose syndrome.

Somewhere between 8,000-12,000 bats call the Soudan Underground Mine home, but a wide spreading fungus is hurting their numbers. The fungus known as white nose syndrome grows on the bat’s muzzle and causes them to wake up from their winter hibernation. The bats then leave the mine to look for food, but don’t have enough fat stored up for the…

Official: Trump Wants to Slash EPA Workforce, Budget

WASHINGTON (AP) – The former head of President Donald Trump’s transition team at the Environmental Protection Agency says he expects the new administration to seek budget and staff cuts. Myron Ebell left the transition team last week saying, in an interview with The Associated Press, that his specific proposals to the White House remain confidential. But asked what he personally…

Grand Avenue Estates Project Gets Pollution Grant

Development Project Near Morgan Park Gets a Boost

DULUTH, Minn- There is growing excitement for a major housing development along the St. Louis River corridor that hit a polluted snag. The city of Duluth and the developer have landed a $654,000  clean–up grant from the state. That money will go towards the nearly 1 million cost to get rid of contaminated soil on the property. This means the…

Wisconsin Point Restoration Plans Taking Shape

The project will focus on eliminating areas of concern, specifically to dunes along the peninsula

SUPERIOR, Wisc. – Plans for restoration on Wisconsin Point are nearing completion. The Superior Parks, Recreation and Forestry Department shared design details of the project with residents tonight. The restoration focuses on eliminating areas of concern, specifically to the dunes along the peninsula. Some of the planned changes on Wisconsin Point include boardwalks from updated parking lots to the dunes…

Animal Answers: Mushing with Endurance Kennels

Endurance Kennels Specialize in Sprint Sled Dog Racing; Teaches Community Members about the Sport of Mushing

DULUTH, Minn. – The 34th running of the John Beargrease Sled Dog Marathon will kick off this weekend, after months of hard work and preparation from mushers and their dogs. But what is it like for sled dogs that prefer to mush a shorter distance? In this week’s Animal Answers, we’re mushing with Endurance Kennels. “I usually start my morning…

Investigators Seek Tips About Upper Peninsula Wolf Poaching

STAMBAUGH TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) – Michigan conservation officers are appealing for public tips about the illegal shooting of a wolf in the Upper Peninsula’s Iron County. The Department of Natural Resources says the poaching happened about 10 miles southwest of Iron River, in Stambaugh Township. A passerby spotted the wolf Sunday afternoon lying several feet off East Brule Lake Road,…

Winter Weather to Impact Wednesday Morning Commute

Snow and mixed precipitation expected to impact road conditions across northern Wisconsin

The Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT) is reminding motorists to be cautious if traveling in what could be hazardous conditions. Snow and a mix of snow and rain is expected to make driving difficult Tuesday evening through Wednesday. Precipitation is expected across the majority of the state, and road conditions will become slippery as snow mixes in. Snow is expected…

Trump Administration Institutes Media Blackout at EPA

WASHINGTON (AP) – The Trump administration has instituted a media blackout at the Environmental Protection Agency and barred staff from awarding any new contracts or grants. Emails sent to EPA staff since President Donald Trump’s inauguration on Friday and reviewed by The Associated Press detailed the specific prohibitions banning press releases, blog updates, or posts to the agency’s social media…

Flint Water Falls Below Federal Lead Limit

Falls below "Action level" of 15 ppb

LANSING, Mich. (AP) – Michigan environmental officials say Flint’s water system no longer has lead levels exceeding the federal limit. The finding by the Department of Environmental Quality is good news for a city whose 100,000 residents have grappled with the man-made water crisis since 2014. Officials told The Associated Press, ahead of an official announcement Tuesday, that the 90th…

Trump Takes Executive Action on Oil Pipelines

WASHINGTON (AP) – President Donald Trump has signed executive actions to advance the construction of the Keystone XL and Dakota Access oil pipelines. Trump tells reporters in the Oval Office that the construction of the pipelines will subject to the terms and conditions being renegotiated by the United States. Former President Barack Obama killed the proposed Keystone XL pipeline in…

Standing Rock Rally Shows Support for City Council

Supporters of a resolution showing solidarity with those of the Standing Rock Sioux tribe thanked the Duluth City Council for passing the resolution.

DULUTH, Minn.-The Duluth City Council recently passed a resolution expressing their support for the Standing Rock Sioux tribe. It’s a decision that the council has heard both praise and criticism for making. Supporters of the resolution held a rally in the city hall rotunda and thanked the council for their actions. Those supporters said the city council was well within…

NASA 2016 Temperature Report

Latest Report From NASA Shows Warmest Year on Record

Meteorologist Gino Recchia discusses the latest NASA report for 2016 as the warmest year on record since records began back in 1880.  16 of the 17 hottest years on record have occurred since 2000 and the planet only seems to continue to warm. Categories: Environment, Weather Blog

City of Duluth Seeking Input for Western Waterfront Trail Plans

An online survey is available and will be used to find out what the public would like done to the area

DULUTH, Minn. – The Western Waterfront Trail, located from near the Lake Superior Zoo to Morgan Park, connects many neighborhoods and recreational areas along Duluth’s west side.City officials are asking for public input regarding future plans along the trail corridor on the St. Louis River. The city of Duluth is investing over $18 million towards the project. Currently, the city…

Duluth Lakewalk Mini-Master Plan

City to Begin Comprehensive Plan to Reviltalize Duluth's Lakewalk

DULUTH, Minn- There could be some changes on the way to the Duluth Lakewalk. The city is hoping to create a plan, that will help earn funding to revitalize the Lakewalk. Recently the Lakewalk has been plagued by everything from heavy crowds to general wear and tear, but now in 2017 it’s time for some fresh ideas. Starting later in…

Dark Skies Protest Party

People Protest Duluth's New Street Lights

There’s been some concern about new street lighting in Duluth’s downtown district. Those involved are protesting the cities decision to use intense LED lighting along certain streets in Duluth. The protests’ supporters claim that the new lights will ruin Duluth’s historic feel but won’t make the streets any safer. Owner of Take Action Inc. Rod Raymond says, “When it comes…

Nearly 60,000 Acres Returned to Red Lake Band

Bureau of Land Management finalized the return of the land, Friday

In support of meeting the nation’s obligations to the Red Lake Band of Chippewa Indians in Minnesota, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) announced Friday, that the BLM has completed its land surveys and legal identification of nearly 60,000 acres, scattered across five northern Minnesota counties, that were restored to the Red Lake…

Report: More Work Needed on Identifying Great Lakes Toxins

Familiar toxins seem to be declining, but others are emerging

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. (AP) – A report by a U.S. – Canadian agency says the two nations are behind schedule on identifying chemical pollutants in the Great Lakes and developing strategies to deal with them. Familiar toxic substances such as PCBs and dioxins appear to be declining or at least getting no worse in herring gull eggs, a key indicator…

Water Levels on Lake Superior at Normal For ‘Mild’ Winter, Experts Say

DULUTH, Minn. — Temperatures have been up and down since winter began, but how about the water levels on Lake Superior? Dr. Bob Sterne, director of the Large Lakes Observatory at University of Minnesota Duluth says week to week temperature changes don’t have too much effect on lake water balance, but overall winter weather patterns do. Dr. Sterner says in…

Highway 53 Relocation Ahead of Schedule

New highway expected to open in November

VIRGINIA, Minn. – Last fall, work began on the Highway 53 relocation project near Virginia. Plans call for the new roadway to be open to traffic this November. But so far, the work is moving along. The colossal new Highway 53 bridge towers above Rouchleau Pit near Virginia. “You’re looking at the completed span of the bridge now. We got…

Dayton Announces $350M in Federal Funds for Water Quality

Will provide direct funding to MN farmers, while working to protect and improve waters in 54 Minnesota counties

ST. PAUL – Governor Mark Dayton, today, January 17, signed an agreement with the United State Department of Agriculture, to secure $350 million in federal funding to protect and improve waters in 60,000 acres across 54 Minnesota counties. The new state-federal effort, the Minnesota Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (CREP), will target areas of southern and western Minnesota facing significant water…

Majority of Superior Shipyard Workers Test Positive for Lead

Investigation began last Spring

SUPERIOR, Wis. – Health officials say the majority of more than 200 workers tested for lead exposure at a Superior shipyard had elevated levels of lead in their blood. Wisconsin and Minnesota health departments began a joint investigation last spring after workers at Fraser Shipyards were exposed to lead while retrofitting the Herbert C. Jackson originally built in 1959. Wisconsin…

ATV Accident Leaves Teen in Critical Condition

FREDENBERG TOWNSHIP, Minn. – On January 16, 2017, around 3:00 p.m., the St. Louis County Sheriff’s Office,  along with area volunteer fire departments, responded to an ATV crash involving a 13-year-old male driver near the 6500 block of Stevens Road in Fredenberg Township. The involved driver, Logan Rautio, was air-lifted to a Duluth hospital in critical condition. The operator was…

2016 Shipping Season Coming to a Close

Coal and Iron Ore Shipments Went Down, Grain Shipments Saw Record Numbers

DULUTH, Minn. – The 2016 shipping season is coming to a close, with the last Last Laker of the Season, the Lee A. Tregurtha arriving in the Twin Ports earlier today. Duluth Seaway Port Authority representatives say this year’s shipping season was a bit steady. Though grain shipping saw record numbers, The Iron Ore shipments didn’t pick up until the…

Search Canceled for Father, Toddler Swept into Ocean

NORTH BEND, Ore. (AP) – The Coast Guard has suspended its search for a father and his young son who were swept into the sea by a wave along an Oregon beach. The agency, along with Oregon State Police and other responders, searched unsuccessfully Sunday and Monday for 31-year-old Jayson Dean Thomas, of Elmira Oregon, and his 3-year-old son. Thomas…

Indoor Plants Liven Up Homes

Experts Give Us a Tip on How to Keep Them Alive

DULUTH, Minn. – Many people use indoor plants to liven up the inside of their homes. And though taking care of indoor plants can seem effortless, it’s important to learn about the type of plant to have to avoid giving it too much or not enough water or light. In the winter time, keep plants away from the window to…

Shipping Season Heading into Winter Layup

The last few freighters are heading into port as the season wraps up

DULUTH, Minn. – The 2016 Great Lakes commercial shipping season wraps up this weekend with the Soo Locks (Sault Ste. Marie) set to close at midnight Sunday, January 15. The last four freighters heading into the Port of Duluth-Superior for winter layup will be the Philip R. Clarke, Arthur M. Anderson, Lee A. Tregurtha, and the Roger Blough. Two outbound vessels left the…

Mountain Iron Fire Leaves One Dead

Two Others Taken to Hospital

UPDATE 1-16-17: Authorities have confirmed that the female who died in this fire has been identified as Ginnie L. Hanka, 57, from Mt. Iron, Minnesota. Her husband, 61-year-old David M. Hanka, from Mt. Iron, is currently in critical, but stable condition at Essentia Health St. Mary’s Hospital Burn Unit. Their son, David M. Hanka Jr., 25, is also at Essentia…

Public Scoping for Proposed Withdrawal of Federal Minerals in Rainy River Watershed

U.S. Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management will conduct

DULUTH, Minn. – Today, January 13, 2017, the U.S. Forest Service published a notice of intent (NOI) in the Federal Register to prepare an environmental impact statement (EIS) to study the proposed 20-year withdrawal of federal minerals on the Superior National Forest within the Rainy River Watershed. An EIS is a document that is required by the National Environmental Policy…

Study: Trace Medications, Chemicals May Be Harming Fish

50 river locations tested for 146 chemicals

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) – A Minnesota Pollution Control Agency study finds trace levels of pharmaceuticals and other chemicals may be harming fish in Minnesota rivers and lakes. Recent studies found a variety of pharmaceuticals and other chemicals in Minnesota water, ranging from antidepressants to insect repellents, but the new study confirms how common these chemicals are in surface water,…

Fire Deaths in Minnesota Drop to Second-Lowest Level Ever

Fire marshal urges Minnesotans to keep taking fire prevention seriously

ST. PAUL, Minn. – Authorities report that one person died in the morning hours of January 12, at an apartment fire in Mound. This is the first fire fatality of 2017 for the state of Minnesota, and it comes on the heels of a near record-setting year for fire deaths in the state. The Minnesota Department of Public Safety released…

Essentia Helps Provide New Service at Chester Bowl

Snowboards Are Now Available for Rent at Chester Bowl, Thanks to a Generous Grant

  DULUTH, Minn. – The Chester Bowl Ski Hill in Duluth is now home to a brand new service this season, thanks to a generous grant from the Essentia Health Community Contributions Fund. Fifty new snowboards and seventy-five sets of boots are now available to be rented out for those looking to hit the slopes. The snowboard rental program goes along…