Brooks is an investigative/enterprise reporter and business columnist at the Duluth News Tribune.
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DULUTH—The longest sled dog race in the Lower 48 will be shortened about 75 miles, ending in Grand Portage instead of the outskirts of Duluth next year, organizers announced Friday, Sept. 21. The 2019 John Beargrease Sled Dog Marathon will start at Billy's Bar in Rice Lake and end at Grand Portage Lodge and Casino with a shortened distance of 300 miles. In years past, teams started near Two Harbors, ran to Grand Portage and then raced back down to the finish line at Billy's. The mandatory number of dogs will drop from 14 to 12 as well.
DULUTH — It has all the makings of a typical Senate race — incumbent touts her achievements while challenger attacks her record and paints her as out-of-touch. Except Democratic Sen. Tina Smith has been in office a mere eight months, and the seat will again be up for grabs in two years. The usual battle lines are being drawn in the unusual special election to fill out the remainder of former Sen. Al Franken's term after he resigned amid a sexual harassment scandal at the beginning of the year.
DULUTH — When Minnesota regulators signed off on the Line 3 replacement pipeline this summer, they may have reshaped the future of oil transportation across the state. By forging a new path for Line 3, Enbridge now has options for its other five pipelines that traverse Minnesota. While there are no plans to move or replace those pipelines, the new route sets a precedent future projects could follow.
DULUTH — For decades, the majority of the Twin Ports of Duluth and Superior, Wis., lived under the threat of a concentrated chlorine spill, which could have spread over 10 miles and sickened up to 128,000 people in an unlikely, though technically possible, worst-case scenario. Then in 2006, Western Lake Superior Sanitary District decided to do away with the risk altogether.
DULUTH—Northland mining, paper and energy companies are giving a hard pass to Minnesota Power's proposed natural gas plant. What's more, according to testimony filed on their behalf, these businesses would rather be subject to occasional blackouts and pay less for power through a scheme known as interruptible rates if it helps keep the plant from getting built.
DULUTH — It was day care — in-home, small-group, family day care — that helped make Steven Tanski the thoughtful young man he is today. "Not only did it allow for both of my parents to work full-time jobs without having to worry about me, I also learned so many different things while there," the Hermantown High School senior said. "Cindy and her day care ... left a lasting mark on my life and will continue to for the rest of my life." Future generations might not be able to say the same thing.
The Minnesota Public Utilities Commission tapped the brakes on the Enbridge Line 3 pipeline permitting process on Thursday, Dec. 8, saying the massive environmental review for the project is still missing a few fine points. With a 4-1 vote after a daylong meeting, the PUC instructed the Department of Commerce and other agencies to refine three technical areas of the final environmental impact statement and to ensure a tribal cultural resource survey is complete before construction begins.
DULUTH, Minn.—The Minnesota Department of Commerce has come out against the Enbridge Line 3 replacement, raising the stakes in an already contentious battle over the oil pipeline's fate.
DULUTH — More than a third of the iron ore shipped out of the Twin Ports so far this year has left the country. The Duluth-Superior Port Authority reported that through July about 35 percent of all taconite shipments have been taken to Quebec, and spokeswoman Adele Yorde says that is "primarily for export" elsewhere. Typically about 30 percent of taconite shipped locally is bound for Canada. "Much of that rise is attributable to a surge in U.S. iron ore exports from Minnesota mines to steelmakers in China and Japan," the port wrote in its summer magazine.
DULUTH — Will Schlotec had an unparalleled zest for life and heart full of love that was widely reciprocated. "You'd wish that many kids could emulate his spirit and enthusiasm for life and his gusto," his lacrosse coach, Rick Heimbach, said. "He was one of God's people, and he left early." Will died over the weekend after jumping into Amity Creek on Saturday evening, Aug. 26. The 15-year-old was remembered fondly as hard-working and adventurous and as a force of nature.