Senate Finance Backs Additonal Funds For MN Zoo

Bad weather and rising costs have left Minnesota’s Zoo facing a $1.5 million deficit. Governor Dayton recommends the legislature help with the funding gap and the Senate Finance Committee on Monday night agreed with him approving a deficiency funding bill on a voice vote.

Democrats Turn Up Heat On McFadden Cheaper Chinese Steel Comment

Minnesota Democrats are trying to turn a comment about steel from Republican candidate for U.S. Senate Mike McFadden into a major campaign issue to unite Iron Range residents against him — something that could help the DFL in other races as well.

Crying Wolf: Activists Demand End To Minnesota Wolf Hunt

Hundreds of opponents of Minnesota’s wolf hunting season gathered at the State Capitol to lobby — and howl! — for a makeover in the state’s recent approach to management of the totemic animal that, for many, symbolizes wilderness in the state’s North Country. The day-long “Wolf Day” was organized by Howling For Wolves, a citizens’ group that supports passage of a law that would place a new moratorium on wolf hunting in Minnesota.

Armed Mercenaries Returning to Wisconsin Woods — Legally, This Time

Mercenary-style guards carrying assault weapons will return to the north woods of WIsconsin after an Arizona-based security firm received proper permits to operate in Wisconsin. Last month, the heavily-armed guards, wearing camouflage and some with face coverings, startled hikers and other forest visitors when they showed up — without permits or the legally required name tags and credentials.

State’s First Frac Sand Hearing Proves, Well, Fractious

By Sally Jo Sorensen, Bluestem Prairie
UpTake Contributor

Southeastern Minnesota’s bluff country from Red Wing to the Iowa border and the Minnesota River valley from the Metro to Mankato have been strangers to the sort of divisions with which mining politics have cursed Northeastern Minnesota. Until now, anyway. Tuesday’s joint Legislative committee hearing on the problems of frac sand mining has ended that blessing. (A video replay of the meeting — the first Legislative hearing on the issue — is above). Testimony revealed deep fractures between — on one side — grassroots citizens, conservation organizations and local governments seeking regulatory relief and — on the other — representatives from the Minnesota Industrial Sand Council, a trucking company owner, the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce and the powerful “49ers” or International Union of Operating Engineers.

Hundreds Oppose Bill Weakening Wisconsin Mining Regulations

The fight against a proposed weakening of Wisconsin mining regulations that would facilitate the construction of a giant open-pit mine in Ashland County continued this week with hundreds of Wisconsin residents, including many representing Native American tribes, traveling to Madison to testify against the bill at a legislative hearing.