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If Tom Clarke can't win over the CEO of Cleveland-Cliffs, then he hopes to win over the hearts and minds of its Minnesota employees and business partners. Clarke on Monday sent letters to all United Steelworkers Iron Range union locals, pledging to work with them to develop a unionized Mesabi Metallics taconite mine and pig-iron plant in Nashwauk and, maybe as importantly, pledging not to displace any of their taconite operations with his new ore.
Another foreign, aquatic invasive species has been found in the Twin Ports harbor — this time a small invertebrate called the bloody red shrimp. A single bloody red shrimp was confirmed this week after analysis of water samples taken last July by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service The critter, which is native to freshwater lakes and rivers of the Caspian region of eastern Europe, was found in Allouez Bay, not far from the Burlington Northern ore docks.
Corporate leaders of Allete Inc. — the Duluth-based parent company of Minnesota Power — said Thursday that they will take steps this year to control costs, increase efficiencies and "impose discipline" as they "rescale the business" to bolster profitability in 2018. Allete CEO Alan Hodnik told industry analysts in a conference call that if the company can't get increased returns via higher utility rates, then Allete will hit its 9.25 percent return on revenue goal "by virtue of discipline with the business."
Northeastern Minnesota’s moose population dropped some over the last year but appears to have leveled off after the big declines of a decade ago. The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources reported Thursday that its annual winter moose estimate came in at 3,030 moose, an 18 percent drop compared to 3,710 moose in 2017, a decline the agency said was statistically insignificant.
Harvey Winthrop, the longtime owner of downtown Duluth's Ideal Market and fondly called the "Mayor of First Street," died Tuesday at the age of 88. Winthrop had retired to the St. Paul area, where he died of cancer. Winthrop was known for his kind demeanor and giving nature in serving downtown residents who often had little or no money, suffered from addictions and other health issues and lived in ramshackle apartments or boarding houses.
The state of Ohio's Environmental Protection Agency last week issued a final air emissions permit-to-install for IronUnits, a proposed iron briquette manufacturing facility in Toledo that will be owned and operated by Cleveland-Cliffs. The agency said the permit is one of several needed for the company to build the plant at the former Ironville Terminal in East Toledo, along the Maumee River not far from Lake Erie.
The St. Louis County Board on Tuesday passed an advisory resolution against proposed legislation that doesn't exist yet. County commissioners, meeting in Hermantown as the committee of the whole, voted 5-2 to reiterate their support for a unified St. Louis County, going on record that any effort to split the county is not on their wish list. But one of the two who voted against it, Commissioner Tom Rukavina of Pike Township, said he may continue to push the idea on his own.
The federal budget proposal released by the Trump administration this week would slash funding for Great Lakes restoration by 90 percent, from $300 million this year to just $30 million next year, and would cut other programs aimed at keeping lakes and drinking water clean. President Donald Trump's budget includes no money for so-called Clean Water Act Section 319 programs, which help communities reduce polluted runoff. That's down from $167 million last year.
A timber wolf that had earlier become entangled in a wire trapping snare was shot and killed by a Duluth police officer Saturday afternoon along Rice Lake Road near Marshall School. The wolf had first been reported near Tettegouche State Park on Lake Superior's North Shore earlier in the week, then near the Sucker River outside Duluth. Several people had reported the entangled wolf earlier Saturday along the North Shore Scenic Highway, with the wire wrapped around the wolf's muzzle.
A global human-rights organization has joined the chorus speaking out against the PolyMet copper-nickel mine in Northeastern Minnesota, with officials from the group calling the proposed mine as much a human rights issue as an environmental one.