Around Cook County
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — A Swiss firm has pledged to invest $80 million in PolyMet Mining's plans for a copper-nickel mine in northeastern Minnesota.
The investment by Swiss commodities giant Glencore AG includes $20 million in bridge loans and $60 million in equity. The Star Tribune reports the investment is expected to be finalized in June, pending regulatory approvals in the U.S. and Canada.
The investment would allow PolyMet to complete the lengthy environmental review and permitting process that has already been six years in the making at a cost of $50 million to date. Environmental permits and state regulatory approvals are required before mill work and mine construction can begin.
WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. Postal Service says it will delay plans to cut Saturday mail delivery because Congress isn't allowing the change.
The Postal Service said in February that it planned to cut back in August to five-day-a-week deliveries for everything except packages, as a way to hold down losses.
But a statement today from agency's Board of Governors notes that Congress has passed a spending bill that continues the longtime prohibition against reducing delivery days.
As a result, the board says it believes that Congress “has left it with no choice but to delay implementation” of the five-day-a-week plan.
Applications for Minnesota bear hunting licenses are available through May 3, the Department of Natural of Resources (DNR) has announced.
A total of 3,750 licenses are available in 11 permit areas. The number of available licenses for 2013 is about 35 percent fewer than the 6,000 licenses available in 2012. The 2012 bear harvest was 2,604. That was a 22 percent increase from 2011, despite 15 percent fewer bear quota licenses being available. The increase in harvest for 2012 was largely due to poorer fall food conditions, making bears more attracted to hunters’ baits.
The DNR’s goal with the lower license quotas is to allow for a gradual increase in the current bear population. The DNR monitors the bear population using a modeling technique based on ages of harvested bears, supplemented periodically by total population estimates based on mark-recapture data. Bear ages are determined from tooth samples that hunters are required to submit.
Notification to successful lottery winners will be made in mid- to late May. The deadline to purchase licenses awarded by lottery will be Aug. 1. Any remaining unpurchased licenses will be available to any eligible persons starting at noon Aug. 7.
Application for a bear license can be made at any DNR license agent, the DNR License Center in St. Paul, online at www.mndnr.gov/buyalicense or by phone at 888-665-4236. Bear licenses cost $44 for residents and $250 for nonresidents. There is a $4 application fee.
Complete information on the fall bear hunt is available on the DNR website at www.mndnr.gov/hunting/bear.
Snow in April? Well, according to Weather Service records, one of the biggest snow storms happened on April 5, 1933. That’s when 28 inches fell on the old Pigeon River Bridge crossing here in Cook County. That still stands as the state record for a 24 hour snowfall in April. Two Harbors measured 17 inches in one day during that same storm.
Don’t miss the 3rd annual Fingerstyle Masters Weekend featuring artist Jim Ohlschmidt April 12 - 13 at Bluefin Bay Resort in Tofte, MN.
Friday, April 12 - Gordon Thorne & Jim Ohlschmidt will play a couple of informal sets beginning at 8:00 p.m.
Saturday, April 13 - Fingerstyle Guitar Workshops:
• 10:00 a.m. - Gordon Thorne will present “Fundamentals of the Form - Getting Started”
• 11:00 a.m. - Jim Ohlschmidt will present “John Hurt's Country Blue Guitar”
• lunch break
• 1:30 p.m. - Jim Ohlschmidt will present “Nashville Thumbstyle: a look at players such as Merle Travis, Jerry Reed and Chet Atkins”
The workshop fee is $50 for all workshops and lunch. To register contact Gordon - email@example.com - or call 218-353-7308
Saturday, April 13 – Evening concert:
• 7:30 pm - Evening Concert featuring Gordon Thorne & Jim Ohlschmidt.
The concert tickets are $15, available at the door or can be reserved by calling Bluefin @ 218- 663-6200 or Gordon @ 218-353-7308
All proceeds benefit WTIP!
The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources’ (DNR) nongame wildlife program is recruiting volunteers for a frog and toad calling survey to help track the health of the state’s 14 species. This effort is part of the nationwide North American amphibian monitoring program.
"Without the dedication of generous volunteers, this project would not be possible,” said Heidi Cyr, frog and toad survey volunteer coordinator. “Many frog and toad species are indicators of habitat quality and provide valuable information on the condition of Minnesota’s wetlands. The volunteers’ reports also help us track the health of the state’s frog and toad populations.”
New volunteers are provided with a kit that includes a CD containing calls of Minnesota’s frog and toad species, a poster of Minnesota’s frogs and toads, a map of a pre-defined route in an area of their choice, and directions on how to run the route. A vehicle is required to travel between stops.