>>Historic Lutsen Lodge Destroyed by Early Morning Fire
(Lutsen, MN) — The historic Lutsen Lodge on Lake Superior’s North Shore is a total loss after an overnight fire. The Cook County Sheriff’s Office says smoke was reported coming from the lobby area around 12:30 am (Tues) and crews from eight area fire departments responded to the fire. The building was totally engulfed in flames when firefighters arrived. Deputies say there were no guests on site and no injuries were reported. Lutsen Lodge officials say in a Facebook post, ” the amazing memories made here are in our hearts as we begin the heavy weighted process to rebuild back better.” The Minnesota State Fire Marshal’s Office is working to determine the cause.
>>Man Dead After Minneapolis Gas Station Shooting
(Minneapolis, MN) — A man is dead after a shooting outside a Minneapolis gas station this morning. Fourth Precinct officer responded to a shooting report around 12:20 a.m. finding a 23-year-old man suffering from a life-threatening gunshot wound in the alley behind a gas station. Despite life-saving measures, the man was pronounced dead at the scene. Investigators say the shooting happened after a verbal altercation, which turned into violence. No arrests have been made so far.
>>MN House Republicans Urge Gov. Walz to Veto Social Studies Standards
(St. Paul, MN) — House Republicans are calling on Governor Tim Walz to veto the proposed social studies standards, citing ‘academic deficiencies.’ In a letter to Walz, Republicans express concern that the Minnesota Department of Education’s standards review process has been influenced by “extremists aiming for the political radicalization of public schools.” The final standards, recently submitted to Walz after addressing legal deficiencies, await his approval or veto within the next 14 days.
>>MN AG Officials Look to Morocco for Export Opportunities
(Undated) – Minnesota’s top ag official points to one African country that could unlock export opportunities throughout the continent. Commissioner Thom Petersen recently returned from a trade mission to Morocco and says the focus was on grain, feed, and the Port of Duluth. “Keep in mind too, Morocco is the only African country that has a free trade agreement. It’s kind of the gateway to Africa if you look at the ports and other things, so it makes sense for us.” Peterson says the Port of Duluth can service North African countries like Algiers, Egypt, and parts of Southern Europe: “So we look at some of those strong possibilities in growing markets.” Peterson says the Port of Duluth can be used to export corn, soybean meal, soy oil, wheat, oats, sugarbeets, and pull pellets from the Upper Midwest to Africa.
>>Rochester City Council Approves Ordinance Banning Homeless Encampments
(Rochester, MN) — City officials in Rochester want to crack down on homeless encampments. An ordinance approved by the Rochester City Council Monday night on a 4-3 vote would prohibit camping in parks and other municipal-owned property at all times. A previous measure banned camping on city property during the nighttime hours. The Rochester Police Department has been leading the ban on homeless encampments after clearing out more than a hundred last year. The ordinance also requires that any officer seeking to enforce the law check to confirm that an overnight shelter is available. It could go into effect in early March.
>>MN Manufacturing Business Conditions Survey Shows Strong Outlook for 2024
(Undated) – The annual Minnesota Manufacturing Business Conditions Survey shows an improved outlook for 2024. Neal Young, DEED’s director of economic analysis, says “We found that they are cautiously optimistic for their outlook in 2024 for a number of business indicators. Particularly when you compare it to how businesses actually performed against those same indicators in 2023.” Nearly 80% of manufacturers expect profits to be the same or higher in 2024, compared to 48% in 2023.
>>U of M Study Shows How Different Communities Value Water
(Minneapolis, MN) – A new study by the University of Minnesota shows how different state communities value water and prioritize its protection. Professor Mae Davenport says they did this study to understand different voices and environmental policy in Minnesota. She says, “People with different backgrounds across race and ethnicity have unique, in some ways, relationships with water and really value water for different reasons.” Davenport says in light of these findings, science requires more inclusive research and engagement methodologies to explore and uplift different voices and narratives around water.