Nonprofit, independent journalism. Supported by readers.


Three escape from New Richmond, Wisconsin, correctional facility

Plus: Anoka County among the best in nation for upward mobility; a bear rambles around Duluth; state’s invasive species research initiative criticized; and more.

St. Croix Correctional Center
St. Croix Correctional Center

Their first mistake was giving them running shoes. “The New Richmond School District has canceled school for the day as police continue to search for three inmates who escaped Wednesday night from the St. Croix Correctional Center in New Richmond, Wis,Andy Rathbun reports in the Pioneer Press. “The inmates were last seen wearing long underwear tops and bottoms, along with gray shorts and running shoes. They escaped the minimum security prison about 10:15 p.m., according to the New Richmond Police Department.”

It’s good to be Anoka County. “Anoka County ranks in the top fifth nationally as a place where children have a better shot to scale the income ladder,” says MPR’s Peter Cox. “Patrick McFarland, executive director of Anoka County Community Action Program, a nonprofit that runs Head Start and 22 programs to help people get out of poverty, said that while Anoka has strong schools, there are other factors in play that help people improve their lives in the county. … ‘We do have some certain advantages,’ he said. ‘We’re a relatively affluent community, our incomes are relatively high. We can support the poverty population we have.’ ”

Also be sure to check out the New York Times’ visualization of the data from the study, where you can see how your own county stacks up.

A beary serious situation unfolded in Duluth on Wednesday afternoon. The Duluth News Tribune’s Sam Cook reports, “Early Wednesday morning, as Duluthians went to work, they saw a young bear 50 or 60 feet up in a tree in the front yard of Duluth’s City Hall. … Then, at about 1:40 p.m., the bear decided it was time to scramble down the tree and take a little ramble. The young bruin loped up to Second Street behind City Hall toward the county’s parking ramp.” More important: There’s a video.

Article continues after advertisement

Three years and they haven’t stopped the spread of every invasive species? What a waste. In the Star Tribune, Kelly Smith reports, “Researchers sold legislators in 2012 on the idea of the state leading the way with innovative, high-risk research, funneling about $12 million into starting up and then running the Minnesota Aquatic Invasive Species Research Center until 2019, predicting it would be a ‘game-changer’ in the struggle to protect waterways from things like zebra mussels and invasive carp. … Now, as the center enters its third year, it’s expanding with new hires and new projects slated to start this summer. But some critics say it’s not doing enough to stop the spread of aquatic invasive species.” 

In other news…

After some unexpected delays, the Star Tribune rolled out its new website design.

Cirrus Aircraft, based in Duluth, is building a new, $15 million customer center in Tennessee. Partly for the weather, partly for the easy tax exemptions. [MPR’s Newscut] 

Jennie-O is laying off 223 workers as a result of reduced turkey supply caused by avian influenza. [Brainerd Dispatch]

And the poultry exhibit at the Red River Valley Fair has been canceled. Will the State Fair be next? [Inforum]

Randy Olson of Brooten, Minnesota, is betting big on small-town newspapers. [Star Tribune]

Fargo’s most intrepid reporter is … 9. [Inforum]

Mayor Hodges shows off some dance moves:

Meet the Cloquet dog that helps solve arsons. [Saint Cloud Times]

The smelt are back! [MPR’s Newscut]