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Cliffs Natural Resources will idle United Taconite — 500 workers affected

Plus: Burnsville takes on carports; Sun Country pilots want option to leave mediation; DWI-arrested Puddle of Mudd singer had been kicked off flight at MSP; and more.

Bad jobs news from the Iron Range. John Myers writes in the Duluth News Tribune, “Cliffs Natural Resources on Wednesday said it will idle its United Taconite operation on the Iron Range, impacting 500 employees as the storm in the U.S. domestic steel industry continues. … The company said it has a glut of taconite iron ore pellets on hand while demand from its customers, U.S. steelmakers, remains down. … The United operations — with a mine in Eveleth and processing center in nearby Forbes — employs about 500 people with a $60 million payroll in 2014. The operations produced 4.9 million tons of taconite pellets in 2014.”

This seems like it might be about more than just carports. In the Star Tribune, Pat Pheifer reports, “Don Paul and his wife, Judy, have lived in the Rambush Estates mobile home park in Burnsville for 13 years. … On June 12 … the city of Burnsville sent notices to the Pauls and 21 other residents in the park who have carports saying the structures have to go because they violate state building code and city code. If residents don’t comply within a certain number of days, they face steep reinspection fees. … A few people have already removed their carports; some others are fighting back, attorney Valerie Sims said. … Sims has served the city with a lawsuit, claiming, among other things, that Rambush Estates is private property and Burnsville does not have the authority to issue code violations there.”

Sun Country pilots are requesting clearance for takeoff … from mediation talks. (Ugh, sorry.) WCCO reports, “Pilots from Sun Country Airlines have asked federal officials to release them from mediation talks if an agreement can’t be reached in their final session with airline officials. … Sun Country officials and the 250 pilots represented by the Air Line Pilots Association, or APLA, have been in negotiations for five years. … The pilots say they are the lowest paid in the country and are asking for a raise.”

OK, so where did he get the car? KMSP revealed that Puddle of Mudd frontman Wes Scantlin, who was arrested for drunk driving over the weekend, had previously been kicked off a flight at MSP for being too drunk to fly. “According to a police report the flight crew thought he was too intoxicated to be on the flight.  Scantlin told police he wasn’t drinking, but on pain medication. Although police said they could smell a strong odor of alcohol on his breath. … Scantiln told police he wanted to take the flight to Los Angeles, ‘because he was a rock star, and he had an important show there, and didn’t want to upset his fans,’ the report said. … Scantlin even got his agent on the phone.  The officers took a swaying, and visibly upset Scantlin, who had tears in eyes to a taxi.  Officers told the taxi driver he was to take Scantlin to a nearby hotel.”

In other news…

The Glean

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Macalester prof Marlon James is up for a Man Booker Prize for “A Brief History of Seven Killings.” [MPR]

Minneapolis harshes the Dreamland Commune’s mellow. [City Pages]

Duluth learns that the house always wins. [WDIO]

We already mentioned that Dayton is considering a walleye special session this morning, but you don’t want to miss the Brainerd Dispatch’s “Walleyepocalypse” graphic.

Nor do you want to miss this photo of a catapult ride gone very wrong at the Wisconsin Dells. [KARE]