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EPA will investigate MPCA’s regulation of mine pollution

Plus: Six North Shore beaches fail clean-water checks; how to have a good time in Minneapolis for $3,600; CARAG neighborhood group objects to development on Lake St.; state Supreme Court affirms whistleblowers; and more.

It’s environmental regulator vs. environmental regulator. The AP reports (via WCCO): “The federal Environmental Protection Agency has agreed to investigate allegations by an environmental advocacy group that a state agency is failing to meet its responsibility to regulate iron mining companies, the advocacy group said. … The environmental group WaterLegacy filed the petition with the EPA in July, saying the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency failed to meet the responsibilities that the EPA has delegated to it for enforcing the Clean Water Act when it comes to iron mining companies.”

Relatedly, the Duluth News Tribune’s John Myers reports: “Six of 54 waterfront areas tested each summer along Minnesota’s portion of Lake Superior are in violation of state clean-water standards, according to the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency. … A report released recently used data from the twice-weekly water testing by the Minnesota Department of Health for the summerlong beach advisory program that checks for high levels of bacteria that could make people sick.”

The key to having a good time in the winter in Minneapolis? At least $3,600, apparently. That’s according, natch, to Forbes: “If Minneapolis has been flying under your radar, it’s time to change that. From hotels offering guest packages that really embrace the cold, something there’s no escaping during a winter in Minneapolis, to one chef that’s putting the Minneapolis restaurant scene on the map, exciting things are happening in the City of Lakes. Now, more than ever, is the time to consider Minneapolis a top winter destination in the U.S.”

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Too tall? Check. Parking concerns? Check. Too noisy? Check. A community organization has objected to a development, per the Southwest Journal’s Dylan Thomas: “Even after developers lowered its proposed height by three stories, a hotel planned for the intersection of Lake & Emerson faces stiff opposition from neighbors. … Opponents of the project packed a CARAG meeting Tuesday night, where a resolution urging the City Council to deny Graves Hospitality’s rezoning request passed by a roughly four-to-one margin. The meeting drew close to 50 people, more than double the usual turnout for CARAG’s monthly meetings.”

Fire someone for reporting malfeasance? Not in Minnesota. MPR’s Bob Collins makes note of a ruling by the state Supreme Court on whistleblowers: “The state’s highest court has resuscitated the case of a woman who blew the whistle on financial irregularities in Minneapolis Public Schools only to have her job eliminated. … The Minnesota Supreme Court today rejected the Minneapolis Public Schools’ assertion that Yvette Ford’s claim of retaliation came after the statute of limitations had run out.”

In other news…

The search for 12 marines missing in a helicopter crash in Hawaii, including Minnesotan Sgt. Dillon Semolinahas been called off. [The UpTake]

Be sure to clearly distinguish your “M”s from your “N”s: “MPR steps in to sponsor regional spelling bee” [Star Tribune]

“Minnesota Doctors Asked to Watch for Zika Virus [KSTP]

What’s going on with the Minnesota Tax Court’s website? [Forbes]

Well, it’s not Los Angeles: “Vikings Complete Eagan Land Purchase, Could Move HQ” [KELO]

Bad marks for the Minneapolis police in this review of use-of-force policies by advocacy group Police Use of Force Project:

The Current is launching a Duluth radio station.

Louis Anderson’s latest project: “Baskets” [Pioneer Press]

Minneapolis has a vegan butcher now. What? [Heavy Table]

R.I.P. Bob Dayton, “… great-grandson of Dayton’s Department Store founder George Draper Dayton” [Star Tribune]