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Obama administration denies Twin Metals lease renewal

Courtesy of the Minnesota Center for Environmental Advocacy
Plans for precious-metals mining in Northern Minnesota extended well beyond PolyMet’s NorthMet project. (Click map for larger version.)

Obama says no to the mine. The New York Times’ Richard Pérez-Peña reports: “The Obama administration on Thursday blocked development of a copper and nickel mine near a popular wilderness area in northern Minnesota, saying the project could poison the vast web of lakes, streams and wetlands that crosshatch the region. … Acting with just five weeks left in the administration, federal agencies refused to renew leases held by a mining company just outside — and upstream from — the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness, along the Canadian border. Officials also took steps that could lead to a much larger area being put off limits to mining.”

Just jealous that they didn’t think of it? WCCO’s Pat Kessler reports: “Minnesota House Republicans are crying foul after DFL staffers on the losing end of the 2016 election were granted benefits from the state’s Dislocated Workers Program, which is normally used for mass layoffs from private companies. … Some 50 to 60 DFL campaign staffers lost their jobs after the election – something that’s not uncommon. But for the first time they’ve banded together to earn special status as victims of a mass layoff.”

Major PSA here. The Pioneer Press’ David Montgomery reports: “Minnesotans have just one day left to buy health insurance on MNsure if they want it to take effect Jan. 1. … But the Thursday midnight deadline comes as major questions remain unresolved about MNsure’s future — and about how much some MNsure customers will have to pay for their insurance.”

Wow. MPR reports: “A Woodbury real estate developer is buying the home of the man who killed 11-year-old Jacob Wetterling in 1989, so he can destroy it. … Tim Thone says the house of Danny Heinrich reminds him of the emotional scars left by the crime. He expects to buy the one-bedroom foreclosed house Friday and tear it down by Christmas, as a present for his adult children. The effort will cost him about $74,000.”

In other news…

War on cars update: “On-street Bicycle Parking at LynLake” [Minneapolis Bicycle Coalition]

Make Minnesota Great Again! “Minnesota Unemployment Drops Down to 3.8 Percent” [KSTP]

Co-written by Macalester prof Duchess Harris: “A New Young Adult Book on NASA’s Black Women” [African American Intellectual History Society]

Nice: “3M expands family leave policy to 20 weeks of paid and unpaid leave” [Star Tribune]

Music to our ears: “Minnesota school gets new band instruments, thanks to Barry Manilow” [Duluth News Tribune]

Good luck: “Former Twins great Rod Carew set for heart transplant today” [Star Tribune]

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