Northern Minnesota firm pioneers peat process for heavy metals cleanup

Oh for peat’s sake. MPR’s Martin Moylan reports: “Cleaning polluted water can be difficult and expensive. But a northern Minnesota company says it’s developed a natural, cheap technology to reduce one type of toxic pollution — heavy metal contamination. … The product is totally low-tech. It’s made from peat. And Minnesota has lots of that. … In Aitkin, north of Lake Mille Lacs, American Peat Technology harvests and processes massive amounts of waterlogged peat from the bed of a long-gone lake. The reed-sedge peat is plant material that has been decomposing for thousands of years.”

Worth keeping tabs on. KSTP’s Eric Chaloux report: “The Minnesota Department of Transportation will be adding new staff to increase the frequency of inspections of private, non-emergency medical transportation (NEMT) vehicles that bring Minnesotans to medical appointments, according to an agency official. … KSTP obtained through a public records request year-2017 inspection and safety checks on 125 NEMT companies with vehicles that were on the state-administered list of providers. … Records showed inspectors found some minor violations. But they also found violations that included companies using drivers without background checks; wheelchair lift problems; brake issues; emissions issues; and bad tires.

Not just a southwest Minneapolis thing. KARE’s Lou Raguse reports: “With half the town bordered by Lake Minnetonka, it should come as no surprise that a lot of people want to move to Excelsior. … But it’s the way some new residents take home ownership that has other long-term residents banding together. … ‘Greed. That’s my first thought,’ said Linda Putnam, who has lived in Excelsior with her husband since 1979. … The Putnams are now part of the ‘Protect Excelsior’ campaign, a not-in-my-backyard movement opposing home teardowns that result in much larger new construction that dwarfs neighbors.

Trying to make the whole “East Town” thing happen. The Star Tribune’s Nicole Norfleet reports: “A light dusting of snow covered the Commons park and the east side of downtown Minneapolis as Pat Ryan looked out over the blocks his company built. … ‘It was a sea of asphalt,’ Ryan, chief executive of Ryan Cos., said from a vantage point on the 15th floor of one of the Wells Fargo office towers. … In less than five years, he and other developers have spent more than $1 billion to construct offices, apartments, condos, hotels and other commercial projects around U.S. Bank Stadium. But the area still requires some heavy lifting — not involving cranes or concrete — to become the vibrant, cohesive place people like Ryan envisioned.”

In other news…

Has he ever not been confident?Rep. Jason Lewis Confident He’ll Win Re-Election In November” [WCCO]

Bullish on TPAW:Republican Governors Association Planning Big Ad Buy in Minnesota” [KSTP]

Good news and bad news:Milder temperatures by midweek, then wintry again” [MPR]

Never change:Palmer’s Bar selling to longtime Grumpy’s NE bartender Tony Zaccardi” [The Growler]

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