PolyMet land swap dropped from National Defense Authorization Act

REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

Swap dropped. The Duluth News Tribune’s Jimmy Lovrien reports: “An amendment meant to expedite the land exchange between PolyMet Mining Co. and the U.S. Forest Service was dropped Monday from the National Defense Authorization Act. … The amendment would have reaffirmed the land swap deal that closed on June 28, with the company transferring nearly 6,900 acres of private land within the Superior National Forest boundary to the Forest Service in exchange for 6,500 acres at the mine site north of Hoyt Lakes, also nullifying four lawsuits against the deal pending in federal court.”

Both sides digging in. Also in the Duluth News Tribune, Adelle Whitefoot reports:Cleveland-Cliffs filed a lawsuit Monday against Mesabi Metallics and Tom Clarke for libelous statements and defamation. … The lawsuit claims that Clarke and Mesabi Metallics made libelous statements about Cliffs in a press release sent out on July 17. The release claimed Mesabi Metallics had promised to provide crude ore to Hibbing Taconite ‘in order to extend the life of Hibbing Taconite and preserve “Iron Range” jobs.’  … Hibbing Taconite is a magnetite mine partially owned and operated by Cliffs.”

This doesn’t sound good. Rewire’s Jessica Mason Pieklo reports: “A lawsuit filed this month claims a Target pharmacy refused a flu shot to a man because he is HIV-positive and accuses the retailer of disability discrimination. … Douglas Decker, a retired Target worker, was first diagnosed as HIV-positive in 1986, according to the complaint. On September 22, 2015, Decker says he went to a Target store in the Midway neighborhood of St. Paul, Minnesota. … He had gone to Target to fill a prescription when he asked about getting a flu vaccine. … Decker claims that after he disclosed his HIV-positive status the technician ‘physically backed away and told Mr. Decker that he would need to speak to the pharmacist.’ The technician then told Decker, in front of the pharmacy desk and other customers, that Target wouldn’t give him a flu shot and he would have to go to another clinic, according to the complaint.”

Even the ducks are above average. The New York Times’ Sarah Mervosh writes: “Where she goes, they follow. All 76 of them. … A female duck in Minnesota has about six dozen ducklings in her care, a remarkable image that an amateur wildlife photographer captured on a recent trip to Lake Bemidji, about 150 miles northwest of Duluth, Minn. … ‘It was mind blowing,’ the photographer, Brent Cizek, said in an interview. ‘I didn’t know that a duck could care for that many chicks.’”

In other news…

That’s a lot of cheese:Mouse engineered at UMN brings in $1 million” [Minnesota Daily]

Vexillophiles weigh in:Two winners selected for new Rochester flag” [MPR]

Elections have consequences:Star Lake Casino on hold as White Earth Nation reviews finances” [DL-Online]

R.I.P.:Son of Vikings legendary coach Bud Grant, a former Minn.-Duluth QB, dies” [West Central Tribune]

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