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North Carolina-based Huber Engineered Woods plans $440 million manufacturing plant near Cohasset

Plus: Twin Cities apartment builders wary of high materials costs; airlines canceling flights due to lack of workers; Minneapolis cancels Independence Day fireworks; and more.

Bass Lake, near Cohasset
Bass Lake, near Cohasset

The jobs northern Minnesota has been pining for. The Star Tribune’s Brooks Johnson reports: “Huber Engineered Woods is planning a $440 million timber-based manufacturing plant near Cohasset in a major boost for the state’s logging industry and the Iron Range economy. … The 750,000-square-foot mill would be located next to the Boswell Energy Center and employ more than 150 people. The North Carolina-based company expects to have the operation online by the middle of 2024.”

And the flip side of those high timber prices … Also in the Star Tribune, Jim Buchta reports: “With demand for rentals in the Twin Cities on the upswing this summer, the escalating cost of building apartments is delaying projects and forcing developers to put others on hold. … Lumber prices remain more than double last year’s levels following a breathtaking run-up this spring before an easing in recent weeks. After a record setting 4.3% rise in May, overall construction costs are up more than 24% over year-ago levels, the Associated General Contractors of America said last week.

Future bookings are totally up in the air. KSTP reports: “When air travel plummeted at the start of the pandemic, airlines offered early retirements and buyouts to thousands of employees. … Now, they’re desperate to fill those positions again. … American Airlines says they’re also seeing a high number of sick calls right now, along with some maintenance issues. … That led them to cancel 300 flights across the country this weekend and they said they expect this problem to continue. … The airline is blaming those cancellations on ‘significant staffing shortages’ which is the result of a couple things.”

Speaking of canceling things … At Minneapolis Patch, William Bornhoft reports: “Although coronavirus cases continue to drop across the country while the number of those who are fully vaccinated continues to rise, many Independence Day celebrations have once again been canceled, modified or will be held virtually due to the pandemic. … Minneapolis’ fireworks may have been canceled, but there are other events and celebrations going on in town on July 4. …‘Although pandemic restrictions for outdoor events ended May 8, 2021, regrettably there simply is not enough time to create the Red, White and Boom! experience that people have come to know and love,’ the city of Minneapolis said in a statement.

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