Looking to attract more business, Duluth will host 19 delegates from foreign consulates based in Chicago on Thursday. Brady Slater of the Duluth News Tribune reports that the Minnesota Trade Office and the Duluth Seaway Port Authority will fete delegates from China, Indonesia, the Philippines and more with a visit to a Vista Fleet vessel, a stop at a local furniture manufacturer and then a visit to Chinese-owned Cirrus Aircraft before staying at Fitgers’ Inn. Port Authority Executive Director Vanta Coda said it’s important to get on the radar of the Chicago International Trade Commissioners’ Association, which has a tendency to perceive the Great Lakes as ending with Lake Michigan. Kathleen Motzenbecker of the state Trade Office agreed: “They live in Chicago and get to know Chicago pretty well; they don’t always connect to Lake Superior and we’ve got to change that.”
Starry stonewort, an invasive algae, was found in Lake Koronis in August. Since then it has spread to cover 250 acres in the 3,000-acre lake. That’s why the Koronis Lake Association is joining with the state Department of Natural Resources in a five-year, $800,000 campaign to manage starry stonewort in Lake Koronis. Tom Cherveny of the West Central Tribune reports that the initiative is important not only for Lake Koronis, but to stop the algae from spreading to other lakes. Buoys will create a navigation channel near the access and a mechanical harvester and scuba divers will remove as much of the starry stonewort as possible. Algaecide will be applied later in the season. The DNR will also station inspectors at the access. Starry stonewort populations often crowd themselves and die, leaving thick mats that can grow to be over 6 feet tall of decomposing algae that rob the lake of oxygen, kill invertebrates and release a rotten egg odor to accompany the smell of decomposing fish. The algae was first discovered in the U.S. in the St. Lawrence Seaway in 1978. It has since spread to lakes in Michigan, New York, Pennsylvania, Vermont, Wisconsin and now, Minnesota, Cherveny writes.
Five members of the St. Cloud State University women’s tennis team are suing the university, saying it has for years violated Title IX rules by offering more athletic opportunities for men than women. David Unze of the St. Cloud Daily Times writes that the lawsuit claims SCSU denied 1,759 women athletic opportunities because it offered at least 116 more athletic opportunities for men than for women every year for the last 12 years even though the undergraduate male and female student enrollment was nearly identical. The lawsuit also asks a federal judge to issue an injunction preventing the university from eliminating any athletic opportunities for women until the lawsuit is over – a reference to SCSU’s plan to reduce costs by cutting its athletics programs from 23 to 17 sports at the end of this academic year. Women’s tennis is one of the six programs scheduled to be eliminated, and the suit was filed by five of the six underclassmen on the team. They ask for class-action status.
Interesting fact: When the Indianapolis Colts chose Lake Shore resident Joe Haeg with the NFL’s 155th pick, he became the third Brainerd native drafted by the NFL following Gene Bierhaus who was drafted in 1943 by the Green Bay Packers and Jon Jelacic who was drafted in 1958 by the Chicago Cardinals. Mike Bialka of the Brainerd Dispatch gives these stats on Haeg: The left offensive tackle is 6-foot-6 and 304 pounds; he graduated from Brainerd in 2011 and will graduate from North Dakota State University with a degree in civil engineering. The Bison won four FCS national titles during his four years as a starter.
Another interesting fact: When NDSU’s Carson Wentz appears on the cover of Sports Illustrated later this week, he will join just two other North Dakota natives so honored: Roger Maris and Phil Jackson. Wentz was selected with the second overall pick in the NFL Draft by the Philadelphia Eagles.
Crosslake has a bear problem. Chelsey Persons of the Brainerd Dispatch reports that even Crosslake Police Chief Bob Hartman has had a run-in with a black bear. Hartman said a bear got into his garbage can about 10:30 p.m. Sunday at his residence. “I went out onto my deck and attempted to chase it away,” Hartman wrote in an email. “It had absolutely no fear of me whatsoever. It just stood and looked at me as I shouted and clapped my hands at it. It finally just walked off.” Meanwhile, four residents reported two bears taking down bird feeders and getting into garbage cans while bears were spotted near the Crosslake Community Center and Golden Horizons Assisted Living. Hartman suggests residents put their garbage cans in the garage and take their bird feeders down at night. “If there is no food source in and amongst the homes, the bears will eventually return to the woods to forage for food,” he said.
A bridge along the Wobegon Trail near Albany burned Saturday. Linda Vanderwerf of the West Central Tribune reports that a cyclist reported the fire near mile marker 94 east of Albany at about 5:30 p.m. Saturday, according to a news release from the Stearns County Sheriff’s Office. The bridge is closed and the cause of the fire is under investigation.
The state Department of Natural Resources announced that starting this week, campers at Minnesota state parks will be able to make reservations at previously “first come, first served” sites. The Associated Press reports the change applies for the entire camping season at each park. Those sites typically make up 25 percent to 30 percent of the total sites at each campground. The DNR said it will also start accepting same-day reservations with no reservation fee at most parks for travelers who show up spontaneously. Previously, campers had to reserve a site by midnight the night before arrival day, the AP reports.