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1/26/10: This week’s Minnesota news from other media

An ordinance passed Monday by the Duluth City Council prohibits smoking within 15 feet of a transit shelter, reports Peter Passi in the Duluth News Tribune. “Smoking inside shelters already is prohibited by state law, but Duluth will become the first city in Minnesota to create a larger smoke-free buffer zone,” he writes.

The Agricultural Utilization Research Institute (AURI) in Crookston will receive a $99,000 grant to provide technical assistance to small and emerging businesses in the biomass processing industry in seven rural Minnesota counties, the Crookston Times reports. “The technical assistance provided will help meet the demands of the growing biomass processing industry in Itasca, Aitkin, Stearns, Marshall, Winona, Crow Wing and Chisago counties,” the article says.

“At least 75 people spent the night at the National Guard Armory in Olivia last night,” reports Carolyn Lange in the West Central Tribune. The Minnesota Department of Transportation had also closed highways in west central and southern Minnesota. The article said the Marshall armory also had about 18 travelers spend Monday night there.

Local response to possible new life for the proposed Lake Vermilion State Park has been largely positive since an announcement by Gov. Tim Pawlenty that US Steel had agreed to the sale of 3,000 acres of land for the park for $18 million, writes Marshall Helmberger in the Ely/Tower/Cook Timberjay. “It’s a huge win,” said Tower Mayor Steve Abrahamson. “Numbers are the name of the game if local businesses are to survive and this helps a lot.” Details must still be worked out and the Legislature must revise prior legislation before the park becomes a reality.

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