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Local/state briefs

Enbridge fails to meet aquifer cleanup deadline in Minnesota

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Enbridge has failed to meet a deadline set by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources for cleaning up a site where an aquifer ruptured during construction of the Line 3 oil pipeline, DNR officials said.

The agency had given the company until Friday to repair the damage that caused the artesian aquifer near Clearbrook to leak at least 24 million gallons of groundwater. Regulators will require compensation for the additional time it takes to stop the groundwater flow.

The DNR has already ordered Enbridge to pay $3.32 million for failing to follow environmental laws.

Regulators also announced they are investigating two separate sites where the company may have caused additional groundwater damage, the Star Tribune reported.

“Enbridge is fully cooperating with the Minnesota DNR in correcting uncontrolled groundwater flows at Clearbrook, and is working with the DNR as two other locations are being evaluated,” company spokeswoman Juli Kellner said in an e-mail Saturday.

Line 3 starts in Alberta, Canada, and clips a corner of North Dakota before crossing Minnesota en route to Enbridge’s terminal in Superior, Wisconsin.

Winona LaDuke, who heads the Honor the Earth Indigenous environmental group, called the company’s failure to meet the deadline alarming. “If Enbridge can’t meet basic safety requirements, they should not be allowed to operate a pipeline,” she said, adding that it “doesn’t bode well for the future.”

ROTC students in 2 states rebuild bridge used in skills test

LA CROSSE, Wis. (AP) — ROTC students from three colleges along the Wisconsin and Minnesota border came together to rebuild a bridge that is part of a trail system used in an annual national competition.

The Eagle Battalion included about a dozen students from the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse and Viterbo University in Wisconsin and Winona State University in Minnesota. Last week they replaced an old bridge on the Oak Trail, part of the Lower Hixon Trail System in the city of La Crosse.

Students frequently use the trail system during the Northern Warfare Challenge, a yearly skill and endurance challenge involving ROTC programs from across the country.

The group loaded up power tools, hand tools and several hundred pounds of lumber and marched about three-quarters of a mile down the winding, hilly trail. On their way out of the forest, the group walked over not only their bridge, but also a bridge a different group of ROTC students had built a few years ago, the La Crosse Tribune reported.

“Being in ROTC, we wanted to do something hands-on that would help the community,” said University of Wisconsin-La Crosse student Isabella Rosa. “This is a nice way to give back.”

Gov. Walz bags a bird during Minnesota’s pheasant opener

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Gov. Tim Walz says he bagged a pheasant on Saturday during Minnesota’s 2021 pheasant hunting opener.

Walz hunted on private land in Kandiyohi County. He was hosted by Kevin Ochsendorf and Brad Hanson, both longtime pheasant hunters in the Willmar area. Also joining the hunt were George “Corky” Berg, of the Kandiyohi County Board of Commissioners; Mateo Engan, from the Willmar High School Trap Team; and Nathan Rohne, of Kandiyohi County Pheasants Forever.

Walz said their four-legged hunting partners, Rayna and Hook, helped him bag his rooster.

Man suspected in 2 murders kills himself near Cloquet

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — A man suspected of murdering two other men shot himself to death off a rural road west of Cloquet, after a state trooper stopped him for questioning.

Authorities said the man confessed to the murders to a 911 dispatcher while he was being pursued by the trooper and indicated that he wanted to kill himself.

The Star Tribune reports authorities were first notified when a man called the St. Louis County Sheriff’s Office about 1 a.m. Saturday and asked them to check on his son, who lived in rural Culver Township north of Brookston.

The caller then went to the house and found a dead man outside it. When authorities arrived, they found a second dead man outside the house.

A short time later, a state trooper spotted a vehicle driving away from the scene. The driver, who was determined to be the murder suspect, refused to stop for the trooper, leading to a chase that ended when his vehicle skidded into a ditch just west of Cloquet. It was then that the suspect shot himself.

The names of the victims and the suspect were being withheld until family members could be notified. Authorities said they were not seeking any additional suspects.

Worker killed at paper recycling facility in Minneapolis

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — A worker has died at a paper recycling facility in Minneapolis after suffering injuries involving heavy machinery, authorities said.

Simon Barrera Merino, 42, of Richfield, was injured about 1:40 a.m. Tuesday at Pioneer Industries International, the Hennepin County Medical Examiner’s Office said.

Merino suffered head and chest injuries from a “workplace injury involving a forklift,” authorities said in a statement, and was declared dead at the scene.

The Star Tribune reports authorities had not offered specifics about how the injuries occurred.

New art tribute to Dylan on display outside Minnesota school

HIBBING (AP) — A public art tribute to Bob Dylan was unveiled Saturday in Hibbing with the hopes of inspiring a new generation of young artists.

The display of the Iron Range town’s most famous resident is located outside Hibbing High School, where the 80-year-old Dylan was a 1959 graduate.

On one side of the display, a brick wall features the announcement of the Nobel Prize in Literature that Dylan was awarded in 2016. The opposite side of the wall features a series of stainless steel panels that contain lyrics from more than 50 of his songs.

There’s also a bronze chair, similar to one he would have sat in, that faces the school so people who use it will “have their backs to the lyrics, a physical representation of the songwriting process,” said Katie Fredeen, president of the Hibbing Dylan Project.

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