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The extraction of U.S. Army barrels with unknown contents began Monday in Lake Superior. From 1958 to 1962, nearly 1,500 barrels were dumped into Lake Superior between the Lester and Knife rivers. Because these spots are in an area ceded by northern Wisconsin Ojibwe tribes to the U.S. government, the Red Cliff Band of Lake Superior Chippewa is overseeing removal of the drums. The tribe received a grant from the Department of Defense as part of a federal program to clean up dump sites near or on reservation lands.
At Monday's Two Harbors City Council Meeting, councilors were concerned about a move by the DNR to leave the Agate Bay area unplowed in the winter. The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources and the State of Minnesota took the snow plowing line out of a contract with the city to maintain the area. The new Agate Bay public access boat launch was opened in June, but the area has long been used for many outdoor recreation activities.
Lon Church just can't stay away from Two Harbors. Born and raised in the area, he's lived all over the country and currently resides in Madison, Wis. But each summer for the last sixteen years, he's made the trip back home to run the Summerblue Arts Camp. "I've worked in cities all my life but I'm a Lake Superior boy at heart," Church said. The program, offered through the Lake Superior School District Community Education, always draws a crowd of kids ages 7-17 for the summer. This year, Church has 32 kids in the program, a dozen of which are new.
When Minnesota became a state in 1858, its first brewery had already been open for 10 years. The tradition of craft breweries has deep roots in Minnesota. In his book "Land of Amber Waters, the History of Brewing in Minnesota," author Doug Hoverson notes that the state has been home to almost 300 breweries in the past century and a half.
When I interviewed the new police officers Greg and Ken, they both said they were thrilled to find work in Two Harbors after leaving the area. Greg went to school in Mankato, ten miles away from my alma mater, and then Hibbing before coming back to Two Harbors. Ken also left for school in Alexandria and found a job out there. He was gone for 20 years before finding work here. Speaking of jobs, I also got the opportunity to cover the new Victus Farm in Silver Bay last weekend.
Minnesota will join the likes of Idaho, Montana and Alaska with its first wolf hunting season this winter. Last Thursday, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources released specifics of the 2012-2013 wolf seasons. Since the bill passed in April, the DNR has been solidifying the details of how the process will work. The most recent step was an online public survey. "Thank you for finally allowing a wolf hunt.
The business park the city of Silver Bay acquired in 1993 is finally filling up. Victus Farm has joined AmericInn on the property, which the city now calls its eco-industrial business park. The new farm, a collaboration with the University of Minnesota Duluth, will provide jobs as well as local food and energy for the region. "This really was a big effort," Lana Fralich, Silver Bay city administrator, said at the ribbon-cutting ceremony that took place on Sunday.
After an understaffed month, the Two Harbors Police Department has two new faces. Kenneth Anderson and Greg Moe, both Two Harbors natives, will be the seventh and eighth police officers for the city. Officer Carl Eastvold retired on June 12, an expected loss. When Officer Lauren Miller resigned on June 30, the department was suddenly two officers short. "It's difficult with events like Heritage Days. ... It really puts a stress on the department," said Chief of Police Kevin Ruberg.
In the last year, the United States has had its warmest year on record, according to the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration. Some areas have experienced extreme weather events: forest fires in Colorado, storms and sweltering temps in the central and eastern parts of the country, and a drought followed by tropical storm flooding in Florida. Lake County has had its own extreme weather. Flash flooding caught the area off guard on June 20. Then, unusually warm temperatures hit Silver Bay and Two Harbors last week.
The sound of oscillating fans was the only noise that broke the subdued mood in the Harbor Center in downtown Two Harbors. The center offers drop-in services and programming for those experiencing mental health issues, and many attending the meeting Monday were surprised and relieved to even find the place open. Rob Laska, a center regular, had heard rumors that the center would close Monday as a result of funding cuts by Lake County Human Services.