Appeals Court asks MPCA to elaborate on PolyMet’s air pollution permit

    A state Court of Appeals has ordered the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) to supplement the PolyMet air pollution permit with additional information.

    The decision comes as the result of an appeal of the permit by the Minnesota Center for Environmental Advocacy and Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa. The plaintiffs alleged the MPCA failed to adequately consider whether PolyMet intends to operate within the limits of the permit for which it applied, or if, instead, it was seeking a “sham” permit.

    Judges said the MPCA’s findings are insufficient to facilitate judicial review, but they added that the agency does need to offer further information about its findings. 

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Distance learning dominates school board discussion

    The county board conducted a public hearing and adopted the Itasca County Forest Management Plan with one attendee, Rick Horton, director of forest policy for the Minnesota Forest Industries, speaking in favor of the plan. He explained that the Land Department had adequately addressed issues and incorporated additional information as requested. He told the board regarding the ongoing discussion on jail financing that his group did not support selling working forest lands.

    Dan Swenson, director of Environmental Services – Zoning reviewed department statistics for 2019. The department gave out 818 permits including 343 septics and 106 new dwelling/cabin building permits. There was a 15 percent failure rate in septics as a five year weighted average. 

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Empty Bowls cancelled in Bigfork, but the event goes virtual

    One of the casualties of the COVID-19 virus social distancing is an annual event crucial to the food shelf in Bigfork. It would have been the 16th annual Empty Bowls soup luncheon last Thursday, March 19.

    But undaunted, the luncheon is still on – as a virtual event. Freewill donations can be dropped off at the window of First State Bank in Bigfork or mailed to the bank as “Food Shelf Donation” at P.O. Box 257, Bigfork, MN 56628. For more information, visit Facebook and search for Bigfork Empty Bowls. Empty Bowls has been the only fundraiser during the year hosted by the food shelf and usually raises $4,000 to $5,000 for needed food pur

chases, according to volunteer Bonnie Cole. 

    The North Itasca Emergency Food Shelf serves about 50 families a month; last January it served 68, a monthly high for the food shelf which started in 1985. 

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Coronavirus forces North Shore resort 

owners to make tough decisions

Minnesota is in the midst of a coronavirus-induced exercise in distancing. Schools are temporarily closed. University students are learning remotely. The bars and restaurants still open are offering takeout-only meals. Gyms, yoga studios and other places where people 

gather are temporarily shuttered. Many employers are asking their staff to work from home.

    As of Saturday afternoon, Minnesota officials had announced 137 confirmed cases of the disease in the state — mostly concentrated around the Twin Cities metro area and the southeastern quadrant of the state. And all of those measures are part of the state’s ongoing attempts to curb the spread of the highly contagious COVID-19. 

    But some tourists are still driving up the North Shore of Lake Superior to ski and sight-see — and others are flocking to their cabins and second homes in the region. That’s prompted some full-time residents of the Arrowhead region to urge people from the Twin Cities and elsewhere not to visit, out of fear they may inadvertently bring the new coronavirus with them.

Winterfest at Bigfork School

Click the icon at left to read the Feb. 20 edition of the SRNF

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Pet of the week

    Handsome George is a laid-back fella, but he can also be a closet night owl. If left alone all day, he may jump on the bed and play with your hair as you try to sleep! This gentle giant seeks a forever family to wear him out with play and snuggle him as you all nap! If you’d love the perfect blend of frisky and friendly, George is your guy!

    Precious Paws Humane Society, located at 101 First Avenue SW in Chisholm (across from Jubilee Foods), is a no-kill shelter staffed entirely by volunteers. We serve the communities of Chisholm, Nashwauk and Keewatin. We may reached via telephone at 218-254-3300, or email: preciouspaws2011@hotmail.com. Please call ahead for hours of operation. Check out current adoptees on the Facebook page.

Public Meetings

>   LaPrairie City Council - Jan. 21

​>   Grand Rapids CC - Jan. 27

​>   Coleraine City Council - Jan. 28

​>   Bovey City Council - Jan. 15

​>   Taconite City Council - Jan. 13

​>   Marble City Council - Jan. 13

​>   Calumet City Council - Jan. 21

​>   Nashwauk City Council - Jan. 28

​>   Keewatin City Council - Jan. 22

​>   Itasca County Board - Jan. 28

​>   ISD 318 - Jan. 21

​>   ISD 316 - Jan. 29

​>   ISD 319 - Jan. 15

Contact Us!

Scenic Range NewsForum

Telephone: 218.245.1422

Email: copy@scenicrangenewsforum.com or cindyt@scenicrangenewsforum.com.

Mailing address: PO Box 70 Bovey, MN 55709. Visit our office at: 415 Roosevelt St. Coleraine, MN 55722.