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It's just a little purple squiggle on a map of Minnesota's bedrock, a long, thin arc that cuts across the Carlton and Aitkin county lines. The squiggle might turn out to be nothing. But geologists with Utah-based Kennecott Exploration Co. have been drilling holes along that squiggle since 2001 in an effort to determine just what might be down there, and whether it might be worth digging up. The company is looking for mineable copper and nickel deposits, one of three or four similar explorations Kennecott has under way, project geologist Robert Peter said.
BAGLEY -- Arson is suspected in a fire that gutted a church in rural Clearwater County. The Clearwater County Sheriff's Office received a report at 5:05 a.m. Friday of a fire at Zion Lutheran Church in Eddy Township. The Clearbrook Fire Department, assisted by the Bagley Fire Department, responded to the scene. Upon preliminary investigation, firefighters found two points of origin for the fire. Arson is suspected and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms and the state fire marshal are conducting an investigation.
Interested in how the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources manages inland lakes for muskellunge and northern pike during the next 12 years? You have until Feb.
ST. PAUL -- Minnesotans may see their governor and state lawmakers agree this year on public works spending, some health care reforms and a plan to fix the state budget deficit. They also will hear about transportation, property taxes and education, but should not expect easy agreement in those areas. Gov. Tim Pawlenty and the four legislative caucus leaders on Thursday outlined their priorities for the 2008 regular legislative session, which begins Feb.
After telling his wife he was going to the store for groceries Wednesday night, a Maplewood man was arrested on charges of child neglect and booked at the St. Croix County (Wis.) jail. According to St Croix County Sheriff Dennis Hillstead, deputies were dispatched at around 1 a.m. Thursday morning to a call from a manager at the Cajun Club in Houlton, just east of Stillwater. He reported that a child in a car seat was locked in a car outside the adult nightclub. "Deputies arrived and observed the child in the car seat," Hillstead said.
Minnesota's 72 state parks need more than $100 million to improve campgrounds, roads, water and sewer systems, and historic buildings, according to Courtland Nelson, the Department of Natural Resources' state parks director. "They're in fair condition," Nelson said. "The two areas we do well in are buildings where roofs need to be repaired, and when heating and cooling systems go south; we have dollars for replacement. But our campgrounds are on the other end. Some are 40, 50 or 60 years old.
New, wallet-sized U.S. passport cards that will allow U.S. travelers to return from Mexico and Canada by land without a full-blown passport soon will be available from the State Department. Applications for the cards will be accepted starting Feb. 1. They will cost $45, about half the cost of a passport. While there has been considerable confusion over new border crossing regulations, President Bush signed legislation last month that delays the need for passports or passport cards for land travel to Mexico and Canada until at least June 2009.
An Iron Range resident has been killed in Iraq. Family members were notified of Sgt. First Class Matthew Pionk's death Wednesday night, according to his father, Duane Pionk of Oliver, just south of Superior. Pionk, 30, served with the Third Cavalry, Second Squadron based out of Ft. Lewis, Wash. Pionk departed for Iraq five months ago. The circumstances of his death have not been made public. A formal announcement of Pionk's death from the Army had not been released as of tonight. Pionk and his wife Melanie were married in 1998.
Need to get out of the house? How about joining friends to frolic in the moonlight at more than 20 candlelight ski, snowshoe or hiking events in Minnesota state parks. Trails are one to two miles in length over easy to moderate terrain with luminaries or lanterns along the path. Most parks have warming shelters. The only cost involved is a state park vehicle permit and the Great Minnesota Ski Pass for skiers 16 years or older ($5/day or $15/season) at the ski events.