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Dayton Accused of Secret Deal with Tribes on Mille Lacs Walleye Limits

Gov. Dayton may be even less welcome around Mille Lacs now than when a flotilla of sportsmen and residents interrupted his photo op earlier this summer on what used to be the nation's best walleye fishery.  Anglers have endured an extended ban on walleye fishing interspersed with catch-and-release restrictions this summer, due to what critics view as mismanagement of the resource by the Dayton administration. Now the co-chair of the Mille Lacs Fishery Advisory Committee has accused the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources and Dayton of cutting a secret deal with the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibway and other tribes on...

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Rural Broadband Providers Back Trump’s Move to Scrap Net Neutrality

Net neutrality may be one of the most intangible issues in the public arena. Hard to explain, hard to understand, hard to get too worked about about. Yet it's often presented as an epic battle of good versus evil in the Star Tribune and other media outlets. A move to undo federal regulations meant to uphold an open, free internet for all users has pitted providers like Comcast against online giants like Facebook — and millions of their customers — in a debate about protecting the First Amendment in a high-tech world. But the more you read, the more the issue boils...

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 Out-of-Control State Agency to Pay Nearly $1 Million in Botched “Investigation”

A botched investigation has not only cost the Minnesota Department of Commerce its reputation for impartiality but also nearly $1 million in court-ordered legal expenses to be paid to the auto glass replacement company victimized by the state agency's discredited tactics. The $941,534 judgment comes as the latest development in a series of missteps at the regulatory agency that critics have characterized as an “unconstitutional attack on Minnesota consumers and businesses.” A key member of a legislative oversight committee who's called on Gov. Dayton to fire Commerce Commissioner Mike Rothman repeated her concerns over the agency's abuse of power and rogue regulators. "On...

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Last Call As Twin Cities Suburb Privatizes Liquor Sales

The number of Metro Area cities still in the liquor business continues to decline, the result of stiffer than ever competition. Many "munis" find it difficult to compete on a level playing field, under the price pressure from private sector superstores like Total Wine. Despite cutting costs and prices, suburbs like Edina have seen their profits plunge by hundreds of thousands of dollars a year. The latest state audit of 2015 Minnesota Municipal Liquor Store Operations puts it bluntly. The overall decline in net profits between 2014 and 2015 appears to primarily be the result of increased competition from private liquor stores resulting in lower...

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Iron Range to Trump: We Need More Mining

Northern Minnesotans sent a message to the Trump administration this week in the Iron Range city of Virginia. Hundreds of residents spilled into the streets to make sure Washington understands they support mining, according to the Duluth News Tribune. A large crowd of supporters of copper-mining projects near the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness rallied on Tuesday afternoon at Field of Dreams Park in Virginia, calling for people to speak as “one Range, one voice” and to “stuff the box” with pro-mining comments on Tuesday evening during the U.S. Forest Service’s public hearing on its plan for a two-year moratorium on...

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Pro-Mining Unions and Businesses Rip Forest Service “Charade”

Northern Minnesotans came out swinging this week in the Star Tribune, ripping the U.S. Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management on mining. The tough talk came via a full-page ad announcing a boycott by a coalition of 17 union, civic and business groups of the federal agencies' public hearing in the Twin Cities on Tuesday. We’re fed up with jumping through federal hoops, burning gas, vacation days and family time to sit through your endless, taxpayer-funded meetings. It’s death by a thousand cuts. Anger and frustration over a last-minute Obama administration regulation banning mineral exploration in the national forest and reevaluating the...

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Protesters Blockade and Drive Dayton Off Lake Mille Lacs

Gov. Mark Dayton said this week that resorts were so booked up--in spite of his administration's meddling in the Lake Mille Lacs fishery--that he couldn't get a reservation. “I tried to get a hotel, motel reservation for tomorrow night, and they were booked. So, that’s a good sign,” the governor said Thursday. The reason the lack of booking pleased him is because he was trying to get a weekend room in the Lake Mille Lacs area, which has been hard hit by a lack of iconic walleye fish in recent years. Walleye fishing was just shutdown for a three-week stretch on Thursdayand it’s...

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Northern Minnesotans Urge Boycott of Feds’ Hearing on Mining Ban

What if the U.S. Forest Service held a public hearing on the Obama administration's last-minute moratorium on mining in northern Minnesota and nobody came?  Nobody, that is, except for Twin Cities environmentalists who will go to the mat to stop economic progress through natural resource development at any cost. That's the scenario mining supporters see coming at a July 18 public hearing in St. Paul on the controversial moratorium and regional hold on mining that's being held on the home turf of Twin Cities environmentalists.  But the Duluth News Tribune reports the absence of mining supporters may speak louder than their...

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