Brooks is an investigative reporter and business columnist at the Duluth News Tribune.
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Minnesota is on track to have its deadliest winter on the ice in years. And it's only December. Five people have died after falling through the ice on Minnesota lakes so far this season, the most since five died over the entire winter of 2014-15, according to the Department of Natural Resources. "With the fluctuating temperatures we've seen, that hasn't created that nice, solid, clear ice," said DNR spokeswoman Lisa Dugan. "Ice is never 100 percent safe."
DULUTH — More than a third of the iron ore shipped out of the Twin Ports so far this year has left the country. The Duluth-Superior Port Authority reported that through July about 35 percent of all taconite shipments have been taken to Quebec, and spokeswoman Adele Yorde says that is "primarily for export" elsewhere. Typically about 30 percent of taconite shipped locally is bound for Canada. "Much of that rise is attributable to a surge in U.S. iron ore exports from Minnesota mines to steelmakers in China and Japan," the port wrote in its summer magazine.
DULUTH — Iron ore was cruising out of the Twin Ports last month as this shipping season continued its best start since 2013. "The first three months looked strong — that's obviously reflective of all six (taconite) production facilities being online this year," said Adele Yorde, spokeswoman for the Duluth Seaway Port Authority. "We hope the strength of the steel market will continue through this shipping season and into 2018."
Ascena Retail Group, the parent company of Duluth-based Maurices, has reported a $1 billion quarterly loss tied to a massive write-down and a continued decline in sales, and says it may close up to 650 stores.
Minnesota Power is partnering with another utility to build a $700 million natural gas power plant in Superior.
A wide swath of Minnesotans interact with a homegrown, billion-dollar business every day — without leaving the house, without turning on a computer, without blinking. Just don't expect all of them to know the name of that company. Allete Inc. is known best, and for some solely, as the parent of Minnesota Power. And while the electric utility is still the corporation's biggest source of income, Allete has been expanding its energy empire and searching for a new balance.
Cloquet’s match and toothpick factory is closing, and 85 people will lose their jobs there as a result, owner Newell Brands announced Monday, May 1. The plant produces Diamond matches and toothpicks, a business that New Jersey-based Newell sold last month to Georgia-based Royal Oak Enterprises LLC. The new owners of the brand decided not to take the Cloquet operation with them.
DULUTH, Minn.—Enbridge has closed on its $1.5 billion purchase of a stake in the contentious Dakota Access pipeline. Enbridge Energy Partners said in a news release Wednesday it acquired the 27.6 percent interest in the project "as final conditions have now been met." The company first announced the purchase in August but pushed back closing on it in December after the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers denied the final approval necessary to complete the pipeline's construction.
Minnesotans strongly backed Bernie Sanders during the caucuses in March, and Wisconsin residents gave him a victory in the state's April primary -- and some of his supporters have been reluctant to embrace Hillary Clinton.
Say you’ve got two job offers, one in the Twin Cities that pays well, and one in Duluth that pays a bit less. Would you take the lesser pay just to be able to live in the Twin Ports?