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It sounds too Earth-friendly to be true -- that you can get kitchens and bathrooms sparkling clean and disinfected without bleach or antibacterials or other harsh chemicals, that you can solve all your cleaning needs with tap water, table salt and electricity. But Patti Grosnick says she's seen it work, and she should know. Grosnick is in charge of 42 custodians for the Superior school district, where she has been using a device that uses an electric charge to activate salt water into two compounds -- a disinfectant and a cleaner-degreaser. Superior isn't alone.
On the bright side, it looks likely that Duluth will set the record for the snowiest April on record. On the not-so-bright side, it looks like snow will pick up again this afternoon, with another 4-8 additional inches likely before it finally lets up Friday afternoon. The Weather Service this morning says the heaviest snow will begin about 3 p.m.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on Thursday issued its final version of regulations for ships that carry ballast water, hoping to prevent them from also carrying invasive species into U.S. waters. The new EPA permit and accompanying regulations requires owners of most all freight-carrying vessels, including those coming to the Great Lakes, to adopt International Maritime Organization standards for killing living organisms in the on-board ballast tanks. The rule, which takes effect on Jan.
The region's largest medical system has pledged to buy 20 percent of its food -- hundreds of thousands of dollars' worth each year -- from local sources by 2020, another sign of a growing local food movement taking hold across the Northland. Essentia Health Systems announced the move last week and join St. Luke's hospital in Duluth as the only two in Minnesota pledged to buy locally grown food. St. Luke's hospital's food budget is $1.2 million per year. Essentia's is even larger.
A major winter snowstorm is already pummeling North Dakota and western Minnesota and is expected to make its mark on the Northland overnight. Snow is expected to start in the Twin Ports about 8 p.m., and continue until about 8 a.m. Tuesday with anywhere from 2 to 7 inches around Duluth and Superior, depending on the track of the snow and where you live -- with more snow to the west and south and less to the east. The heaviest snow should fall between 11 p.m. and 3 a.m.
So much oil is being pumped out of western Canada and North Dakota these days that there isn't enough room to fit it all into pipelines. Even with oil companies pouring the black gold into thousands of rail cars every day, and building new rail stations and laying track, rail cars can't handle the load. So officials at Calumet LLC, owners of the Superior oil refinery, are considering building a $25 million crude oil transfer dock in Superior, where oil would be loaded onto tankers and barges and moved across the Great Lakes to refineries in Ontario, Michigan, Ohio and even the East Coast. D
The Red Cliff Band of Lake Superior Chippewa says it found still-active explosives in barrels of military waste retrieved this summer from Lake Superior. The information was included in a preliminary report released Friday on the band's effort to find, raise and test the contents of barrels that were dumped in Lake Superior a half-century ago. The report confirms the band raised 25 barrels, far short of the 70 the project had called for.
Temperatures dropped as low as 39 degrees below zero in Northome this morning, with 21 below in Duluth, in what may be the last arctic blast of winter. For many areas it was the second-coldest night of the winter, with wind chills dipping to 40 blow -- and near 50 below -- in some areas. And temperatures won't warm up much today, with highs likely below zero.
Nearly six months after the Red Cliff Band of Lake Superior Chippewa and Duluth-based contractor EMR brought up 70 barrels from the bottom of Lake Superior north of Duluth, the band has released no information about what was found inside. Tests on the Cold War-era relics indicate no "immediate threats or concerns to the public,'' according to Red Cliff officials involved in the effort, who otherwise remained mum on details. As of last week, the website developed by the band to update the public on the $3.3 million taxpayer-funded project had not been updated since Aug. 15.
Between 1957 and 1962, an estimated 1,457 industrial steel drums were trucked from a Honeywell weapons plant in the Twin Cities to Duluth and secretly dumped off barges into Lake Superior. The dumped 55-gallon barrels formed a line from the eastern Duluth city limits nearly to Two Harbors, from a mile to five miles off shore. What was in the barrels?