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PUC orders broader look at Sandpiper oil pipeline routes

On Thursday, Sept. 11, the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission (PUC) ordered that a broader search be made for the best pathway for the Sandpiper Pipeline, according to the Star Tribune.

The Sandpiper Pipeline is proposed to travel through Cass and Crow Wing counties, and could carry Bakken Crude from North Dakota across Minnesota to Superior, Wisc., and on to refineries in other states.

Several local environmental agencies are opposed to Enbridge’s preferred route, including Friends of the Headwaters. Richard Smith is president of that organization, and is pleased the PUC will order a broader look at routes.

“Basically our Public Utilities Commissioners stood up in defense of all Minnesotans that love their water,” Smith told the Northland Press by phone. “It doesn’t mean Enbridge won’t get its way, but it has opened up the process.”

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Noted Zebra Mussel Researcher returns to Whitefish Chain

On August 28th, Dr. Dan Molloy, nationally known zebra mussel researcher, was back on the Whitefish Chain to evaluate the extent of the zebra mussel invasion. Dr. Molloy, Research Scientist - Adjunct Professor, University at Albany - State University of NY gained prominence when he discovered a bacterium that would kill zebra mussels.

WAPOA (Whitefish Area Property Owners Association) has worked with Dr. Molloy in the past, and was delighted to host him on this visit. A WAPOA Board member provided a pontoon and volunteers, and took him to six survey sites. He had been to most of those sites in September, 2011 when he was the featured speaker at a WAPOA-sponsored seminar on zebra and quagga mussels, both threats to our lakes.

The Whitefish Chain was classified by the DNR as infested with zebra mussels in July, 2013 when adult zebra mussels were discovered in Cross Lake. A single adult was also found near the Lower Hay Lake Access. The subsequent plankton netting at that time showed there were immature zebra mussels at several locations throughout the Chain. During his visit on August 28, Dr. Molloy found no zebra mussels at the Lower Hay access, Upper Whitefish entrance to Lower Hay, Rush near the entrance to Lower Whitefish, and under the County Road 16 Bridge near the Wharf Restaurant.

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Crosslake City Council explores options for Crosslake Communications

After lengthy discussion, the Crosslake City Council voted four to one to ask Charlesmead Consultants to provide specific advice on how to reduce costs and streamline business at Crosslake Communications in order to make the company profitable again. The council made the decision at its regular meeting Monday, Sept. 8.

Council member Steve Roe voted against the measure.

Charlesmead is the same company that recently examined Crosslake Communications’ financials and provided a report to the council, saying that the company needs to cut costs or increase revenue in order to continue to make its annual payments both to the city and to pay off its debt.

Council member John Moengen, liaison to Crosslake Communications, will contact Charlesmead and report back at the council’s next budget meeting, which is Thursday, Sept. 18 at 2 p.m. at city hall.

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Tim Grimm to open Grassroots Concerts season

Tim Grimm, an award-winning songwriter and stage/screen actor, makes his Grassroots Concerts debut on Friday, Sept. 19 in a 7:30 p.m. show that will include his wife, Jan Lucas, on vocals and harmonica.

The event is the first of five fall concerts to be held at the Live Well Nightclub and Coffee Bar in Nisswa. The concert series is in its 26th year, and this will be the 287th concert.

Tim Grimm has toured and recorded with his friend, Ramblin’ Jack Elliott, and appeared with Harrison Ford in the film “Clear and Present Danger.” His recording, “The Back Fields” was named Best Americana Album in the 2006 Just Plain Folks Music Awards in Los Angeles.

Critics compare Grimm’s folkcountry style to Woody Guthrie, Johnny Cash, and Bruce Springsteen. His songs and performances have established him as a unique voice in Americana music. Each of his past five recordings has reached the top of the Folk or American-roots charts.

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