Brooks is an investigative/enterprise reporter and business columnist at the Duluth News Tribune.
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GRAND RAPIDS, Minn. – After 13 years in a tornado of mystery, the stolen ruby slippers landed in the hands of the FBI. “We received a new tip and some information that we diligently pursued,” Jill Sanborn, Special Agent in Charge of the Minneapolis Division of the FBI, said at a news conference in September marking the recovery of the famed footwear stolen from the Judy Garland Museum in 2005.
DULUTH — It has all the makings of a typical Senate race — incumbent touts her achievements while challenger attacks her record and paints her as out-of-touch. Except Democratic Sen. Tina Smith has been in office a mere eight months, and the seat will again be up for grabs in two years. The usual battle lines are being drawn in the unusual special election to fill out the remainder of former Sen. Al Franken's term after he resigned amid a sexual harassment scandal at the beginning of the year.
DULUTH — When Minnesota regulators signed off on the Line 3 replacement pipeline this summer, they may have reshaped the future of oil transportation across the state. By forging a new path for Line 3, Enbridge now has options for its other five pipelines that traverse Minnesota. While there are no plans to move or replace those pipelines, the new route sets a precedent future projects could follow.
"This is an upgrade. We are renewing infrastructure, and if anybody wanted to renew a road, airport, bridge or building, most people would say that makes sense. We're trying to upgrade the safety and reliability of this very critical infrastructure." — Enbridge CEO Al Monaco
DULUTH—By the end of the month, the fate of the Enbridge Line 3 replacement pipeline should finally be known. After years of technical research and public hearings, the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission is expected to vote June 27 to approve, deny or put conditions on the contentious oil pipeline that would cross 337 miles of northern Minnesota. Though there is still a chance the decision gets pushed back, those for and against the project are preparing protests, celebrations and lawsuits.
DULUTH—Northland mining, paper and energy companies are giving a hard pass to Minnesota Power's proposed natural gas plant. What's more, according to testimony filed on their behalf, these businesses would rather be subject to occasional blackouts and pay less for power through a scheme known as interruptible rates if it helps keep the plant from getting built.
DULUTH, Minn.—"Build it," the early crowd said. "No way," was the chorus as the sun went down while the state lent its ear to Duluth-Superior to hear how residents felt about the Enbridge Line 3 oil pipeline. In a crowded Wednesday afternoon hearing at the city's convention center packed with Enbridge employees, pipeline supporters ticked off a dozen reasons to replace the 50-year-old oil pipeline, which crosses northern Minnesota, with a new one on a largely new route, while opponents gave their own set of arguments against it.
ST. PAUL — Another round of statewide public hearings starts Tuesday, Sept. 26, on the Line 3 oil pipeline replacement. This set of hearings could be among the last before the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission makes its decision on whether or not to grant the pipeline a certificate of need and route permit. That decision is expected next spring; Enbridge hopes to have the pipeline up and running in 2019.
DULUTH, Minn.—The Minnesota Department of Commerce has come out against the Enbridge Line 3 replacement, raising the stakes in an already contentious battle over the oil pipeline's fate.
SUPERIOR, Wis.—Canadian oil company Husky Energy is buying Superior's oil refinery for $435 million. Calumet Specialty Products Partners L.P. said Monday it is selling the plant following months of speculation about a potential sale. Both companies said that while the name on the side of the holding tanks will change, little else will, as all 180 employees will be keeping their jobs.