Brooks is an investigative reporter and business columnist at the Duluth News Tribune.
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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.
Enbridge calls it "the largest project in our history." State officials say it "presents significant issues." Opponents have said it could "desecrate our lands, violate our treaty rights or poison our water." Another oil pipeline fight is heating up. Enbridge is seeking Minnesota's approval to build a new pipeline to replace its aging Line 3, which would expand capacity and carve a new path for pipelines across the state. Before that can happen, the project is going under the microscope of an environmental review.
ST. PAUL—Some Minnesotans have reported delays in receiving their state income tax refund this year, though the state said it's just being extra careful in the face of increased tax fraud schemes. "Some refunds may take longer than in a prior year because of the increase in attempted refund fraud due to scams, stolen personal information, and identity theft," the Department of Revenue said in an emailed statement this week. "The department takes the time necessary to review returns to make sure taxpayer dollars are not getting into the hands of criminals."
DULUTH — Leave no trace does not mean leave no money behind, it turns out. A new report shows the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness brings in $57 million in spending to St. Louis, Lake and Cook counties, with a total economic impact of $77 million. And that's just from summer visitors who live outside those counties.
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.
DULUTH, Minn.—Gov. Rick Nolan? One group is pushing the 8th District congressman to make a run for the state's highest office next year, and it sent a letter to Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party activists and leaders on Tuesday urging them to support such a bid. "Last year we lost both houses of the Legislature and suffered a devastating defeat," reads the letter from the Coalition to Draft Rick Nolan for Governor. "We need a candidate for governor who appeals to the broadest number of Minnesotans, based on proven DFL policies and principles."
The Trans-Pacific Partnership is dead, and the North American Free Trade Agreement already appears to be on life support. Better known as TPP and NAFTA, much has been written and said about the national implications of these trade deals. But what does Minnesota stand to gain — or lose — if President Donald Trump follows through on stated plans to tax Mexican imports and renegotiate NAFTA with Canada?
DULUTH — Enbridge is giving itself some breathing room before closing on a deal to buy a stake in the contentious and stalled Dakota Access pipeline. Enbridge Energy Partners L.P. and its joint venture partner Marathon Petroleum Corp. now have until March 31 to back out of the deal, according to a recent Securities and Exchange Commission filing. The previous deadline to terminate the sale was Dec. 31.
Power costs getting out of hand? The robots are here to help. Minnesota Power is studying the use of drones to help commercial and industrial customers identify inefficiencies and potentially bring down bills.