Eastern larch beetles, a tiny bug native to Minnesota, have killed or damaged more than a quarter million acres of tamarack trees in the state. Scientists who studied the bug say the population is growing exponentially because longer, warmer summers now allow them to produce two generations a year, and warmer winters mean more of them survive to reproduce the next year.
This year the Midwest's biggest performing arts festival will host 167 shows at 17 venues from Aug. 3-13 — in all, 850 live performances in 11 days. Click on a venue to get more information. The red icon marks "Fringe Central," the official post-show hangout from Aug. 3 through Aug. 12 at Grumpy's Bar & Grill. Day passes also can be purchased there on weekdays from 1 to 3 p.m. and weekends 11 a.m.-1 p.m. so you can skip lines at festival venues.
Minnesota is part way through the biggest environmental clean-up it's ever conducted, a St. Louis River restoration funded largely by the federal Great Lakes Restoration Initiative and the Minnesota Clean Water, Land and Legacy funds. The St. Louis River Area of Concern is one of 43 hot spots in the United States and Canada receiving special funding and attention because of the critical role it plays as the incubator for aquatic life in western Lake Superior. Now, however, the Great Lakes initiative is at risk because of budget cuts proposed by the Trump Administration.