Minnesota

DNR adds restrictions on use of firewood in parks

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources has new rules for using firewood in state parks and forests in its continued effort to stop the spread of invasive species such as emerald ash borers and gypsy moths.

The DNR continues to say the best bet always is to buy bundles of firewood upon arrival at campgrounds. The agency also now says the wood must be bought from a DNR-approved vendor and harvested in the county where it will be used.

For example, approved firewood at Sibley State Park can’t be hauled for use at parks up the North Shore.

Certified wood will be labeled with a seal from either the federal or state departments of agriculture. Keep a receipt for proof of purchase.

Wood sellers approved by the state are listed online at firewoodscout.org/s/MN.

Bob Timmons

Little Falls

Marine Corps painting to be dedicated Saturday

A public unveiling of an 8- by 10-foot painting paying tribute to the history and military contributions of the U.S. Marine Corps is scheduled for 2:30 p.m. Saturday in the Committal Hall at the Minnesota State Veterans Cemetery north of Little Falls.

The painting, which includes a bit of dirt taken from Mount Suribachi, where Marines were photographed in World War II raising the U.S. flag on Iwo Jima, is the fourth by Little Falls artist Charles Kapsner depicting the history of each branch of the U.S. military — Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force and Coast Guard.

Kapsner has completed paintings dedicated to the Army, Navy and Coast Guard.

staff report

MINNESOTA

Feds give $2M for rural and tribal housing efforts

Minnesota Housing Partnership announced Friday that it has been awarded $2 million by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to help as many as 25 organizations in rural and tribal areas nationwide improve access to housing, expand funding sources and increase economic opportunities.

MHP said the award will fund its Strengthening Rural Communities program, which focuses on strategic collaboration to meet regional development needs. MHP noted in a statement that it has received five previous federal grants of this type, but this is the largest, more than doubling its 2016 allocation.

“With this HUD funding, we’ll be able to do so much more to support rural and native communities nationwide,” said Barbara Dolan, MHP’s interim community development director.

“We bring together people who have never met to work collaboratively to address housing or community development issues in their region,” said Anne Mavity, MHP’s executive director. She said the organization has worked in all 10 HUD regions nationwide.

HUD Secretary Ben Carson said the department is committed to helping rural folks in need of housing by producing more affordable units.

Dan Browning