Minnesota lakes

Volunteers needed to tally loons for DNR

Time to show your love for loons.

Volunteers are needed to count adult and juvenile loons on 150 lakes in Aitkin, Becker, Crow Wing, Cook, Itasca, Kandiyohi, Lake and Otter Tail counties.

The annual count orchestrated by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources' Nongame Wildlife Program helps detect changes in the adult loon population and anticipate problems that could affect the future of Minnesota's state bird.

Volunteers must be at a lake for two to four hours to conduct the count, which will take place from June 28 to July 8.

The DNR launched an online system that allows volunteers to manage their lake assignments. A donation from the Minnesota United soccer team helped finance the system.

For more information or to sign up, go to mndnr.gov/eco/nongame/projects/mlmp_state.html.

Mary Lynn Smith

grand portage

Paddling record falls for border route

Two men paddled a canoe from Rainy Lake to Grand ­Portage in 69 hours, 25 minutes over Memorial Day weekend, crushing a 50-year-old speed record for the route by more than 11 hours. The ­Border Route crosses 200 miles of lakes and rivers before meeting Lake Superior.

Matthew Peterson and Peter Wagner said they pushed as hard as possible in the first ­­24 ­hours of their journey, logging 100 miles, knowing they would slow as the trip wore on. They crossed Voyageurs National Park and the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness using a map and compass, the same technology available to previous record holders.

The pair started at Sha Sha Resort on Rainy Lake and took the Dawson Portage through Canada to bypass the Loon River. A solo record for the route of 91 hours was set in 2017 by Bob Vollhaber.

Matt McKinney


Rights advocate gets posthumous honors

Jessica Flatequal, who died in April while serving as the director of gender and sexuality programs at Minnesota State University, Mankato, was named grand marshal for this year's Twin Cities Pride Parade.

Parade organizers said an overwhelming number of people nominated Flatequal for her work helping others in Mankato and around the state. It's one of only a handful of times that the honor has been awarded posthumously.

Flatequal's wife, Maria Bevacqua, will accept the award in her memory.

Matt McKinney