Another small-town Minnesota newspaper is going away.

The weekly Lake County News Chronicle announced that it is ceasing publication and will publish its final issue on May 22.

Now owned by Forum Communications Co., the newspaper was founded in 1890, according to the Duluth News Tribune, which is also a Forum newspaper. It is the third Forum newspaper to close during the coronavirus pandemic.

The announcement comes amid a difficult time for newspapers even before the pandemic hit. Since then, advertising losses have spurred furloughs, layoffs and some newspaper closures across the country.

Pam Louwagie

Northern Minnesota

Golf starts up in the Northland

The remnants of winter in northern Minnesota are finally drying out and golf courses are opening up.

The Quarry golf course at Giants Ridge near Biwabik, built on the site of a former sand quarry and iron ore mine, opened Friday. The Legend course there, with tall pines and lake views, will open later this month. Both courses will use social distancing guidelines, including requiring reservations and payments online or over the phone. Only one rider per golf cart is allowed unless golfers are from the same household.

The Mountain 9 at Superior National golf course at Lutsen is slated to open May 8, with the River and Canyon 18 holes to follow. Officials hope all or some will be open by May 22.

Pam Louwagie

Northwest Minnesota

Dry conditions spur fire threat warnings

Northwest Minnesota has gone from wet to dry in a matter of weeks.

After the threat of spring flooding waned, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources now warns that dry conditions have created a fire threat. During the last two weeks in April, those conditions contributed to several wildfires in the area, the DNR said.

“Year after year, escaped debris burning is the number one cause of Minnesota’s wildfires,” said Greg Snyder, the DNR’s forestry northwest region assistant manager. “When conditions are this dry, any spark can quickly turn into an escaped wildfire.”

The DNR enacted burning restrictions immediately after snowmelt to reduce the potential for wildfires that would require the attention of emergency responders who are grappling with the COVID-19 pandemic.

Mary Lynn Smith