DNR seeks input on major expansion at Soudan park

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources will hold an open house updating residents on its big plan for a growing state park.

Under that plan, the Lake Vermilion-Soudan Underground Mine State Park would get a new campground, public water access and a water ­treatment facility.

The main campground would have room for 168 people at 33 drive-in campsites featuring flush toilets and Wi-Fi; 60 people at two group camps; and 30 people at a semi-primitive group camp with vault toilets, according to the DNR.

The agency will hold the open house at 5 p.m. Sept. 1 at the Tower Civic Center, 402 Pine St., in Tower.

This is the "largest state park development project in the last 30 years," park manager Jim Essig said in a news release, "and we want the public to be involved in the ­development."

To see the master plan, visit

JENNA Ross @ByJenna


Group breaks ground on Indian center expansion

The Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa broke ground last week on a $13 million expansion to the Center for American Indian Resources in Duluth.

The new construction on W. 4th Street will bring many services to one location instead of them being scattered, officials said. The new expanded facility will include public health and social services, including medical, chemical dependency and behavioral health.

The services are free to American Indian patients. Construction is scheduled to be completed in fall 2016.

Pam Louwagie @pamlouwagie


Diagnosis brings closure to Hunter Boutain's family

Roseanne Boutain and her family finally have "closure" after finding out that their son, Hunter, didn't die from a rare amoeba after swimming in a central Minnesota lake, the Forum News Service reported.

Rather, it was streptococcal meningoencephalitis, which he was more susceptible to because of a skull fracture from a skateboarding accident, authorities say. That caused inflammation in the lining of his brain.

Boutain said her family also was relieved that Hunter's death wasn't caused by an amoeba in Lake Minnewaska near Glenwood, about 20 miles south of Alexandria.

"Besides having our son taken away, we were also heartbroken for our community," she said as people shied away from swimming in the lake, and resort owners and other businesses took an economic hit after the report.

Meanwhile, Boutain and her husband, Jeff, and Hunter's two brothers are "hanging in there with the Lord helping us every day," she said.

BARRY AMUNDSON, Forum News Service