Construction is advancing on a $2 billion flood control project along the Red River despite Minnesota’s objections to the plan.

Heavy equipment is being moved into place at the site of a planned flood control inlet structure, the first in a series of massive public works projects that will channel floodwaters around Fargo.

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources has objected to the project, which would build a dam across the Red River that would flood stretches of Minnesota south of Moorhead.

The Fargo-Moorhead Diversion plan calls for a 30-mile trench around Fargo, a 12-mile-long embankment to the south, two aqueducts and almost two-dozen bridges to protect the city from floodwater.

The National Weather Service has warned that moderate flooding is likely along the Red this spring.

JENNIFER BROOKS @stribrooks

MADELIA

Klobuchar gets an update on city’s rebuilding effort

A year after a fire devastated Madelia’s downtown business district, the city received a visit from U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., who met with local and regional officials for a progress report.

Klobuchar met last week with Madelia’s mayor and city administrator, along with representatives of the Region Nine Development Commission, the Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation and the Watonwan County Commission. State Sen. Julie Rosen, R-Vernon Center, also was part of the group.

After their meeting, the officials took a walking tour of downtown and visited several local businesses.

The fire that roared through downtown Madelia on Feb. 3 destroyed eight businesses in the southwestern Minnesota community of 2,300 residents.

However, the city’s Main Street is in the process of being rebuilt, and residents hope that all merchants displaced by the fire will be back in business downtown later this summer.

John Reinan

Virginia

Mesabi celebrates 75 years of Curious George

Mesabi Range College is throwing a 75th birthday for Curious George — and for the children who love reading about the trouble-prone little monkey.

Children and their parents can spend an afternoon of reading, games, activities or just being “curious” on Tuesday, Feb. 28, at the college.

The celebration is from 3-5:30 p.m. in the college’s Campus Common Area in Virginia.

Curious George, a monkey who explores the world with his guardian, the Man in the Yellow Hat, was created by Margret and Hans Rey, who narrowly escaped capture during the German invasion of Paris during World War II. Their stories have sold more than 75 million copies.

Students from Mesabi’s Early Childhood/Early Childhood Special Education associate degree program are organizing the event, which is free and open to the public.

Jennifer Brooks @stribrooks