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The Regional Report: Walker preps for pipeline workers

CROSBY

A proposed tunnel under Highway 6 could be in place as early as the Fourth of July in 2021, the Crosby-Ironton Courier reported. The tunnel would connect the bike trails in the Cuyuna Country State Recreation Area with the city of Crosby. The Minnesota Department of Transportation will soon seek bids for the project, and is requesting work be done between fishing opener and Independence Day. Crosby City Administrator Lisa Sova also announced to the Crosby City Council the project received financial support from the Iron Range Resources and Rehabilitation Board. The city received a grant for $134,000 toward the tunnel.

CROSSLAKE

Crosslake City Council members may now attend meetings virtually, after the council approved the use of Skype, the Echo Journal reported. It wasn't without some skepticism, however. Mayor Dave Nevin said he wasn't sure whether Crosslake residents would approve of the use of the technology, which is allows people to take part in video conferencing from a remote location. Nevin also wondered whether a council member could appreciate the tone of the room and be fully informed when not physically present.

Despite the expressed concerns, the council unanimously approved allowing Skype attendance. Three council members plan to be traveling outside the area in February.

FIFTY LAKES

The 50 Lakes Bar and Bottle Shop will remain open as a municipal liquor establishment, the Echo Journal reported. The Fifty Lakes City Council voted to continue operation of the bar and liquor store after seeking public comment. The muni had a rocky year in 2018, with a number of employee issues and concerns about expenses.

STAPLES

The Staples World newspaper is under new ownership for the first time since 1992, the newspaper reported. The buyers, Rick Gail and Mike Kremer, together run four weekly newspapers already. Gail will return from retirement to work at the Staples World. With the change, longtime general manager Brenda Halvorson will retire, and front office employee Kathy Odden and advertising representative Gary Mueller plan to step down soon

The Staples World began as the Presto Change in 1891, according to a history prepared by the newspaper. Its name changed to Staples World in 1892.

WALKER

Walker area lodging businesses are gearing up for a potential influx of workers in need of housing as Enbridge prepares for construction of its Line 3 replacement oil pipeline, the Walker Pilot-Independent reported. Enbridge representatives hosted a meeting to speak with the owners of resorts, hotels, campgrounds and RV parks to explain the kinds of housing and amenities pipeline workers would need during the construction period. If permitting proceeds as expected, major construction would begin in the summer and continue through the fall and winter.

-- Compiled by Chelsey Perkins, community editor. Perkins may be reached at 218-855-5874 or chelsey.perkins@brainerddispatch.com. Follow her on Twitter @DispatchChelsey or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/dispatchchelsey.