Statewide: February 3, 2012 Archive
Scientists are gearing up for construction this spring of a 15,000-ton neutrino particle detector that will be housed in a facility on the Ash River Trail, about 40 miles southeast of International Falls.
The detector will be part of a scientific investigation into the role of subatomic particles in the origin of the universe, according to a story in the The Journal newspaper in International Falls.
The lab is part of the University of Minnesota's School of Physics and Astronomy. The detector will be on the receiving end of particles shot through the earth from the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory in Batavia, Ill. The Ash River site was selected because it's the furthest possible location in the United States that's in a direct line from the Illinois lab.
Researchers say the new facility will expand the University of Minnesota's international reputation as a leader in neutrino research. The university also operates the Soudan Underground Laboratory near Tower, Minn.
Project spokesman Gary Feldman, a Harvard University professor, told The Journal the facility itself is now finished and preparations have begun to build the detector. Construction will begin in April and is expected to continue over the next year and a half.
Lab officials are now in the hiring phase. There's currently a crew of 14, but the construction team will grow to 40 by this spring.
Here's a Fermilab report that explains the scientific goals of the project.
The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act provided more than $40 million for the project.
Posted at 7:30 AM on February 3, 2012
by Michael Olson
Filed under: Around MN
High levels of mercury found in North Shore babies
Star Tribune: "One in 10 babies along Minnesota's North Shore are born with unhealthy levels of mercury in their bodies, according to a new report on contamination around Lake Superior, the first to look for the pollutant in the blood of U.S. infants."
MN-03 DFL candidate forum
DFL candidates Sharon Sund and Brian Barnes join an online MPR News forum today at 11:00am to discuss their positions on the issues facing Minnesota's 3rd Congressional District. Rep. Erik Paulsen currently represents the district that serves the western suburbs of Minneapolis.
Union fight brews with right-to-work push in Minn.
AP: "Republicans pulled Minnesota into an explosive issue Thursday by introducing legislation to make union membership optional, setting the stage for a fight that has triggered boycotts by Democratic lawmakers and large protests in other states."
No contract yet; city workers strike imminent
Timberjay: Twenty-five "Ely city workers weren't walking a picket line as of presstime on Thursday, but the possibility of an imminent work stoppage hung in the air nonetheless."
Legal experts: If Michael Brodkorb sues over Senate firing, chances of prevailing could be slim
Pioneer Press: "Labor law experts interviewed by the Associated Press cited a number of barriers to any claim by Brodkorb, chief among them the Senate secretary's assertion that he signed an agreement acknowledging he was an "at-will" employee, which means he would be subject to firing at any time."
Ron Paul to stage town hall at Mayo H.S. Saturday
Rochester Post Bulletin: "Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul will make a stop in Rochester on Saturday in advance of Tuesday's caucuses."
Santorum to visit to Minnesota
WDIO: "Republican Presidential candidate Rick Santorum is set to visit three Minnesota cities on February 5, including Eden Prairie, Bemidji and Lake Waconia."
Innocuous building near stadium is key hub for regional communications
MPR News: "The quest for a new Vikings stadium has inadvertently cast attention on a little-known building in downtown Minneapolis that plays a crucial role for anyone who uses the Internet."
146 animals seized at Bigfork property
WDIO: "With help from the Star of the North Humane Society, 146 animals were seized. The court documents said there dogs, horses, chickens, a goat, rabbits, and pheasants."
Warm temps energize Jewel's baby bears
Northland News Center: "Just 12 days old, the cubs are moving around in their den earlier than researchers expected and are considerably more vocal than black bear and internet phenom Lily's, cubs were."
St. Paul artist using homemade postcards to help save Postal Service
Pioneer Press: "Peter Kramer is determined to save the U.S. Postal Service - one postcard at a time. The St. Paul artist and accomplished architect is so passionate about the cause that he's come up with 'Postcards to Save the Post Office,' a collection of more than 120 one-of-a-kind postcards."
Peter Kramer - Postcards to Save the Post Office
Kathy Wismar - paintings and ceramics
February 4 - March 4, 2012
Opening Reception in St Paul: Saturday, February 4; 5-7 PM at the Grand Hand