Fourth veterans’ cemetery

Groundbreaking for Minnesota’s fourth veterans’ cemetery was held Oct. 14 near Redwood Falls in southwest Minnesota. The project was 12 years in the making, spurred by the families of veterans who often had to travel hundreds of miles to pay their respects to family members buried at other veterans cemeteries.

The cemetery will be developed in 10 phases, beginning with a developmental phase for 21.7  acres of the 81 acre total. It will feature burial sites for caskets, in-ground cremation and an above ground columbarium cremation. Seven employees will be hired to help maintain cemetery grounds.

A  dedication ceremony for the Redwood Falls cemetery is expected in the spring or early summer of 2023. (Minnesota Public Radio)

Ancient human bone found

One of four bones found in the Crow Wing River north of Staples last July has been identified as coming from an ancient human.

On July 31, people  recreating in the area found bones in the river and reported the finds to the Wadena County Sheriff’s Office. A deputy collected the bones, which were later delivered to the Midwest Medical Examiner’s Office.

A forensic anthropologist working with the medical examiner’s office determined one was of human origin, a mandible (lower jawbone). Further examination found it to be of “ancient and of non-recent origin.” After more evaluation, the mandible will be given proper interment. (Brainerd Dispatch)

And the winner is ...

Did you know that Minnesota is one of just a few states that doesn’t have an official state fossil? The Science Museum of Minnesota wanted to change that and held a contest from among the museum’s collection of fossils to see who got the most votes. The nine candidates included the crow shark, scimitar-toothed cat, mastodon and trilobite. 

But a write-in candidate, capturing 25 percent of more than 11,000 votes cast, was the Giant Beaver, Castoroides ohioensis — a 200 pound version of the common furbearer seen across the state. 

“Pretty impressive, right?” said Alex Hastings, the museum’s chair of paleontology. “A lot of people have learned to love these little toothy critters, so why wouldn’t you love an even larger version?”

The next step is for the museum to present the Giant Beaver to lawmakers, in hopes they’ll designate it as the state’s official fossil. (MPR)

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