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Judge Nixes Proposed 450-Foot BWCA Cellphone Tower

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -- A judge has blocked AT&T's plan to build a 450-foot cellphone tower near the edge of the Boundary Waters Canoe Area in northeastern Minnesota.

Hennepin County Judge Philip Bush ruled Wednesday the proposed tower would likely hurt the "scenic and aesthetic resources" of the BWCA. But he says a smaller, unlighted tower of up to 199 feet would be OK.

The judge sided with Friends of the Boundary Waters Wilderness. The group argued the 450-foot tower's flashing lights would be visible from several lakes and waterways within the BWCA.

AT&T contended one tall tower would do the best job of extending cellphone service east of Ely and allowing paddlers to call for help in emergencies.

An AT&T spokesman says the company is reviewing the ruling and considering its options.

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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