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The Minnesota town where one of the most famous scenes from Prince’s movie “Purple Rain” was filmed has unveiled a life-sized bronze statue of The Purple One in a garden filled with purple flowers and other tributes to the artist.

A mural of Prince leaning on a Little Red Corvette looks down on the statue, which was installed on June 28 in Henderson, Minnesota.

Fans of the 1984 film will recognize Henderson from the Lake Minnetonka scene where actress Apollonia Kotero’s character jumped into the frigid water only to learn that it was not Lake Minnetonka.

The spot is on a banks of the Minnesota River, about 45 minutes from Minneapolis and Prince’s Paisley Park Studios.

The statue cost $40,000, with most of the money coming from fans, who gave $100 to have their names included on a bronze donor plaque, according to Joel King of the Prince Legacy Henderson Project.

King, a retired cinematographer and camera operator, worked on Prince’s “Graffiti Bridge” movie and some video projects.

“It’s kind of giving back to Prince what Prince gave me,” King said.

King says fans have been coming to Henderson for years because of “Purple Rain.” The project started with a granite bench carved with doves and Prince’s famous symbol guitar, and then it added the mural.

There is a guest book in a purple mailbox with the address 1999. King says it’s been signed by more than 4,000 people from all over the world.

He expects the statue to be an even bigger draw.

Tour operator Randy “Capt. Randy” Luedtke was impressed when he came to see the statue.

“It was such a beautiful commemorative opportunity for Prince’s legacy to continue to live on,” he said.

His company has been taking fans to see landmarks from Prince’s rise to fame in Minneapolis for about four years. Luedtke says the company typically does two tours a week, plus smaller VIP tours.

One popular stop is the real Lake Minnetonka, Luedtke said.

“People just want to grab a vial of water, they want to baptize themselves,” he said.

Luedtke hasn’t been able to run tours because of the coronavirus pandemic, but he says he’s adding Henderson to the itinerary once he is back in business.

King says the Prince connection has been great for the community, and local businesses have embraced the garden and the tourists it attracts. They even host a music festival on his birthday called “Prince Fest.”

King feels like it was the perfect time to unveil the statue, since so many controversial monuments are being taken down.

“It’s kind of cool to have the statue now, especially when they’re tearing down all the statues in America, and then to have a Black man on a statue is pretty cool,” he said. “I think it’s kind of the right time, and Prince deserves it.”

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Pesticides and fertilisers have overtaken fossil fuels as the largest human source of sulphur in the environment, study shows

Pesticides and fertilisers from agriculture have overtaken fossil fuels as the largest human source of sulphur in the environment, a study has revealed.

Reactive sulphur is a key component of acid rain — but one that used to be derived primarily from the use of coal-fired power plants.

The threat from acid rain was first revealed in the 1970s, when experts found such was responsible for damage to ecosystems across the northeastern US and Europe.

This rain, they realised, was derived from fossil fuel emissions from industrial centres as far as hundreds of kilometres away from the affected forests and waterways. 

In the US, the findings ultimately led to the establishment of the Clean Air Act in 1990, with this and similar legislation helping to lower atmospheric sulphur levels.

However, experts led from the University of Colorado have found that the increasing use of sulphur in farming is causing similar effects to the acid rain of the past. 

Pesticides and fertilisers from agriculture have overtaken fossil fuels as the largest human source of sulphur in the environment, a study has revealed


Sulphur is a naturally occurring element. 

It is a plant nutrient and can be used to make fertiliser — along with pesticide.

When released into the atmosphere, it can create sulphuric acid to help form acid rain — damaging plant life and making water ecosystems acidic.

Researchers have found that sulphur release from farming is helping to methylmercury — a neurotoxin which can build up across the food chain.

'It seemed like the sulphur story was over,' said paper author and environmental scientist Eve-Lyn Hinckley, of the University of Colorado, Boulder.

'But our analysis shows that sulphur applications to croplands in the US and elsewhere are often ten times higher than the peak sulphur load in acid rain.'

'No one has looked comprehensively at the environmental and human health consequences of these additions.' 

In their study, Professor Hinckley and colleagues examined the use of sulphur in US agricultural practices across various important crops — including corn in the Midwest, sugarcane in Florida and grapes in California.

The team found that while areas like New England are showing signs of recovery from the historic deposition of sulphur into the atmosphere, sulphate release into the environment from agricultural areas is increasing.

'Although sulphur is applied to agricultural lands to improve the production and health of crops, it can have detrimental effects to agricultural soils and downstream waters,' added paper author Charles Driscoll of New York's Syracuse University.

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These effects, Professor Driscoll added, are 'similar to what occurred in remote forest landscapes under acid rain.'

One example the researchers have highlighted is the Everglades Agricultural Area in Florida, where sulphur draining into waters is enhancing the formation of methylmercury — a potent neurotoxin which accumulates in living organisms.

When methylmercury is passed up the food chain, it can accumulate in high concentrations — risking the exposure of wildlife and humans to the toxic metal if such fish are consumed.

 In their study, Professor Hinckley and colleagues examined the use of sulphur in US agricultural practices across various important crops. Pictured, the sources and effects of sulphur in both agricultural and other areas

Past research had predominantly focused on understanding and managing the use of nitrogen and phosphorus fertilisers, which have the potential to cause harmful algal blooms, resulting in the removal of oxygen from waters and killing fish.

The team have called for more research investigating the impacts of the high levels of sulphur use in modern farming practices — both to explore the environmental and health implications but also to work with farmers to optimise sulphur usage.

'Sulphur in agriculture is not going away,' said Professor Hinckley.

'Yet there is an opportunity to bring science and practice together to create viable solutions that protect long-term environmental, economic and human health goals.' 

The full findings of the study were published in the journal Nature Geoscience.

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