MPR News photos of the week

1 Hoar frost covers an abandoned farm near McGivern Park in Staples, Minn. 
2 Al Nelson, plant manager at Wisconsin Industrial Sand Co. in Maiden Rock, Wis., watches a loader deposit sand onto a conveyor belt in the underground mine. Sand mining has become big business in recent years and mining companies are looking to expand their properties. Now, some landowners are considering the option of selling or leasing their land to big companies who want to explore the area's natural resources and alternative forms of energy. 
3 Teresa Nordich of Rothsay, Minn. pulls a perch through one of the two fishing holes in the Ice Hole bar on Saturday, Feb. 4, 2012. 
4 Republican presidential candidate former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum, center, looks at a display of his official, Santorum for president sweater vest, at the Bemidji Wollen Mills store, with owner Bill Batchhelder, right, during a campaign stop at the vest manufacturer Sunday, Feb. 5, 2012, in Bemidji, Minn. 
5 Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul signs a book for a supporter during a stop at Coon Rapids Middle School on caucus night, Tuesday, Feb. 7, 2012. 
6 Volunteers count Republican presidential candidate ballots in the library at Rutherford Elementary School in Stillwater, Minn. Tuesday, Feb. 7, 2012. 
7 River ecologist Luther Aadland of the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources checks boulder placement in the Red River on Tuesday, Feb. 7, 2012, near the Oxbow, N.D., Country Club. Efforts to convert this dam into a spillway dam are underway and will ultimately make this stretch of river safer for boaters while also improving fish habitat. 
8 Jason Krause of Duluth, Minn. empties tanks at Fitger's Brewhouse in Duluth. Krause was emptying one tank of root beer into the serving tank behind him to the right.