The freighter Edwin H. Gott was steaming past Two Harbors on Tuesday evening on its way to Duluth, where it will be the last ship into the Twin Ports for winter layup. The Gott was the final lake freighter of the 2017-18 shipping campaign to make it through the Soo Locks late Monday prior to the closure of the locks on the St. Marys River. The Soo Locks, which connect Lake Superior with the lower Great Lakes, are now closed until March 25 for annual offseason maintenance and reconstruction by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
For DFLers in the 17 northeastern and north-central counties that make up the 8th Congressional District in Minnesota, the campaign and election season is afoot — already.
Since using an exploratory motorcycle tour of the 8th District last year to launch herself into a full-fledged campaign, Leah Phifer has been on the move. As such, her story of coming to politics from working for the federal government in counter-terrorism and national security has been well-disseminated. More recently, Phifer’s background intersected with her campaign in another way. She learned late last year that her private information had been compromised as part of a Department of Homeland Security database hack.
A Great Lakes shipping campaign worth celebrating shuts down Monday with the annual closing of the Soo Locks for about 10 weeks of intense upkeep and refurbishing. Unless something last-minute is still moving, the locks figure to close sometime around midnight. As the last boats point ice-masked bows toward their respective ports of layup this weekend, the tally of active vessels set to winter in the Duluth-Superior harbor is set at six lake freighters and one tug-barge (see graphic).
Protesters blocked entrances to Wells Fargo in downtown Duluth on Friday, including the security gate, preventing the bank from opening. Members of the Duluth Police Department, including Chief Mike Tusken, are negotiating with three protesters locked onto a door and the gate in an effort to end the protest.
A preliminary figure released by the state on Wednesday indicates Minnesota experienced its lowest number of roadway fatalities in 74 years in 2017. The 348 traffic deaths announced by the state is the lowest total since 1943 (274) and second-lowest since 1926 (326). "It shows that in Minnesota we're on the right track to solving our traffic fatality issue," said Mike Hanson, the director of the Minnesota Department of Public Safety's Office of Traffic Safety. "We've come a long way in 15 years. We've cut that rate almost in half and it shows us we can make progress."
Bursting with horsepower to spare in what has been a banner season, the Great Lakes shipping industry slowed against its will in the past week. On Lake Superior offshore from Duluth, as many as nine freighters at a time have been anchored and at ease the past several days — mostly waiting turns to load iron ore pellets in the Twin Ports and Two Harbors. A rush to haul an estimated 1.5 million tons of iron ore pellets out of the Northland in the last half-month of the shipping season stalled when arctic air enveloped the Midwest, sources said.
The Twin Ports' Baby New Year came into the world early Monday, bringing with him contrast to both the year left behind and the cold outside his window. A world that seemed to wail its way through 2017 saw Charles Everett Dreier ride in on the crest of 2018 at 2:13 a.m. as quiet and peaceful as could be — cooing to music and crying only when he'd been pricked by a needle, his parents said. And unlike the freezing air outside his fifth-floor Essentia Health-St. Mary's Medical Center suite, Charlie came in as fuzzy as a peach plucked from near the equator.
A retired college professor who discovered his love for reading while knocking around downtown Duluth as a child is responsible for an infusion of $100,000 to the Duluth Library Foundation this holiday season. The man and his wife, a retired librarian, made an anonymous donation of $25,000 in November and doubled it after the Duluth Library Foundation met the challenge of matching the original gift during what amounted to a year-end fundraising blitz. In fact, the foundation raised just north of $50,000 itself, making the total year-end contribution worth more than six figures.
GRAND RAPIDS — The story of how this mill and hockey town became the epicenter of the pipeline abandonment debate took the News Tribune to St. Andrew's Lutheran Church. Located less than a mile due north off U.S. Highway 2, the church sits on the edge of town with its back facing the west shore of McKinney Lake. With roots as a mission, the church was built in the early 1990s. White pines rise like an amphitheater around it.