The Northland's Week in Review - June 24-July 1, 2010Miss out on some headlines this week? We've got you covered.
By: Budgeteer Staff, Budgeteer News
Thursday through Sunday, June 24-27
• The Department of Transportation awarded Duluth International Airport $5 million to construct a terminal building and improve the airport’s infrastructure. The $5 million will go toward completing the second of the project’s three phases. The first phase was completed last year and resulted in the creation of 136 jobs. The project will be completed in 2012, resulting in an additional 200 construction jobs with no additional cost to local taxpayers.
• On Saturday, three incoming UMD freshmen were taken in the NHL entry draft: defenseman Justin Faulk, right winger Joe Basaraba and center Caleb Hebert. Faulk, a native of South St. Paul, was taken by the Carolina Hurricanes in the second round (37th pick overall) while Basaraba, who is from Fort Frances, Ontario, went in the next round as the Florida Panthers made him the 69th selection overall. Hebert, a 2010 graduate of Bloomington Jefferson High School, was drafted in the fifth round by the Washington Capitals (142nd).
• On Saturday at 3:55 p.m., an alert Duluth citizen called 9-1-1 to report that they were watching a male prowling a parked vehicle in the 600 block of 99th Avenue West. The male had arrived in another vehicle and was observed entering the parked vehicle and removing property from it. He then returned to his vehicle with the property and left. The reporting party gave dispatchers a detailed description of the suspect, the vehicle he left in and his direction of travel. The information was relayed to a responding officer who located the vehicle and male suspect in the 1600 block of Commonwealth Avenue. Inside of the 28-year-old Superior man’s vehicle was the property he had taken from the parked vehicle; he was lodged at St. Louis County Jail and charged with tampering with a motor vehicle, theft and possession of stolen property.
• Markand Thakar announced that he will be leaving the Duluth Superior Symphony Orchestra after the 2012-2013 season. He has been the DSSO’s music director since 2000, only the eighth in the orchestra’s history and has held the third-longest tenure as music director in its 78 years.
• The Grandma’s Marathon Volunteer of the Year honor was awarded to course entertainer John Herbertz, whose characters over the years have included Shrek, Jesse Ventura and “The Dip in the Road.”
• A Mason, Wis., man fooling around with a grenade had his hand blown off.
• Duluth police identified the two arrested in Tuesday’s marijuana grow operation as Carolyn Joanna Brooks, 65, and Robert Brooks Hoel, 34, both of Duluth. The two have been charged with a fourth-degree controlled substance crime. Hoel, Brooks’ son, has 20 former criminal cases filed against him, including aggravated robbery and five drug cases, in six Minnesota counties.
• In what is being labeled as a misunderstanding, a woman attending a country music concert at Grandma’s Sports Garden Wednesday left with guitar player Chad Warrix’s Les Paul Silverburst guitar. Brian Daugherty said Warrix handed the guitar to the woman, who may have believed it was intended as a gift. Warrix, who was performing with the main act, country singer Randy Houser, referred to the incident on Twitter: “Girl w/curly hair w/guy w/black cowboy hat, front row @ Randy Houser/Grandmas show in Duluth. Silverburst Les Paul WASN’T a gift! Return NOW!”
• Zadie Morgan is suing the son and father who allegedly attempted to cover up the accident in which she was seriously injured earlier this month. The suit alleges negligence during the crash and after the crash and causing aggravation to her injuries, severe pain and emotional distress.
• Lake Superior school district bus driver and janitor Jimmy James has announced his retirement from the district amid allegations that he sexually assaulted passengers on his North Shore Community School route this past year.
• Woodlands National Bank, with a branch office in Cloquet, has been taking a lot of heat lately. The bank chain has been the brunt of an elaborate e-mail, phone and text message fraud that has provoked literally hundreds of phone calls weekly, according to local branch manager Cindy Vallie. The Woodlands National Bank name and logo have been used without the company’s consent or knowledge in “phishing” schemes aimed at acquiring sensitive information from unsuspecting consumers.
Monday, June 28
• Suzy Woo-Young Kotts, former owner of Yoshiko Sauna, said she should have been given an interpreter when police questioned her about running a house of prostitution. Since she wasn’t provided one, her lawyer said that her statement that police were closing the last whorehouse in the area should be suppressed.
• The Slip Bridge, closed last week while city crews repaired a faulty frequency drive, reopened for public traffic.
• Last summer, Brian Zapolski, owner of Lou’s Fish House in Two Harbors, was called and told to send some of his smoked fish to Martha Stewart and her chefs so they could try it. A writer and photographer from her magazine then came to visit. It’s been good news ever since. Apparently the 50 pounds he sent was impressive, the Lake County News-Chronicle reported, as it’s now being touted in the latest issue of the magazine Martha Stewart Living.
• Sen. Robert Byrd of West Virginia, the longest-serving senator in history, died at the age of 92.
• The Supreme Court ruled that the Constitution’s “right to keep and bear arms” applies nationwide as a restraint on the ability of the federal, state and local governments to substantially limit its reach. Chicago’s 28-year-old handgun ban was overturned.
• Per the Star Tribune: The U.S. Supreme Court cleared the way for St. Paul lawyer Jeff Anderson to sue Pope Benedict on behalf of sex-abuse victims when it refused Monday to hear the Vatican’s appeal of an Oregon lawsuit. Anderson, who specializes in filing abuse suits against the Roman Catholic Church, called the decision “the biggest breakthrough in the movement’s history.”
• A 20-year-old resident of a Duluth group home reportedly attacked a female staff member with a frying pan and forced her into his bedroom at gunpoint in an attempted sexual assault.
Tuesday, June 29
• Gerald W. Heaney was eulogized for a life of service, love and faith. Several hundred people attended the Mass of Christian burial at Duluth’s Cathedral of our Lady of the Rosary for Heaney, who died June 22 at age 92. Outside the cathedral, members of the Minnesota Patriot Guard stood at attention with U.S. flags in parallel facing lines. Inside, mourners included Congressman Jim Oberstar and former vice president Walter Mondale, who joined in the 1966 nomination of Heaney to a federal judgeship. Barack and Michelle Obama sent a letter of condolence that University of Minnesota Duluth Chancellor Kathryn A. Martin read during her tearful eulogy. Heaney leaves us with “a world made better by his service,” President Obama wrote, referring to Heaney’s service as an Army Ranger during World War II.
• Per the News Tribune: Paul Eck was 17 when he says his priest, the Rev. Tom Ericksen, raped him in Winter, Wis. The Superior diocese and Ericksen settled a lawsuit with Eck and his 8-year-old nephew, also an alleged assault victim of Ericksen’s, for $3 million. But Ericksen was never criminally charged with molestation, nor was he ever identified as a sex offender.
• The Minnesota Court of Appeals affirmed part and reversed part of a City Council decision that penalized the NorShor Experience for liquor license offenses. The reversed portion pertains to the appeals court determining that there wasn’t enough evidence that NorShor committed the offense of operating as a public nuisance on Aug. 7, 2008, when it was penalized as being one and fined $1,000.
Wednesday, June 30
• The locally based Minnesota Army National Guard’s 114th Transportation Company (“The Wolfpack”) was awarded the National Defense Transportation Association (NDTA) Army National Guard Unit of the Year.
“I am honored to congratulate the members of the 114th Transportation Company for this great achievement,” U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar said in a statement. “During their year-long deployment in Afghanistan, the Wolfpack served Minnesota and our country with distinction. The Minnesota Army National Guard has always provided exceptional service, and I know it will continue to make Minnesota proud.”
• The 85th Duluth Hall of Fame Award was given to Patrick Ply, of late a main planner for the DECC’s all-city Thanksgiving meals, in a ceremony attended by former Mayor John Fedo at Northland Country Club.
• Results of the statewide MCA II test in reading and math show that Duluth public school students did well compared to the statewide results, but high school juniors are still lagging in math. Some improvements in math have been seen at Denfeld and Stowe schools.
• Long-awaited work on Glenwood Street was held up for weeks by MnDOT due to the lack of disadvantaged contractors involved in the project. The state aims for 8.5 percent of its road and bridge funding to flow to “disadvantaged business enterprises” (usually firms led by women or minorities). The city got the go-ahead to begin Wednesday.
Thursday, July 1
• Timber Twister, the much-hyped alpine coaster at Spirit Mountain, opened.
• A new Minnesota law prohibiting anyone younger than 18 from getting a tattoo went into effect.
Want to know more about any of these stories? Search www.duluthnewstribune.com.
Coming this weekend
• Mayor Don Ness will proclaim Saturday, July 3, “Joe McNamara Day” in Duluth. The Denfeld alumnus, who graduated early so he could serve our country in World War II, has inspired many throughout his life. For instance, his first employee at Standard Oil back in Duluth, Bill Crain, went on to become a high-level executive at Chevron. A tribute to McNamara will be held at 1 p.m. Saturday at the All-American Club.
• The Guess Who’s Burton Cummings will be interviewed locally by Tracy Lundeen at 7:30 a.m. Saturday, July 3, on KOOL 101.7 FM.