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With new sections, it’s a heavier paper and a growing newsroom

You’ve probably noticed your copy of the Duluth News Tribune hitting the doorstep with a louder “thump” lately.

Or maybe seen it cover a greater portion of your kitchen table.

What’s hard to miss, though, is that it now takes longer to read the entire paper.

We’d slap a “25 percent more!!!” sticker or something similar on the paper if we could, but that’s best left to shampoo bottles and potato-chip bags.

It’s been an exciting launch week in the newsroom as we’ve unveiled a different-themed features section every day, culminating with today’s Pursuits section.

Some days have brought the return of old favorites, such as Taste on Wednesdays and Home on Saturdays. Other features have been part of our stable for a long time — Business on Mondays and A&E (formerly The Wave) on Thursdays. And still others contain completely new content that we’ve created to focus on what’s important to you: Health (Tuesdays), Weekend (Fridays) and Pursuits (Sundays).

These features sections will be chock-full of local stories and information that is important and interesting to you. Each features section’s design is aimed at being colorful, engaging and reader-friendly.

Creating a daily features section has allowed us to expand the main section of the paper to include each day’s local, state, nation and world news. With the exception of Sundays, the Local News pages will be part of the main section.

Don’t worry, we haven’t touched the comics. We know better than to mess with that.

In order to make your paper bigger, we’ve needed to grow our newsroom as well.

Melinda Lavine is our features editor, coming from the Grand Forks (N.D.) Herald, where she shepherded their features with aplomb. Mike Creger has moved from his general assignment reporting gig to become a full-time features reporter, joining longtime entertainment writer Christa Lawler and copy editor/page designer Tamara Gruhot on the features team.

Others in the newsroom have joined the fun, too. For instance, our education reporter, Jana Hollingsworth, is sharing her experiences at local eateries by writing an entertaining column called Dining Out for the Taste section. One of our editors, Nolan Peterson, is channeling his inner geekness with a column aptly called GeekStream that will be part of the Weekend section.

Besides Lavine, our newsroom has another new byline in Brady Slater, a Northland native well-connected in our community. Slater is our new general assignment reporter.

And with DNT veteran Rick Weegman’s move to become sports editor, Matt Wellens will be joining our sports department at the end of the month. Wellens is an experienced sports scribe whose last stop was at the Mining Journal in Marquette, Mich., where he covered Northern Michigan University athletics as well as high school sports.

And we’re not done, either. We will soon add a multimedia specialist to our ranks to help bolster our growing website offerings.

We’re running out of cubicles to put them all in, but that’s a good problem to have.

So is having a heavier paper hitting your doorstep.

<i>Contact News Tribune editor Rick Lubbers at or (218) 723-5301. Follow him @ricklubbersdnt on Twitter.</i>