Living within his means, Rory Orr uses a bicycle or takes the bus to get around Duluth from his downtown apartment. Knowing the hills between his residence and the blood bank he volunteers at by the mall, the 67-year-old Orr was sure to find the right bicycle. "I had to get disc brakes," he said. "Once you get going 30 mph downhill, it takes a block to stop with friction brakes."
Since 1926, people's stories have coursed through the historic Emily's building in Knife River. The landmark along Scenic Highway 61 about 15 miles northeast of Duluth has been a general store, filling station, bed-and-breakfast, post office and, multiple times, a restaurant. The last people to operate it were three sisters and one of their daughters. They closed their restaurant in October 2015 after a popular four-year run. Beginning in July, the restaurant located a few hundred yards upstream from Lake Superior is being reimagined as Emily's Eatery on Knife River.
A 65-year-old man who left the Vermilion Dam Lodge near Cook on Sunday morning in a rental boat and had been reported missing was located early Monday. Frank Achter, of Chicago Ridge, Ill., was found safe and in good health after experiencing boat trouble and seeking shelter on an island in Lake Vermilion.
A 14-year-old effort to reduce roadway deaths in Minnesota has spared an untold number of lives, but the people who implement it are still often told the goal of Toward Zero Deaths is unrealistic. "That's one of the criticisms: 'It seems like an awful lofty goal,'" said Victor Lund, a traffic engineer with St. Louis County. "My statement to that is always, 'How many people in your family are acceptable to be a traffic fatality?' "
The unveiling of a redesigned Veterans Memorial Hall in the Duluth Depot on Tuesday found a pair of Gold Star mothers smiling in the audience. For both Becky Lourey, 73, and LaVeryn McKeever, 87, the event struck an emotional chord. "Oh my goodness," said McKeever, who lost her son Michael during Vietnam, "it means everything." Michael McKeever was an infant when he and LaVeryn saw her husband off to the Korean War aboard a train leaving the Depot. A photograph in the Depot marks the occasion.
Inspired by the success of a suicide prevention program that allows people in crisis to reach out via text message, St. Louis County is turning to cellphones to aid the homeless. The "Text Homeless" pilot program calls for people who are homeless or on the cusp of homelessness to text 85511 and type in "homeless." By doing so, a person will receive a series of yes or no questions that will allow United Way coordinators to arrange the more detailed in-person screenings that can lead to transitional housing.
The Trump administration's federal budget proposal for 2018 isn't a week old, but already state and local transportation officials are adjusting to President Donald Trump's goal of reducing the federal government's role in funding infrastructure. While hopeful still of federal dollars, organizers behind the proposed Northern Lights Express high-speed rail project between Duluth and the Twin Cities are starting to consider piecemeal options aimed at bringing the project to fruition over a longer period of time.
Recalling her love of a lifetime ago, Geraldine Marshall spoke of the sky-high feelings she would get from a young West Duluth pilot she married, then lost on a trail of smoke within the whirlwind of World War II. "He used to wiggle his wings at me," she said of Frederick Delbern Jr., who'd been a Denfeld High School football star and amateur pilot before voluntarily enlisting in the Army Air Corps. "I wouldn't go up in the plane with him. I was afraid of it, so I didn't put myself in that position."
Somehow, the stunning American flag from 1818 never stood out like it does now at Veterans Memorial Hall in the Duluth Depot. "As far as we know, it's one of only two flags like it in the country," said Samantha Tubbs, collections manager and exhibits curator for the St. Louis County Historical Society. "The other one is in the Smithsonian. We've given this one a more prominent display." The flag was gifted long ago by the Mars family, whose Robert W. Mars was an early Duluth settler, Navy veteran and former Civil War prisoner of war. He brought the flag to Duluth.
Since moving to Duluth a short time ago, Ryan Brown found a job at one of the city's largest employers and joined a local parish. He pays child support and makes payments on a hefty medical bill. "Like any normal Joe," he said, "I'm happy to pay." But Brown lives in a homeless shelter, having come up empty in his search to find an affordable home. "I've been a homeowner," the 35-year-old said, before describing a landscape bereft of apartments in the range of $700 monthly. "I'm a single guy. I don't need much, but it's too expensive."