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After more than 90 minutes of discussion and a litany of amendments, the Duluth School Board voted unanimously Tuesday night to replace rubber playground mulch with wood chips, but put off a decision on the timeline for installation. Board members were split on doing all of the district's playgrounds at once or stretching out the project in the interest of saving money. The engineered wood fiber is expected to cost $630,000, and paying for it will require dipping into the general fund at the expense of other programs.
The 94-year-old St. Michael's Lakeside School is slated to close under a plan that would unify Duluth Catholic school operations and open a new high school.
The Duluth school district’s playgrounds are poised for new material, but at a cost to the general fund
Duluth Business University is working to stay open following the federal government's September decision to strip the school's national accreditor of oversight authority. The U.S. Department of Education's December decision to deny the appeal of the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools, which accredits nearly 300 schools across the country who serve 600,000 students, means DBU is searching for a new agency.
A Denfeld High School student was expelled Tuesday by the Duluth School Board in a 6-1 vote. The student was expelled for one year for possession and distribution of an illegal substance. Member Nora Sandstad opposed the expulsion. Prior to the action, member Harry Welty said the board talked at length about the decision in closed session, noting it was a difficult one. Privacy laws prevent the district from releasing any other information.
Many Rivers Montessori has made a third offer on the Duluth school district's former Nettleton Elementary School, now competing with another interested party. Many Rivers' new offer is $500,000, a 35 percent increase from its previous offers of $370,000, made in August and November. The offer was increased, said head of school Mark Niedermier, to demonstrate Many Rivers' seriousness about the property. It was made after school officials learned the Duluth School Board recently met in closed session about the property presumably to discuss another offer.
The call came at 2:38 a.m. Kiarra Dixon's wait on a heart transplant list was over, and her family had a four-hour window to get from Duluth to Rochester's Mayo Clinic. But Dixon, a seventh-grader at Lincoln Park Middle School, refused to go. "I freaked out. I went from being a 12-year-old to a 3-year-old in about five seconds," Dixon said, about the late September call. "I was scared. I wasn't ready for it."
Marcia Hales' famous Christmas light display will live again, at least for one more year. Hales told the News Tribune in December that this season would be her last for the tradition that has lasted 19 years, citing health issues and the cost of the production as reasons for discontinuing the display. But Hales said Sunday, the day after Mayor Emily Larson proclaimed Jan. 7 "Marcia Hales Day" in Duluth, that she had changed her mind.
David Kirby will lead the Duluth School Board this year following his selection as chairman Tuesday night. The board held its annual organizational meeting, during which new members are sworn in and new officers are chosen for the coming year. Chosen as vice-chairwoman Tuesday was Rosie Loeffler-Kemp, with Annie Harala voted in as clerk and Nora Sandstad as treasurer. There was no election for new members last fall.
Long before Duluth’s craft beer explosion there was a handful of production breweries between Duluth and the Iron Range. Fitger Brewing Co., People’s Brewing Co., Duluth Brewing and Malting, Iron Range Brewing Co. and the Virginia Brewery were among them, capitalizing on the “great water” provided by Lake Superior, said Karen Sunderman, producer of the PlayList at WDSE/WRPT. Through a documentary, Sunderman is exploring the region’s early beer-making history as a way to show how it connects to today’s area brewers.