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Two people died and many roads remained inaccessible after a series of storms brought flooding and washouts across the area over the weekend. Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker on Monday declared a state of emergency in Ashland, Bayfield, Burnett, Douglas and Iron counties. After surveying the region from Ashland to Superior with other officials Walker spoke at a Monday evening news conference in the Douglas County Courthouse. "It was a very visual reminder of how much damage can be done in a short period of time," he said.
The 1,004-foot freighter American Spirit left Duluth on Monday morning after spending several hours grounded in the Duluth harbor. The investigation into the grounding, however, is still in its early stages.
Ron Meshbesher, the Twin Cities defense attorney who represented Marjorie Caldwell in the notorious 1977 Glensheen murders case, has died. Meshbesher, a prominent defense attorney in Minnesota throughout his 57-year career, died on Wednesday in the Twin Cities after suffering from Alzheimer’s disease for several years. He was 85.
The Duluth firefighters union voted to support a draft resolution censuring Fire Chief Dennis Edwards and Deputy Chief Shawn Krizaj — a move the city of Duluth says is in response to a potential change to the union status of the assistant fire chiefs and fire marshal.
Penny Reedy has a file box at the Ely License Bureau full of residents' vehicle paperwork that is caught in the state's problematic licensing and registration system. "My customers are great. They know that I'm trying to help them for the most part. They're very understanding, but at the same time, they're frustrated," she said. "I had a guy in today, 'You told me a couple weeks ago you'd work on it,' and I said, 'See that box? It's still in the box because I still haven't heard back on it."
The National Park Service announced on Thursday that it will begin to implement its plan this year to increase Isle Royale's decimated wolf population. Park staff received the official OK from Cam Sholly, the Park Service's Midwest regional director, to move ahead with its plan to boost the island's wolf population. The park plans to move 20 to 30 wolves onto the island over the next three years beginning later this fall, Isle Royale Superintendent Phyllis Green said.
St. Louis County will have a new leader for its auditor's office after longtime Auditor Don Dicklich didn't file for re-election this year. Dicklich has held the county auditor/treasurer office since he was appointed in 2004. Nancy Nilsen, the county's chief deputy auditor, and Brandon Larson, the county's tax division manager, filed as candidates for the office by the end of the filing period on Tuesday.
The University of Minnesota Duluth's resident undergraduate tuition rates are expected to be frozen next year under the proposed budget for the University of Minnesota system. The University of Minnesota Board of Regents is expected to take action on the 2019 fiscal year budget Friday that contains a tuition freeze for the Duluth, Crookston and Rochester campuses, intended to boost recruitment and retention at those schools. UMD's total allocation in the budget won't be known until later this summer.
A second summer of construction has begun on the state's newest veterans cemetery, set to open this fall. The State Veterans Cemetery near Duluth doesn't have a finalized opening date yet, but construction is expected to wrap up later this year, said veteran cemeteries director David Swantek. Swantek said they've "made a lot of progress," despite weather slowing the project down. "But we're back, picking up where we left off in the fall when things froze up and we've got another full summer of construction to go out there," Swantek said.
St. Louis County will be auctioning off a long list of tax-forfeited properties next month. The county's offering of 168 tax-forfeited properties for sale at its June 14 auction is believed to be its largest offering ever. The parcels on the auction block range from urban Duluth properties to rural lake lots — in addition to the 25 acres that once housed the Clover Valley School north of Duluth.