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Earth-moving equipment rumbled in the background this afternoon even as U.S. Rep. Jim Oberstar prepared to heft a golden shovelful of dirt at a ceremonial groundbreaking for Duluth International Airport's new terminal building. Oberstar, D-Minn., and others have done a lot of heavy lifting to bring the project to fruition, according to Nancy Norr, chairwoman of the Duluth Airport Authority.
A Polish cargo ship that's been parked outside the Duluth Harbor for more than a week is finally going to get moving. The 656-foot saltie Isadora has been sitting at anchor outside the harbor since it arrived Aug. 20. Its contract with the Cenex Harvest States elevator in Superior called for it to load no sooner than Sept.
After a long wait, the Isadora, a member of the Polish Steamship Co. fleet, is scheduled to begin loading grain at the Cenex Harvest States elevator in Superior Tuesday. The 656-foot saltie has been sitting at anchor outside of the harbor since Aug. 20, waiting to receive its cargo. The vessel's contract with the elevator calls for it to load no sooner than Sept. 1. Following two days of loading, it is expected to depart Wednesday with about 28,000 tons of spring wheat and 20,000 tons of durum wheat bound for Bari, Italy.
Most of the time, the threat was unspoken, said property appraiser William Spang. Spang, owner of Spang Appraisal Associates of Duluth, is talking about the implication that appraisers who didn't deliver favorable numbers didn't get called back for the next job. Sometimes it was more than an implication. "Some of the smaller mortgage companies even came right out and suggested that," Spang said. "You would get more business from me if your appraisal helps this sale go through." Economists trace the roots of the current recession to a bubble in real estate prices and overzealous lending.
Minnesota Power received the go-ahead today to purchase two boilers from the Duluth Steam Cooperative Association. The Minnesota Public Utilities Commission approved the utility company's petition to pay the city of Duluth $2.5 million for the boilers and then invest another $22 million in the Hibbard Energy Center that houses them. When the work is completed, the biomass facility should be able to produce about three times as much power as it does today.
As of Sept. 1, Duluth will no longer be directly served by a major airline. From that date forward, Delta Airlines intends to serve the market entirely by way of regional jet affiliates Mesaba and Pinnacle airlines. That means Duluth no longer will be served by the larger jets flown by Delta and Northwest Airlines. The airport boasts at least one daily DC9 flight with a capacity of 100 passengers. The regional jet that will replace it, a CRJ900, carries 76 passengers. Duluth was ensured regular service by large aircraft when Northwest Airlines opened its maintenance base here in 1996.
Helicopter Tours of the Twin Ports should soon be coming to Duluth's Sky Harbor Airport. The Duluth Airport Authority today agreed to enter an agreement enabling Lake Superior Helicopters to begin offering its services from the Park Point airfield. "We could be operating by this weekend," said Sandy Hoff, one of the start-up tour service's owners.
Waste rock from Iron Range mines could one day help improve traction on the nation's roadways and make them last longer, too. Workers began applying 23 tons of aggregate Monday from United Taconite's operations to a bridge deck in Virginia. The work is expected to continue today. The aggregate made a circuitous journey to the U.S. Highway 53 bridge over Second Avenue West in Virginia. First, Ulland Bros.
After a year of the worst kinds of misfortune, fate -- and a housing program -- have smiled on Dan and Sara Johnson of Cloquet. Their family has been selected to receive a home through the Thrivent Builds with Habitat for Humanity program -- an initiative that helps more than 300 families per year. "I cried when I got the news," Sara Johnson said. "Owning a home is something we dreamed of all the time and now it's coming true." The past year has been a trial for the Johnsons.
A group of young activists delivered a message Thursday to city transit officials: Clean up the air around our bus stops. The children, members of the East Hillside Patch Mind to Mind program, united to ask the city to restrict how near people can smoke around bus shelters throughout the community. "It makes me feel good that we're trying to make things change for the better," said Morganh Chathavond, a 9-year-old member of the East Hillside Patch Mind to Mind program. Between May and July, young people involved in the program surveyed 211 bus riders waiting at downtown transit centers. We