- Member for
- 4 years 4 months
If you own a wood-burning stove that was built prior to 1990, chances are that you could benefit from an upgrade to a newer, more efficient stove. And you may qualify for some help thanks to Project Stove Swap, a program launched Tuesday to help Northland residents switch to cleaner-burning stoves "Basically, the project is an opportunity to swap out older, less-efficient wood-burning devices for newer, cleaner-burning devices," said Mike Harley, executive director of Environmental Initiative, which is spearheading the program in partnership with Minnesota Power.
On average, people who claim the federal earned-income tax credit see an extra $2,210 added to their refund checks. Yet about 20 percent of eligible households leave that money on the table by failing to claim a benefit to which they're entitled. "We want people to be aware of a tax credit that can really help them — an anti-poverty initiative that's very important to get money into the pockets of people who could really use it," said Matt Hunter, president of the Head of the Lakes United Way, which launched an awareness campaign Friday in Duluth.
Shortly after President Donald Trump's inauguration Friday, the Environmental Protection Agency received a directive to temporarily freeze its contracts and grants. As word of the freeze spread this week, officials have been scrambling to sort out what that move means for projects in Duluth and nationwide. State Rep. Rick Hansen, DFL-South St. Paul, said Wednesday afternoon that the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency still is searching for answers.
When it comes to turning Duluth into a tourist destination, Gary Doty points to one individual as the single most important catalyst. "I don't think there's anybody in Duluth who has done more for tourism than Dan Russell," said Doty, who has served the city as a mayor, county commissioner and state representative. After 27 years on the job as executive director of the Duluth Entertainment Convention Center, Russell announced Tuesday afternoon that he will retire Aug. 31.
The opening of parking ramps at Maurices new headquarters building on Superior Street and at the new transit center on Michigan Street recently combined to add about 900 stalls to Duluth's public parking inventory, creating some new challenges for the city. Duluth likely will need to improve both its marketing of off-street parking and develop clearer signs that direct visitors to its plentiful parking options, said David Montgomery, the city's chief administrative officer. "We don't have a lack of parking downtown. We have lots of parking downtown," he said.
Duluth Edison Charter Schools' plan to build a new high school in Duluth has been placed on hold, at least for now. Edison's chosen developer, Pacific Education Partners, had filed an appeal with the Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources after the Duluth Planning Commission voted 4-1 last July to reject its proposal to build a school on the southern edge of Snowflake Nordic Ski Center off Rice Lake Road. City staff and commissioners cited concerns about the project's potential impact on local wetlands.
Duluth Fire Chief Dennis Edwards made the case for hiring an additional housing inspector to the Duluth City Council Thursday night. He asked for an $81,000 funding bump to cover the cost of the new life safety position with the prediction that the post will more than pay for itself. In fact, Edwards suggested it could do so twice-over by generating an estimated $168,000 in revenue.
Indiana Gov. Mike Pence made history Tuesday afternoon when he became the first vice president-elect to ever address the U.S. Conference of Mayors, and Duluth Mayor Emily Larson was in the audience, listening. Pence said he consulted with President-elect Donald Trump before speaking to the 300-some mayors amassed in Washington, D.C. Pence said Trump sent his greetings and instructed him to "tell them we're going to do an infrastructure bill, and it's going to be big."
Although a plan to address what's been called the Lakewalk's "missing link" has been adopted, it likely will be at least another year before it can be built. Duluth aims to embark on a new Lakewalk mini-master plan, likely in the latter half of this year, and given the scope of that plan, Lindsay Dean, manager of the city's parks and recreation division, said she anticipates it will take at least six months to complete. That document will play a critical role in helping the city pursue state and federal support for trail improvements, she explained.
The Duluth City Council approved yet another dose of funding for the proposed Northern Lights Express passenger rail service earlier this week amid assurances that the project, which has been years in the making, could finally be close to fruition. The annual cost of Duluth's involvement in the initiative has fallen from about $60,000 when the push started in 2007 to less than $9,000 this year, noted Ken Buehler, chairman of the technical advisory committee for the proposed rail service — often referred to as NLX for short.