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It turns out that the city of Duluth is the owner of a tiny triangle-shaped parcel of land located smack-dab in the middle of a Menards lumberyard. The home improvement center has been squatting on about 130 square feet of city land inside the footprint of its sprawling West Duluth retail operation for more than a decade now, unbeknownst to either company or city officials. But no longer. "Because Menards is refinancing, they redid the title work, and that's how they found this," explained Keith Hamre, Duluth's director of planning and construction services.
About 70 representatives of Native American tribes in Canada, the Great Lakes region and North Dakota plan to gather in Duluth this weekend to compare notes and strategize in their ongoing battle against oil pipelines both old and new. “Many of them have old lines that are 50 years old, and people are deeply concerned about the impact of those lines on their water,” said Winona LaDuke, executive director of the Native American environmental group Honor the Earth.
A petition launched last week raised the specter of Congdon Park Hockey Club becoming homeless again. The program lost its first home when Congdon Park Elementary School expanded in 2012. The Neighbors of Lower Chester Park, a local group that oversees the city park, reached out to the Congdon club, inviting it to make use of its neighborhood rink instead, and the program has thrived in its new setting, growing from an original base of about 40 families to serve more than 70 today, with youth players ages 4 to 10.
Immigrants such as Yi-Mei "Amy" Yang, a Chinese-born pharmacologist specializing in neurological research, reflect the face of St. Louis County's growth in recent years. She joined the faculty of the University of Minnesota Medical School's Duluth campus in September, relocating from Canada, where she'd spent the past 10 years working at Toronto's Hospital for Sick Children, the largest pediatric research center in the world. Yang described being impressed during a visit to the Duluth campus by the attitude she encountered.
German artist and filmmaker Enno Schmidt's whirlwind tour of the nation will take him to Duluth Sunday afternoon, where he will once again promote the idea of providing a guaranteed paycheck to every man, woman and child. Schmidt was one of the primary architects of a Swiss proposal to provide a basic monthly income of 2,500 francs for each adult citizen and 625 francs for every child. While the conversion rate puts the dollar and the Swiss franc on an almost equal footing, Schmidt said the actual buying power of 2,500 francs is really more like $1,400.
Karl Jaros will be remembered for the images he captured and the many lives he touched. The former chief photographer for the Duluth Herald and News Tribune died Tuesday at Community Memorial Hospital in Cloquet at age 90. Jaros, who was born in Bosnia and immigrated to the U.S. with his family in 1951, spent nearly 30 years shooting photos for the newspapers before retiring in 1982. Jim Heffernan, a former editorial page editor for the News Tribune, recalled going out on assignment with Jaros and seeing his ability to establish a rapport with just about anyone.
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.