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Two local attorneys will be honored Friday with prestigious awards from the Minnesota State Bar Association for their public service contributions: Chief Public Defender Dan Lew and Assistant City Attorney Alison Lutterman. Dan Lew Dan Lew has served as chief public defender for the 6th Judicial District in Northeastern Minnesota since 2014, but he first went to work as a public defender in the state in 1996.
Just a couple hours before the House of Representatives voted to repeal the Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare, and replace it with the Republican-favored American Health Care Act, a vociferous group gathered in front of the Duluth Labor Temple to rail against the bill. Dan O'Neil, president of the Duluth AFL-CIO Central Labor Body, said U.S. Rep. Rick Nolan would have liked to attend the event in person but sent a statement instead, as he was on Capitol Hill, preparing to cast his vote against the bill
As Glensheen Mansion prepares for another busy tourist season, conservators and staff are putting the finishing touches on the premises, which operates as a museum. The aim is to return additional parts of the former Congdon estate to an original condition.
Duluth Mayor Emily Larson will head to St. Paul today, where she will again attempt to persuade legislators that a few key local funding requests merit their support. The trip was precipitated in large part by the Minnesota House's release of a bonding bill Monday that contained no funding to revamp the city's steam plant or to support a proposed new science hall on the University of Minnesota Duluth campus. The bill did include at least partial funding to help clean up pollution in the St. Louis River corridor but not the full sum requested.
After nearly a decade on the job as executive director of the Great Lakes Aquarium, Jack LaVoy intends to retire June 30 at the age of 70. He will leave the aquarium in much better shape than it was when he arrived. LaVoy was tapped to lead the aquarium at a time when it was in great financial distress.
A plan for the completion of the Duluth Traverse trail network dominated discussion at Thursday night's Duluth City Council meeting, with more than two dozen citizens testifying in support of the proposal. Libby Bent called the Duluth Traverse "a city planner's dream." "To have a trail that connects all of our neighborhoods from west to east and all of our parks ... with a safe, non-motorized route is something other cities would die for," she said. Tim Kufahl, a family physician, and his wife moved to Duluth's Woodland neighborhood a couple of years ago.
Spirit Mountain's finances continued a downhill journey this season, and Brandy Ream, the recreation area's executive director, places most of the blame on poor weather. Ill-timed rains and a short-lived winter conspired to discourage skiers and adventure park visitors alike, said Ream, reflecting on Spirit Mountain's latest fiscal year, which draws to a close at the end of this month. She said Spirit Mountain isn't the only ski operation feeling the sting.
A soon-to-be-launched initiative to promote recycling in Duluth's parks is long overdue in the eyes of 2nd District City Councilor Em Westerlund. "We don't currently have any sort of formalized recycling program implemented in the parks. So it's absolutely a need that we must address," she said. Westerlund said she was frankly surprised to learn that the city lacked recycling receptacles at most of its parks. But that will begin to change this summer, thanks to a gift from the Keep America Beautiful Park Recycling Bin Grant Program.
On Monday, the Duluth City Council will consider a request to rezone property in the 2200 block of Water Street — along the shore of Lake Superior — for high-density urban residential development. The land, located between the Lighthouse/Beacon Pointe development and the Ledges Townhomes, is currently designated for mixed use-business applications. A proposal calls for Duluth to extend the Lakewalk along the shoreline of the property, but first city staff would need to obtain an easement for the path.
Brandon Sorvik announced Monday his intentions to run for one of two At Large Duluth City Council seats to be filled this November. A political newcomer, Sorvik is the sixth candidate to enter the race. But voters will narrow the field to four in a Sept. 12 primary election. A native of Duluth, Sorvik, age 32, works inventory for Chesney Auto Salvage. He grew up in Lakeside but now lives in Morgan Park with his wife, Christi, and their three sons, ages 4 and 6 and 16 months.