The Number: 0.4 percent

That's how much rent has risen for a two-bedroom apartment in Duluth over the past year, according to a report from Apartment List. Using Census numbers and statistical analysis, aka magic, the company pegged the median rent for a two-bed unit at $860 - well below the faster-growing national average of $1,180 - but still out of reach for many.

The Word: "Incomes rose faster for households of all other race groups than for whites over the past year, including twice as fast for Black or African Americans and six times as fast for American Indians. While it helped close the gap, the gaps are still significant," reads a recent writeup on Northeastern Minnesota household income from Cameron Macht at the Department of Employment and Economic Development. Significant indeed - white households in the region have a median income of $52,697 while the median black and American Indian households make $17,314 and $38,118, respectively.

The Lead: The CEO of the company that owns Maurices, for now but not for much longer, is stepping down. David Jaffe left the corner office at Ascena Retail Group on May 1 after 27 years in charge of the company his mother, Roslyn Jaffe, began as a single Dressbarn store in Connecticut in 1962. (Bloomberg recently reported the company may be looking to sell off the Dressbarn brand.) Beyond Dressbarn, Ascena owns Loft, Ann Taylor, Justice, Catherines, Lou & Grey and Lane Bryant. In March the New Jersey-based company announced it was selling Maurices, which it has owned for the past 14 years, to a European private equity firm. More on that to come.

The Listing: There's a stately manse on Superior's Hammond Avenue that feels like a steal at $289,000. The 1932 Georgian Colonial has four beds, three baths, a quarter acre of charm - and the sticker shock of Wisconsin property taxes, estimated by Zillow at $412 a month. That's more per month than a $369,900 listing built in 2016 in Duluth. Yet that charm, that endless charm, has me itching to call my banker.

The Meeting: Deep breaths

Join Krysta Kaas from Essentia Health at 8 a.m. Thursday for a lesson on mindfulness-based stress reduction, and couldn't we all use a little bit of that. Find out more and register at

The Memo is a weekly roundup of things to know, ya know? Send business news of all kinds to and give back-from-paternity-leave reporter Brooks Johnson a call every now and then at 218-723-5329.