• A donation of $2,500 from the Port of Duluth Kiwanis Club's 2018 Breakfast with Santa was presented by President Cordelia Swanson to Susan Schumacher of the Duluth Public Library in support of their 2019 Kaleidoscope outdoor summer entertainment program for children.
• Kenny Miller, an Ashland High School junior, recently graduated from the Polaris Gold Level Technical Training School in the Twin Cities. Miller is the youngest participant to graduate from this program, which is Polaris' highest-level mechanical program currently offered. Northland Lawn Sport and Equipment in Mason, Wis., sponsored Miller and covered the complete cost of his training. Parents are Greg and Jen Miller.
• Natalie Daly of Duluth was awarded the President's Scholarship from Luther College in Decorah, Iowa.
• Members of The College of St. Scholastica's Student Occupational Therapy Association (SOTA) took part in a community outreach project with UDAC, a nonprofit organization in Duluth that offers services to adults with intellectual and physical disabilities. At the College's Health Science Center at BlueStone, SOTA members worked with UDAC participants to help them create seasonal crafts and therapeutic projects like fleece tie-blankets. This allowed the SOTA members to put their knowledge and therapeutic skills to good use, while also fulfilling a key component of the UDAC mission: community integration. The participants were able to customize their own blankets and take the final products home.
• Air Force Air National Guard Tech Sgt. Rachel N. Skahl has retired from the U.S. Air Force Air National Guard after serving honorably for 20 years. Skahl was last serving as non-commissioned officer in charge of lodging with 148th Fighter Wing, Minnesota Air National Guard, Minn. Skahl is the daughter of Bill and Denise Carrothers of Duluth. She is a 1999 graduate of Two Harbors High School and earned an associate degree in 2011 from Lake Superior College in Duluth.
• Dr. Brekke Hudelson, a new dentist to northeastern Minnesota, was recently awarded the first installment of a loan forgiveness grant as part of the Martha Mordini Rukavina Loan Forgiveness Program. Hudelson received a check for $30,000 from Dr. Steve Litton, president of the Minnesota Dental Foundation.
Former St. Louis County Commissioner and State Representative Tom Rukavina was instrumental in making the loan forgiveness program a reality through state legislation passed in 2010 in conjunction with the help from the IRRRB. The program, which was named in honor of Rukavina's late mother, Martha Mordini Rukavina, provides an incentive to attract dentists to practice in the Taconite Assistance Area (TAA), a designated dental shortage area in northeastern Minnesota. This program, administered by the Minnesota Dental Foundation, provides money to help repay qualified dental education loans if the recipient dentist agrees to practice dentistry full-time in the TAA for a period of at least five years. Recipients are compensated for outstanding educational debt at a rate of $30,000 per year for four years.
Dr. Hudelson is the daughter of Carl and Diane Hudelson of Hibbing. She earned her bachelor's degree in molecular and cellular biology in 2009 at Vanderbilt University, followed by a Doctor of Dental Surgery degree from Columbia University College of Dental Medicine along with a Master of Public Health Degree from Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health in 2017. She also completed a general dentistry residency at the Minneapolis Veterans Administration Medical Center in 2018. Dr. Hudelson has elected to practice general dentistry in Hibbing with Dr. Jacob Smestad at North Star Dental Care.