The Northland's week in review (Nov. 27 - Dec. 4)

Friday through Sunday, Nov. 27-29 ? In its first weekend at Bayfront Festival Park, the Bentleyville Tour of Lights attracted 32,000 visitors. At its original location near Cloquet, Nathan Bentley's free holiday spectacle drew about 5,000 people ...

Friday through Sunday, Nov. 27-29

  • In its first weekend at Bayfront Festival Park, the Bentleyville Tour of Lights attracted 32,000 visitors. At its original location near Cloquet, Nathan Bentley's free holiday spectacle drew about 5,000 people on busy nights.
  • Joan Najbar, a Duluth peace activist, is suing the federal government for emotional distress and negligence after a letter to her war-zone son came back to her with the envelope stamped "deceased.''
  • Duluthian Courtney Basara, a Marshall School graduate and currently a sophomore industrial engineering student at the University of Minnesota Duluth, was crowned Miss Minnesota Sunday in Burnsville. It was the second year in a row a UMD student received the honor.
  • Cloquet police are seeking the identity of a woman who entered multiple apartments in at least two local assisted living facilities Sunday evening, Nov. 29, taking prescription medications and cash. Anyone with information should call 879-1247.

Monday, Nov. 30

  • The body of a man was found in a vacant lot on the 200 block of East First Street. Further details have not been released.
  • At the intersection of Fourth Avenue East and Third Street, 82 year-old Duluthian Patricia Mary Lenski was struck by a van driven by 51 year-old Mark Charles Danielson, also of Duluth. Lenski was transported to St Mary's Medical Center where she remains in critical condition with life-threatening injuries. Danielson, who was wearing his seatbelt, was not injured. Speed and alcohol/drug use were not factors in this crash, police reported. Duluth Police are asking anyone who may have witnessed the crash to contact Crash Investigators at 730-5655.

Tuesday, Dec. 1

  • The Minnesota Supreme Court has been asked to suspend a Duluth lawyer. The Office of Lawyers Professional Responsibility filed a petition for disciplinary action against William D. Paul with the court today.

Wednesday, Dec. 2

  • Adele Hartwick was been selected by Mayor Don Ness to be Duluth's new chief financial officer. A Duluth native, Hartwick worked for Advanstar Communications for more than 30 years, dealing with everything from strategic planning and budgeting, financial accounting and reporting including SEC compliance and all aspects of treasury operations. She also managed the company's facilities and insurance programs. If approved by the City Council, Hartwick will start working Jan. 4.
  • Obama's first-time homebuyer tax-credit program was extended to April 30, 2010.
  • The Minnesota Department of Health reported Wednesday that 10 new flu deaths were confirmed last week across the state, including the state's first death from seasonal flu, even as H1N1 continues to decline. H1N1 influenza activity in the state has been downgraded to "local," as reported to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
  • Qwest announced it will close its Duluth directory assistance office on Feb. 5. The company cites decreased call volume as reason. More than 50 union members will be let go.
  • A rural Duluth man caught in a U.S. Postal Service sting being in the possession of pornographic work involving minors received a probationary sentence.

Thursday, Dec. 3


  • U.S. Steel said workers will soon be recalled to Keewatin Taconite Co., according to Jack Thronson, president of Steelworkers Union 2660, who said the recall would begin next week. Hibbing Taconite sent recall letters last week to miners.
  • In a Thursday morning interview with the Budgeteer, United Way Executive Director Paula Reed sounded the alarm for this year's fund-

raising campaign.
"Right now we're about 23 percent behind last year [at the same time]," Reed said. "This is the most dramatic gap I've seen since I've been here, in 10 years."

So far this year, the United Way campaign has raised $772,299. By this time last year, they'd raised just over $1 million.

The United Way supports more than 50 programs in the Greater Duluth area, including Second Harvest Food Bank, Damiano of Duluth, Boys and Girls Clubs, Life House and more.

"United Way funding is one of the only sources these programs have that will help with operational costs, like a staff person," Reed said. "If you look at a 25 percent cut in funding to the Damiano Center on top of the fact that their soup kitchen is serving 40 percent more people -- it would be devastating."

To donate to the United Way go to, call 726-4770 or mail to United Way of Greater Duluth, 424 W. Superior St., No. 402, Duluth. MN 55802.

Friday, Dec. 4

  • The St. Louis County Sheriff's Office received a report at 2:51 a.m. that a person had been shot. Deputies arrived to find a 33-year-old Mountain Iron man lying on a garage floor with two other men in the building. There was a witness, and a 40-year-old Mountain Iron man is in custody.

Coming this weekend

  • Marcia and Zach Hales' "Holiday Spirit in the Lights" display at 3739 Lake Ave. S. on Park Point opens this weekend for walk-through viewing.
  • Spirit Mountain opens at least one run at 9 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 5.
  • A teen gift drive will be held from 3 to 7 p.m. Friday, Dec. 4, at BragGame Rights, which is located at 2510 Maple Grove Road. According to the local Salvation Army, teens are often forgotten in the area toy drives.
  • Get your photo with Santa taken by Dan Schlies from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and from noon to 3 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 5-6, at Fitger's. Packages range from $10 to $20; proceeds benefit Second Harvest Northern Lakes Food Bank.
  • Local publishing outfits Holy Cow! Press and X-communication (and many of their respective authors) will come together for a holiday book sale from noon to 4 p.m. at Spiritual Deli, 3 W. Superior St. The authors will be signing at random times so visit for a schedule of appearances.
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