Field Reports: From a humble start, bike drive grew to make 362 kids smile this Christmas
For the eighth year in a row, Bob Rogers of Marine General Supply in Duluth has made sure that lots of kids will get a new bicycle for Christmas. This year, the Salvation Army and the Damiano Center have given away a total of 362 bikes that Roger...
For the eighth year in a row, Bob Rogers of Marine General Supply in Duluth has made sure that lots of kids will get a new bicycle for Christmas. This year, the Salvation Army and the Damiano Center have given away a total of 362 bikes that Rogers bought with donations from friends, store customers, civic groups and other businesses.
The grassroots campaign raised $17,000 for bikes this year, Rogers said, and he’ll have a little of that left over to start next year’s drive.
“The most we had ever done before was 250 bikes,” Rogers said. “It’s overwhelming, really, the support of people coming in here. Every day, people ask me how the bike drive is going. It’s putting lots of smiles on lots of faces. Everybody remembers their first bike.”
Rogers remembers his. It was a used bike, fixed up, and it came from the Superior Fire Department when Rogers was a kid growing up in Superior. He started his bike drive as a way to repay the generosity that he benefited from as a child.
Rogers had lots of help in this year’s drive. Nearly all of the bikes were assembled by employees of the London Road Car Wash, and 350 bike helmets were donated by Continental Ski and Bike.
The bikes have been distributed in Duluth, Superior and Cloquet by the Salvation Army, and 20 were distributed by the Damiano Center, Rogers said.
“It blows me away, when we started with nothing,” Rogers said. “I’ll keep doing it as long as I stay here, and I don’t have any plans to retire.”
Likely record eelpout caught
Pending confirmation, Lake of the Woods is about to break its old record for the biggest burbot - also known as eelpout, among other names - ever officially weighed in Minnesota.
Brent Getzler of Warroad, Minn., caught the big eelpout, which weighed 19 pounds, 11 ounces - on a certified scale. When all the paperwork is complete, Getzler’s big burbot will break the old record of 19 pounds, 8 ounces set in February 2012 on Lake of the Woods.
Dennis Topp, assistant area fisheries supervisor for the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources in Baudette, Minn., confirmed the weight and measured the girth at 23 inches and the length at 33 inches.
Mike Kurre, who handles state record information for the DNR in St. Paul, said he hadn’t yet received all of the paperwork satisfying the requirements to make the eelpout official. Topp said the burbot probably was about 15 years old.
- Brad Dokken, Grand Forks Herald
Dupre plans solo ascent
Polar explorer and mountaineer Lonnie Dupre of Grand Marais in January will attempt to solo climb Alaska’s Mount Hunter, 14,573 feet. Dupre became the first person to reach the summit of Alaska’s Denali, 20,310 feet, solo in January 2015.
“Hunter is the steepest and most technical of the three great peaks in Denali National Park,” Dupre said. “It is also known as the most difficult 14,000-foot peak in North America. No one has yet to succeed at a solo ascent of this mountain during winter.”
The first winter ascent of Mount Hunter took place in March 1980 by a three-person team.
The climb will be an alpine-style ascent, according to Dupre. He will carry in a backpack everything he needs for 15 days on the mountain. His pack will weigh 55 to 60 pounds. Dupre hopes to fly into the Alaska Range the first week of January, weather permitting.
Some of Dupre’s previous accomplishments include:
A 3,000-mile winter crossing of Canada’s Northwest Passage by dog team
A 6,500-mile circumnavigation of Greenland by kayak and dog team
Twice skiing and pulling sleds to the North Pole from northern Canada
Trout stream no longer?
The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources is considering removing the trout stream designation on the East Swan River and its tributaries in St. Louis County. The East Swan River and its tributaries have been considered marginal trout waters since the 1940s, DNR officials said. Attempts were made to produce a put-and-take brown trout fishery in the 1980s and again in the 1990s, but surveys failed to capture any trout from the stream.
Anyone with questions is encouraged to contact the Grand Rapids Area fisheries office at (218) 328-8836. Written comments on the proposal will be accepted through March 22, and can be emailed to email@example.com ; or mailed to Grand Rapids area fisheries, 1201 East Highway 2, Grand Rapids, MN 55744.