Brooks is an investigative/enterprise reporter and business columnist at the Duluth News Tribune.
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Duluth is expected to have an inch of snow on the ground come Dec. 25 — but that's about it. That's technically enough to consider it a white Christmas. Technically. "An inch looks pretty optimistic at this point — an inch of new snow," said Bryan Howell, a meteorologist at the national Weather Service in Duluth. "There's also the potential we're going to be warm next week, so that might be liquid as opposed to snow."
Ivan Harmon says it's word of mouth that grew his business. Try line of sight. GFX Graphics recently set up shop in Spirit Valley, if you couldn't tell by the new signage and snowmobiles outside 5831 Grand Ave. That's just a taste of what goes on inside. "It's what we work so hard for — we work our jobs for our toys," Harmon said. "Then you can make it beautiful for less than the price of a lift kit."
The Number: 33.9
An unchecked infection claims a life. "The physician stated that if the client was treated for the illness earlier, s/he may have had a different outcome." A burn goes untreated and takes another. "The resident's primary physician ... stated she did not receive notifications of the changes in the burn size and condition."
Duluth hit record-low unemployment this fall, but not everyone is celebrating. "Every single employer I talk to is having a hard time filling positions," said Elena Foshay, Duluth's director of workforce development. "And some aren't able to grow because they can't find the people."
The Number: 50 percent
A 15-story apartment building may soon be on the rise on East Superior Street in downtown Duluth. The tower, which would replace the Voyageur Lakewalk Inn at 333 E. Superior St., is slated to include 204 rental units with retail on the ground floor. Developers want to attract an urban grocery store to fill much of that street-level space. "It's a skyline changer," said Brian Forcier of Titanium Partners. "There is not another site like this in Duluth. We're going to take this one-time opportunity to get it right."
The Number: 3,055
St. Louis County Sheriff Ross Litman ran unopposed this year, but 1.4 percent of voters wrote in the names of someone else. Who those candidates were — real or fictional — will remain a mystery. Most states require write-in candidates for higher offices to register before or after an election to have their votes counted. Minnesota is among those states.
Northland drivers can usually save a few cents shopping around for gas. If you live in Duluth, you can now save a few dollars leaving the city to fill up. Gas prices in the city were hovering around $2.65 per gallon on Thursday. In Cloquet they were as low as $2.40. "There's no price leadership here," said Patrick DeHaan, senior petroleum analyst with GasBuddy. "Everyone's milking it, as it were."