Thursday's crash of a Duluth school bus in the Kenwood neighborhood was caused when the driver had a "medical episode," Duluth police said Friday. A law enforcement inspection of the bus carrying 27 elementary students found no mechanical issues, according to a Duluth Police Department news release. "The brakes were fully functional, there were no mechanical malfunctions with the bus, and it was in good working order," the release said of the Duluth Police Department Crash Investigation Unit's inspection. Investigators also have ruled out excessive speed, driver impairment and weather and r
Just over a month ago, members of local labor unions marched with Occupy Duluth during the National Day of Action. Now leaders of the two sides might not even be exchanging Christmas cards. The Duluth Central Labor Body, which represents more than 17,000 union members in the region, voted Wednesday to disassociate itself from Occupy Duluth. Central Labor Body President Dan O'Neill said his group held a special meeting to discuss comments made by two Occupy Duluth members in a recent issue of Business North, where they spoke out against copper mining.
A Hennepin County judge has dismissed a lawsuit filed by Duluth's Last Place on Earth and two other Minnesota synthetic drug retailers challenging a state law that bans certain versions of those drugs. The judge's ruling may help police and prosecutors enforce state laws against selling synthetic drugs, but the plaintiffs said they will appeal the judge's decision. For the past several months, the Last Place on Earth has sold what are considered "analogs" -- substances that are similar in chemical makeup to banned compounds used to manufacture synthetic marijuana.
In a continuing David versus Goliath battle, Milwaukee-based Johnson Controls will fight a legal challenge filed by a small Iron Range newspaper seeking records the company has from its work helping to build nearly $80 million worth of new school facilities. The Ely Timberjay requested records pertaining to Johnson Control's work for the St. Louis County school district.
The Last Place on Earth wants its stash back. Jim Carlson, owner of the downtown head shop, filed suit against the city of Duluth on Friday in St. Louis County District Court claiming police illegally raided and searched the business on Sept. 21. Carlson said he wants what was confiscated to be returned, including thousands of dollars worth of synthetic drugs, 31 guns, computers, surveillance tapes and about $83,000 in cash. "(Synthetic marijuana) is a legal product," Carlson said.
A man accused of falsely reporting that he was shot while trying to help a woman in apparent distress took the stand Friday in St. Louis County District Court and stood by his story. Alcide Thomas Cloutier, 34, told jurors that he followed a suspicious car for nearly 20 blocks into the Lakeside neighborhood the night of Jan. 22.
A state board responsible for overseeing complaints filed against Minnesota attorneys has recommended that Duluth attorney Louis Andrew Stockman be disciplined for alleged unprofessional conduct. Stockman, who has been an attorney since 1993, is accused of misappropriating and mishandling numerous clients' funds through a fiduciary trust account. "Client funds (in the account) were used to cover payments for other clients," said Martin Cole, director of the Lawyers Professional Responsibility Board, which is filing the petition. "It puts clients' funds at risk.
A Duluth woman who struck and critically injured a pedestrian while driving drunk in 2009 was allowed to stay out of jail Friday before a hearing next week to determine whether she violated her probation. Julie Ann Gronski, 28, appeared in court briefly to admit or deny whether she violated probation while caught speeding on her way to an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting.
After seeing a stray cat outside in the cold for several weeks, a couple decided to bring it to the Duluth Animal Shelter on Friday. By then, said animal control officer Carrie Lane, it looked close to death. "It was emaciated. Its paws were frostbitten. Its ears were chewed by ear mites. One of its ear tips had fallen off from the frostbite," she said. Rigor mortis was beginning to set in, Lane said, and the cat was comatose.
When vandals broke into Carlton Spur Convenience Store on Friday night, they broke the glass on two soda coolers before leaving. But the worst was yet to come. Vandals again broke into the gas station and store just south of the city of Carlton sometime between Sunday night and Monday morning and broke "every piece of glass in the store," said co-owner Milissa Soukkala. She wasn't exaggerating.