Duluth is currently in seventh place out of the 50 cities competing for $5 million in the Georgetown University Energy Prize contest. The competition, which began in January of 2015, compares natural gas and energy use through the end of 2016 against usage in 2013 and 2014. Georgetown University will award the $5 million prize in 2017 based on energy savings, community engagement and innovative approaches to achieving energy savings.
A copper mine is on the verge of opening near Ely. Protestors and mining supporters line up on opposite sides of the street, chanting familiar refrains of jobs vs. environment. Then an explosion rocks the mine site, killing two workers. Sabotage by eco-terrorists? Or criminal negligence by the mining company? "Boomtown" is the latest novel by Duluth-area writer Mark Munger, who is also a District Court judge in St. Louis County. This is his 10th book, his seventh novel and his fourth to feature Sheriff Deb Slater, the fictional head cop of Cook County.
The Kyle Smalley Spirit Valley Days Car Show is Wednesday, Aug. 3, 6-9 p.m. in the Spirit Valley Mall lot, 5700 Grand Ave. Last year's event drew 700 cars, almost overwhelming the space. It was the first event to memorialize Kyle Smalley, one of the car show's main founders, who died in May 2015. "A lot of people came out to pay their respects," said Angelo Simone, one of the show coordinators. "Everyone stepped up to the plate to make sure it ran smoothly."
"Vinyl" is an HBO series about sleaze and intrigue in the music industry circa 1973. In the episode that aired March 27, record moguls Richie and Zak meet two young women in Las Vegas. One of them, Patty, says she's from "St. Paul. Duluth, actually. Trying to be fancy." Zak replies, "Well, then things are looking up for you." Later the conversation goes like this: Zak: So, Duluth. Patty: Yeah, Duluth. Zak: Yes, yes. I flew over it once. Patty: Uh huh. Zak: Still took too long.
"I'll guarantee you in the next hour and a half I'll leave you itching and scratching," said Todd Leyse, president of the Twin Cities-based Adam's Pest Control, at a seminar on bed bugs Feb. 23 at Denfeld High School. Leyse, who played basketball for the University of Minnesota Duluth in the early 1980s, brought up a national news story from earlier that day. Kyrie Irving of the Cleveland Cavaliers, who mostly sat out an Oklahoma game, said he wasn't feeling well after finding bed bugs in his hotel room.
"It's an offering to the ice god," said John Finkle, co-organizer of the first Duluth Ice Festival. "It ushers in spring, keeps away snakes and gives us good ice rinks and ice cream." The festival took place at Park Point on Saturday, Feb. 13. You might have missed it because it was only publicized by word-of-mouth and email. Still, around two dozen people showed up to cut blocks of ice from the bay using antique drills and saws, drag the blocks from the water with antique ice tongs and build walls and sculptures using ingenuity.
Radon, an invisible, odorless gas that seeps up from the earth, can cause lung cancer and kills more than 21,000 people in the United States each year. Since January is Radon Awareness Month, the American Lung Association held a program kick-off and media conference Jan. 4. "There is no place in the state that has low levels," said Pat McKone, regional senior director for the American Lung Association. "It's all moderate to high."
Members of "The Duluth 7," activists who occupied Enbridge Energy offices in Duluth, were arraigned in State District Court on Dec. 8. Four of the protesters were summoned and pled not guilty. Shortly before the arraignment, supporters demonstrated outside the St. Louis County courthouse. "I'm here to say that I will continue to exercise my treaty rights and will not tolerate not being heard," said Korey Northrup, a member of the Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa. She was part of the Nov. 2 protest but not one of those arrested. The court case stems from a Nov.
"People thank you for keeping the town authentic," said Derrick Vennevold, a local guitarist and busker, aka street performer. In Duluth, buskers perform not on the street but the Lakewalk. The city issues 25 permits a year for the May 1-Oct. 1 season. The permitted area is between the Vietnam Veterans Memorial and Historic Endion Station, including Lake Place Park. Buskers pay $30 for a permit.
For over a century the massive DeWitt-Seitz Building has anchored Canal Park at 394 Lake Avenue South. This summer marks its 30th anniversary as a picturesque urban mall for locally owned shops, restaurants and a variety of businesses. The DeWitt-Seitz Co. was organized in 1905 as a mattress and furniture business. Henry F. Seitz, a traveling salesman for the Webster Chair Co. of Superior, came up with the idea to supply booming mining towns and growing farms in the northern plains states. He drew the interest of Charles E. DeWitt, a local banker and officer of the L.W.