Andrew Kirov

Chief Tusken Speaks to Park Point Community After Jan. 2 Homicide

Tusken says statistically speaking, Park Point is the safest neighborhood in Duluth

DULUTH, Minn. – Duluth Police Chief Mike Tusken spoke with park point residents in the aftermath of the January 2nd burglary and homicide there, which was the first homicide of the year in Duluth. Chief Tusken’s appearance at the Park Point Community Club was to answer questions about the recent crime that killed 70-year-old Larry Watczak and ease community fears….

Patterson Moved to Polk County Jail; Defendant’s Father Brings Note for Closs Family

Faked and hacked Facebook accounts responsible for GoFundMe accounts benefiting the defendant, Patterson

BARRON COUNTY, Wis. – The defendant in the Jayme Closs kidnapping case has been moved out of Barron County to another jail. The defendant, 21-year-old Jake Patterson of Gordon, has been moved from the Barron County Jail to the Polk County Jail in Balsam Lake. Barron County Sheriff Chris Fitzgerald confirmed one of Jayme Closs’s relatives works at the Barron…

Duluth Wedding Show Fills the DECC

Including the annual fashion show parading down the catwalk

DULUTH, Minn. – Models strutted their stuff on the catwalk at the annual Duluth Wedding Show at the DECC. Couples could plan their whole wedding in one day with dozens of businesses, venues, and planners at the show. One bride tells us it helped her a lot to sample everything in one place. “It’s totally helping me plan,” said Sarah…

Park Point Assault Victim Dies

Larry Watczak's death has become the first 2019 homicide in Duluth

DULUTH, Minn. – Larry Watczak, the 70-year-old man assaulted in his Park Point home during January 2nd burglary, has died. Watczak died in Essentia Health early Saturday morning. Duluth Police Chief Mike Tusken says his death will count as the first Duluth homicide of 2019 because it was caused by another person while committing a burglary. A suspect, Darrell Darryl…

Gordon Neighbors Help Jayme Closs Escape

GORDON, Wis. – Jayme Closs’ disappearance and her parents’ murder have become international headlines. Many in her community have been feeling pain for the missing teen and her family. Jayme Closs escaped from captivity herself but was helped by good neighbors in Gordon, Wisconsin. “It has been 88 days of hope for her safe return, 88 days of prayers for…

Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz, Lt. Gov. Peggy Flanagan Visit Duluth

The newly sworn-in state executives spoke at the University of Minnesota Duluth

DULUTH, Minn. – Minnesota Governor Tim Walz (DFL) and Lieutenant Governor Peggy Flanagan (DFL) were at the University of Minnesota Duluth Thursday sharing their vision for moving Minnesota forward. Days after their inauguration, the Minnesota state executives spoke to students, supporters, and community members in Duluth. “We have a charge and we have an opportunity to find common ground and…

DTA Looks to “Rapid Bus Transit” Option

Rapid bus line would include fewer stops and a higher number of buses on route

DULUTH, Minn. – The Duluth Transit Authority is looking at offering what’s called “Rapid Bus Transit” which they tell us offers many of the economic benefits of rail service at a much lower cost. Officials say a good corridor exists for the faster bus line on Grand Avenue and Michigan Street in West Duluth, through downtown, and to the University…

University Nursery School Opens New Location

Location on East Third Street expected to help with regional child care shortage

DULUTH, Minn. – University Nursery School has opened a new location in the Jefferson Square building on East Third Street. The new spot will allow staff to educate forty-eight infants, fifty-five toddlers, and seventy-two pre-schoolers. The child care center is now accepting applications. They’re hoping to fill the big space with kids having fun. “Duluth has long winters and now…

Suspect Charged with Assault and Robbery in Park Point Attack; Victim Remains in Coma

70-year-old Larry Watczak was attacked in his home on January 2nd

DULUTH, Minn. – 30-year-old Darrel Mayhew of Duluth has been officially charged with three felonies in the violent attack of a 70-year-old man taking a nap in his Park Point home. That man is Larry Watczak who continues to fight for his life in a coma since the January 2nd attack to his head. Mayhew is facing First Degree Assault,…

District Court Stands By Arbitrator’s Decision to Reinstate Duluth Police Officer

Officer Adam Huot was suspended for a use of force incident on May 20, 2017

DULUTH, Minn. – “The behavior and what you saw here does not represent the best of us and as a result I felt very strongly, I do feel very strongly that when you betray public trust that we cannot in this day and age in law enforcement tolerate that behavior,” said Duluth Police Chief Mike Tusken during a press conference on…

Duluth Area Salvation Army Raises $260,000 Through Red Kettle Campaign

More was raised than last year, but Salvation Army was short of their $300,000 goal

DULUTH, Minn. – The Salvation Army Red Kettle Campaign has wrapped up for the season. In the greater Duluth area, the Salvation Army raised about ten percent more money than last year. In total, they took in about $260,000, just short of their $300,000 goal. Officials were impressed with how many people helped during the campaign. They got about a…

St. Louis County Attorney Mark Rubin Sworn in for Third Term

Rubin has been County Attorney since 2011

DULUTH, Minn. – St. Louis County Attorney, Mark Rubin, was sworn in for his third term in office on Wednesday. Rubin has been the County Attorney since 2011. He has worked for St. Louis County since 1978. He looks forward to following through with the nationwide civil opioid lawsuit St. Louis County is a part of. Rubin discussed the decision…

Officer Describes Ravine Rescue

Man experiencing homelessness was pulled from a ravine in West Duluth on Monday

DULUTH, Minn. – On Monday night, a man was pulled from a ravine along Kingsbury Creek near the Lake Superior Zoo. A man was hiking with his wife and dogs along the Superior Hiking Trail when he passed a man experiencing homelessness in a sleeping bag in a ravine. He contacted police and led them to the location where he…

Suspect in Custody After Potential Threat at UMD

Donald Allen Rankin is being held in St. Louis County Jail on 3 charges

DULUTH, Minn. – There was a potential threat on the University of Minnesota Duluth campus Tuesday night. It all started with a 911 call reporting a man making suicidal threats who may have had a gun. The suspect was arrested Monday night near the Marshall Alworth Planetarium at UMD about thirty minutes after the initial 911 call. Turns out the…

Michigan Man Dies After Collision With Snow Plow

Man identified as 48-year-old Derek Tuomi of White Pine

ONTANAGON, Mich. – A man is dead after his car crashed into a snow plow truck in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. Authroities in Ontanagon County, Michigan, have identified the man as 48-year-old Darren Tuomi of White Pine. Police say his Volkswagen Golf rear-ended a county truck Saturday night on M-64. The sheriff’s department believes speed and alcohol may have been factors…

Cross Country Skiers Excited for Snow

Snowflake Nordic Ski Center has been busy compacting snow on trails

DULUTH, Minn. – All the recent snow is a very welcome sight for cross country skiers. Staff at the Snowflake Nordic Ski Center in Duluth spent hours Thursday morning compacting the snow on their trails to make it ski-able. They tell us each trail was compacted multiple times. In total, staff went over more than seventy kilometers of snow on…

Lift Bridge Operator Retires After 30 Years

The family of Paul Thomas held up signs on the bridge to celebrate his last shift

DULUTH, Minn. – After about thirty years working as an operator on Duluth’s Aerial Lift Bridge, Paul Thomas is worked his last shift Thursday, December 27th. To celebrate his career, members of his family walked the bridge with signs encouraging passing drivers to honk for Paul. They say today is bittersweet. They’re happy for Paul but they will miss having…

Ski and Snowboard Camp Shreds at Chester Bowl

Camp is happening through December 30th

DULUTH, Minn. – December 26th is the busiest day of the year at Chester Bowl. Kids are filling the slopes for the park’s annual ski and snowboard camp. Free lessons are offered to anyone who shows up. Kids just need to bring their gear and purchase a Chester Bowl pass. “All these kids are outside playing, they’re getting out and…

Multiple Tree Collection Sites Open Across Duluth

People are asked to take wire and tinsel off before dropping off trees

DULUTH, Minn. – Now that Christmas is over it’s time for families to recycle their trees. There are multiple tree collection sites in the city of Duluth. Trees and other organic waste are banned from Minnesota landfills. The disposal sites are a way to ensure the trees are used for good purposes after the holidays. “We try to make use…

What is Minnesota Nice?

An In-Depth Look into the Concept, Where It Came From, and its Effects

MINNESOTA – At stop signs, in lines, in traffic, everyone is kind. You may think Minnesota Nice is a *nice* quality to have, but could it have unwanted events, if taken to extremes? Moreover, what do non-Minnesota-locals think of our undying need to be friendly? “Somebody from outside of MN would be able to recognize it and be more sensitive…

Autonomous Vehicles Made by UMD Students

DULUTH, Minn. – In the future, self driving vehicles could be taking over Northland roads, that’s if some UMD engineering students have their way. Earlier this month, fifteen teams from an introductory engineering course hosted a competition with miniature self driving vehicles which navigated a route without human intervention. Students in the class said this type of learning has taught…

Preparing for Annual VFW Christmas Eve Dinner

44 turkeys were prepared for this year's event

DULUTH, Minn. – Christmas Eve dinner is being served Monday at the VFW hall in Duluth. To make the annual event happen, volunteers are busy preparing forty-four turkeys, two hundred pounds of potatoes, and two hundred pounds of sweet potatoes. Organizers say they’ve served as many as five-hundred-seventy visitors in past years. “It helps people that don’t have anywhere to…

Duluth Affinity Plus Credit Union Robbed

DULUTH, Minn. – A robbery was reported Friday afternoon at the Affinity Plus Credit Union on Miller Trunk Highway in Duluth. According to the Duluth Police Department, just after 4 p.m., a person presented a note to the bank teller claiming to have a gun. No gun was seen and the person left with an undisclosed amount of money. A…

Gas Price at Superior Convenience Store Hits Statewide Low

The SuperAmerica on Hammond Avenue was selling gas for $1,75 per gallon on Thursday

SUPERIOR, Wis. – Gas prices across the country are at their lowest point in years. One gas station in Superior was selling gas for $1.75 per gallon on Thursday. The SuperAmerica on Hammond Avenue had a line of cars waiting to get the low fuel price. The manager there tells us she changed the sign to read $2.19 because it…

New Cobblestone Hotel Planned for Tower Avenue in Superior

Hotel chain is expected to break ground on the development sometime in 2019

SUPERIOR, Wis. – A new hotel is expected to be built on North Tower Avenue. Business leaders are excited about what it could mean for the city. Multiple city officials with close knowledge of the project have confirmed that a new hotel is being planned in Superior at the location where the historic Palace Theater once stood. We are told…

Rubber Chicken Theater Premiering New Holiday Show This Friday

Local sketch comedy show promises laughs for everybody

DULUTH, Minn. – Rubber Chicken Theater is presenting their tenth anniversary holiday revue starting this Friday night. The ‘Wisecracker Suite’ is full of local sketch comedy and laughs for everybody in the audience. The show makes fun of local and regional news. The director describes it as a local Saturday Night Live. “These are all local folks, talented writers and…

Superior Closes Chapter on Failed Kestrel Plant

City Council votes to dissolve Tax Increment Financing District they created for the project

SUPERIOR, Wis. – The City of Superior has officially moved on from the failed Kestrel Project. The proposed airplane manufacturing company was supposed to bring a big economic boom to the city and create hundreds of permanent jobs but the business never came. The Superior City Council voted unanimously to dissolve a Tax Increment Financing District they created for the…

Last Saltie of the Season Departs Harbor of Duluth-Superior

Great Lakes shipping season likely to last another several weeks

DULUTH, Minn. – The last saltie of the season shipped out of the port of Duluth-Superior Saturday. The Federal Rhine departed Saturday afternoon. According to the Duluth Seaway Port Authority, the 2018 shipping season has been a strong one both with shipments of grain and iron ore cargoes. “When we look back about five or six years we average about…

Canal Park Brewing to Release Special Beer for Camp Fire Relief

Resilience IPA will be available in mid-January

DULUTH, Minn. – Canal Park Brewing in Duluth is partnering with about a thousand other breweries across the country to raise funds for the victims of the Camp Fire in California. They’re now brewing the Resilience IPA, a special beer recipe from Sierra Nevada Brewing. It will be available mid-January on tap and in growlers. One hundred percent of the…

MNsure Deadline Saturday for Jan. 1st Coverage

Enrollment open until Jan. 13, but if people sign up after Saturday, coverage won't start until February

DULUTH, Minn. – The deadline is fast approaching to enroll in health care coverage through MNsure. Saturday, December 15th, is the last day to sign up for coverage that starts on January 1st. Enrollment will remain open until January 13th, but if Minnesotans sign up after December 15th, their coverage will not start until February 2nd. The MNsure CEO tells…

3 Women Graduate from Machine Operation Training Program

Program aims to get more women in non-traditional fields

DULUTH, Minn. – Three local women recently completed a program through SOAR Career Solutions and Lake Superior College where they learned job skills in machine operation. The three women graduated in a special ceremony at Duluth City Hall. Their program was created under the Women’s Economic Security Act to train more women in non-traditional career fields. “It’s not just me…

2-Year Grant to Provide Narcan Training and Opioid Program Technician

Lake Superior Drug and Violent Crimes Task Force believes helping addicts recover will help reduce opioid epidemic

DULUTH, Minn. – The Lake Superior Drug and Violent Crimes Task Force recently got a federal grant that will help them fight opioid addiction in the Northland and save a lot of lives. The two-year grant will provide Narcan for regional law enforcement and EMS staff. Narcan is a drug that can help reverse an opioid overdose. The grant also…

Nordic Trail Conditions Not Ideal But Skiers Still Out

Skiers say about three or four more inches of snow are needed for ideal conditions

DULUTH, Minn. – Nordic ski trail conditions are not what many skiers hoped for. The Snowflake Nordic Center in Duluth has about 95% snow coverage on their trails but they’d like to be 100%. The manager there tells us hard-core skiers are out but more snow is needed for the season to really take off. “Ideally I’d like to get…

Emotions Run High at Mission Creek Project Update Meeting

Native American cemetery was discovered at MnDOT bridge and highway project in 2017

DULUTH, Minn. – A meeting about the future of the Mission Creek highway and bridge project became a heated conversation. The MnDOT project was put on hold in June 2017 after human remains were found at the construction site from a nearby Native American cemetery. Members of the Fond du Lac Band were at the update meeting at the Gary-New…

Safety Day in Superior

Conference is a chance for business and community leaders to learn safety and health topics

SUPERIOR, Wis. – Safety day was held in Superior. The day-long conference is a chance for business and community leaders to learn about safety and health topics. Sixty-five attendees came together at WITC in Superior for the event. They learned about everything from mine safety to electrical hazards to violence in the workplace. The Lake Superior Safety Council puts on…

Mayor Larson Proposes Increase to Tourism Tax Spending

Tourism tax collections are about 4.3% higher than at this time last year

DULUTH, Minn. – Duluth Mayor Emily Larson has proposed the city spend about $12 million from the tourism tax for 2019 attractions. That’s four percent more than was spent this year or last year. From January through October, the tourism tax has collected about 4.3 percent more than at this time in the previous year. Mayor Larson asked attractions to…

Lost Child Vigil Held in Duluth

Annual vigil put on by "Angel of Hope" organization

DULUTH, Minn. – Losing a child is something no parent wants to go through but many have. A candlelight vigil was held at Leif Erickson Park in Duluth, bringing together those parents who have lost children. The annual vigil is sponsored by the nationwide “Angel of Hope” organization. The group provides a support network for grieving parents to share their…

Pair of Grinches Responsible for $2,500 in Damages at Bentleyville

Vandals were caught on security camera

DULUTH, Minn. – The search is on for a pair of grinches that created $2,500 in damage at Bentleyville Tour of Lights. They were caught in the act on security cameras. On Tuesday night, a door to the food and toy area was broken into. Bentleyville officials though it was a one-time incident but the vandals were back on Wednesday…

35 Fishermen Rescued From Ice Near Park Point

Strong winds created crack in ice stranding fishermen

DULUTH, Minn. – Thirty-six ice fishermen and their equipment were stranded on St. Louis Bay after strong northeastern winds created a crack in the ice with open water. At about 10:40 a.m. Saturday, officials removed thirty-five fishermen and their equipment using a ladder, three rapid deployment craft, and a boat from four locations between Duluth Rowing Club and Sky Harbor…

Names of Suspect, Officers Released in Bemidji Officer Involved Shooting

BEMIDJI, Minn. – New details have been released about an officer involved shooting in Bemidji on Wednesday. 34-year-old Andrew John May of Rice Lake has been identified as the suspect shot and killed by law enforcement. The two officers who discharged their firearms are Deputy Brandon Newhouse of the Beltrami County Sheriff’s Office and Officer Bidal Duran of the Bemidji…

Benefit Raises Money for Musician Jamie Ness After Ladder Accident

Ness was in need of money to help pay for dental bills and lost wages after the October accident

DULUTH, Minn. – A local musician and brother of former Duluth Mayor Don Ness got some support Thursday night. Jamie Ness was stuck with major dental bills after he fell off a ladder on the job and lost many of his top front teeth. The accident happened last month as Ness was painting a house. Thursday night, family and friends…

Latte Throwdown at Duluth Coffee Company

Baristas competed for bragging rights at Duluth's first throwdown

DULUTH, Minn. – Baristas threw down Thursday night, competing for the title, “Prettiest Late in Duluth.” The throwdown at Duluth Coffee Company was the first-ever in the Twin Ports. Coffee makers steamed milk to the perfect texture and threw it into espresso mugs, trying to make the most artistic design possible. “Baristas often just stand behind the counter and they…

Near-Campus Housing Could Be Coming to LSC

College working with developer to build 300 unit complex near their main campus

DULUTH, Minn. – Lake Superior College may soon have student housing right next to their main campus for the first time ever. College officials are working with a private developer to build up to three-hundred units of efficiency-style apartments right across the parking lot from their main campus on Trinity Road. Most of the land where the proposed development would…

Network TV Show Shoots Scenes at Bentleyville

Crowd cheered and was featured in episode of yet to be revealed TV series

DULUTH, Minn. – Some excitement at Bentleyville on Wednesday night as TV crews were seen at the entrance of the largest holiday lighting display in North America. A network TV show was shooting an episode at Bentleyville. We’ve been told we can’t tell you what the show or the network is before December 10th, but we can share that Duluthians…

Tips for Preparing Gear for Outdoor Winter Activities

Staff at Continental Ski and Bike say to check all gear before getting outside

DULUTH, Minn. – Now is the time to get outdoors gear ready for the winter season. Stocking up on warm base layers is a good place to start before going outside according to employees at Continental Ski and Bike in Duluth. They tell us if customers have gone more than three years since updating bikes or skis, now is the…