Author: Andrew Kirov

COVID-19 Confirmed at Duluth Long-Term Care Facility

DULUTH, Minn. – COVID-19 has been confirmed at Superior View Apartments, a long-term care facility in Duluth. The facility is included on the long-term care facilities with outbreaks list on the Minnesota Department of Health website. Superior View Apartments is the only facility in St. Louis County that appears on the list. According to the Department of Health, an outbreak…

‘Associated Builders and Contractors’ Calls Out City of Duluth for Losing Costco Development

DULUTH, Minn. – Costco no longer plans to build a long-awaited store in Duluth. The company was planning to build near the intersection of Haines Road and West Arrowhead Road. The real estate agent working on the project said Costco had issues with the city’s Project Labor Agreement (PLA) as well as with rising costs associated with the project. The…

Lake Superior Zoo Lays Off 12 Full-Time Staff Members Including CEO During Shutdown

Essential employees still working to care for animals

DULUTH, Minn. -The Lake Superior Zoo has been forced to lay off twelve full-time employees including its CEO. The coronavirus outbreak is to blame as the zoo has been closed to the public for the past two weeks with no signs of opening up anytime soon. Now, much of the staff is laid off and others have been reduced to…

Kids Kitchen Serves To-Go Meals at Damiano Center

Prorgram is open every Monday-Thursday

DULUTH, Minn. – The Damiano Center is serving meals to kids through its ‘Kids Kitchen’ program. It normally provides academic support and interaction for the students, but now because of social distancing, they program is handing out meals and activity bags to-go. The meals include sandwiches, granola bars, milk, and other healthy snacks. “Without this, where else would they be…

‘Evergreen Storytime’ Encourages Minong Kids to Stay Positive During Pandemic

Library media specialist, Stephanie Birdsill, reading to kids online daily

MINONG, Wis. – At Northwood School in Minong, library media specialist Stephanie Birdsill started a daily Facebook live event called ‘Evergreen Storytime.’ She reads a picture book to younger elementary kids and a chapter book to older elementary and middle school students. She tells us it’s her way to encourage kids to stay positive during the pandemic. “We as teachers…

Duluth Public Schools Get Familiar With Distance Learning

District making sure all students have access to materials during shutdown

DULUTH, Minn. – Duluth Public Schools’ teachers and students are using this week to get familiar with online learning tools like Google Classroom. Superintendent Bill Gronseth tells us the district is making sure all students have access to materials. “Families that have internet service but maybe not a device for their student to use, we’re making sure that they are…

Knowing Your Neighbors: U-Roast-Em

SOLON SPRINGS, Wis. – U-Roast-Em sells more than forty kinds of green coffee beans sourced from growers and suppliers around the world. The company ships them to customers who roast their own coffee. “Once you’ve tried fresh roasted coffee, you will never go back to store bought again,” explained U-Roast-Em co-owner Jane Russo. Russo and her husband bought the business…

Memorial Blood Centers Need Donations During Pandemic

All blood drives have been canceled through April 30th, so a blood supply shortage is expected

DULUTH, Minn. – Memorial Blood Centers has canceled all blood drives through April 30th, so an extreme shortage in the blood supply is expected. Memorial is the only supplier of blood to more than thirty hospitals across the region, including Essentia and St. Luke’s. They are still collecting donations at donation centers and encourage everybody to keep donating, even during…

Healthcare Systems Prepare for COVID-19 Surge

Testing in this region remains limited, only available to specific groups

DULUTH, Minn. – Local healthcare systems are preparing for a surge in coronavirus cases in the Northland. Healthcare officials warn that more than two million Minnesotans could get COVID-19 before the end of the pandemic, so enough hospital beds and equipment have to be ready to take in a surge of patients. Both Essentia Health and St. Luke’s are offering…

Essentia Opens Drop-Off Location for Community Donations

Essentia needs masks, gowns, eye protection, gloves, and face shields

DULUTH, Minn. – There’s now a designated drop-off site for the community to donate medical supplies to Essentia Health during the COVID-19 pandemic. Donors can drive up to a loading dock around the back of the Miller Hill Mall. They’re asked to stay in their cars, call one of the phone numbers on the nearby poster, and wait for Essentia…

Superior Restaurant Offering Bulk Grocery Delivery

KD's restaurant has switched their business model during the coronavirus shutdown

SUPERIOR, Wis. – Restaurants everywhere have switched their business over to carry-out and delivery. Now, one Superior business is delivering grocery products to its customers. KD’s Restaurant has seen a big decline in business since dining is no longer allowed. Now, they’re selling and delivering customers the bulk products they get directly from suppliers. The owner tells us the new…

Duluth Fitness Studio Offers Free Live Video Classes During Pandemic

Ignite Studio offering classes in dance cardio, yoga, fuse, and zumba

DULUTH, Minn. – Health and fitness studios are closed across Minnesota and Wisconsin. Now, local studios are offering online classes to promote healthy lifestyles and keep their businesses going during the coronavirus pandemic. Ignite Studio in Duluth has been offering live fitness classes on Facebook and their website for free to keep people moving and active while they’re stuck at…

Blood Donations Needed During Coronavirus Pandemic

American Red Cross tells us the need for blood is not higher, but number of donations has gone way down

DULUTH, Minn. – Blood donations are severely needed across the country because many blood drives have been canceled during the pandemic. The American Red Cross tells us the need for blood is not higher, but the amount of donations has gone way down. Red Cross workers are committed to make donating a safe experience for everybody involved. Both donors’ and…

Customers Pack Local Gun Stores, Stock Up on Ammunition

Superior Shooters Supply is now limiting ammunition purchases. Customers can only buy 100 rounds at a time.

SUPERIOR, Wis. – People are packing local gun stores to stock up on ammunition amid the coronavirus outbreak. In the last couple weeks, handgun ammunition sales have tripled at Superior Shooters Supply on Winter Street. The sales rush started with 9mm rounds and has expanded to all kinds of ammunition store-wide. People have recently started buying up handguns too. Owner…

Visit Duluth Launches ’30 Days of Giveaways’ to Help Support Local Businesses

They estimate $4 million has been lost by local tourism industry because of canceled events

DULUTH, Minn. – An estimated $4 million has already been lost by the Duluth tourism industry because of canceled sporting events, conferences, and performances. Tourism is the third largest industry in Duluth, so all those cancellations have been devastating to local businesses. Visit Duluth has been limiting its promotions while the shutdowns continue. “We are pulling back on our promotions…

Instructors Get Creative as Colleges Move to All-Online Classes

CARLTON COUNTY, Minn. – Colleges and universities are switching to all-online classes as the coronavirus spreads. That can be a big challenge for teachers who have to change their curriculum to fit the current situation. Annie Dugan is teaching in a unique space for the rest of the semester. “Right now we have this big open greenhouse that I can…

Arrowhead Regional Arts Council Offers Grant for Artists Impacted by Cancellations

Artists could be awarded $750 for projects that can be effective under social distancing practices

DULUTH, Minn. – Artists could face dire situations in the coming months as performances and art shows are being cancelled across the world. The Arrowhead Regional Arts Council now has a grant to help local artists impacted by the shutdowns. The grant is for artists who have had a performance or gig canceled. They can get up to $750 if…

Local Theatre Performances Canceled, Postponed Amid Coronavirus Fears

UWS musical 'Company,' Duluth Playhouse musical 'Spamalot' among canceled productions

SUPERIOR, Wis. – All Broadway shows have been canceled for the next month because of the coronavirus pandemic. Now, local theatre performances are being canceled and postponed at universities and other venues in the Twin Ports. Theatre performances require months of work from dozens of cast and crew members. Because of COVID-19, current productions are shutting down, some before they’ll…

Duluth Police Department Employees Honored at Commendation Ceremony

Annual ceremony awards officers and civilian employees

DULUTH, Minn. – The Duluth Police Department awarded officers and civilians for their exceptional work this year. The annual Commendation Ceremony brought dozens of police officers, department employees, community members, and their families together to celebrate great efforts. Awards were given for police partnership, saving lives, and great service. Officer Ethan Roe was named ‘Police Officer of the Year.’ “I…

Duluth Public Schools Stay Prepared for Potential Coronavirus Outbreak

School district now focused on cleaning surfaces and encouraging students and staff to wash hands

DULUTH, Minn. – Duluth Public Schools are making sure they’re prepared should the coronavirus outbreak reach the Northland. School leaders tell us they’re focused on preventative measures now, but they are in constant contact with state and federal officials about if and when more action has to be taken. Because the virus hasn’t been found in this area, the school…

Harlem Globetrotter Visits Duluth Elementary School

Flip White showed off moves and taught kids about the dangers of bullying

DULUTH, Minn. – A member of the Harlem Globetrotters stopped by Lakewood Elementary in Duluth. Flip White showed off some of his moves for the kids while teaching them about the dangers of bullying in schools. “I come in with the tricks, get their attention, they look like what’s going to happen next, boom, hit them with the message. They’re…

Duluth Passes Ordinance Approving Census Workers to Enter Multi-Unit Housing Structures

Officials say ordinance is key to getting accurate count of Duluthians

DULUTH, Minn. – The Duluth City Council passed an ordinance giving census workers access to multi-unit housing structures, like apartment buildings, as they conduct the upcoming 2020 census. “Meaning that we can now officially access residents who want and need and deserve to be counted that we were previously unable to get to on a door to door basis,” explained…

Twin Ports Interchange Construction Delayed One Year

$343 million project delayed because of contaminated materials found at construction site

DULUTH, Minn. – Construction on the Twin Ports Interchange, also known as the ‘Can of Worms,’ has been delayed a year because of unexpected problems. The I-35 and Highway 53 Interchange Project is budgeted at $343 million, but the whole project is expected to cost millions more. Construction was supposed to start this spring. It’s been pushed back largely because…

Knowing Your Neighbors: Hugo’s Pizza

ASHLAND, Wis. – For more than forty years, Hugo’s has been serving up made-from-scratch pizzas in Ashland. Owner Tim Ledin tells us some loyal customers have been stopping by the restaurant since the day it opened. “They’ll get a great pizza at a great price,” said Ledin. His dad opened Hugo’s in 1976. “We follow our recipes that we’ve been…

Duluthians Speak Out Against Short-Term Rental Expansion

City council also votes to close off section of 108th Avenue West that had been used as an illegal dumping site

DULUTH, Minn. – Duluthians spoke out against a proposal that would add more vacation rental properties across the city. The proposal was a recommendation from the planning commission. It would increase the number of short-term rental permits from sixty to one-hundred. At the March 9th city council meeting, multiple people spoke against that proposal saying it would make Duluth’s housing…

West Duluth Dairy Queen Open for the Season

Dairy Queen had been closed since October

DULUTH, Minn. – Spring must be here because the West Duluth Dairy Queen is now open for the season. Customers have been flocking to the store, waiting in line at the front window and in the drive-thru to get their favorite ice cream treats. The owner tells us it’s exciting to open the store every year in the first week…

Former Gordon Fire Chief, Constable Remembered for Serving Others

George Booth passed away at 72 from complications caused by cancer

GORDON, Wis. – A well known public servant in Gordon, Wisconsin passed away one day after his 72nd birthday from complications caused by cancer. George Booth served on the Gordon Fire Department for twenty years, including as a captain and chief. After that, he was the town’s police constable and worked at the Gordon Transfer Station. According to those who…

Enbridge Pays City of Mellen $1.5 Million for Land to be Used in Line 5 Reroute

If Line 5 reroute construction happens, Enbridge will pay city additional $3.25 million

MELLEN, Wis. – Enbridge is rerouting part if its Line 5 pipeline around the Bad River Reservation. Line 5 is now designed to pass through Mellen, Wisconsin. On March 3rd, a deal was finalized between the city of Mellen and Enbridge allowing the pipeline to be built underneath a piece of land just north of the city. Enbridge presented a…

First Person Dies from Coronavirus in U.S.

(FOX NEWS) Health officials in Washington confirmed Saturday that one person has died from coronavirus, marking the first disease-related death in the U.S. Seattle and King County Public Health officials issued a vague media advisory announcing the first COVID-19 death in the U.S., adding that there was an undisclosed number of new cases as well. News of the death comes…

Geared Up: Duluth Police Train For Potential Civil Unrest

DULUTH, Minn. — With a use-of-force policy now in place for Duluth’s newly purchased protective gear, officers are going through specialized training for those rare events when protesters can turn violent. And while full-blown riots are not a common occurrence in Duluth by any means, Chief Mike Tusken believes it’s his responsibility to be prepared for the worst to keep the…

‘If the Dress Fits’ Gives Away Prom Dresses in Barnum

Non-profit has given away close to a thousand dresses over the last five years

BARNUM, Minn. – Prom dresses can be a huge expense for families, but the local non-profit ‘If the Dress Fits’ is here to help. The organization has given away close to a thousand dresses to local families over the last five years. This prom season, they’re taking the donated dresses on the road to small towns across the Northland. “I…

Husky Energy: No Damage Found to Stack at Superior Refinery

  SUPERIOR, Wis. – Husky Energy tells us no damage has been found to the stack seen swaying in the wind at the Superior Refinery. According to a Husky spokesperson, trained experts entered the site to safely conduct a closer examination of the stack. Drones and computer modeling reportedly provided the necessary engineering information for Husky to make that decision….

Husky Energy Evacuated Due to Infrastructure Concerns

Stinson Avenue blocked in front of refinery; officials say there's no risk of fire, explosion, or chemical release

SUPERIOR, Wis. – Tonight, an investigation is underway at the Husky Energy Refinery in Superior after a swaying stack caused an evacuation. The stack could be seen swaying back and forth. Wind gusts at the nearby Bong Airport were reported at twenty-five miles per hour. The Superior Police Department tells us refinery crews heard a “pop” and noticed a problem…

Chicken Toss Draws Big Crowd, Animal Rights Groups Protest

More than 100 live chickens are tossed into crowd at annual event

RIDGELAND, Wis. – Every year, Ridgeland, Wisconsin holds a chicken toss as part of its Pioneer Days celebration. At the event, more than a hundred live chickens are thrown off a roof into a crowd of people. Some say it’s a harmless small town tradition. “Everyone stops you and says nice chicken and stuff like that. It’s just a fun…

Kids Train for Birkie Weekend

NorthStar Community Charter School students learn to cross country ski for Barnebirkie Youth Ski Tour

MINONG, Wis. – The American Birkebeiner cross-country ski race is next weekend in Hayward. Kids in Minong have been training to ski in the Barnebirkie Youth Ski Tour during Birkebeiner weekend. Students at NorthStar Community Charter School do project-based learning, meaning they can sometimes get outside during their school day and learn activities like cross-country skiing. Once or twice a…

Students Compete in High School Quiz Bowl Tournament

The annual battle of the brains brings students from across Northern Wisconsin

ASHLAND, Wis. – Students from across Northern Wisconsin battle it out every February, competing for a chance to win trophies and bragging rights in the annual High Quiz Bowl Tournament. The four-on-four battle of the brains demands knowledge on an almost limitless set of topics. “We only have fifteen seconds to answer every question and that could go from complex…

No Decision Yet on Effort to Save Kozy Building from Demolition

Legal challenges ask for more time to come up with $50,000 bond, and question who really owns crumbling building

DULUTH, Minn. – One day after the Duluth City Council signed off on the demolition of the condemned Kozy Building, the former owner has launched a last-ditch effort to save the building from destruction. The case is now being considered by a St. Louis County judge. Former building owner, Eric Ringsred, has to post a $50,000 bond to save the…

New Cloquet Clinic Construction Delayed

Essentia Clinic expected to open in 4th Quarter of 2020

CLOQUET, Minn. – A new Essentia Health clinic planned for Cloquet has been delayed. The $4.5 million facility was expected to open this summer. Officials tell us that’s now been pushed back to the fourth quarter of this year. The new clinic will be a little smaller than originally planned, but it’s still expected to provide the same services to…

CHUM Warming Shelters to Activate Sunday

DULUTH, Minn. – Sunday night, CHUM homeless shelter in Duluth is activating its warming shelters at Gloria Dei Church in Central Hillside, and the Harmony Club in West Duluth. The warming shelters will be open from 8:00 p.m. – 8:00 a.m. CHUM is asking visitors to not arrive early. The entrance to the Gloria Dei Warming Center is the “breakfast door”…

How Can Northern Minnesota Become a Hub for TV and Film Production?

Local film and TV professionals discuss how to make the Northland a regional center in the media industry

DULUTH, Minn. – Movies like ‘North Country’ and ‘Iron Will’ were shot right here in the Northland. And according to media professionals, more producers want to bring their projects here. “We have some of the most talented people in the United States if not in the world, we have scenery that is unmatched,” said Steven Sanders of Ironbound Studios. In…

Duluth Mayor Emily Larson Attends State of the Union with Sen. Tina Smith

Larson calls it an opportunity to discuss Duluth issues with national officials

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Duluth Mayor Emily Larson attended the 2020 State of the Union as the guest of U.S. Sen. Tina Smith (DFL-Minnesota). Larson told us before the President’s speech she thinks this is a great opportunity for her to talk with national officials about issues that are important to Duluth. “We’re talking about the St. Louis River corridor, we’re…

Glensheen Mansion Cancels ‘Fire Fest’ Event

DULUTH, Minn. – The Fire Fest event scheduled for February 15th at the Glensheen Mansion has been canceled. Glensheen announced the cancellation Friday saying Fire Fest had many unexpected elements that required additional planning time with a wide variety of stakeholders. Glensheen said a “cool new future” for the wooden shark made for Fire Fest is being planned for this…

Superior Middle School Students Compete in Geography Bee

27 students answered geography questions with a chance to win the school competition

SUPERIOR, Wis. – Superior Middle School students showed off their knowledge at the National Geographic Geography Bee. The geography bee is similar to a spelling bee, but the student scholars have a different area of expertise. “I love geography. It’s really my thing,” said seventh-grader Jack D. Milliken. Twenty-seven middle school students battle it out to be the king, or…

Kids Enjoy ‘Marshmallow Madness’ at West Duluth Library

DULUTH, Minn. – Kids in Duluth spent the evening learning science with marshmallows. The ‘Marshmallow Madness’ event at the West Duluth Public Library gave students a chance to make catapults, build towers, and make marshmallow art. “Including engineering, some basic science with torque, it’s including some of those really interesting hands-on things, but we’re less emphasizing the different elements that…

Mental Health Facility for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Kids Opens in Duluth

Therapeutic Services Agency is located on the 1000 block of East Ninth Street

DULUTH, Minn. – A mental health office for kids who are deaf or hard of hearing has opened in Duluth. Therapeutic Services Agency is now open on the 1000 block of East Ninth Street. The agency has been helping kids for the last several years in schools, but the new, centralized location is expected to give kids and families a…