Author: Andrew Kirov

Minnesota Nurses Association Shoots Down St. Luke’s Proposed Delay to Wage Increase

Nurses wanted St. Luke's to honor MNA contract should the hospital be sold

DULUTH, Minn. – The Minnesota Nurses Association (MNA) tells us they recently shot down a proposal from St. Luke’s that would have postponed scheduled pay increases for nurses. This comes less than a year after nurses voted to strike during the last round of negotiations with the hospital before the current contract was agreed upon. Healthcare providers across the country…

Sen. Simonson Previews Upcoming Special Legislative Session

Bonding bill among proposals state lawmakers could vote on

DULUTH, Minn. – Minnesota lawmakers will return for another special legislative session starting on Monday, June 13. Sen. Erik Simonson (DFL-Duluth) tells us one likely focus of the session will be on a state bonding bill. The proposed bill includes millions of dollars in funding for Duluth seawall reconstruction, renovations at the Duluth Depot, and many other projects across the…

Itasca County Healthcare Providers Encourage Wearing Face Masks in Public

Itasca County has 68 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 12 deaths

ITASCA COUNTY, Minn. – Healthcare providers are encouraging everybody to wear face masks in public to help limit the spread of the coronavirus. According to Dr. Dan Soular, a primary care physician at Grand Itasca Clinic and Hospital in Grand Rapids, masks allow air to flow through them and stop viruses from passing out of a person’s mouth and nose…

City of Duluth, St. Louis County to Consider $2 Million in Tax Abatements for Proposed Costco Store

DULUTH, Minn. – Costco may move forward with a new store in Duluth if the retailer gets tax abatement money from local government. This news comes after the international chain had ended a previous agreement to build a store at the same site because of high project bids. The site, located at the intersection of West Arrowhead Road and Haines Road,…

‘At Sara’s Table’ Among Duluth Businesses Requiring Customers to Wear Masks

Duluth City Council expected to take up mask ordinance on July 13th

DULUTH, Minn. – The Duluth City Council is expected to vote on requiring masks in some indoor public places on July 13th, but some local businesses have required mask-wearing for weeks. At Sara’s Table Chester Creek Cafe tells us many customers have been happy with the restaurant’s mask requirement, but it has upset some. Staff say the cafe-goers do not…

Essentia, St. Lukes Speak Out in Favor of Duluth’s Proposed Mask Ordinance

DULUTH, Minn. – Both Essentia Health and St. Luke’s are speaking out in favor of Duluth’s proposed ordinance that would require masks to be worn in many public indoor spaces. St. Luke’s sent a letter to the Duluth City Council. It reads in part: “Many people are weary of COVID-19 and all the changes that have come with it. It’s…

Two People Injured in Jet Ski Accident

FRENCH TOWNSHIP, Minn. – Two people were injured in a jet ski accident Friday afternoon on Little Sturgeon Lake in French Township. According to the St. Louis County Sheriff’s Office, a 38-year-old man and a 34-year-old woman from Hibbing were riding on a jet ski traveling eastbound on the lake. A second jet ski driven by a 37-year-old Chisholm man…

Superior Cancels July 4th Fireworks

Mayor Jim Paine says he hopes the city can have the fireworks later in the year or have an even better celebration next Fourth of July.

SUPERIOR, Wis. – The City of Superior has canceled its 4th of July fireworks display scheduled for Saturday night. The city made the announcement in this news release sent Friday: “Due to the recent increase in COVID-19 cases in Douglas County, the City of Superior has chosen to cancel the Fourth of July fireworks show scheduled for tomorrow night. This…

Fireworks Displays Scheduled to Happen in Wisconsin Towns

Solon Springs still planning annual fireworks, Gordon's Buckhorn providing display

DOUGLAS COUNTY, Wis. – While the pandemic has forced many cities to cancel their fireworks shows, some towns in Northern Wisconsin aren’t backing down. But that doesn’t mean the events still won’t be canceled if officials expect too much of a risk. “I struggle with this decision every day to be frank, and I’ll probably never feel completely a hundred…

YMCA Gives Thousands of Meals to Duluth Area Kids

Summer Food Service Program is available to everybody age 18 and younger

DULUTH, Minn. – The Duluth Area Family YMCA is giving out meals to local kids over the summer. The Summer Food Service Program is available to everybody age 18 and younger. Meals include healthy items like sandwiches, yogurt, and fresh fruits and vegetables. Over the last few months, the YMCA has given out 9,000 meals. “A lot of families depend…

Duluth-Based IKONICS Corporation Announces Employee Furloughs

DULUTH, Minn. – Duluth-based IKONICS Corporation has announced it will furlough about 40 percent of its 81-employee workforce through the end of July. Furloughed employees will continue to receive benefits, but the company is suspending retirement plan contributions. The furloughs are designed to offset revenue lost during the COVID-19 pandemic. Glenn Sandgren, IKONICS CEO, released this statement in regard to…

Superior Home Heavily Damaged in Fire

SUPERIOR, Wis. – A fire heavily damaged a Superior home on Friday evening. The Superior Fire Department responded to the blaze at 609 Grand Avenue just after 7:00 p.m. Fire crews arrived to heavy smoke and fire coming from the rear of the home. All occupants were reported out of the building. The Superior Fire Department is asking citizens to…

Birkie Plans to Buy Telemark Property, Attract New Development

American Birkebeiner Ski Foundation plans to demolish existing lodge and work with private developer for new opportunities

CABLE, Wis. – The American Birkebeiner Ski Foundation is hoping the Telemark Resort property will become a prime destination again. The iconic Birkebeiner ski race starts at Telemark every February. Now, the race foundation wants to buy the resort property, and could close on it as early as September. It will cost the Birkie about $2 million to buy the…

Lincoln Park Farmers Market Opens for Season

DULUTH, Minn. – Duluth’s Lincoln Park Farmers Market is open for the season. The market happens every Thursday from 3:00 p.m. until 6:00 p.m at Harrison Park. It gives families a chance to buy healthy fruits, veggies, and other creations in their community. At the first market, the Duluth Community Garden Program gave away free broccoli seeds for kids to…

Maurices Brings Back Furloughed Employees

6,000 retail employees and 54 corporate office employees were temporarily laid off during shutdown

DULUTH, Minn. – Maurices has brought back almost all its employees who were temporarily laid off during the shutdown. The Duluth-based women’s clothing chain has already reopened most of its stores. The remaining stores are opening in the next week or so. 6,000 retail employees were furloughed in March. Maurices tells us they are all being hired back. The store…

Paddlers Hit the St. Louis River Near Oliver

OLIVER, Wis. – Paddlers hit the water near Oliver Wednesday. The Northland Paddlers Alliance brought a group on the St. Louis River. The group gives opportunities for fans of all paddle sports like canoeing, kayaking, and paddle boarding. Members say it’s a great way to see the water because you can get places power boats can’t. “I actually last week…

Local Food Truck Serves Gourmet Grilled Cheese Sandwiches

SUPERIOR, Wis. – Grilled cheese fans tasted some gourmet creations while listening to live music at the Cedar Lounge in Superior. Guests enjoyed culinary creations from the K&B Grilled Cheese Food Truck. The local business serves several original sandwiches like a bacon and cheddar grilled cheese, a spinach and artichoke grilled cheese, and a buffalo chicken grilled cheese. “No one…

Central Hillside Farmers Market Opens for the Season

DULUTH, Minn. – Duluth’s Central Hillside Farmers Market is open for the season. This year, the market is located outside the Damiano Center. It will host around eight local vendors every week selling fruits, baked goods, ceramics, and more. Kids will get $4 at each market to buy healthy veggies. Purchases made with EBT cards will be matched up to…

Superior School District Hopes to Open for In-Person Learning This Fall

Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction issued guidelines for how schools can best reopen Monday

SUPERIOR, Wis. – The Superior School District hopes to open schools for in-person learning in some capacity this fall. That announcement comes after the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction issued guidelines for how schools can best reopen during the pandemic. Wisconsin’s Education Forward plan includes examples for how schools may have to change scheduling this fall. Plan examples include four-day…

Two More Duluth Assisted Living Facilities Have COVID-19 Cases

DULUTH, Minn. – Two more assisted living centers in Duluth now have confirmed COVID-19 cases. The Benedictine Living Center on Kenwood Avenue confirmed on its Facebook page that two of its residents have tested positive for COVID-19. The center says those individuals have been isolated and staff has been dedicated to care for them. Meanwhile, Ecumen Lakeshore on London Road…

Crowd Marches from Bayfront Park to Duluth City Hall Protesting Police Brutality

DULUTH, Minn. – The Northland is celebrating Juneteenth, the day the last slaves in the southern U.S. were freed. At the same time, groups are also rallying against police brutality. Hundreds of protesters marched over I-35 from Bayfront Park to Duluth City Hall demanding justice for black lives and the de-funding of Duluth Police Department. “Collectively we as a people…

Hundreds Attend Juneteenth Rally in Duluth

DULUTH, Minn.-Hundreds are attending a Juneteenth rally in Duluth tonight at City Hall. Marchers came from two different locations for the event including Bayfront Festival Park and the Clayton-Jackson-McGhie Memorial. Those at the event are celebrating the abolishment of slavery in the U.S., which occurred on June 19, 1865. The event also serves as a rally against police brutality. We’ll…

Great Lakes Aquarium Reopens

This season the aquarium celebrates its 20th anniversary

DULUTH, Minn. – The Great Lakes Aquarium has reopened for the first time since March. “Everybody that I’ve seen come in this building, it just brings a big smile to my face,” said executive director Jay Walker. “It just feels like getting back to some level of normalcy.” Guests are asked to ‘follow the flow’ and give themselves around the…

More Disease-Carrying Ticks Being Found in Minnesota

30-40 percent of adult deer or black-legged ticks have Lyme Disease

DULUTH, Minn. – According to the Minnesota Department of Health, more ticks that carry Lyme disease and other illnesses are being found across the state. 30-40 percent of adult deer or black-legged ticks have Lyme disease. Health experts are more concerned with that species than the larger and more common wood or dog tick. Ticks can only transmit disease if…

Terese Tomanek Sworn in to Duluth City Council

Tomanek replaces Barb Russ, who recently resigned for medical reasons

DULUTH, Minn. – Duluth officially has a new city councilor. Terese Tomanek was sworn into the council Thursday. She’s replacing Barb Russ, who recently resigned for medical reasons. Tomanek lives in the Congdon neighborhood and works as an on-call chaplain at Essentia Health. Prior to that, Tomanek was a chiropractor for 27 years and served as a campus minister at…

Itasca County Tourism Industry Impacted by COVID-19

Businesses and organizations ready to serve tourists despite the unprecedented circumstances

GRAND RAPIDS, Minn. – Downtown Grand Rapids is bustling with summer in full swing. “Outdoor recreation is not closed and, in Grand Rapids, we are a mecca for outdoor recreation,” said Megan Christianson, Executive Director of Visit Grand Rapids. With a million acres of public forest and more than a thousand area lakes, tourism is the heart of the local…

St. Louis County Rescue Squad Ready for Summer Water Emergencies

ST. LOUIS COUNTY, Minn. – The St. Louis County Rescue Squad responds to wilderness, water, and first aid rescues across the region. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the squad has responded to less vehicle accidents than normal, but woodland and water rescues are happening a little more frequently. Every year, there are about 7.5 water deaths in St. Louis County. The…

Red Flag Warning Issued Due to Dangerous Swimming Conditions on Park Point

DULUTH, Minn. – The Duluth Fire Department has issued a red flag warning because of dangerous swimming conditions on Park Point beaches. The warning is effective until 10:00 a.m. Sunday. The warning means that wind and wave conditions can support rip currents, which are life-threatening to anyone entering the water. The fire department is telling swimmers to stay out of…

Volunteers Assemble Face Shields for Frontline Workers

DULUTH, Minn. – Volunteer groups are assembling face shields for frontline workers during the COVID-19 pandmeic. The Heritage Center in Duluth’s Lincoln Park neighborhood has been filled with people making more than 30,000 face shields for Essentia Health. The volunteer drive is being organized by Ecolibrium3 and materials have been provided by Frost River Trading. The Duluth Woman’s Club is…

Hoops Brewing to Open Outdoor Beer Garden

Brewery also making plans to open indoor taproom at limited capacity

DULUTH, Minn. – Local breweries are gearing-up to reopens as safely as possible. Hoops Brewing in Canal Park is opening an outdoor beer garden Friday. The brewery will serve eight to 10 of its beers out of a tent in the back parking lot Wednesday through Saturday with food trucks occasionally stopping by. Hoops is also planning to reopen its…

Zeitgeist Arts Building Making Plans to Reopen After Shutdown

The community organization has a restaurant, bar, performance theater, and movie theater in their Downtown Duluth building

DULUTH, Minn. – Restaurants, bars, and theaters are reopening across Minnesota, and there’s one well-known local organization that has all that and more. The Zeitgeist Arts Building in Downtown Duluth is entering the recovery process after being hit hard by the shutdown. The non-profit is getting ready for a limited opening soon. Friday and Saturday night, Zeitgeist will open a…

Animal Allies Takes in 24 Surrendered Dogs

Humane society now raising money to care for the animals and is looking to find them homes

DULUTH, Minn. – Animal Allies in Duluth recently took in 24 dogs from St. Louis County. Now, the humane society is raising money to care for the animals and is looking to find them homes. Animal Allies took in the two dozen dogs on Memorial Day. As far as staff are aware, this is the largest group of animals the…

Superior Public Museums Reopen for Tours

SUPERIOR, Wis. – Superior Public Museums are opening their doors again for the first time since the COVID-19 shutdown began. Fairlawn Mansion has been offering tours since June 1st. We’re told the experience is almost the same as normal, with only the servants are closed off for guests because it’s where the staff offices are located. Guests are encouraged to…

Small Town Restaurants Ready to Reopen Dine-in Service

Restaurant owners call the shutdown a 'learning experience' but say they're excited to return a little closer to normal

SCANLON, Minn., and ESKO, Minn. – Restaurants across Minnesota can open at 50 percent capacity for dine-in service starting Wednesday, June 10. Local restaurants have been without a big portion of their business during the COVID-19 shutdown. Restaurant owners call it a “learning experience” but say they’re excited to return a little close to normal. “We miss our family, we…

One Person Injured in Greenwood Township Cabin Fire

Photo courtesy: Friends of the Northland FireWire GREENWOOD TOWNSHIP, Minn. – A Saturday morning cabin fire left one person injured. According to the St. Louis County Sheriff’s Office, the fire happened on the 4200 block of Nelson Road in Greenway Township. Emergency personnel responded to the fire at about 7:48 a.m. Six people were in the cabin when it caught…

Peaceful Protesters in Superior Demand End to Racism and Police Violence

Large group rallies for change outside the Douglas County Goverment Center

SUPERIOR, Wis. – More than a hundred people protested at Superior’s first major rally in the wake of George Floyd’s death in Minneapolis. Protesters are demanding an end to police violence and racism everywhere, including Superior. “We have had police brutality here on African American people,” said protester Taylor Whitaker. “Just because they haven’t been murdered doesn’t mean it won’t…

Local Businesses Show Support for Twin Cities Protests

Pizza Luce drawing attention by suspending police discounts at all nine of its restaurants

DULUTH, Minn., and SUPERIOR, Wis. – Some businesses across the Northland are showing support for the protests happening in the Twin Cities, and some are turning heads with that support. Pizza Luce is one company that drew a lot of attention with a social media post made Tuesday night. The Minnesota-based pizza chain announced on Facebook it is suspending police…

Bong Veterans Historical Center Reopens

Museum had been closed since March

SUPERIOR, Wis. – The Richard I. Bong Veterans Historical Center is back open after being closed since March because of the pandemic. The museum reopened Monday. We’re told it’s been slower than usual, but staff are excited to have guests back in the building learning about veterans and military history in the Northland. “To allow people to learn some of…

Wisconsin Point Busy on Warm Day

SUPERIOR, Wis. – People were enjoying the warm temperatures on Wisconsin Point in Superior. Families spent the day swimming and building sandcastles out on the beach. “We don’t get it very often so, when we do, I like to take advantage of it,” said beachgoer Karen Sislo. “It doesn’t matter if it’s humid or really, really hot, I just like…

City of Duluth to Impose Curfew Saturday, Sunday Nights

The curfew will be imposed from 10:00 p.m. until 6:00 a.m. and again on Sunday night from 9:00 p.m. until 6:00 a.m.

DULUTH, Minn. – The City of Duluth is instituting a curfew beginning at 10:00 p.m. Saturday, May 30. The curfew will be imposed from 10:00 p.m. until 6:00 a.m. The City will again issue a curfew on Sunday, May 31, from 9:00 p.m. until 6:00 a.m. Mayor Emily Larson said Saturday night that the curfew will give law enforcement another…

Park Point Beaches Packed, Lester Park Busy With People Enjoying Sunshine

DULUTH, Minn. – Park Point beaches were filled with people enjoying the warm temperatures and beautiful sunshine along the shores of Lake Superior. “We got the guys, chilling with the boys, the females walking around, we got these guys, Seth, all them, it’s crazy,” said one beach-goer. “We’ve got everyone here. It’s just insane.” Insane is how some people might…

Thirsty Pagan Brewing Hosts Live Music With Social Distancing

The Fractals played live music outside at free tailgate party

SUPERIOR, Wis. – Thirsty Pagan Brewing in Superior took advantage of the nice weather for some live music and social distancing. The Fractals played the music while Thirsty Pagan staff served pizza and beer to people attending the free tailgate party. Owner Steve Knauss tells us live music has always been a big part of the Thirsty Pagan, so he’s…

St. Louis County Board Approves Resolution to Help Bars and Restaurants Get Outdoor Seating

ST. LOUIS COUNTY, Minn. – The St. Louis County Board has unanimously approved a resolution that will speed up the process for bars and restaurants wanting to apply for outdoor seating, which they will need to be able to serve customers starting June 1. It usually takes 45 days for the county to approve applications, but the process will now…