Author: Dan Hanger

Governor Walz: ‘The State of our State is Resilient’

ST. PAUL, Minn. (FOX 9) – The coronavirus pandemic has brought Minnesota to a grinding halt. Schools have closed, events have been cancelled, and many businesses have shut down as leaders have worked to slow the spread of the disease and prevent hospitals from being overloaded. Governor Walz issued a stay-at-home order that took effect starting March 27, urging Minnesotans…

Phase 3 of Superior Street Reconstruction Starts Monday; Section of Phase 2 Delayed Longer

DULUTH, Minn. – The final phase of the Superior Street reconstruction project begins on Monday, April 6, and it includes the busy intersection of Lake Avenue to 3rd Avenue West. Signs will be posted through the project area, and barricades will be in place beginning Monday morning. 3rd Ave. East to 4th Ave. East delayed until Spring of 2021 because…

Duluth Police Investigate ‘Shots Fired’

DULUTH, Minn. –  Duluth police are investigating after a report of “shots fired” overnight in an alley in the Lincoln Park neighborhood. The report came in just before midnight Saturday between West 1st Street and West 2nd Street near 26th Avenue West. When police arrived, they found spent shell casings, according to a spokeswoman. Nobody was injured and no arrests…

Fond du Lac Band Says Casino Employees Would Be Laid Off First

CARLTON, Co. – The Fond du Lac Band is trying to avoid layoffs of its employees as its two casinos sit dark with zero cash flow. The tribe’s secretary treasurer, Ferdinand Martineau, addressed the financial concerns in a Facebook video Wednesday. He said leadership is discussing when and who could be laid off if the governor’s closure order lasts longer…

Sara’s Table Chester Creek Cafe Fully Closes Amid Coronavirus Outbreak

DULUTH, Minn. – The owner of the popular At Sara’s Table Chester Creek Cafe in Duluth says she’s fully closing her restaurant until further notice. In a post on the restaurant’s Facebook page Tuesday, owner Carla Blumberg said take-out and delivery is no longer an option. She said cost and logistics “overwhelmed us.” Sara’s Table is just one of dozens…

Essentia Health Placing 500 Employees on ‘Special Administrative Leave’

DULUTH, Minn. –  Essentia Health announced Monday a plan to reduce non-medical staffing levels by 500 employees next week as the company prepares for a surge of COVID-19 patients in the communities it serves.  The employees affected are not involved in direct patient care, according to hospital officials. “These plans include redeploying our workforce to best position Essentia Health to…

Country Singer Joe Diffie Dies After Contracting Coronavirus, Was To Perform At Bayfront

NEW YORK (AP) – Country singer Joe Diffie, who had a string of hits in the 1990s with chart-topping, rock-tinged singles such as “Home” and “Pickup Man” has died after testing positive for COVID-19. He was 61. A spokesman for Diffie on Friday announced he had contracted the coronavirus, becoming the first country star to go public with such a…

St. Louis County Recorder’s Office Offering Drive-Up Service By Appointment

DULUTH, Minn. – The St. Louis County Recorder’s Office in Duluth will begin offering drive-up service on Monday, March 30. The service is available by appointment between 9 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. Monday through Friday. Officials say the service is for people with an immediate need for a vital record, including marriage licenses, birth and death certificates, and real estate…

Minong Grocery Store Owner Talks Wild Demand, Price Gouging, Summer Tourism Concerns

Owner Rob Henson believes snowbirds, cabin owners have all flocked to the area months earlier than usual because of the coronavirus outbreak

MINONG, Wis. – Small-town grocery stores are getting slammed with unusual demand amid the coronavirus outbreak. And for one grocery owner in Minong, there’s a fear there won’t be enough inventory out there to be stocked up for summer tourism season — a time that carries many small businesses through the slow winter months. “I don’t think anybody is prepared…

Virus Outbreak Halts Damaged Husky Refinery Rebuilding

SUPERIOR, Wis. (AP) – Husky Energy has suspended rebuilding its oil refinery in Superior that was damaged by an explosion two years ago because of the coronavirus outbreak. A spokeswoman for the Alberta, Canada-based company said Tuesday that Husky has “begun a systematic and orderly suspension of major construction activities related to the Superior rebuild project.” The fire and explosion…

As Coronavirus Impacts Grocery Stores, Duluth City Councilors Postpone Plastic Bag Fee

DULUTH, Minn. – Councilors took action Monday to help ease extra anxiety on grocery store workers during the COVID-19 outbreak by postponing the implementation of the 5-cent plastic bag fee. Councilors voted unanimously to wait until January of 2021 to enforce the new law that will charge customers 5 cents for each plastic bag used. Councilor Barb Russ was absent…

John Shuster Family Self-Quarantined as Wife Awaits Coronavirus Test Results

SUPERIOR, Wis. – Curling Olympic gold medalist and Chisholm native John Shuster, 37, is self-quarantined with his family in Superior while his wife, Sara, awaits test results to see if she is positive for the COVID-19 strain of coronavirus. This comes after she competed in the USA Curling Club Nationals in the Washington, D.C. area in early March before government…

CDC Recommends Canceling Or Postponing Gatherings Of 50 Or More People For 8 Weeks

DULUTH, Minn. – The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say Americans should cancel or postpone all gatherings of 50 people or more for the next eight weeks. That’s as experts say social distancing is imperative to curb the spread of coronavirus. The CDC says the new guidance applies to conferences, festivals, parades, concerts, sporting events, weddings, and any other…

DSSO Cancels Two Concerts Amid Coronavirus Concerns

DULUTH, Minn. – The Duluth Superior Symphony Orchestra is canceling programming for the next two weeks. This comes as the CDC recommends all events with more than 50 people be canceled. This means the cancellations of two DSSO concerts — Beethoven Fifth on Mar. 21 and Beethoven Adventure Casual Concert on Mar. 22. DSSO officials say it was a difficult…

Larson Addresses Coronavirus Concerns Sunday Ahead of Press Event

DULUTH, Minn. – Duluth Mayor Emily Larson will be holding a press conference Monday at 10 a.m. with an update on the city’s plans regarding the coronavirus. The event will be closed to the public to honor the Minnesota Department of Health’s social distancing guidelines, according to Larson. The press conference will be streamed on the city and FOX 21’s…

Conventions Cancel At DECC Amid Coronavirus Concerns; Venue Could Shut Down Temporarily

DULUTH, Minn. — Conventions at the DECC are beginning to cancel because of coronavirus fears.  And if business continues to drop out, the DECC could shut down for some time. “It’s possible that we would shut down, definitely. It depends on how long this goes. We have things we can do in the building to keep us busy. We have…

AFSCME to City of Duluth: ‘Respect Public Workers,’ Restore 2 Maintenance Positions

DULUTH, Minn. — The city of Duluth’s largest union – AFSCME Council 5 — is calling on Mayor Emily Larson’s administration to reverse its decision to cut two maintenance worker positions.  And the union is asking for residents of Duluth for support because it says the city is not respecting public workers and access to critical services that the community…

CSS Joins UMD, UWS By Extending Spring Break, Moving Classes Online Amid Coronavirus Concerns

DULUTH, Minn. – The College of St. Scholastica announced Wednesday it would be joining the University of Minnesota Duluth and the University of Wisconsin-Superior by extending spring break for students and moving classes online when those students return amid concerns about the COVID-19 strain of the coronavirus.   Below is the statement from the president CSS: Dear St. Scholastica Family, As…

UMD, UWS Extend Spring Break; Classes Moving Online When Students Return

DULUTH, Minn. — The University of Minnesota Duluth and the University of Wisconsin-Superior have announced they are extending spring break and moving classes online when students return because of the growing concerns involving the COVID-19 strain of the coronavirus.  Below are the two official releases from each university. UMD: Dear students, faculty, and staff, As the challenges presented by COVID-19…

2 City Maintenance Worker Positions Cut; Duluth CAO Provides Perspective

DULUTH, Minn. – We’re learning more about two recent cuts to positions within the city of Duluth. Mayor Emily Larson’s office said Monday the positions were maintenance workers for the fleet and parks divisions. The two employees were making $47,096 a year. Both were offered new jobs within the city at similar salaries — one as a janitor and the…

Mother, Child Found Dead In Cloquet; Suspect Considered ‘Armed and Dangerous’

Officers found the victims dead after a welfare check at a home on the 1600 block of Locke Lane

Suspect: Sheldon James Thompson Cloquet, Minn. — Police say a Cloquet man is on the run and believed to be armed and dangerous after officers discovered the deaths of a mother and her child Saturday afternoon. The bodies of the 27-year-old woman and her 18-month-old son were found in a home on the 1600 block of Locke Lane in the…

Models Hit the Runway at Women’s Expo Fashion Show

DULUTH, Minn. – Thousands of people packed the DECC this weekend for the annual Women’s Expo, and the fashion show was another hit. Former B105 radio personality Cathy Kates and FOX 21’s Dan Hanger emceed the show again this year featuring fashion designs from local retailers. FOX 21’s Alexandra Burnley and Brittney Merlot were some of the models hitting the…

Glik’s to Open in Miller Hill Mall

DULUTH, Minn. –  The Miller Hill Mall announced Sunday that Glik’s will be opening there in April. The boutique store will be designed for women only with fashion, footwear and accessories. Glik’s will be located between Center Court and Caribou Coffee. The nearest Glik’s stores in the Northland are in Hayward and Grand Rapids.   The first store opened in 1897…

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…

Despite Pushback, Garrison Keillor To Perform At NorShor Theatre

DULUTH, Minn. – The NorShor Theatre has decided to allow controversial former MPR radio host Garrison Keillor to perform on stage at the theatre April 16. This comes after the NorShor Theatre pulled its announcement about Keillor’s performance from its Facebook page and website last Thursday amid negative backlash on social media. The comments pointed to his past sexual misconduct…

Person Rescued From House Fire in Ashland

ASHLAND, Wis. —   A 66-year-old man had to be rescued from a house fire in Ashland Saturday afternoon. The fire was reported around 3:35 p.m. in a home at 1618 4th St E. When firefighters arrived, they had to bring a ladder to the second floor of the structure to rescue the man who was trapped there. The fire was…

Chief Tusken Reflects On Police Department Assessment Report

DULUTH, Minn. – A top to bottom outside assessment of the Duluth Police Department is now complete. And Chief Mike Tusken says he’s pleased that the recommendations for improvements were nothing overly unexpected. Tusken says one of the strengths highlighted in the report applauds the department’s mental health unit as innovative and progressive. On the flip side, the report concluded…

Surf’s Up On A Wintry Lake Superior

DULUTH, Minn. – Who needs to go to California, Florida, or Hawaii to surf when you can jump in Lake Superior in the middle of the winter? Some brave souls wet-suited up and rode the big lake’s waves near Brighton Beach recently. FOX 21 photojournalist Nathaniel LeCapitaine takes us there in this week’s Great Outdoors. Categories: Great Outdoors, Minnesota, News,…

Longtime Duluth City Attorney Suspended; No Comment From Mayor Larson’s Office

DULUTH, Minn. – Longtime Duluth City Attorney Gunnar Johnson confirmed to FOX 21 Wednesday that he’s been placed on administrative suspension. Johnson said he was “shocked” to learn about his suspension last Wednesday and never saw anything of this magnitude coming from Mayor Emily Larson and her administration. Johnson said it’s his understanding a Twin Cities law firm has been…

Appeals Court Upholds Hibbing Man’s 2017 Manslaughter Conviction

DULUTH, Minn. — The Minnesota Court of Appeals has upheld a manslaughter conviction of a Hibbing man who left his baby nephew home alone before a fire broke out. Jesse Bonacci-Koski, 27, left the home for several hours to use drugs the day of the 11-month-old’s death. He’s serving an eight-year prison sentence for the crime. Attorneys for Bonacci-Koski argued…

Klobuchar Pushes to Keep Defying Expectations in Campaign

MANCHESTER, N.H. (AP) – Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar says she’s plans to keep defying expectations heading into Tuesday’s New Hampshire primary. Though she’s spent the last year behind the front-runners, Klobuchar has enjoyed a burst of momentum in the last few days thanks to a strong debate performance and infusion of cash. At a rally at Southern New Hampshire University…

Music, Bingo Collide in Superior to Support ‘Siggy’s Musical Garden’

SUPERIOR, Wis. – The daubers were out and the music was flowing at the Spirit Room in Superior for a “Musical Bingo” fundraiser. It was all to support Siggy’s Musical Garden Incorporated. Sigrid “Siggy” Johnson The non-profit creates outreach programs that connect local musicians, like Similiar Dogs who played at the Bingo event, with elder care facilities, youth programs and…

Bakk Ousted as Top Democrat in Minnesota Senate

Tom Bakk MINNEAPOLIS (AP) – Minnesota state Sen. Susan Kent defeated longtime Sen. Tom Bakk in an election for the leadership of the DFL Senate caucus. The two-term member from Woodbury was elected Senate DFL Minority Leader on Saturday, toppling longtime Iron Range leader to become the first woman ever to lead the caucus. Susan Kent The 32-member caucus is…

Superior Council Candidates Involved in Ballot Eligibility Complaints React To State’s Conclusion

SUPERIOR, Wis. — Superior’s 5th District will indeed have all candidates on the primary ballot in February after one candidate challenged the incumbent’s nomination papers and even the process the city clerk took to get the mistake corrected at the last minute. FOX 21’s Dan Hanger reports. Incumbent Brent Fennessey reacted Tuesday to the Wisconsin Elections Commission’s conclusion that he…

Elections Commission: Fennessey To Be On Primary Ballot Despite Foster Campaign’s Complaints

Brent Fennessey | Amanda Foster SUPERIOR, Wis. – The Wisconsin Elections Commission made a conclusion Monday that Incumbent Superior City Councilor Brent Fennessey will be on the February primary ballot despite formal complaints from candidate Amanda Foster’s campaign. The Foster campaign said Fennessey didn’t have enough valid signatures to be on the ballot because he didn’t sign one of his nomination…

Superior 5th Dist. Council Candidate: Incumbent Fennessey Should Be Disqualified From Ballot

SUPERIOR, Wis. – For the first time in at least 30 years, a candidate for council in Superior is being challenged by another candidate over his nomination papers for reelection. The candidate in question is incumbent Brent Fennessey — current president of the council. And now the Wisconsin Elections Commission is reviewing whether Fennessey should be allowed on the ballot…

2 Dead, 1 Injured In Three Separate Snowmobile Accidents Over The Weekend

Three separate snowmobile accidents over the weekend have taken the lives of two people and serious injured another. The latest accident happened around 2 a.m. Sunday just outside of Hurley, Wisconsin. The snowmobile went off the trail. The 47-year-old female driver was found unresponsive by authorities. She was later pronounced dead at a hospital. The cause of the crash is…

1 Injured, 2 Arrested In Home Invasion, Robbery In Duluth’s Woodland Neighborhood

DULUTH, Minn. – Duluth police are investigating an apparent home invasion and robbery that injured a man. The call for help came in around 5:30 p.m. Sunday on the 200 block of St. Paul Avenue in the Woodland neighborhood. Two suspects were arrested and police were not searching for anyone else. Authorities say two BB guns, baseball bats, and marijuana…

5 Residents Displaced After Pickup Truck Slams Into Building, Causes Gas Leak

SUPERIOR, Wis. – Police were investigating Tuesday after a pickup truck slammed into a multi-unit residential building and caused a gas leak. The single-vehicle accident happened around 5 p.m. at 4010 E. 2nd Street. The vehicle’s impact severed multiple natural gas meters, according to authorities. Police closed down the area to the public at one point until Superior Water Light…

3 Suspected Opioid-Related Overdoses Of Inmates At Ashland County Jail

ASHLAND, Wis. — The Ashland County Sheriff’s Office is investigating three suspected opioid-related overdoses of inmates at the Ashland County Jail. Two inmates experienced symptoms and were hospitalized Jan. 9.  Another inmate was hospitalized on Jan. 11. All three were eventually discharged from the hospital. Officials say the inmates were all housed in the same cell block.  It’s believed a…