Author: Dan Hanger

Study: Minnesota Sees Jump In Homelessness Since 2015

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) – A study says Minnesota’s homelessness increased by 10 percent between 2015 and 2018, despite employment growing during the same period. Minnesota Public Radio reports that the St. Paul-based Wilder Foundation released its findings this month from a count of people experiencing homelessness in 2018. Researchers counted 10,233 homeless people in Minnesota on Oct. 25, a jump of…

East Superior Street Reconstruction To Start April 8

DULUTH, Minn. – Phase two of the Superior Street reconstruction project is about to get underway on the east side of downtown. Starting Monday, April 8, city crews will close down East Superior Street from Lake Avenue in front of Pizza Luce up until 3rd Avenue East by Greysolon Plaza. Pending weather conditions, a public kick-off event will happen at…

Mother Speaks About Superior Firefighter Son’s Suicide; Dept. Holds New Support Training

SUPERIOR, Wis. – Cheryl Sutton, the mother of Erik Sutton — a retired Superior fire battalion chief – broke her silence Thursday about her son’s suicide to FOX 21’s Dan Hanger. This, as the Superior Fire Department – for the first time – takes on special mental health training to help prevent another tragedy involving one of their own. “Each…

County To Hire Exec. Dir. To Oversee Duluth Depot

DULUTH, Minn. — St. Louis County is hiring a Heritage and Arts Center executive director to handle operations at the Duluth Depot. Commissioners say the position will help with collaboration among the eight tenants at the Depot while also taking away some of the politics among the tenants. The director will be a neutral party making between $67,000 and roughly $90,000…

President’s Owner Sells Gas Station, Car Wash To Korner Store Owner

SUPERIOR, Wis. – Jim Bolin, the longtime owner of the President’s Liquor, Bar, One Stop and car wash, is beginning to move close to retirement by selling off half of his business to Korner Store owner Derek Medved. “I’ve come here every morning for 62 years, and it will be different not to have the convenience store,” Bolin told FOX…

At Least 14 Dead Amid “Catastrophic” Damage In Tornado Outbreak

(Associated Press) – An Alabama sheriff says at least 14 people are dead amid “catastrophic” damage from a possible tornado, and more people are missing as crews search through wreckage and debris. Lee County Sheriff Jay Jones told WRBL-TV on Sunday that damage in his community followed a path several miles (kilometers) long and appeared up to a fourth of…

Plans Move Forward For Hotel On Tower Avenue in Superior

DULUTH, Minn. – We’re getting a preview of what a new hotel will look like on Tower Avenue in Superior. The four-story hotel will be built on the site of the former Palace Theater on North Tower and 11th Street. Wisconsin-based Cobblestone Hotels is behind the project. The 60-plus room hotel will include a steakhouse and taproom on the lower…

Feb. 25, 2019 Proclaimed ‘Maria Bamford Day’ in Duluth

DULUTH, Minn. – Feb. 25, 2019 officially became Maria Bamford Day in the city of Duluth Monday. Mayor Emily Larson made the proclamation at a private lunch with the Duluth-raised comedian and her family. “I can’t believe I’ve made it. It’s all I’ve ever wanted,” Bamford joked in a short video posted to Facebook by her sister, Sarah. Bamford is…

Duluth Firefighters Respond To Kitchi Gammi Club

DULUTH, Minn. — Duluth firefighters responded to the historic Kitchi Gammi Club in Duluth Thursday night. Thick smoke could be seen coming out of the top of the building on 831 East Superior Street. No flames were visible when a FOX 21 photographer was on scene at 9 p.m. before the fire crews wrapped up to leave the scene. As…

Coal Train Derails Near Cloquet

Courtesy: Anthony Gist CLOQUET, Minn. (AP)  – Crews are cleaning up a coal train derailment in northeastern Minnesota. Forty rail cars of a 121-car train loaded with coal derailed near Cloquet around 11:30 a.m. Saturday. BNSF Railway spokeswoman Amy McBeth says several cars ended up on their sides near or partially in the frozen St. Louis River. She did not…

Great Lakes Freighter St. Clair Catches Fire

CLEVELAND, Ohio (Press Release) — The Coast Guard is conducting pollution assessment of the Maumee River following a fire on board the St. Clair vessel at the CSX Torco terminal in Oregon, Ohio in the Port of Toledo, Saturday. Watchstanders in the Coast Guard Sector Detroit Command Center were notified of the fire about 9: 30 p.m. by members of…

Duluth Police Investigate Double Stabbing

DULUTH, Minn. – Two adult males were hospitalized Tuesday night after a stabbing at the Tri Towers apartments on the 200 block of 2nd Avenue East, according to Duluth police. The call for help came in around 8:45 p.m. One man was stabbed in the hand. The other man was stabbed in the arm.  Their injuries were considered non-life threatening,…

Amy Klobuchar Launches Presidential Bid During Snowy Minneapolis Rally

MINNEAPOLIS — (FOX 9) – U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar launched her presidential campaign Sunday afternoon during a snowy rally near downtown Minneapolis, joining a crowded field of Democrats seeking to challenge President Donald Trump. A light but steady snow fell during the event at Boom Island Park, partially obscuring the Minneapolis skyline behind the stage. Some supporters trekked to the…

Duluth’s Millard LaJoy Turns 106 Years Old!

DULUTH, Minn. – A very special birthday was celebrated Feb. 7 for Millard LaJoy, of Duluth, who turned 106 years old. Millard is getting care at the Benedictine Living Community in Duluth. He had a hard time this past summer with fluid in his lungs, but the guy always pulls through and said tonight that he feels great. Millard even…

Cocaine, Heroin, Firearms Recovered In Duluth Drug Bust

DULUTH, Minn. – A convicted felon is off the streets of Duluth after a drug bust by the Lake Superior Violent Crimes Task Force. The arrested happened during a warrant on the 1200 block of East 1st Street. Investigators recovered cocaine, heroin, $2,500 in cash, three firearms and packaging material consistent with sale narcotics, according to Duluth Police Chief Mike…

Elements Begin To Emerge of Walz Agenda For Rural Minn.

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) – New Gov. Tim Walz won’t release his first budget until Feb. 19 but some elements of his agenda for rural Minnesota are already emerging. Walz is Minnesota’s first governor from greater Minnesota since Rudy Perpich left office in 1991. The Democratic former congressman from Mankato has provided some glimpses recently about his plans for the…

Special Report: Inside The Douglas County Jail

SUPERIOR, Wis. – In a two-part special report, we take you inside the Douglas and St. Louis county jails. Corrections officers talk about the dangers faced inside and outside the jails, and the training they go through to keep the peace. FOX 21’s Dan Hanger reports. For corrections officers at the Douglas County Jail, things can get a little colorful…

Special Report: Inside The St. Louis County Jail

DULUTH, Minn. — In part two of a special report – Jail Dangers – we take you to the St. Louis County Jail where safety and security concerns go far beyond the walls of the jail. “We’re basically running a little city there,” said Sheriff Ross Litman. “I have a really high level of admiration for the staff that work…

Court Records: Moose Lake Sex Offender Inmate Slashed Counselor’s Throat

George Mack, Jr. 42, Charged With Attempted Murder

MOOSE LAKE, Minn. – An inmate at the Moose Lake Sex Offender Program with past felony convictions of sexual assault and assault within that facility is charged with attempted premeditated murder after a counselor’s throat was slashed twice. The suspect, George Mack, Jr., 42, is charged with attempted murder in the first degree, and fourth-degree assault within a secure treatment…

Thursday At 9: Jail Dangers

Coming up Thursday on FOX 21 News at 9 p.m., a two-part special report – Jail Dangers. FOX 21’s Dan Hanger takes you inside the Douglas and St. Louis county jails. Corrections officers describe what it’s like to face hundreds of inmates a year, the dangers that arise and the training they go through to keep the peace. Categories: News,…

Blake Freking Takes First Place In 2019 Beargrease

Freking's Wife, Jennifer, Took Second Place

GRAND PORTAGE, Minn. – It was an exciting finish Tuesday night in Grand Portage for the 2019 John Beargrease Sled Dog Marathon. After starting the day with a commanding lead, Ryan Redington had problems on the trail and was passed by Blake Freking who won this year’s marathon. FOX 21’s Andrew Kirov reports. Blake Freking crossed the finish line just…

DFL-Endorsed Lee vs. Lourey In Tuesday’s Primary For Senate Dist. 11

DULUTH, Minn. – Former news personality Michelle Lee took a win Saturday for the DFL endorsement for Minnesota’s Dist. 11 Senate seat.   The primary is Tuesday, Jan. 22. Lee received 59.6 percent of the delegate votes on the first ballot at the convention held in Barnum on Saturday.  Sixty percent is needed for an endorsement. DFL candidate Stu Lourey immediately conceded…

Sherwin-Williams To Open On London Road In Duluth

DULUTH, Minn. – Duluth’s first-ever Sherwin-Williams is coming to a section of town that’s seeing more commercial development. The paint business will be built on the 1800 block of London Road on an empty lot formally home to the Chalet Motel, which was torn down in 2011. Sherwin-Williams is one of the biggest paint retailers in the country. The new,…

Park Point Attack Suspect Now Facing Murder Charges

DULUTH, Minn. — More serious charges are now filed against the man accused of attacking and ultimately killing a Park Point resident during a burglary and robbery of that man’s home. Darrel Mayhew, 30, of Duluth is now facing two counts of 2nd-degree murder — one with intent, one without. He is also charged with aggravated robbery and burglary of the…

Park Point Homicide Victim Remembered For His Love For Classic Cars

Suspect Faces 2nd-Degree Murder Charges

DULUTH, Minn. – More serious charges are now filed against the man accused of attacking and ultimately killing Park Point resident Larry Watczak, 70, during a burglary and robbery at his home. Darrel Mayhew, 30, of Duluth is now facing two counts of 2nd-degree murder — one with intent, one without. He is also charged with aggravated robbery and burglary of…

Duluth Police Hold Procession For Fallen K-9 Haas

DULUTH, Minn. — It was an emotional night Monday for the Duluth Police Department the Northland law enforcement community. A procession was held down Grand Avenue to transport the body of K-9 Haas for cremation. Haas was shot and killed in the line of duty Sunday night during a domestic assault call. Dozens of people lined up along Grand Avenue Monday…

Duluth K-9, Suspect Dead In Officer-Involved Shooting

Officer Was Also Shot, Suffered Non-Life Threatening Injuries

DULUTH, Minn. – A felony level domestic assault call on West Skyline Parkway ended Sunday evening with an officer shot and his K-9 partner dead, including the suspect, according to a press release from the Duluth Police Department. The incident began around 6:30 p.m. Sunday in a home on the 1000 block of West Skyline Parkway, according to police. Duluth…

Sheriff: Jayme Closs Found Alive In The Town Of Gordon

The following has been posted to the Barron County Sheriff’s Department’s Facebook page: Jayme Closs has been located: On Thursday evening the Barron County Sheriff’s Department was notified by the Douglas CO WI Sheriff’s Department that they had located Jayme Closs alive.  The Douglas County Sheriff says Closs was found at 4:43 p.m. Thursday in the Town of Gordon. A…

Minnesota Remembers Longtime Political Leader Tom Rukavina

DULUTH, Minn. – Minnesota is remembering the life of longtime Minnesota politician and Northland leader Tom Rukavina who particularly always fought hard for Iron Range workers. The 68-year-old from Virginia died Monday after a battle with leukemia. Rukavina, who was known for his passion and feistiness at times, served on the Minnesota House of Representatives for 26 years. He most…

Family of Park Point Attack Victim Left in Coma Speaks Out; Police Announce Arrest

Family Of Larry Watczak, 70, Says Police Are Downplaying The Crime to the Public

DULUTH, Minn. – The Park Point resident who was violently attacked during a burglary in his home Jan. 2 is 70-year-old Larry Watczak, according to his son Erik Watczak. This comes as police announced an arrest Sunday night of a 30-year-old male suspect. Erik says his father remained in the hospitalized Sunday night in critical condition and has not come…

Dunham’s Sports To Close In Duluth

DULUTH, Minn. – Dunham’s Sports in Duluth is preparing to close its doors at the end of the month. Signs on the store in the Burning Tree Plaza near the Miller Hill Mall say the location will officially close on Saturday, Jan. 26. We reached out to a company spokesman about the reason why, but did not hear back Thursday….

Ely Man Lands $1 Million Lottery Prize

ROSEVILLE, Minn. (Press Release) – Imagine waking up on New Year’s Day and discovering that you have won $1 million. That is how the new year began for Ely resident Andy Gibbons. After double checking his Minnesota Millionaire Raffle ticket “eight times” to make sure that he was not mistaken, he did something many brand new millionaires would not; Gibbons…

Woman In Custody After Man Stabbed Five Times

TOWN OF BASS LAKE, Wis. – A woman is under arrest and accused of stabbing a man at least five times in Sawyer County. The crime happened around 1:40 a.m. Dec. 16 in a home on Poppletown Lane in the Town of Bass Lake. The 27-year-old male victim was stabbed in the head, shoulder, back, chest and calf, according to…

Data Breach At Caribou Coffee Affecting Northland Locations

DULUTH, Minn. – Caribou Coffee said Thursday that some of its customer data has been breached across the country, including in Duluth, Hibbing and Grand Rapids. Company officials said customers who visited a Caribou between late August and early December may have had their credit card information compromised. Customers are asked to check credit card statements and contact the credit…

‘Nearly 200’ Workers Strike At CG Bretting Manufacturing Co. in Ashland

ASHLAND, Wis. (Press Release) – Nearly 200 workers at CG Bretting Manufacturing Co. in Ashland, WI are on strike after rejecting the company’s contract offer Thursday, December 13, 2018. The strike took effect just after midnight on Saturday, December 15, 2018, according to Local 621. The members of Local 621 of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAMAW)…