Author: Dan Hanger

Homeless Encampment Under I-35 In Duluth Catches Fire Again

The first fire started in this location on Oct. 18, 2021.

DULUTH, Minn. – Fire ignited under I-35 in downtown Duluth Wednesday in the exact location a homeless encampment caught on fire just three months ago. Duluth firefighters were called to the scene during the 1 o’clock hour Wednesday near Exit 256-A for Mesaba Avenue and Superior Street. A spokesperson for the fire department said the bulk of the fire was…

Walz Bonding Proposal: $1M For Lake Superior College’s Manufacturing Program Expansion Plans

DULUTH, Minn. – Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz has put aside $1 million in his bonding proposal to help Lake Superior College develop plans to expand its Integrated Manufacturing program. LSC officials said demand has outgrown the current facility in downtown Duluth.  So in the coming years, the program will be moved and expanded back onto the main campus on Trinity…

Acting St. Louis Co. Atty. Kimberly Maki Running For Official Office This Nov.

DULUTH, Minn. – Acting St. Louis County Attorney Kimberly Maki, who recently took over for Mark Rubin who retired after more than 40 years of service, has announced she’s running to keep that seat in the next election. Maki announced her campaign Thursday outside the Virginia County Courthouse where she says her interest in law began nearly 30 years ago…

Mayor Larson Announces 30-Day Duluth Mask Mandate; Restaurant Assoc. Not Thrilled

DULUTH, Minn. — Just days after the Duluth City Council was unable to unanimously vote to pass a new city-wide mask mandate, and after councilors agreed Mayor Emily Larson should take the lead on emergency orders of that kind, Larson stepped to the podium Thursday afternoon announcing just that — a new mask mandate for the next 30 days effective…

St. Louis County’s Size, Local Governments Within County Make It Unlikely For Mask Mandate

The only mask mandate within the county has been inside county buildings.

DULUTH, Minn. — St. Louis County’s Public Health Director, Amy Westbrook, spoke in support of Duluth’s mask mandate Thursday, and the county released a statement on its take on a possible county wide mask mandate. Westbrook, along with Essentia’s Chief Medical Officer, pointed to growing concerns over hospitalization rates.  Out of the 342 hospital beds at Essentia in Duluth, 58…

Aerial Lift Bridge Temporarily Shut Down After Person Climbs To Top

DULUTH, Minn. –   The Aerial Lift Bridge was temporarily shut down Thursday evening after authorities said someone climbed to the very top of the structure. The city alerted people to stay away from the area around 7 p.m. “We are asking the public to stay away from Lake Avenue and Morse Street while we provide assistance to the individual. The…

Fire Dept.: Cause Of Superior Warehouse Fire May Never Be Known

The extensive damage to the building is hindering the investigation into a cause.

DULUTH, Minn. – It’s been almost a week since two warehouses went up in flames in Superior’s North End district, and now FOX 21 is learning there’s a strong chance a cause may never been known. Light smoke could be seen Wednesday coming from the rubble of what’s left of the 1980s-era buildings near the Blatnik Bridge. Old Main Park…

Mayor Larson’s Office Responds To Council’s Mask Mandate Failure

DULUTH, Minn. – Duluth Mayor Emily Larson and her administration released a statement Tuesday in response to the city council’s failure to pass a new mask mandate Monday night and after the council agreed the mayor’s office has full power and resources to lead the way on emergency orders like a mask mandate if that office so chooses, instead of…

Black Water Lounge Is Back Open In Downtown Duluth

DULUTH, Minn. – Downtown Duluth’s premiere martini bar, Black Water Lounge, is finally back open after three years in the dark. If you liked the atmosphere before, you’ll be happy to know that vibe remains the same with the popular band Maxi Childs Trio back at it on Tuesday and Thursday evening. The signature cocktails and apps are also back,…

Bob Saget, Beloved TV Dad Of ‘Full House,’ Dead At 65

Bob Saget arrives at the People’s Choice Awards at the Microsoft Theater on Wednesday, Jan. 18, 2017, in Los Angeles. (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP) LOS ANGELES (AP) – Bob Saget, a comedian and actor best known for his role the sitcom “Full House,” has died. He was 65. The Orange County, Florida, sheriff’s office said via Twitter it was called…

Man Charged With Buying Gun For Rittenhouse Takes Plea Deal

MILWAUKEE (AP) – The man who bought Kyle Rittenhouse a rifle when he was only 17 has taken a plea deal to avoid criminal conviction. Dominick Black was charged with delivering a dangerous weapon to a minor, resulting in death. The charges relate to the two protesters Rittenhouse fatally shot in Kenosha. Prosecutors filed a proposed plea agreement that suggested…

Minnesota Virus Positivity Rate Reaches 15.6% In New Record

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) – Minnesota’s COVID-19 positivity rate over the past seven days reached 15.6% on Friday, in an indication of the rapid spread of the omicron variant across the state. State health officials said the figure demonstrates the increasing spread of the omicron variant and expect a new surge of case growth for at least the next month. Minnesota’s previous…

Duluth City Councilors Have Tense First Debate About New Mask Mandate

DULUTH, Minn. – The mask mandate debate is firing back up in Duluth and being fueled by Councilor Terese Tomanek.  But the push for a mandate was not received well Thursday evening at the agenda session by the majority of the council after some felt surprised by the topic, which wasn’t on the list of items to discuss ahead of…

Mask Mandates Return To Twin Cities; No Plans In Motion For Twin Ports

Duluth and Superior mayors told FOX 21 Wednesday there are no immediate plans to bring back a mask mandate for their cities after Minneapolis and St. Paul both announced indoor mask mandates returning at 5 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 6. Duluth Mayor Emily Larson’s office released the following statement: “The City is tracking the infection and spread of COVID-19 in Duluth,…

Sen. Tina Smith Applauds Bi-Partisan Passage Of ‘No Surprises Act’ Involving Emergency Medical Bills

Minnesota Sen. Tina Smith is applauding lawmakers on both sides of the isle in D.C. for a new law now in effect to stop surprise medical bills for most emergency care. The “No Surprises Act” went into effect Jan. 1. Smith said Americans have faced unexpected medical bills for years after seeking emergency care ranging from hundreds to tens of…

Duluth’s Bed Bath & Beyond To Close

DULUTH, Minn. – If you love Bed Bath & Beyond, you better get there soon because the store in Duluth on Miller Trunk Highway will be closing. Customers were emailed about the closure Thursday with a promotion for a store-wide sale for every department. The ad did not say when the store will officially close its doors. The closure is…

Colorado Wildfires Burn Hundreds Of Homes, Force Evacuations

Flames explode as wildfires burned near a small shopping center Thursday, Dec. 30, 2021, near Broomfield, Colo. Homes surrounding the Flatiron Crossing mall were being evacuated as wildfires raced through the grasslands as high winds raked the intermountain West. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski) DENVER (AP) – An estimated 580 homes, a hotel and a shopping center have burned and tens of…

3 Arrested, More Expected In Hayward-Area Burglaries, Thefts

HAYWARD, Wis. – Authorities have arrested three Hayward men after “multiple burglaries and thefts” in the Hayward area. The Sawyer Count Sheriff’s Office said the weeks-long investigation in conjunction with the LCO Police Department and Town of Hayward Police Department. The men range from 25 to 32 years old. Charges have not been filed yet. Sheriff Doug Mrotek said he…

Wisconsin Tops 10,000 COVID-19 Deaths

MADISON, Wis. (AP) – COVID-19 has now claimed the lives of more than 10,000 Wisconsin residents. The Wisconsin State Journal reported that state health officials counted 34 deaths on Wednesday, bringing the death total since the pandemic began to 10,014. The state tracked 5,748 COVID-19 deaths last year and 4,266 so far in 2021. Nearly three-quarters of people who died…

Man Gets 100 Months In Prison For Damage In Minneapolis Protest

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) – A federal judge has sentenced a St. Paul man to more than eight years in prison for burning, looting and damaging businesses during a 2020 protest against police brutality in Minneapolis. U.S. District Judge Patrick Schlitz sentenced 32-year-old Victor Devon Edwards on Wednesday to 100 months in prison and two years of supervised. A jury convicted Edwards…

Man Shot Through Living Room Window In Virginia; Suspect On The Run

VIRGINIA, Minn. –  A suspect was on the run Wednesday evening after a shooting in Virginia that injured a man. According to the Virginia Police Department, someone shot multiple times through the victim’s living room window from outside at about 5 a.m. Wednesday on the 500 block of 12th Street South. The victim was struck once by a bullet while…

City Of Duluth Issues, Explains First-Ever Snow Emergency

DULUTH, Minn. – After more than two years in the making, the city of Duluth issued its first-ever snow emergency Tuesday requiring all vehicles on designated emergency routes with signage to be off the street by 9 p.m. and stay that way until 6 p.m. Wednesday. If vehicles are not moved, drivers could be towed or ticketed.  But Chief Administrative…

CDC Recommends Shorter COVID Isolation, Quarantine For All

NEW YORK (AP) – U.S. health officials are cutting isolation restrictions for Americans who test positive for the coronavirus and shortening the time that close contacts have to quarantine. People with the virus can leave isolation after five days, down from 10 days. People exposed to the virus can also leave quarantine after five days. The Centers for Disease Control…

Snowstorm Closes Bentleyville For The Season

DULUTH, Minn. – Bentleyville Tour of Lights announced Monday afternoon that its final day of the season was canceled because of the wicked snowstorm over the Northland. The following message was posted on Bentleyville’s Facebook page about Monday’s closure: “Sorry folks, but due to the strong winds and large amount of snow Bentleyville will NOT open for it’s finally night…

‘Miracle 11’ Makes New Donations To 6 Local Organizations

SUPERIOR, Wis. – It’s been eight years since 11 skydivers with Skydive Superior played with death after a mid-air collision of two planes over Superior. And once again, those skydivers continue to put that highly publicized moment to good use in the community. Miracle 11is a non-profit that donates money every year to local organizations. This year included $2,500 to…

Judge Halts Vaccine Mandate For St. Paul City Employees

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) – A judge has temporarily halted a COVID-19 vaccine mandate for St. Paul city employees. The St. Paul Pioneer Press reported that Ramsey County District Judge Robert Awsumb issued a temporary restraining order blocking the mandate on Thursday. The mandate was supposed to go into effect at the end of December. The order comes after St….

Update: 2 Bodies Recovered From Bemidji-Area House Fire

(Lakeland PBS-TV) — Two bodies were recovered around 1 p.m. Thursday from a house that started on fire in Liberty Township, which is 13 miles northwest of Bemidji. The evening update comes after authorities said two children were unaccounted for in that house fire.   Authorities did not confirm if the bodies are that of the children. “The victims were transported to…

Court Officials Edge Closer To Dividing Prince’s Estate

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) – Court officials are edging closer to dividing up pop superstar Prince’s estate. The Minneapolis Star Tribune reported Wednesday that November tax filings show the Internal Revenue Service and Comerica Bank & Trust, the estate administrator, have reached an agreement on the total value of Prince’s assets. The specific number hasn’t been disclosed but it could be more…

Former Gannucci’s Owner Charged With Sexually Assaulting 2 Children

DULUTH, Minn. – The longtime owner of Gannucci’s Italian Market in West Duluth is charged with sexually assaulting two children. William Kalligher, 61, is facing seven felonies, including one count of first-degree criminal sexual conduct. This comes after numerous allegations came to light this summer. Court documents say a 25-year-old man told police that Kalligher forced oral sex on him…

Mask Mandate To Be Lifted For Superior School District Jan. 3

SUPERIOR, Wis. – The Superior School District is ditching its mask mandate after the holiday break, Supt. Amy Starzecki said in an email Tuesday evening to the Spartan community. Starting Monday, Jan. 3, students, staff and visitors can choose whether to wear a mask in any of the district’s buildings because Starzecki says COVID cases have been on the decrease…

Hartley Nature Center Hosts Winter Solstice Luminary Hike

DULUTH, Minn. – The Duluth Parks and Recreation Department celebrated the Winter Solstice Tuesday with Hartley Nature Center. A half-mile loop was lit up for a luminary hike, along with hot chocolate, a photo booth and a fire pit – all to celebrate winter’s the shortest day of the year. “Especially at night when we’re in the darkest days is…

Former Duluth Police Chief Is Back, Might Run For St. Louis County Sheriff

DULUTH, Minn. – Former Duluth Police Chief Gordon Ramsay and his family have moved back to Duluth, and Ramsay, 49, is eyeing what’s next locally for his career, which could include a run for St. Louis County sheriff. For the last six years, Ramsay has been the top cop for Kansas’ largest police department in Wichita where he has managed…

Babbitt Man Dead After One-Vehicle Crash; ‘Slippery Road’ Contributing Factor

MORRIS TOWNSHIP, Minn. – A 74-year-old Babbitt man is dead after a one-vehicle accident Thursday in Morris Township, and authorities believe it was weather related. The St. Louis County Sheriff’s Office says the accident happened around 3:30 p.m. on the 1900 block of Highway 21 North. The driver, whose name was not released Thursday, died at the scene.   Nobody else…

Duluth Firefighters Use Unstable Ice, Open Waters For Rescue Training

DULUTH, Minn. – The unstable ice and open waters are creating great conditions for the Duluth Fire Department to train for possible rescues this winter. Firefighters hopped in their rescue suits Tuesday to take advantage of the dicey conditions in a slip in the Duluth Port. Officials said this type of training is crucial to react fast to emergencies on…

Minnesota Lake Ice Shrinking As Climate Change Warms Winters

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) – Officials from Minnesota’s natural resources and pollution control agencies detail the ways climate change is diminishing Minnesota winters, with 10 to 14 fewer days of lake ice over the past 50 years. It’s a change they say hurts local economies, the environment and the Minnesota way of life. Warmer lake waters are leading to more toxic algal…

Wisconsin Men Get Probation In U.S. Capitol Breach

MADISON, Wis. (AP) – A federal judge has sentenced two Wisconsin men to probation for joining in the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol. The Wisconsin State Journal reports that 29-year-old Brandon Nelson of Madison and 24-year-old Abram Markofski of La Crosse pleaded guilty in September to a misdemeanor charge of parading, demonstrating or picketing in a Capitol building….

Bill Allows UW System To Negotiate Tuition Reciprocity

MADISON, Wis. (AP) – A bipartisan bill introduced in the state Assembly would give the University of Wisconsin System authority over tuition reciprocity with Minnesota. The legislation would also let UW campuses keep additional revenue from students paying Minnesota tuition rates, revenue that is currently deposited into Wisconsin’s state budget. The reciprocity agreements between Wisconsin and Minnesota have been in…