Author: Dan Hanger

Reviving Ojibwe Spiritual Traditions, One Pet At A Time

CASS LAKE, Minnesota (AP) – Several members of the Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe in northern Minnesota are working to address animal neglect on their tribal lands – and in doing so bringing their community closer to its spiritual roots. Kids are helping their elders in animal rescues, pet food and supplies are routinely distributed in the community and the…

Police Investigating Thefts At Twin Cities Best Buy Stores

BURNSVILLE, Minn. (FOX 9) – Police are investigating after large groups of people stole from two Twin Cities Best Buy stores on Black Friday. According to Burnsville police, at about 8 p.m., a group of 20-30 people ran into the Best Buy store and stole several items. Police say no force was used and no weapons were displayed. The suspects were gone…

Evacuation Lifted, Restaurant Closed After Major Kitchen Fire At Pier B Resort

DULUTH, Minn. – Black Friday turned into black smoke for Pier B Resort Hotel in Duluth around 5 p.m., which caused the whole place to evacuate as hundreds of people at Bentleyville Tour of Lights across the slip watched on. According to the Duluth Fire Department, the fire started in the hood of the kitchen at Silo’s Restaurant. Pier B…

Big Inflatable Animals Take Over Lake Superior Zoo

DULUTH, Minn. – Friday was opening night for the Lake Superior Zoo’s first-ever “Larger than Life Lights” event. The grounds are decked out with holiday lights, including a half-dozen giant inflatable animals lit up bright for great photo ops. But on top of that, guests can still check out the real animals at night, too. “There’s so many great things…

Tall Ships Will Bypass Duluth For Two Harbors In 2022

TWO HARBORS, Minn. – The Tall Ships are going to bypass Duluth next summer and dock in Two Harbors for the annual Festival of Sail event. Two Harbors scored the massively popular four-day event because of construction planned next summer along Duluth’s waterfront. Tall Ships will take over the waterfront 28 miles up the shore in Two Harbors Aug. 4-7….

Canada Bans Foreigners Who Have Traveled In Southern Africa

TORONTO (AP) – Canada says it’s banning the entry of foreign nationals who have traveled through southern Africa in the last 14 days. That’s due to discovery of the new omicron variant of the coronavirus that has stoked worldwide fears. Government ministers also said Friday that all Canadians who have travelled to southern Africa in the last 14 days will…

Many Give Thanks To Minnesota For Producing The Most Turkeys

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) – Based on the numbers, there is a good chance that a Thanksgiving turkey came from Minnesota. Minnesota farmers grow about 45 million turkeys a year on more than 500 farms, or nearly 18% of the country’s turkey supply, according to the Minnesota Department of Agriculture. The U.S. Department of Agriculture says Americans should eat about 46 million…

Lake Superior Zoo To Light Up ‘Larger Than Life’ Starting Friday

DULUTH, Minn. – The Lake Superior Zoo is getting brighter and bigger with a new nighttime holiday experience starting this weekend. It’s called “Larger Than Life Lights.” You’ll get to see six giant animal inflatables throughout the zoo’s outside area at night, along with a bunch of lights and photos ops, among other festivities. “We’re really excited to be able…

Minnesota COVID-19 Hospitalizations Top 1,400 Amid Surge

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) – The number of Minnesota patients hospitalized with COVID-19 has surpassed 1,400 for the first time since last December, before vaccines became available. According to state health department statistics released Friday, Minnesota hospitals were caring for 1,414 patients with complications of the coronavirus, including 340 patients in intensive care. Only 2% of adult intensive care unit…

Expect To Pay More For Christmas Trees, Experts Say

HUNTINGTON, N.Y. (AP) – Add Christmas trees to the list of items facing shortages and higher prices this year. Several factors are driving the trend, Newsday reported. These include over-the-top sales last year during the first Christmas during the COVID-19 pandemic and supply chain issues this year. Experts said tree buyers should expect to pay between 10% and 30% more…

Researchers Assessing Restoration On Minnesota Trout Streams

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) – A team of northern Minnesota researchers is evaluating the results of millions of dollars of major restoration work on dozens of trout streams across the state in the last decade. In addition to finding out whether the trout have returned, the state needs to know if realigning creeks has upset their natural connection with groundwater or if…

Superior Man Now Federally Charged In Twin Ports Day-Long Crime Spree

Federal charges have now been filed against a Superior man who is accused of a wild and dangerous crime spree through the Twin Ports. Cody Walker-Nelson, 30, is federally charged with attempted bank robbery and multiple gun crimes. The indictment says, in part, that Walker-Nelson attempted to rob the Associated Bank in Superior on Oct. 1 while brandishing a firearm…

COVID Outbreak Among Cast, Crew Cancels ‘The Octette Bridge Club’ Performances

"It's tough. It's heartbreaking,” said Merry Renn Vaughan, the production's director.

SUPERIOR, Wis. – Cases of COVID-19 have shut down a theatre production in Superior after just one live performance and weeks of rehearsals. In a story on FOX 21 last week, the cast and crew were excited about the all-alumni production of “The Octette Bridge Club” at UW-Superior Theatre. They got to perform opening night Friday, Nov. 19, but one…

Snow, Ice Cited In St. Louis Co. Crash That Killed 2

DULUTH, Minn. (AP) – Wintry weather carrying strong winds, snow and icy conditions may have contributed to a highway crash in northeastern Minnesota that killed a woman and an 11-year-old boy. The Minnesota State Patrol cited snow and icy roads in a fatal crash Thursday afternoon on Highway 135 in St. Louis County. A Toyota Corolla carrying four people was…

Virus Surge Sends Minnesota Hospitals Scrambling For Room

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) – Minnesota hospitals are scrambling to make room for patients as patients needing medical care for COVID-19 have hit a high for the year. Hospitals have delayed non-essential procedures, diverted less serious cases to outpatient clinics, and treated emergency room patients in hallways and ambulance bays that have been converted to urgent care centers, the St. Paul Pioneer…

Duluth Police Complete Investigation Into DTA Crash That Killed Pedestrian

The St. Louis County Attorney's Office is now reviewing the police department's report.

DULUTH, Minn. – FOX 21 learned Thursday that the Duluth Police Department has completed its investigation involving a DTA driver who struck and killed a pedestrian at the Miller Hill Mall in September. A spokesperson for the department said the investigation is now in the hands of the St. Louis County Attorney’s Office for possible charges. David Weston, 64, died…

Walz Takes To Field For Deer Opener; Visits CWD Testing Site

PINE CITY, Minn. (AP) – Gov. Tim Walz was among the thousands of hunters who took to the field for Minnesota’s firearms deer hunting season opener. Walz hunted on private property in Pine County on Saturday.   Here’s a video message from his stand. The owners permanently protected the land by donating a conservation easement to the Minnesota Land Trust. The…

COVID-19 Wave Overwhelms Rural Hospitals Short On ICU Beds

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) – The case of a rural Minnesota man who waited two days for an ICU bed and later died is among several examples that have frustrated officials in rural hospitals whose facilities are overwhelmed by COVID-19 patients. Bob Cameron spent two days in his hometown hospital in Hallock, Minnesota, where caregivers searched nonstop for space in a larger…

Fire Damages House For Homeless In Virginia, 7 Displaced

Courtesy: Northland FireWire VIRGINIA, Minn. – Seven residents of a house for people who are homeless were displaced by fire Saturday in Virginia. The flames broke out around 4 p.m. at Bill’s House on the 200-block of 3rd Street North, according to the Northland FireWire. Courtesy: Northland FireWire When firefighters arrived, they found a mattress on fire.  One bedroom was…

Small Plane Crashes into Wisconsin Home, Kills 2 Onboard

MARENGO, Wis. (AP) – Authorities say two people died when a single-engine plane crashed into a home in northwestern Wisconsin. The Ashland County Sheriff’s Office received numerous 911 calls about 2:40 p.m. Saturday with reports of the crash in the town of Marengo. No one on the ground was hurt. The sheriff’s department says the victims are a 29-year-old man…

Duluth Firefighters Rescue Cat From Burning Building

DULUTH, Minn. – Duluth firefighters rescued a cat from a burning building Thursday night. Firefighters could be seen giving the cat some oxygen after taking in too much smoke. The fire broke out around 7:15 p.m. on the 1600-block of Commonwealth Avenue in the Gary-New Duluth neighborhood. When crews arrived, flames were seen from the second floor of the four-plex….

St. Louis County Rescue Squad Trains Through Big Waves In Ship Canal

DULUTH, Minn. – Training was at an extreme for the St. Louis County Rescue Squad Wednesday in the Duluth Ship Canal. The waves were fierce, creating perfect conditions for the rescue squad crews to take out four boats and practice their swift-water rescue skills. At one point, their small Zodiac boat overturned in the big waves, but Capt. Rick Slatten…

MN Air Rescue Team Holds Demonstration At The DECC

DULUTH, Minn. – The DECC became ground zero for an aerial search and rescue demonstration for Minnesota firefighters. The mock rescue was performed by the Minnesota Air Rescue Team, which is a joint venture between the Minnesota State Patrol and the St. Paul Fire Department. The team is available to assist hundreds of fire departments across the state for high-risk…

‘Visit Duluth’ Board Agrees To Much Smaller Sales Role With City

DULUTH, Minn. – Visit Duluth — the city’s top marketing arm since 1935 — has agreed to a much smaller role with the city so it isn’t dissolved altogether. This comes after the city council recently approved a 2022 tourism marketing contract with Bellmont Partners out of the Twin Cities worth $1.8 million. The company came out on top after…

Advocate: I-35 Homeless Encampment Fire Highlights Duluth’s Affordable Housing Crisis

DULUTH, Minn. – Duluth’s top homeless outreach advocate is speaking out one day after a homeless camp in Duluth created quite the fire and smoke show under a busy stretch of I-35 downtown. Deb Holman, outreach coordinator for CHUM and the Human Development Center, said homeless advocates and the Minnesota Department of Transportation are working together to try to find…

Identities Released In Double-Murder Suicide In Culver Township

CULVER TOWNSHIP, Minn. – The names of those involved in a double-murder suicide in Culver Township early Saturday morning were released Sunday evening by the St. Louis County Sheriff’s Office. The suspect is identified as Cody Pirila, 31, of Brookston. The victims are identified as Skylar Hunter, 31, of Brookston, and his father, Jamie Hunter, 51, of Moose Lake. Pirila…

Volunteers ‘Desperately’ Needed For Bentleyville Setup

DULUTH, Minn. – America’s largest free walk-thru Christmas light display, Bentleyville Tour of Lights, is facing a serious lack of volunteers to get everything set up. Owner Nathan Bentley said volunteers are “desperately” needed every weekend before opening in November. He’s averaging 10 volunteers on Saturdays and Sundays, which is 90 people short of what’s needed to put up millions…

All City of Duluth Employee Unions Reject Mayor’s 2022 Healthcare Proposal

DULUTH, Minn. – FOX 21 learned Monday that all six employee unions with the city of Duluth have rejected the administration’s new healthcare proposal for 2022. This comes after a rally outside City Hall late last week where union members said they have a strong health fund and want to keep it that way. The proposed changes to employee health…

Police Investigate Gun Threat At Duluth Car Lot; Friday’s Standoff Suspect Possibly Linked

DULUTH, Minn. – Duluth police are investigating a threatening gun incident that could be connected to the suspect in Friday’s standoff. There was a report Friday around 12:30 p.m. of a person who displayed a gun at a car lot, New Duluth Auto, in Gary-New Duluth, according to Mattie Hjelseth, public information officer for the Duluth Police Department. Hjelseth said…

Popular Wilderness Area Closures Lifted After Summer Fires

ISABELLA, Minn. (AP) – Superior National Forest officials say the last remaining closure order related to wildfires in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness has now been lifted. A hot and abnormally dry summer caused extreme fire danger and prompted a complete closure of the popular wilderness in northern Minnesota for a couple of weeks after wildfires broke out. The…

Longtime St. Louis County Attorney Mark Rubin Passes Torch To Kim Maki

DULUTH, Minn. – There was a moment in history Wednesday as longtime St. Louis County Attorney Mark Rubin passed the torch to the county’s next leader in prosecution and justice – Kim Maki. Dozens of people showed up outside the courthouse to watch the handover in power. Rubin has been the county attorney since 2010 with more than 42 years…

Duluth Police Join ‘Pink Patch Project’ For Breast Cancer Awareness Month

The public is encouraged to purchase patches to help raise money for the American Cancer Society.

DULUTH, Minn. – For the first time, the Duluth Police Department is joining the Pink Patch Project for Breast Cancer Awareness Month. During the month of October, officers will be wearing commemorative pink patches on their uniforms, along with other law enforcement agencies in the state. Police Chief Mike Tusken says it’s a way to raise awareness in conversation while…

Skunk Named ‘Snacks’ Unexpectedly Dies At Great Lakes Aquarium

DULUTH, Minn. — There are heavy hearts at the Great Lakes Aquarium in Duluth after one of their animals died over the weekend from heart failure. Snacks, a 4-year-old striped skunk, began to rapidly get sick Sunday afternoon, which led to the difficult decision to humanely euthanize him. Care workers said heart failure in animals can happen at any time…

Fundraiser For Fire-Damaged Spoon’s Bar & Grill

Damage is now estimated to be as much as $400,000, according to owner Solomon Witherspoon.

DULUTH, Minn. — The official cause of a fire at Spoon’s Bar & Grill in Duluth’s Lincoln Park neighborhood remains under investigation, but people came out Thursday evening to raise money for the owner so he can eventually reopen. That event was held at the Spirit Room in Superior. Spoon’s owner Solomon Witherspoon said damage is now estimated to be…