Coronavirus

Some Superior Businesses See Different Customer Traffic Due to Canceled Fireworks Show

Bars and restaurants and attractions seeing a bit more customers, but many staying home.

SUPERIOR, Wis.- The City of Superior abruptly canceled their 4th of July fireworks show the day before, causing some businesses to adapt to the change in customer flow. “We weren’t sure what to expect coming through,” Dustin Heckman, Executive Director of the Richard I. Bong Veterans Historical Center said. A year with fireworks would bring both Superiorites and others visiting…

Lake Superior Zoo Launches Phase Two of Reopening, Membership Drive Extended

Starting Thursday, July 2, Lake Superior Zoo will Welcome Back Visitors to Indoor Exhibits

DULUTH, Minn. – The call of the wild is calling Northlanders back to the Lake Superior Zoo amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Starting Thursday, July 2, the zoo will begin phase two in the reopening process. This will allow visitors to once again check out indoor exhibits, just in time for the Fourth of July holiday weekend. “We’re just really excited…

Longview Tennis Club Resumes Operations

"I think tennis is for everybody. You don't have to be a professional at it."

DULUTH, Minn. – “I think tennis is for everybody. You don’t have to be a professional at it,” Longview Tennis Manager, Kirk Summers says. Whether you’re an ammeter or an expert, there’s no questioning how good it feels to get back outside. “We know we don’t have many days like this which is nice to come down and play outdoors,”…

North Shore Scenic Railroad Poised to Reopen

DULUTH, Minn. – The North Shore Scenic Railroad and Lake Superior Railroad Museum are set to reopen on Wednesday. The two will open together after being shut down for several months allowing directors to take a look at other attractions open around the country to see what was working for them. Now, with an increased emphasis in safety and touchless…

Liila Boutique in Lincoln Park Moves Store to Sidewalk

Store holds sidewalk sale to make up for not being able to open interior.

DULUTH, Minn.- Another local business in Lincoln Park is trying new ways to open back up while also following public health guidelines. Liila Boutique on West Superior Street has been bringing their store to the sidewalk the past few weekends. Since they’re located in the Duluth Folk School building which remains closed, they can’t open their doors to the public….

e2ip Technologies Shutting Down Bigfork Facility By End of 2020

Economic Officials in Itasca County Provide an Update on Residents, Businesses Financially Impacted by COVID-19

BIGFORK, Minn. – Friday morning during a press briefing, economic officials in Itasca County provided new details regarding the economic impact COVID-19 is having on residents and businesses in the region. According to Tamara Lowney, President, and CEO of Itasca Economic Development Center, by the end of 2020, Montreal based e2ip Technologies will close its Bigfork location for good. The…

Duluth Without Grandma’s Marathon for the First Time in 43 Years

Race officials say crews are hard at work making next year even better.

DULUTH, Minn.- For the first time in 43 years, Duluth and the North Shore were not packed with thousands of runners as Grandma’s Marathon was cancelled this year. Due to the Coronavirus pandemic the race was called off after over 18,000 runners had already registered. Runners across the country still participated in the virtual races, but race officials say it’s…

St. Luke’s Infectious Disease Doctor on Public Preparedness: “I Think There’s Room For Improvement”

St. Luke's Infectious Disease Physician Dr. Andrew Thompson Speaks on COVID-19 Preparedness in the Northland

DULUTH, Minn. – “I think there’s room for improvement, at least here in our local community,” said Dr. Andrew Thompson, Infectious Disease Specialist with St. Luke’s Hospital in Duluth. Dr. Thompson made this statement when asked about his personal view on how safe and cautious residents in the Northland have been during the COVID-19 pandemic. As Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Michigan…

‘Tribute Fest’ Concert Fundraiser for Homeless Veterans Canceled

Tickets can either be deferred for next year, donated to MACV, or refunded.

DULUTH, Minn.- COVID-19 has claimed another summer event at Bayfront Festival Park: the Tribute Fest fundraiser. Organizer Lou Campbell says the current outdoor gathering cap of 250 people just isn’t possible. The three-day festival usually attracts between 2,000-4,000 people, raising about $20,000 every year for the Minnesota Assistance Council for Veterans, or MACV. Campbell hopes to raise money for homeless…

Amazing Grace to Become Canal Park’s First Grocery Store and Cafe

The longstanding bakery and cafe is doing a total overhaul, changing what it offers to the area.

DULUTH, Minn.- The bakery and cafe that has sat in the basement of the DeWitt-Seitz Marketplace for 25 years is not only getting a makeover, but a do-over — from a bakery to a grocery store. “Changing with the times you have to just, you can’t dig in your heels cause then those are the places that don’t survive,” said…

Second Harvest Hosts New Food Assistance Program

In all, 45,000 pounds were donated, with boxes full of all the essentials.

SUPERIOR, Wisconsin. – Members of Second Harvest Northern Lakes Food Bank, and UWS volunteers participated in there first ever coronavirus food assistance program drop off. Hundreds of cars were lined up lined up several blocks to get the food. In all, 45,000 pounds were donated, with boxes full of all the essentials. With no income restrictions, people could just pull…

Lake Superior Zoo Plans ‘A Walk on the Wild Side’ Reopening

Indoor Exhibits Will Remain Closed as the Zoo Takes a Phased Approach to Reopening

DULUTH, Minn. – Under the latest phase of Minnesota’s ‘Stay Safe’ executive order, many public facilitates are allowed to reopen with health restrictions in place. On the list to reopen is the Lake Superior Zoo. Staff is breathing a sigh of relief after losing roughly $500,000 in earned revenue since being forced to close doors almost three months ago. Before…

OMC Smokehouse Expanding into Next-Door Noble Pour; Now Called ‘OMC Whiskey Bar’

A hole in the wall now connects the restaurant to the bar, increasing seating.

DULUTH, Minn.- Governor Walz announcing that bars, restaurants and other business can open at 50% capacity Wednesday is a relief for many restaurant owners. But for one in Lincoln Park, that meant scrapping a newly opened business to give new life to an existing favorite. “We’re kind of calling an audible on every play that we’ve made in the last…

Tent Rental Company Sees Increase in Business

Although the business has been around for almost 30 years they don't typically sell tents to restaurants.

DULUTH, Minn. – You may have noticed some local restaurants have tents outside of their business to keep taking in business rain or shine. Well, several of them including OMC and Duluth grill have purchased them for Doucette’s, a local party rental company outside of Duluth. Although the business has been around for almost 30 years they don’t typically sell…

Second Harvest North Central Food Bank Ready to Help Residents in Need

Resources Are Available for All Residents in Itasca County Facing Food Insecurities

ITASCA COUNTY, Minn. -With school out and the coronavirus pandemic continuing to have a lasting impact on communities, health officials in Itasca County want to stress the importance of nutrition and food access services in the region. Second Harvest North Central Food Bank continues to provide food to 130 agencies in the region, from International Falls to Princeton. Research shows…

Cloquet 4th of July Festivities Cancelled; Pinehurst Park Pool Closed

CLOQUET, Minn.- Coronavirus continues to claim summer events throughout the Northland. Added to the list: the 4th of July fireworks and parade in Cloquet, along with the city’s Pinehurst Park natural ground pool. City officials decided to cancel the popular Independence Day festivities Tuesday, saying that it would be near impossible to limit the usual crowd of hundreds to whatever…

Experience ‘Summer Camp in a Box’ with Great Lakes Aquarium

Due to Coronavirus Concerns, The Great Lakes Aquarium Remains Closed to the Public

DULUTH, Minn. – Back in April, the Great Lakes Aquarium was forced to furlough 46 employees after Minnesota Governor Tim Walz ordered the closure of all non-essential businesses. Currently, 11 staff members report to work daily. Around 80 percent of the aquarium’s funding comes from ticket sales and field trips. Donations are being accepted through the attraction’s website to help…

A & Dubs Opens For Summer in West Duluth After COVID Delay

Customers excited to eat outside the neighborhood favorite again.

DULUTH, Minn.- A & Dubs, the drive in burger spot in West Duluth, opened to a parking lot full of excited customers Monday. A & Dubs normally opens the day after Mother’s Day but they delayed resuming business due to the Coronavirus. Customers said they were anxious to get back to the neighborhood staple they grew up with. “It’s just…

As Duluth Curfew Ends, Police Chief Says “We Have to Find Equality for Everyone” Going Forward

Less arrests were made during a more peaceful Sunday night, leading Mayor Larson to lift the curfew.

DULUTH, Minn.- The city-wide curfew has been lifted in Duluth since Saturday night’s protest that turned violent in Lincoln Park– and that lift, said Mayor Emily Larson, is largely because people voluntarily complied Sunday night. “Because last night went so well, because the community stepped up and provided the kinds of support many of us have needed to feel, we…

COVID-19 Update: 53 Cases, 9 Deaths Reported in Itasca County

Health Professionals Advise Residents to Maintain a Healthy Diet, Exercise Routine

ITASCA COUNTY, Minn. – As of Friday Itasca County Public Health Officials confirm 53 positive COVID-19 cases within the county. The youngest case is reported in an elementary aged individual. The county also reports a total of nine deaths related to coronavirus. Grand Itasca Clinic & Hospital has tested over 1,000 residents for COVID-19. This comes as health professionals continue…

Local Organization Launches Mask Force Initiative

The artists have made over one-thousand masks since April which will be distributed to community housing organizations in Duluth. 

DULUTH, Minn. – Despite closing temporarily due the Covid-19 pandemic, Zeitgeist, and artists from the Renegade Theater got to work and began making masks. The artists have made over one-thousand masks since April which will be distributed to community housing organizations such as: Life House, AICHO and the Damiono Center. “Our goal is to give as many masks away to…

Cloquet Thrift Store Closes Permanently

The shut down is the result of the new financial climate with Covid-19. 

CLOQUET, Minn. – After more than 30 years in business, the Salvation Army thrift store in Cloquet is closing its doors for good. The shut down is the result of the new financial climate with Covid-19. The non-profit began looking at their mission of helping people with basic needs, paving the way for a larger good shelf to take the…

Animal Allies Moves Forward With Reduced Summer Camp Class Sizes

Summer Camps Will Begin in June With Reduced Class Sizes Due to COVID-19

DULUTH, Minn. – Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, many summer events are canceled, but Animal Allies Humane Society in Duluth has figured out a way to still host educational summer camps with restrictions in place. “We worked really hard collaborating with other humane societies to see what we could offer our community after a stressful period of sheltering in place and…

“Land of 10,000 Masks” Campaign Sees Success, More Masks Still Needed

1,399 masks were donated in the first week. That number jumped to 3,354 masks in the second week, and 5,230 masks in the third week. 

DULUTH, Minn. – Weeks after the campaign launch, community members have donated more than 10,000 face masks. These homemade masks will help limit the spread of Covid-19. They are worn by staff, patients, and visitors to St. Lukes and Essentia Health facilities. 1,399 masks were donated in the first week. That number jumped to 3,354 masks in the second week,…

Duluth Council Approves Spirit Mountain Summer Closure; Extra $350K Still Needed for Winter Reopening

The adventure park's financial request comes while the city is facing a potential $38 million budget shortfall.

DULUTH, Minn.- The Duluth City Council unanimously passed Spirit Mountain’s annual multi-million dollar budget Tuesday evening, which is also calling for extra funding later this year to get the park reopened for the winter season after being shut down for the rest of the summer. Councilors just approved the adventure park’s $4 million operating budget for the 2020-2021 season, but…

From Boats to Bottle Rockets: Summer Businesses See Busy Memorial Day Weekend

Marinas and Firework shops see increased business from families trying to have a good time in these tough times.

SUPERIOR, Wis.- Memorial Day is looking a lot different in the Northland with parades and firework shows cancelled due to the Coronavirus. So in addition to honoring fallen heroes, people flocked to more popular summer businesses in Wisconsin to get out of the house and try to do something special. “Folks are like ‘I’ve seen enough of my home, it’s…

745 New Cases, 12 New Deaths Reported in Minnesota Monday Tied to COVID-19

Of the 12 New Deaths, 10 Were Residents of Long-Term Care Facilities

ST. PAUL, Minn. (FOX 9) – The Minnesota Department of Health reported 745 newly confirmed COVID-19 cases and 12 new deaths Monday, bringing the total number of positive cases the state has seen so far to 21,315 and the death toll to 881. Of the 12 deaths, 10 were residents of long-term care facilities. Residents of long-term care facilities now…

COVID-19 Related Deaths in Wisconsin Surpass 500

As of Saturday, Wisconsin Reported a Total of 14,877 Positive COVID-19 Cases; New Numbers to be Released Monday Afternoon

MADISON, Wis. (AP) – Wisconsin has gone over 500 confirmed deaths from the coronavirus, according to state Department of Health Services figures released Saturday. The report showed 481 new COVID-19 cases over the weekend, for a total of 14,877, and an additional 11 deaths, for a total of 507. Two news deaths were reported in Milwaukee County, increasing the county’s…

City of Duluth Works to Make Outdoor Seating, Liquor Licenses Easier for Bars and Restaurants

Some businesses are taking advantage of waived permit fees, while others must continue relying on takeout and curbside.

DULUTH, Minn.- Duluth city officials are making changes to policies and processes to allow greater flexibility for bars and restaurants who may not be outfitted to continue operating without dine-in customers. “Just like the city is struggling with the financial impact of this public health emergency, we know that our local businesses are struggling with this public health emergency,” said…

Gov. Walz Allows Places of Worship to Open Doors to Limited Capacity May 27th

The Governor and the Catholic Archdiocese came to a deal to gather more than 10 worshipers together at a time.

DULUTH, Minn.- Minnesota Governor Tim Walz and the Catholic Archdiocese of Minnesota came to a deal Saturday to allow places of worship in the state to open May 27th to groups larger than 10 people. This announcement comes on the day when the state is reporting a record number of COVID-19 cases. The Governor’s order states that places of worship,…

Cloquet Students Bid Farewell to Teachers

Organizers say, although this wasn't the end of the year they wanted teachers are getting the send-off they deserve.

CLOQUET, Minn. – Washington Elementary in Cloquet held their second “reverse parade” allowing students to be driven around the school to wish their teachers well. Organizers say, although this wasn’t the end of the year they wanted teachers are getting the send-off they deserve. “Today would have been our field day and we wanted to do something to celebrate for…

YMCA’s Camp Miller Announces They Will Be Open for Summer Season

Camp Miller, With Permission from Governor Tim Walz, Will Be Allowed to Host Family Camps Only

  STURGEON LAKE, Minn. – The YMCA’s Camp Miller in Sturgeon Lake, Minnesota, is celebrating its 122nd summer season this year amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Leadership learned earlier this week from Minnesota Governor Tim Walz, they will be allowed to open this summer for family camps only, with restrictions in place to prevent further spread of coronavirus. “We want…

Duluth Bar, Restaurant Owners Surprised, Disappointed at Walz’s Outside Seating Restrictions

Different issues arise with just outside seating.

DULUTH, Minn.- Minnesota Governor Tim Walz loosened restrictions on business beginning June 1st. Bars and restaurants can open on that date with outdoor only seating, serving no more than 50 customers at a time and with employees wearing masks. “That extends to how do we find that new normal, restart Minnesota’s economy and I should say grow it from where…

DTA Looking to Increase Services

"When we go back to our higher level service we will be at 83 percent or about 48 buses."

DULUTH, Minn. – “We made significant changes to our operations and the way we do business,” Duluth Transit Authority General Manager, Phil Pumphrey says. Since March, the Duluth Transit Authority has reduced services to just 24 buses running at only 43 percent of what is normal. “When we go back to our higher level service we will be at 83…

2020 All Pints North Festival Canceled

The Minnesota Craft Brewers Guild Board of Directors Released the Details Wednesday Morning

DULUTH, Minn. – Wednesday morning the Minnesota Craft Brewers Guild (MNCBG) Board of Directors announced the difficult decision to cancel the 2020 All Pints North Festival scheduled for August 1, 2020, at Bayfront Festival Park in Duluth. The decision comes amid many other summer cancellations due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. “The health and safety of craft beer fans, brewery…

Eveleth Bar Owner: ‘June 1st is Really the End of the Wire’

Owners of bars, restaurants, and other businesses met in Eveleth to discuss opening strategies, and share frustrations with the state's handling of things.

EVELETH, Minn.- Businesses across Minnesota are anxiously awaiting the Governor’s announcement Wednesday authorizing them to open June 1st, including up on the range in the small town of Eveleth that has a population of 3,596. “Walz opening up on the first at a capacity of 25%? That’s. Not. Enough,” said one business owner. Bar and restaurant owners in Eveleth said…

Miller Hill Mall Businesses React to Reopening

The Miller Hill Mall opened back up on Monday after being shut down for over two months. 

DULUTH, Minn.-The Miller Hill Mall opened back up on Monday after being shut down for over two months. “It was kind of sporadic. I think a lot of people were kind of seeing what’s open, who’s here and what’s going on,” Apricot Lane Duluth Owner, Wendy Meyers says. For local businesses like Apricot Lane Duluth, it was a breath of…

Boating Businesses Ready to Set Sail with Modifications for Safety

Vista Star and Pontoons out of Pier B are changing their operations to ensure passengers have a safe nautical experience.

DULUTH, Minn.- As summer gets closer, Duluth begins to shine as a waterfront destination again. After looking at summer with uncertainty, boating rental and tour services are excited to say they can provide people that gateway to the big blue lake. The Vista Fleet is missing the big Memorial Day opening, but owner Justin Steinbach expects to be open by…

Skywalk Re-Opens after Two-Month Closure, Businesses Hope for Foot Traffic Again

Frame Corner and Gallery looks to recover as long as people come in to shop.

DULUTH, Minn.- Downtown Duluth is reconnected once again with the Skywalk back open after a two-month closure due to COVID-19. The Skywalk was noticibly emptier than usual, but that didn’t stop businesses from swinging their doors open. Frame Corner and Gallery in the Holiday Center has been selling custom frames through curbside pickup but owner Sara Sarvella said she’s looking…

Lakewood Elementary Teachers, Staff Say ‘Thank You’ Before Summer Vibes Sink In

Teachers, Staff Organize Drive-By Parade to Wish Students Well as the School Year Comes to a Close

DULUTH, Minn. – Hundreds of smiling faces drove past Lakewood Elementary School in Duluth Monday. The teachers and staff recently coming up with an idea to safely see their students and say ‘thank you’ for a great year even though it didn’t get to end as planned. “I miss my teachers all I can,” said Wyatt, a first-grade student at…

Superior Businesses Navigate Operating Safely After First Weekend Open

Douglas County officials urge businesses to follow guidelines, and they may shut them down if they receive complaints.

SUPERIOR, Wis.- It was the first weekend that businesses in Wisconsin were suddenly given the green light to open after the state’s stay at home order was thrown out by the Wisconsin Supreme Court–now business owners in Superior say it’s time to figure out how to open safely. The jingle of the door opening is a sound not heard at…

14 Year-Old Gets Personal Birthday Parade

Traffic on Arrowhead Road honked to wish Haley a Happy Birthday.

DULUTH, Minn.- On Saturday a Duluth teenager got her own personal birthday parade to help her celebrate another milestone. Much of the traffic on Arrowhead Road honked to celebrate Haley Kovach-Hubert turning 14. The birthday girl also got a special parade organized by her family. Haley says despite not having a party, this birthday was one to remember. “I feel…

Virtual UMD Commencement Still One to Remember, Graduates Say

2300 graduated online, with video speeches and a slideshow.

DULUTH, Minn.- About 2,300 seniors graduated from UMD this year, but they’re listening to pomp and circumstance in their own homes, virtually. “Being a family of five we just try and make it as special as we can,”  said Music Education major Hunter Hamby. “We know we can’t emulate the big celebration sort of thing.” That big celebration would normally…

Itasca County Health Officials Urge Active Living, Healthy Eating Amid COVID-19

GRAND RAPIDS, Minn. – As of Friday, health officials in Itasca County confirm three additional COVID-19 related deaths bringing the total to five. Three of the deceased were males in their 80s, one was a male in his 90s, and details surrounding the fifth death remain unknown at this time. Itasca County reported 42 cases of coronavirus as of Friday…

CHUM Food Shelf Seeking Donations For New Vehicle

The organization is looking for donations to upgrade their pickup vehicle to meet demand.

DULUTH, Minn. –  CHUM food shelf continues to stay open for anyone with food insecurities. Since the pandemic started, the organization began doing a curbside system where people can pick up pre-made boxes of food. Now, with the food shelf receiving close to sixty-thousand pounds of items over the last two months. The organization is looking for donations to upgrade…

Memorial Blood Centers Have Increased Need For Donors

Healthy individuals that have been free from cold or flu-like symptoms for up to three days can schedule an appointment.

DULUTH, Minn. – With hospitals now able to do more elective surgeries blood donations are in a critical need. Healthy individuals that have been free from cold or flu-like symptoms for up to three days can schedule an appointment. There are new protocols in place at each Memorial Blood Center site. “We are practicing social distancing. Right now, most of…

Superior Bars React to Safer-at-Home Order Struck Down by Wisconsin Supreme Court

The order, as well as the six-day injunction, were rejected, leaving businesses free to open immediately.

SUPERIOR, Wis.- Just as quickly as some say it started, Wisconsin’s safer-at-home order is, for now, finished–struck down by the State Supreme Court. Businesses statewide, including bars and restaurants, now have the green light to “open immediately” according to a social media post by the Tavern League of Wisconsin. “Come on in!” said Cory Gatzke, triumphantly throwing open the shades…

St. Louis County Projects Budget Shortfall, No Layoffs So Far

The County is also waiving late fees for property owners who apply for an extension to July.

DULUTH, Minn.- COVID-19 has dealt a financial blow to St. Louis County in the form of a projected budget shortall. According to County Auditor Nancy Nilsen, the budget shortfall is expected to be at least $6 million. She said her office is not looking at layoffs or furloughs, but instead plan to save money with a hiring freeze leaving about…

2020 Duluth Monarch Festival Cancelled Due to COVID-19 Pandemic

Duluth Monarch Buddies Made the Announcement Tuesday Morning on Social Media

DULUTH, Minn. – Monarch butterflies will soon be fluttering back into the Northland, but there won’t be a festival to celebrate them this year. Duluth Monarch Buddies took to social media Tuesday morning, announcing the cancellation of the 2020 Duluth Monarch Festival. The event was scheduled to take place on Saturday, June 13. Members of the group say an outdoor…

Welfare Checks Increase Slightly in Itasca County Amid COVID-19 Pandemic

Overall Calls For Criminal Activity Are Down in Many Iron Range Cities

GRAND RAPIDS, Minn. – During a press briefing Friday, Grand Rapids Police Chief Scott Johnson had a message for residents amid the COVID-19 pandemic — to remain calm, and check up on your family, friends, and neighbors. Overall calls for criminal activity are down in the City of Grand Rapids. Shoplifting crimes are now being dealt with electronically and through…