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WASHINGTON, D.C.—A much-anticipated upgrade to the Soo Locks between Lake Superior and the lower Great Lakes appears well on the way to becoming reality. On Wednesday, Oct. 10, the U.S. Senate passed America's Water Infrastructure Act of 2018. The bill, which will now go to President Donald Trump for his signature, would provide $922 million in funding for upgrades at the Soo, including a new lock to back up the Poe.
GILBERT, Minn. — Reports of erratic bird activity prompted the Gilbert Police Department to issue a news release Tuesday, Oct. 2. Police Chief Ty Techar wrote that the department in this Iron Range town had received calls about "birds that appear to be under the influence, flying into windows, cars and acting confused." He said probably a half-dozen people contacted his department Monday, Oct. 1, with concerns about apparently disoriented birds flying into buildings and cars.
DULUTH—You could say that Bob Ryan knows how to stretch a dollar. Ryan, the CEO of Odyssey Resorts and Development Inc., recently contributed $50,000 to One Roof Community Housing, and that private investment helped the organization obtain another $720,000 from the Minnesota Housing Finance Agency. Those funds will be used to address a very real need for more affordable housing, both in Duluth and up the shore, where Odyssey operates Breezy Pointe, Larsmont Cottages, Grand Superior Lodge, Caribou Highlands Lodge and East Bay Suites.
DULUTH—President Donald Trump's June 20 visit to Duluth may have snarled traffic, but it also gave many downtown businesses an economic boost, as recently released tourism tax receipts confirm. Gerry Goldfarb, general manager of Duluth's Holiday Inn & Suites, said he saw increased hotel room bookings and restaurant sales days before the president's arrival as the commander in chief's advance security detail prepared for the visit.
DULUTH—Efforts to preserve the Lake Superior and Mississippi Railroad received a boost this week, when the Duluth Planning Commission voted 8-0 in support of designating the line a local historic resource. The future of the volunteer-run scenic railway has been thrown into question by a pending cleanup of the former U.S. Steel mill site in Gary-New Duluth. The Superfund project likely will necessitate the removal of tracks from the area, and it remains unclear whether sufficient funding will be provided to restore rail service to the area.
DULUTH — President Donald Trump's recent visit to Duluth will cost the city and county around $90,000, including about $46,000 in overtime pay, local leaders say. In all, Duluth directly incurred $65,971 in staffing costs related to the president's June 20 appearance at Amsoil Arena, and Wayne Parson, the city's chief financial officer, said the city will need to absorb those expenses.
DULUTH—President Donald Trump's pending visit to Duluth will pose a quandary for some Minnesota politicians, particularly Democrats who have been at odds with many of his policies. Gov. Mark Dayton, who is not running for re-election, has offered to greet Trump at the airport but it remains unclear whether the president would welcome a Democratic governor's handshake. Although Dayton has openly criticized Trump's policies on immigration, global warming and health care, Caroline Burns, the governor's press secretary, said the offer stands.
DULUTH—Duluth's floating museum, the SS William A. Irvin, will need to be moved out of its usual haunt — Minnesota Slip — to make way for cleanup work this fall, and the retired laker's displacement will result in the cancellation of its most popular offering of the year, the annual Halloween "Haunted Ship" tours. In fact, the Irvin will remain closed for the whole season, as repairs to the seawalls of Minnesota Slip drag on, said Steve Rankila, museum director for the Duluth Entertainment Convention Center, which manages the vessel.
DULUTH — More than 80 local retailers will wind down sales of menthol cigarettes this week, as new restrictions on flavored tobacco products in Duluth take effect Friday. Starting June 1, adults-only smoke shops will be the sole retailers allowed to sell such products, widely regarded as a gateway to nicotine addiction for young people.
DULUTH, Minn.—Plans are being laid to move the SS William A. Irvin out of Minnesota Slip for the first time in more than three decades. But the retired laker will face a tight squeeze — with just 15 total inches to spare — as it passes between the abutments of a pedestrian lift bridge that spans the slip.