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Community News

St. Louis County selects McDonald as 2022 board chair
St. Louis County commissioners today selected Commissioner Paul McDonald to serve as board chair for 2022. Commissioner Patrick Boyle was selected Vice Chair.

Essentia Health brings comprehensive, compassionate hospice care to its patients
Nobody wants to confront a need for hospice care — for themselves or a loved one. But it doesn’t have to be a somber decision. Conversely, for Harriett Elton Elliott of Grand Rapids, it has fostered a fresh perspective. The 94-year-old quickly realized that death wasn’t imminent just because she joined the Essentia Health-St. Mary’s Hospice program in January 2021.

Pritchett named shareholder at Fryberger law firm
Duluth-based law firm Fryberger, Buchanan, Smith & Frederick, P.A. recently announced that attorney David Pritchett has been made a shareholder.

Essentia Health-St. Mary’s Medical Center welcomes first baby of 2022
Just before 7 a.m. this morning, Essentia Health-St. Mary’s Medical Center in Duluth welcomed its first baby of the new year.

C. Reiss receives $8.3 million grant, will complete move to Superior
Superior was awarded an $8,368,000 grant to aid The C. Reiss Company in rehabilitating its dock on the western end of the city’s port, municipal officials announced Tuesday.

2022 KP Challenge registration opens
Registration opens Saturday, January 1 for the 2022 KP Challenge, a three-race series that includes entry into the Saint Fennessy 4K, Fitger’s 5K, and Park Point 5-Miler.

City crews responding to a water main break on Mississippi Avenue
By Kate Van Daele
The City of Duluth operations crews are responding the report of a water main break located on the 1400 block of Mississippi Avenue. Water has been turned off from Brainerd Avenue to East Buffalo Street on Mississippi Avenue. The duration of the repair is unknown at this time.

Essentia Health’s top baby names of 2021
By Louie St. George III
More than seven babies were born per day at Essentia Health’s Minnesota hospitals in 2021, and variety again was the theme when it came to naming the newborns.


Acknowledging that injury and illness never take time off, Essentia Health will have several options available to care for its patients during the holidays. Read more.

Quote Me, Howie

Kevin Gray, St. Louis County; Gerry Goldfarb, General Manager at Sheraton Minneapolis West (Minnetonka); Patrice Bradley, Swim Creative; Wayne Whitman, Hermantown Community Schools; Mimi Stender, Duluth Aging Support; Bill Lechner Hill-Murray boy’s hockey coach; Mark Labovitz, Labovitz Enterprises; Dick Wolleat, Northwoods Children’s Services; Greg Grell, WDSE; Todd Johnson, Boys & Girls Clubs of the Northland; Jeff Corey, One Roof Community Housing; Kurt Soderberg, Western Lake Superior Sanitary District (ret.); Nathan Bentley, Bentleyville Tour of Lights

Duluth Fire Department purchases over $6,200 in toys for children in need
“Our active and retired members donate every year, and with that support, we raise more money for the cause than we did the year before. This is a terrific way for us to give back to the community and help make the upcoming holiday season a little more special.” — Duluth Fire Marshal Sandy McComb

Local film gets final release at Fitger’s
A long-anticipated independent film shot in Duluth is finally getting its premiere screening. Battlemage Films will host the Director’s Cut of Gleahan and the Knaves of Industry at 7 p.m. Jan. 22 at Fitger’s Spirit of the North Theatre in Duluth.

Essentia Health urges people to donate blood amid severe shortage
Like hospitals across the country, Essentia Health is facing a severe blood shortage and urging people to donate accordingly. With the holiday season in full swing, donation numbers are usually lower this time of year, which is hurting an already-hampered supply due to fewer people donating during the pandemic.

St. Louis County board approves $463 million budget for 2022
Just over a third of the budget (34%) is funded by the property tax levy. The final levy was approved at $156.5 million, which is a 5.94% increase from this year. However the actual impact to property owners is expected to be lower due to a 4% increase in the property tax base.

Reff receives Clarence Maddy Award
Assistant Fire Chief Clint Reff has received the City of Duluth’s highest award.

LSC’s Finlayson wins prestigious Chancellor’s Award
Al Finlayson, Lake Superior College’s Vice President of Administration and Finance, has received the Minnesota State Virtual Finance Conference’s highest honor.

St. Louis County assistant attorneys sworn in

St. Louis County Attorney Kimberly Maki swore in Liselotte Schluender and Nathan LaCoursiere today during a ceremony held at the St. Louis County Courthouse in Duluth.


“We are thrilled to have Lilo and Nate join our team,” said Maki. “Both are dedicated public servants and bring a wealth of knowledge and experience to their positions. They will serve the citizens of St. Louis County extraordinarily well.”

Local News

College of St. Scholastica named a College of Distinction
The College of St. Scholastica has been recognized for its honorable commitment to engaging, hands-on education by Colleges of Distinction, a one-of-a-kind guide for college-bound students.

State utility regulators approve interim rates for Minnesota Power
The Minnesota Public Utilities Commission today found Minnesota Power’s Nov. 1 rate request filing complete and approved interim rates for the company’s customers. This is the first step of a longer process to evaluate Minnesota Power’s most recent request to change its rates.

Essentia Health among first to use innovative technology for lung-cancer diagnosis
A new innovation that holds promise to fight lung cancer is now in use at Essentia Health-St. Mary’s Medical Center. Used to view the inside of the lungs and obtain a tissue sample for biopsy, the goal of Auris Health’s Monarch™ Platform is to enable earlier and more-accurate diagnosis of small and hard-to-reach nodules in the periphery of the lung.

Annual report highlights stories of how region has come together to meet challenges
Projects to provide food, address mental health, care for caregivers and keep schoolchildren connected are highlighted in the new annual report of the Duluth Superior Area Community Foundation.


Duluth mayor named to NLC board of directors
Duluth Mayor Emily Larson has been named to the National League of Cities board of directors. She was elected at the organization’s 2021 virtual City Summit to a one-year term and will provide strategic direction and guidance for NLC’s federal advocacy, governance and membership activities.

Substance Use Response Team another innovative program DPD utilizes to provide a safe Duluth
The Duluth Police Department is known for its nationally recognized innovative programs. A few innovative programs that DPD uses to find solutions to problems facing its community include the Mental Health Unit (CORE Unit), the Duluth Model, the Person-Centered Incident Matrix, and now a team that’s grown exponentially, the Substance Use Response Team (SURT).

Essentia Health, University of Minnesota School of Nursing begin partnership
As workforce shortages in health care persist around the nation, Essentia Health is getting creative and creating a nursing pipeline through an exciting new partnership with the University of Minnesota School of Nursing.

Essentia Health-St. Mary’s Medical Center earns national recognition for efforts to improve stroke treatment
Essentia Health-St. Mary’s Medical Center has received the Get With The Guidelines®-Stroke Quality Achievement Award from the American Heart Association its commitment to prioritizing innovative and high-quality care for stroke patients.

Public Health adds new regional data and pediatric COVID information to online dashboard
St. Louis County Public Health has updated its online COVID-19 dashboard to include clearer data about current COVID-19 transmission rates and trends in the county. New graphs have been added showing the total number of new cases added each week by age group and region, as well as the case rate and vaccination rate for each region. The information is shown for three regions: Duluth area, central/southwest, and northern St. Louis County.


Downtown Computer donates video surveillance system to Bentleyville
Bentleyville founder Nathan Bentley announced Thursday that Downtown Computer has donated a sophisticated video surveillance system to deter those who might view Bayfront Park’s “Tour of Lights” extravaganza as a target for after-hours vandalism and theft.


Port Authority
Clure Public Marine Terminal expands maritime container capability
Port officials announced today that Duluth’s Clure Public Marine Terminal now has the ability to handle significantly larger volumes of international shipping containers transported by vessel, in an expansion that will augment existing road- and rail-based intermodal container service under the Duluth Cargo Connect banner.

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