DULUTH — As a longtime beer salesman, Pete Clure is happy to be a cog in the local scene — even if the craft beer explosion has intruded on brands he sells. Casually talking suds, he can tell you that "Castle Cream Ale is on fire." The 51-year-old Duluthian might also mention how the rise of Bent Paddle Brewing forced him to redouble his efforts at Michaud Distributing. Not that he minded.
BRAINERD, Minn.—In a five-way primary to decide the 8th Congressional District Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party nominee for November, Joe Radinovich always seemed to present the straightest line to election victory. Late Tuesday, Radinovich delivered on his promise and clinched a surprisingly effortless primary victory — one that lands him in a midterm showdown with another primary runaway winner, GOP nominee Pete Stauber of Hermantown.
DULUTH—Vice President Mike Pence blew in and out of Duluth on Wednesday, Aug. 8, in less than four hours, promising while he was there to capitalize on an economy growing in chunks, he said, for the first time in 16 years. "It's going to happen," Pence said, talking about expansion into copper-nickel mining on the Iron Range. "Take it to the bank." Pence spoke for 15 minutes inside Industrial Weldors & Machinists, a 66-year-old business and machine shop.
DULUTH — Chelsea Helmer stood before a roomful of election judges in July. The Duluth city clerk was set to deliver a mandatory two-hour training in council chambers. Most of those present had been through the process before — one veteran judge had even helped conduct 40 elections. But this was no rote run-through of rules in the lead-up to a status quo election season. There was something telling in Helmer's introduction. "You are the front lines of democracy," she said. "The service you do for the city of Duluth is critically important, so thank you."
DULUTH, Minn.—Duluth Mayor Emily Larson said Sen. Bernie Sanders enjoyed the view descending Thompson Hill into the city Friday. "Just as much as we do," she said. Arriving a short time later at Denfeld High School Auditorium, it was Sanders in full view. Pinwheeling across a 50-minute midterm rally speech, the Vermont senator and defacto leader of the progressive movement in the country found an audience eager to react and even chant his name. "It's not Bernie," he responded. "It is you."
DULUTH—Wednesday, June 20, at 6:30 p.m. in Duluth, President Donald Trump will conduct one of his patented campaign rallies. He has used the events throughout his presidency to excite fans and supporters and fuel his own tank with positivity. The spark that added Amsoil Arena to the back of the Trump campaign T-shirt came during a March phone call he made to Pete Stauber.
DULUTH—As long as there have been ships there has been a curiosity for shipping news. "The No. 1 question we receive is, 'When is the next boat?'" said Denise Wolvin, director of the Lake Superior Maritime Visitor Center in Canal Park. To help the museum answer that question, a Duluth-based software engineering firm stepped up to create a new version of a longtime favorite tool for shipping enthusiasts: the shipping tracker.
DULUTH — The Duluth Transit Authority's Jim Caywood spent last week in Greenville, S.C., where he was the first local person to set eyes on the electric buses coming to Duluth this summer. "The first bus will be here about the second week of June," said Caywood, the DTA's director of maintenance. "It's just about done."
DULUTH — The prospect of protests in Minnesota along the Enbridge Line 3 pipeline construction corridor is forcing officials to consider ways to pay for law enforcement responses and other associated costs. "It's clearly on our minds," St. Louis County Sheriff Ross Litman said. "If the resources required go beyond the expense associated, it's a legitimate concern." In a letter last week to the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission, and copied to Gov. Mark Dayton and other lawmakers, the Association of Minnesota Counties called the expenses "out of ordinary."
DULUTH—The estimated $205 million reconstruction of the "can of worms" section of Interstate 35 through Duluth isn't scheduled to begin until 2019. But that doesn't mean work isn't already happening.