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Twin Ports shipping season to start soon

DULUTH (AP) -- The commercial shipping season is getting under way early in the Twin Ports.

The Duluth Seaway Port Authority says the season will commence just after midnight Saturday when the James R. Barker departs from Superior with about 65,000 tons of coal for power plants in Michigan.

The Soo Locks open at 6 a.m. Sunday. The Army Corps of Engineers moved up the date by four days because of favorable ice conditions and demand on the lower Great Lakes for iron ore and coal. At least six vessels should be waiting in the St. Mary's River for the locks to let them into Lake Superior.

The port authority expects the Twin Ports' first inbound lake vessel to arrive Monday or Tuesday, and the first oceangoing vessel in early to mid-April.