Dispatches from Douglas County: Highland landmark may move, free community dance classes in Gordon and more

Read the latest news in the Dispatches from Douglas County newsletter published every Friday.

Kaleb and Karina Franckoviak stand beside the giant ball of twine created by James Frank Kotera, JFK, in the town of Highland in September of 2016.
Contributed / Terri Nelson

SUPERIOR — The frigid temperatures gave their best try, but the Lake Superior Ice Festival went off without a hitch. I particularly enjoy the photo my colleague Jimmy Lovrien shot of a handful of kids pushing the beam on the ice carousel. They are so focused!

Now, onto the rest of this week's headlines:

On the move

James Frank Kotera, JFK, holds a 47-pound junior ball of twine beside the large ball of twine he's been making since 1979.
Jed Carlson / 2008 File / Superior Telegram

Community members in the Town of Highland are fundraising to move the World's Heaviest Ball of Twine to the town hall. James Frank Kotera, also known as JFK, pictured above, spent decades making the giant ball with twine from the town transfer station where he worked.

He kept the ball on his property where people could stop, take photos and sign a guestbook. Kotera died in January.

Kicking up their heels

From left, front, Kris Diller practices a dance step with instructor Rob Erno as, behind, Karen and Royal Alworth dance together on Wednesday, Jan. 25, at the Gordon Town Hall.
Maria Lockwood / Superior Telegram

People in Gordon are taking advantage of free community dance lessons at the town hall to help them beat the winter blues.


Revving up

A retired NASCAR Cup Series car driven by Barry Sinex speeds around a turn.
A retired NASCAR Cup Series car driven by Barry Sinex speeds around a turn on a track in Poplar Saturday, Jan. 14.
Dan Williamson / Duluth News Tribune

The NASCAR on Ice event, which organizers hoped would happen this weekend, has been pushed to Feb. 19. Jon Nowacki has more on what to expect.

More stories to check out:

Editor's note: Dispatches from Douglas County is a newsletter I publish every Friday morning. Please consider subscribing — it's free — and hits your inbox just once a week.  You can sign up here.

Jen Zettel-Vandenhouten is the regional editor for Duluth Media Group, overseeing the Cloquet Pine Journal and the Superior Telegram.
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