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News and Current Affairs Posts

R.I.P. Lew Martin

The Superior Telegram reports longtime broadcaster and public servant Lew Martin died Sunday after his 102nd birthday.

Martin began his career at WEBC Radio in the 1930s and transitioned to television in the 1950s. The Telegram reports “his first television broadcast came from the two-car garage that served as a makeshift studio beneath a transmitter. He served as an anchor at WDSM Channel 6 — later KBJR — for 16 years.”

Martin was on the Douglas County Board off and on from 1968 to 2012.

Essentia Fitness & Therapy Center will move to former Younkers

Essentia Health is investing $15 million in the purchase and remodeling of the 145,000-square-foot former Younkers department store at Miller Hill Mall in Duluth. The Essentia Health Fitness & Therapy Center will move into the first floor this fall. Plans are being developed for the rest of the building and will be announced when they are finalized.

Redstone redevelopment nearly complete

The mansion that was home to the Congdon family while Glensheen was built is being remodeled into luxury apartments. A news release from Heirloom Property Management announces the majestic Redstone Lofts will have “12 modern style loft apartments and a commercial space that will all be available for lease beginning early 2019.”

DLH passenger numbers up 13 percent

Duluth International Airport announced today that 280,865 passengers flew through the facility in 2018, marking a 13 percent increase over 2017.

Both United and Delta saw increases, with United’s addition of the airbus flight in May leading to a nearly 30 percent increase year-over-year.

United offers three daily nonstop flights to Chicago and Delta offers five daily nonstop flights to Minneapolis/St. Paul. American Airlines is set to begin direct service to Chicago on May 23.

“We now have the three largest carriers in the country flying out of DLH,” Tom Werner, the airport’s executive director, said in a news release. “We’re hoping to use that momentum to add Denver to the growing list of places we fly and ways we connect our region to the world.”

Endion Station to be converted into ‘brewtique’ hotel

A former railroad depot will soon become Duluth’s first “brewtique” hotel.

Perfect New Restaurant: Corktown Deli & Brews

A Lincoln Park sandwich shop emerged as the hero in Perfect Duluth Day’s 2019 poll to discern the area’s best new restaurant. Corktown Deli & Brews won 43 percent of the runoff vote in a pool of three finalists that was narrowed down from a list of 25 nominees. Pak’s Green Corner and Martha’s Daughter were runners up with 33 percent and 24 percent of the votes, respectively.

Corktown Deli & Brews opened in June. Jeff Petcoff, the fast-casual restaurant’s general manager, was thrilled to hear the poll results. “That’s one of the biggest compliments you can get,” he says, “because readers and people vote on it; it’s a vote of confidence from everyone. It’s humbling and will help keep us going.”

The BBC Interviews Duluth Cyclist Leah Gruhn

Photo by Jeremy Kershaw

Leah Gruhn, geologist at Barr Engineering and avid Duluth cyclist, was the first woman to complete Northern Minnesota’s Arrowhead 135 mile race in record-breaking low temps on Tuesday, Jan. 29.

The BBC asked her how she did it.

Glamourous Duluth

Duluth’s Ashley Sullivan, sporting a Duluth Cider hat, is part of a feature in the online women’s magazine Glamour titled “Insanely cold polar vortex temperatures are literally freezing people’s eyelashes.” The article refers to a social media trend of people “posting commentary and photos of themselves turning into Elsa from Frozen simply by going about their lives in a polar vortex.”

“Depending on how cold it is, you can feel them freeze right away,” Sullivan told Glamour reporter Abby Gardner. “It doesn’t hurt and doesn’t affect your eyesight, but by the end of a hike, you get the pretty frost. The aftermath isn’t so pretty as the ice melts and mascara runs down your face. But it’s like Mother Nature’s art on while you’re outside, if you think about it. It’s like you’re your own snowflake with the frost vibrating to your own energy.”

The Hopper Shuttle: Catering to Craft Beverage Fans

The Hopper Logo

A new complimentary shuttle service will provide a link between Duluth’s craft beverage purveyors. Starting Feb. 8 the Hopper, a 15-passenger van, will run between Canal Park, Lincoln Park and Downtown every Friday and Saturday night.

PDD Quiz: January 2019 in Review

The first month of 2019 is nearly in the books; how much of it do you remember? Take this week’s PDD quiz and find out!

The next PDD quiz, on local sports teams and athletes, will be published on Feb. 10. Please email question suggestions to Alison Moffat at [email protected] by Feb. 7.

Hiki Hut: Duluth’s little blue sauna on a trailer

Whitney & Kelby Sundquist - Photo by Lissa Maki

Whitney & Kelby Sundquist – Photo by Lissa Maki

A little blue sauna on a trailer began popping up around Duluth late last year. The Hiki Hut has licensing similar to a food truck, but instead of food it’s serving up nourishing doses of heat and steam. Owners Whitney and Kelby Sundquist aim to encourage sauna appreciation as well as cultivate community.

“Duluth” is a Small Drill-Hole on Mars?

Over the past few years Duluth has occasionally had colder temps than the temp measured on Mars on the same day. I have gleefully pointed this out to friends in the warm south when it happens.

But, if PDD covered this last year, I missed it — how a small test drill hole on Mars made by the Curiosity Rover get named “Duluth”?

Kmart gone, Spirit Valley hopes to rebound like Lincoln Park

The Spirit Valley business district sits just east of I-35 and includes a variety of businesses along Grand and Central avenues including the Super One grocery store in the foreground. (Photo by Cory Fechner, Liftoff Aerials)

The Spirit Valley business district in West Duluth took a serious hit this year when Kmart closed but business leaders and city officials believe the area is ripe for a makeover that could match successful redevelopment work in Lincoln Park.

Interim host keeps the Current’s Duluth music show rolling

Andrea Swensson is serving as guest host of The Duluth Local Show on the Current. (Photo by Leslie Plesser)

The Duluth Local Show, a weekly one-hour radio program featuring music by Duluth-area musicians, will close out 2018 in a transition phase. Mike Novitzki, who had hosted the show since May 2016, announced his resignation in October and his farewell episode aired Dec. 2.

Andrea Swensson, a Moose Lake native who has been an on-air personality and writer at St. Paul-based Minnesota Public Radio’s the Current since 2005, has served as guest host of The Duluth Local Show since Novitzki’s departure. She is also the regular host of an all-Minnesota music show with a similar title, The Local Show.

PDD Quiz: 2018 in Review

Bid adieu to 2018 with this year-in-review quiz, which tests your memory of local headlines (and PDD current events quizzes).

The next PDD quiz, on the murals of Superior, will be published on Jan. 13. Please email question suggestions to Alison Moffat at [email protected] by Jan. 10.