News and Current Affairs Posts

Max Mason pardoned in century-old rape case

The Minnesota Board of Pardons has approved the posthumous pardon of Max Mason, a circus worker convicted of raping Irene Tusken in 1920. The incident in Duluth is better known for the fates of three others accused: Elias Clayton, Elmer Jackson and Isaac McGhie, all three victims of a lynch mob.

Michael Fedo in Smithsonian magazine

Former Duluthian Michael Fedo was interviewed about the anniversary of the lynchings in Duluth for an article in Smithsonian, the journal published by the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C.

Over the years, the horror of June 15, 1920, when three black men were lynched by a white mob in Duluth, faded away behind a “collective amnesia,” says author Michael Fedo. Faded away, at least, in the memories of Duluth’s white community.

In the 1970s, when Fedo began researching what would become The Lynchings in Duluth, the first detailed accounting of the night’s events, he met resistance from witnesses who were still alive. “All of them said, gee, why are you dredging this up again? All of them except the African American community in Duluth. It was part of their oral history, and all of those families knew of this event,” Fedo recalls.

More can be found at smithsonianmag.com.

Duluth 2020 Primary Election Primer

Minnesota’s presidential primary is three months in the past, with Joseph Biden winning the Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party nomination and Donald J. Trump unopposed as the Republican Party nominee. Other parties will field presidential candidates on the General Election ballot on Nov. 3, but the Primary Election on Aug. 11 will have no presidential candidates. There are also no city of Duluth or Duluth School Board races, although one school board candidate is running unopposed.

Selective Focus: Protesting the Death of George Floyd

Protests and riots in the Twin Cities spread to Duluth on Saturday. The death of George Floyd at the hands of a Minneapolis police officer spurred the actions, which were mostly peaceful in Duluth. The notable exception was an incident at the Kwik Trip convenience store on 27th Avenue West and Superior Street in the Lincoln Park neighborhood.

PDD Quiz: May 2020 in Review

Test your memory of May 2020 headlines and happenings with this week’s PDD Quiz!

The next quiz will be another architectural details quiz, this time highlighting buildings in Superior; it will be published on June 14. Submit question suggestions to Alison Moffat at [email protected] by June 10.

Duluthian questions if it necessary for protesters to be black

It seems nothing is “too soon” for the Onion. Amid protests and riots following the death of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police, the satirical news website published a story with a Duluth dateline in which a “local man” questions “the necessity of protestors being black.”

Congdon Park’s historic Millen mansion gets needed overhaul

Tom Buresh and his terrier-dachshund mix, Evealine, pose on a hill outside the historic Millen mansion on Vermilion Road. Buresh and his wife Debra purchased the home in October 2017 and are restoring the property. (Photos by Mark Nicklawske).

Tom Buresh likes to say that shortly after he bought one of the most glorious and historic mansions in Duluth a neighbor told him it came with 40 years of deferred maintenance.

Mama Roots: A Vegan Food Truck for the Twin Ports

Many restaurants are struggling to stay afloat during the pandemic since dining in has been prohibited. In this time of uncertainty, two bold young women are prepping to launch a vegan food truck the likes of which the Twin Ports has never seen.

If all goes as planned, Mama Roots will start popping up in parking lots with its big blue school bus in late June. The mobile restaurant will serve up plant-based, globally inspired cuisine.

Duluth’s Lark o’ the Lake Café won’t reopen

2016 photo by Lissa Maki

Representatives of Lark o’ the Lake Café announced on Facebook yesterday that their eatery in the Greysolon Plaza will not reopen. It has been closed since mid-March, when Minnesota restaurants were ordered to cease dine-in service as part of the Stay-at-home Order related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Duluth musician shares her experience during pandemic

New regulations during the COVID-19 crisis have forced musicians throughout the United States to cancel live performances, recording sessions and traditional practices. Local Duluth musician Lyla Abukhodair shares the experiences of her band, NorShore Summit, during this unprecedented time.

This video was produced as an assignment for a Digital Storytelling class in the journalism program at UMD. Through an interview conducted via Zoom and footage of previous performances, this video gives viewers a glimpse into NorShore Summit and Lyla’s new way of life.

There is no checkered flag …

On Tuesday, my friend and colleague Devaleena Das and I appeared on the KUMD program Neighbors with Lisa Johnson. It was a great experience, with a great interviewer, talking about a very difficult subject. You can listen on kumd.org.

R.I.P. Dr. Robert Powless

Dr. Robert Powless (Photo by Ivy Vainio)

Dr. Robert Powless, former director of the American Indian Studies Program at the University of Minnesota Duluth, died on April 25.

PDD Quiz: April 2020 in Review

Another month is nearly at an end as Duluth inches toward summer. Put your memory in gear for this month’s quiz, which reviews April headlines!

The next PDD quiz will test your ability to identify area buildings based on architectural details; it will be published on May 17. Submit question suggestions to Alison Moffat at [email protected] by May 12.

Minnpost: Fight brews over Duluth utility

Guide to Duluth-area Craft Alcohol During the Pandemic

Ursa Minor Brewing has offered curbside beer and pizza pickup via a drive-by canopy since April 8.

Small businesses have been struggling to stay afloat during the COVID-19 outbreak. Local craft beer, cider and spirits purveyors are finding ways to persist by distributing products through a variety of takeout, curbside pickup and delivery options.