NORTH BRANCH, Minn.—The first new entrant into the midterm election void left by Rep. Rick Nolan's retirement announcement last week wasn't among the names people expected. As other politicos remained mum through Monday, North Branch Mayor Kirsten Hagen Kennedy entered the race on the Democratic-Farmer-Labor side late in the day Sunday, declaring her candidacy with a short news release. "I knew this would be a heavy-hitter race," she later said in an interview. "I consider myself the Forrest Gump of this race."
DULUTH, Minn.—The airplane carrying Rick Nolan home from Washington, D.C., on Friday reached Minnesota in the middle of the afternoon. By suppertime, the surprise retirement announcement from the 74-year-old congressman was a workday's old. The hard part for Nolan was over, and he had already shed his proverbial navy blue 8th District DFL jacket for the robe of family.
DULUTH — By moving to close the door on his political career Friday, Feb. 9, U.S. Rep. Rick Nolan turned the midterm race for the 8th Congressional District seat into a wide-open affair. Nolan's bombshell retirement announcement set in motion a flurry of new candidacy considerations from within both major parties. Nolan's Republican challenger in each of the past two elections, Stewart Mills, took to Twitter on Friday to say he's now "very seriously considering another run for U.S. Congress." He was hardly alone.
MOOSE LAKE, Minn. — An observatory dome is a curious machine — one that appears static but is dynamic when put to use. It's got a giant shutter that raises like an automatic garage door to allow for the telescope inside to peer out into the heavens. And the dome itself, which looks like the rounded cap on a grain silo, will sensibly rotate so the shutter can open to any part of the sky.
ON THE SAWBILL TRAIL, Minn. — With its canvas tents tucked among the pines of the Superior National Forest, housing travelers from near and far, the Sawbill checkpoint along the 373-mile John Beargrease Sled Dog Marathon course is reminiscent of a Bedouin camp. Just substitute snow for sand, boots for sandals, dogs for camels.
DULUTH — For DFLers in the 17 northeastern and north-central counties that make up the 8th Congressional District in Minnesota, the campaign and election season is afoot — already.
DULUTH — Protesters shut down the Wells Fargo bank in downtown Duluth on Friday morning, Jan. 12, when three men in a crowd of about three-dozen protesters locked themselves to entrances for the bank. One man placed a U-shaped bike lock around his neck to secure himself to the customer entrance security gate prior to the bank's opening, effectively keeping the bank closed.
ST. PAUL—A preliminary figure released by the state on Wednesday indicates Minnesota experienced its lowest number of roadway fatalities in 74 years in 2017. The 348 traffic deaths announced by the state is the lowest total since 1943 (274) and second-lowest since 1926 (326). In the neighboring states of North Dakota and South Dakota, traffic deaths stayed about the same as last year, but are also showing signs of dropping significantly.
DULUTH, Minn.—Bursting with horsepower to spare in what has been a banner season, the Great Lakes shipping industry slowed against its will in the past week. On Lake Superior offshore from Duluth, as many as nine freighters at a time have been anchored and at ease the past several days — mostly waiting turns to load iron ore pellets in the Twin Ports and Two Harbors. A rush to haul an estimated 1.5 million tons of iron ore pellets out of northern Minnesota in the last half-month of the shipping season stalled when arctic air enveloped the Midwest, sources said.
GRAND RAPIDS, Minn. — The story of how this mill and hockey town became the epicenter of the pipeline abandonment debate starts at St. Andrew's Lutheran Church. Located less than a mile due north off U.S. Highway 2, the church sits on the edge of town with its back facing the west shore of McKinney Lake. With roots as a mission, the church was built in the early 1990s. White pines rise like an amphitheater around it.