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MARICAO, Puerto Rico—Faced with going into a 1,000-foot-deep ravine to fix a power line near Maricao, Puerto Rico, Minnesota Power linemen turned to two local men for help. The men had been running their well pumps off generators to get water since hurricanes Irma and Maria cut off their power last fall, explained Dean Erdman, the line crew supervisor with Minnesota Power and part of a contingent of employees from the Duluth-based utility who have spent the past month on the island.
DULUTH—Al and Jenny Lopez dated for three months before they decided to tie the knot on Valentine's Day last year. "When you're 80 years old, why wait? You might wait too long and then you're sorry," Jenny said. But whether they really dated before getting married seems to still be up for debate. "Did we date?" Al joked. Jenny responded, "When you came and knocked on the door after supper, that was a date."
DULUTH — Military medics now have a path to more quickly become civilian nurses in Minnesota with a program that takes advantage of their experience. Lake Superior College's new seven-month program provides the education needed for current and veteran military medics to work as civilian licensed practical nurses in Minnesota. The Military Bridge Medic-to-LPN Program is the only program of its kind in the state, said Deb Amys, director of nursing programs at Lake Superior College.
The novels "To Kill a Mockingbird" and "The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn" will no longer be required reading in the Duluth school district due to the books' use of a racial slur, a curriculum change supported by the local NAACP chapter. The two books will continue to be available in school libraries and can be optional reading for students, but beginning next school year, they'll be replaced as required reading by other literature that addresses the same topics in ninth- and 11th-grade English classes, said Michael Cary, the district's director of curriculum and instruction.
DULUTH—Thomas Spence was looking for moose to photograph near Tofte on Saturday morning, Feb. 3, when he came upon a Canada lynx standing in the road. Then a second lynx entered the road from the woods. Then another and another and another. Five lynx cuddled in the road in front of Spence for a minute before bounding off and disappearing into the woods of the Superior National Forest. But it was long enough for the Tofte photographer to get a few photos of the group.
DULUTH, Minn. — At 21,000 feet above Minnesota's snow-covered ground, an F-16 fighter jet approached the back of a KC-135 Stratotanker. A Wisconsin Air National Guardsman, suspended on his stomach above a board covered in switches and knobs, watched the F-16 through a window at the back of the Stratotanker while using a joystick to maneuver a boom down to the F-16. Connected to the Stratotanker via the boom, the F-16's refueling began, all at a speed of 315 knots. Within minutes, the F-16 was refueled and disconnected, dipping away and out of sight.
ON THE GUNFLINT TRAIL, Minn. — Martha Schouweiler received hugs and congratulations as she walked into Trail Center Lodge on Monday morning, Jan. 29. Schouweiler crossed the finish line at 6:34 a.m. Monday for her fourth consecutive title in the John Beargrease Sled Dog Marathon mid-distance race. She set a record last year with her third win in the 120-mile event, and it was rewarding to see hard work, mixed with a little luck, pay off a fourth time, she said.
ON THE GUNFLINT TRAIL, Minn. — Halfway across Poplar Lake on Monday morning, Jan. 29, Ingrid Pond's dog team decided it was more interested in another group of sled dogs than it was in reaching the finish line. As the John Beargrease Sled Dog Marathon mid-distance musher was nearing Trail Center Lodge and the end of the 120-mile race, there was an overlap with marathon mushers heading back out on the trail to Grand Portage. A north-woods traffic jam, of sorts.
NORTH OF TWO HARBORS, Minn.—The dogs' yips filled the air as they strained against their harnesses, trying to pull sleds parked in place. The start of a run was near and they knew it. In single file behind the John Beargrease Sled Dog Marathon's starting line, the excitement of dozens of dog teams was on display as they waited for their turn to enter the starting chute.
Minnesota Vikings fullback C.J. Ham told his parents, Cortez and Tina Ham, that they were going to get a Vikings win for their wedding anniversary last weekend. The Vikings delivered on that anniversary gift for the Duluth couple. "Twenty-three seconds was kind of unbearable," Cortez said of the dramatic ending.