Brady Slater / Forum News Service
DULUTH, Minn. — When a person comes upon Raymond Ulvi seated outside his garage, he’s usually found carving diamond willow branches into walking canes — the shavings piling up around his bare feet. But he was wearing boots and prepared for a little mud last week, when he struck out in the Gary-New Duluth neighborhood on May 31 in search of fresh wood to carve. What he found instead he labeled “one in a million.” Walking in the woods between his daughter Lori’s house and Stowe Elementary School, Ulvi unearthed a piece of his childhood history — a long forgotten hockey puck.
DULUTH -- Seventy-four years ago this week, a Western Union telegram delivery to Duluth heralded the grim news that Maj. Henry A. Courtney was killed in action on the Japanese island Okinawa in World War II. Courtney’s father and fellow attorney, Henry Sr., had already anticipated the two working side by side and outfitted the family law firm’s stationery with his son’s name.
DULUTH - Winter struck back with record May snowfalls over the past two days - coating the Northland in snow, and causing weather alerts lasting until 11 a.m. Thursday, April 9. All told, 10.6 inches of snow accumulated at Duluth International Airport, a record for May that also included a single-day record of 8.3 on Wednesday alone. It was the snowiest May day on record since 5.5 inches fell in 1902.
GOODLAND, Minn. — Warren Johnson thought about the weather 75 years ago in the Normandy region of France. “It was kind of like this — cloudy and wet,” the 32-year-old said outside his home last week, his cheeks flush from a breeze. “They had to postpone the raid for 24 hours because of the weather.” Johnson knows a lot about World War II after four years of researching his family’s involvement in the war, which included the service of his late grandfather and five brothers.
The process to fill the vacancy left by Joe Radinovich’s resignation last week will not take on the same urgency as the politician’s controversial hiring by the state. The Department of Iron Range Resources and Rehabilitation has not posted the vacancy and did not indicate any hurry to do so when contacted this week. Radinovich resigned after his stint with the IRRR was revealed by a Timberjay report last month to be a suspected case of crony hiring.
DULUTH -- Gov. Tim Walz sent a written reprimand to the Department of Iron Range Resources and Rehabilitation late this week — saying the fast-tracked hiring of politician Joe Radinovich “failed to meet my expectations.” “My office never directed you to request a shortened posting period or otherwise vary from ordinary hiring procedures,” Walz said in the letter to IRRR Commissioner Mark Phillips. Walz’s office shared the letter following a Forum News Service data request.
Two Upper Midwest congressmen visited the U.S. border with Mexico this week, tweeting out their party’s case for increased border security from the area around Yuma, Ariz. Reps. Pete Stauber, R-Minn., and Sean Duffy, R-Wis., have been sharing video and tweets from what they say are problematic crossing areas along the Colorado River border with Mexico. The congressmen were escorted by U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents.
DULUTH — Ten months of war in Afghanistan behind him, Lt. Cmdr. Roger Reinert called last week from a military base in Qatar on the Persian Gulf. A few days later the former Duluth city councilor and state legislator would tweet from Germany, where he’d arrived as part of a monthlong hopscotch toward Duluth and home. “I landed in Germany around 0400CST,” he tweeted. “As of today I am officially out of the combat theater.”
DULUTH -- After surviving a setback that left three ships stopped in ice overnight outside the Twin Ports over the weekend, the start of the Great Lakes shipping season proceeded into gear on Monday, March 25. The Stewart J. Cort was the first ship through the Soo Locks just after midnight Monday, ending roughly 10 weeks of Great Lakes shipping’s annual offseason filled with maintenance and repair.
DULUTH - Duluth convenience stores are retaliating against a 2018 city ordinance which restricts the sale of menthol and flavored tobacco to designated smoke shops. The Holiday Stationstore on Grand Avenue in West Duluth and the Korner Store in Gary are building smoke shops within the stores — something that Derek Medved said he hopes will restore the 19 percent drop in sales his Korner Store endured in the year since the ordinance was adopted.