Friday Notebook

The Vikings open their four-game 2019 preseason schedule at New Orleans at 7 p.m. today (WDIO 10/13).

C.J. Ham of Duluth will start at fullback and on special teams for Minnesota, which soured to 8-7-1 and missed the playoffs a year ago.

The Vikings’ 2019 preseason schedule:

Today — at New Orleans Saints, 7 p.m.
Sunday, Aug. 18 — host Seattle Seahawks, 7 p.m.
Saturday, Aug. 24 — host Arizona Cardinals, noon
Thursday, Aug. 29 — at Buffalo Bills, 6:30 p.m.

. . .

From MnDOT: Southbound I-35 in Duluth will have lane closures next week for maintenance repairs. The right lane of southbound I-35 from the Cody Street onramp to Thompson Hill will be closed Monday through Thursday for maintenance on drainage, concrete repair, shoulder work and guard rail repair.

. . .

Back-to-School Resource
Fair Wednesday at Harbor Highlands

For many low-income families, the back-to-school season can be a stressful time due to the pressure of providing their child(ren) with school supplies and clothing. The National Retail Foundation found that families with children in elementary school through high school will spend an average of $684.79 per child on back-to-school shopping.

“When students lack the necessary items for school it takes more learning time away from the class, and students have gaps in their education and miss the opportunities for hands-on learning experiences,” said Melissa Fanning, community services branch executive director at Duluth Area Family YMCA, which will will host a Back to School Resource Fair on Wednesday from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. at Harbor Highlands Community Center.

“Furthermore, they tend to lack in acceptable behavioral patterns and their grades and test scores begin to suffer,” Fanning said.

Free backpacks and school supplies will be distributed to the first 50 youths at the free family event, which is open to the public. Essentia Health will provide a healthy dinner and will provide free helmets for all with fitting. Community Officers will be there to instruct on bike safety and participants can join them for a group ride around the neighborhood.

The City of Duluth Parks and Recreation Department will be leading outside activities for youth. Lake Superior College will also be at the event with popular mascot Hawkeye.

Local organizations tabling at the event include Amberwing, American Lung Association, City of Duluth-Parks and Recreation, Duluth YMCA, Duluth Public School-KEY Zone Out of School Time Program, Duluth Edison Charter Schools- Eagle’s Nest After School Program, Harbor Highlands Community Center, Youth Outdoors-Duluth, True North AmeriCorps, Essentia Health, Hillside Farmers Market, Power of Produce – POP, CHUM, Lake Superior College, Children’s Dental Services and more.

Festival of Sails traffic
and marine traffic advisory

By Kate Van Daele
The Festival of Sails will be in Duluth this weekend and is expected to bring the largest number of visitors to Duluth — for an event — for the entire year.

The festival begins with the grand parade at 9 a.m. and ends at 11 a.m. on Sunday. Following the parade, the festival gates will open until 7 p.m. The festival will run on Monday and Tuesday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Duluth police officers will be posted throughout the Canal Park area to assist as needed during the Parade of Sail. Drivers in the area should expect traffic delays and should remain alert to heavy pedestrian traffic. People attending the Parade of Sail are encouraged to park in the Downtown area and walk to Canal Park to help reduce traffic congestion and delays.

The following contains details of street closures, detours, and parking restrictions:

Street closures and Parking Restrictions
Harbor Drive, from the East Gate of the DECC to the Aquarium Lot entrance, will close to traffic from 10 a.m. today until Tuesday evening.

On Sunday, beginning at 7 a.m., metered parking along the east side of South Lake Avenue from the Aerial Lift Bridge to Railroad Street will not be allowed. Parking will reopen following the Parade of Sails.

Canal Park Drive from Buchanan St. to the Marine Museum, and all of Morse St., will close to traffic after parking lots in the area have filled, for the Parade of Sail on Sunday from 8 a.m. until traffic in the area thins out (approximately noon to 1 p.m.).

Lift Bridge Hours and Marine Traffic during the parade
The Aerial Lift Bridge will operate on its regular lift schedule with the exception of the Parade of Sail. The bridge will close to marine traffic after 8 a.m. and will be lifting for the parade starting at 9 a.m. The lifts can be expected to be longer than normal to accommodate the tall ships. After the parade, the bridge will return to the usual hour and half hour lifting schedule.

The Minnesota Slip Bridge will operate on restricted hours during the Festival of Sails. From 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. the bridge will be lifting at quarter past and three quarters past the hour (example 9:15 and 9:45). This will allow any vessels leaving the Minnesota Slip time to make the Aerial Lift Bridge hour and half hour lifting schedule. During the Parade of Sail, the bridge will be in the lowered position beginning at 7 a.m. and will not lift until the parade has concluded.

. . .

Sidewalk construction to temporarily
close shoulder on Haines Road

St. Louis County is adding a sidewalk along Haines Road on the border of Hermantown and Duluth that will create a link from U.S. Highway 53 to Arrowhead Road and up to the county jail. Construction begins Monday and will result in temporary shoulder closures along Haines Road.

The concrete sidewalk will stretch 0.8 miles along the west side of Haines Road between 53 and Arrowhead Road, and on the east side of Haines between Arrowhead Road and the jail.

The project is part of a continuing effort by St. Louis County Public Works to serve the needs of all modes of transportation and to identify gaps in the system for bicyclists and pedestrians.

“We’ve been improving the sidewalk system in this area as part of other projects on Arrowhead Road, Rice Lake Road and farther south on Haines Road,” said Steve Krasaway, St. Louis County Resident Engineer. “But we’re hearing from the public that this section is a missing link, and so we worked to secure funding to make it safer for all modes of transportation to travel along this route.

The $450,000 project is expected to be complete in October.

Wednesday Sports Notebook

Ryan Sandelin of Hermantown has been slotted as the 30th best player in the history of the prestigious Minnesota high school boys hockey tournament, according to the widely-read MN Boys’ Hockey Hub. Sandelin, a righthanded power forward who will play for Minnesota State Mankato next season, is ranked higher than Minnesota high school hockey legends Jamie Langenbrunner (No. 73), Blake Wheeler (47), Phil Housley (42) and Neal Broten (32), among other notables. —

WLSSD celebrates 40 years of clean water operations

A no swimming sign along St. Louis River, undated. Submitted / WLSSD

DULUTH, Minn. — The Western Lake Superior Sanitary District attained a milestone in clean water operations this week with the 40th anniversary of the startup of its wastewater treatment plant.

In celebration, WLSSD will hold an open house on Saturday, October 13 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at WLSSD’s 27th Avenue West campus in Duluth with activities suitable for all ages. WLSSD will also be offering walking and bus tours for those who preregister.


“Reaching this milestone is not just a measure of our success, but the success of our community,” said WLSSD executive director Marianne Bohren. “Our employees, legislators, residents, cities and towns and the regional industries we serve have worked together to protect and improve the St. Louis River and Lake Superior. This anniversary marks 40 years of progress in the restoration of the St. Louis River and protection of Lake Superior—resources that are incredibly important to public health, our economy and quality of life.”

WLSSD began operating its state-of-the-art wastewater treatment plant on the St. Louis River in September 1978. Prior to its opening, untreated and under-treated sewage was discharged into the river from cities and industries, causing serious pollution in the River and Bay. Soon after the startup of the treatment plant, water quality in the river noticeably improved and the native fishery was on the rebound.

Today, the waters of the St. Louis River are once again popular for recreational fishing, swimming, canoeing, kayaking and other activities.

WLSSD consistently discharges a high quality effluent that exceeds state and federal standards and its successful, innovative pollution prevention programs are models for other communities across the country.

“As we celebrate success today, we are also ready to meet the challenges, opportunities and uncertainties ahead,” said Bohren. “With creativity, perseverance and continued local and state commitment, we’ll continue to provide exceptional wastewater treatment as well as contributing to a clean energy future. One thing is certain — we will meet these challenges as we have in the past — with passion, dedication and innovation.”

The Minnesota legislature established the Western Lake Superior Sanitary District May 22, 1971 under MN §458D.03, Subd. 1 “for the protection of the public health, safety and welfare of the area, for the preservation and best use of waters, land, and other natural resources of the state in the area, for the prevention, control and abatement water pollution and disposal of solid waste in the area, and for the efficient and economic collection, treatment, and disposal of sewage and solid waste…”

This enabling legislation was authored and championed by Minnesota State Representative Willard Munger of Duluth.

Celebrating 40 years of operations in 2018, Western Lake Superior Sanitary District provides award-winning wastewater and solid waste services within a 530 square mile service area and is a nationally recognized leader in pollution prevention.

Governed by a nine-member citizen board, WLSSD is a special purpose subdivision of the State of Minnesota. Its legislative service area includes the cities of Duluth, Cloquet, Carlton, Scanlon, Wrenshall, Hermantown, Proctor, Rice Lake and Thomson and the townships of Silverbrook, Twin Lakes, Canosia, Duluth, Grand Lake, Lakewood, Midway and Solway.

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