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Wednesday Notebook

The 30th annual Northeastern Minnesota Book Awards will be presented at a public celebration on Thursday, May 24 at Northland Country Club. The free community celebration will include a featured speaker, book fair and refreshments. Winners will be announced in five categories. A book fair and reception runs from 5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., followed by a speaker and awards presentation.


. Rookie defenseman Neal Pionk of Hermantown has one goal, 14 points and is minus-1 in 26 games for the New York Rangers.

. Los Angeles Kings defenseman Derek Forbort sustained a lower-body injury early in the first period in his team’s 3-1 victory over Colorado on Monday night at Staples Center in Los Angeles, CA. The 6-foot-4, 210-pound former Duluth East and University of North Dakota standout, who has played in all 80 of the Kings’ games this season, will likely miss Thursday’s home game against the Minnesota Wild.

. As part of the general maintenance plans for utilities, the City of Duluth Public Works and Utilities department will be cleaning out five miles of gas lines in the Gary New Duluth neighborhood on Thursday. Crews will have several maintenance trucks and about 20 staff on site along East McCuen Street corridor from 96th Avenue West to the Oliver Bridge. The work will start in the morning and should be completed by early evening. The cleaning entails the controlled release of some natural gas which will be closely monitored by city staff and conducted under the guidance of the strictest safety standards. An inspection of other gas lines is also planned in the coming weeks. There will be no disruption to gas service and no road closures, but motorists are asked to drive slowly and cautiously around the work area for the safety of personnel.