Jimmy Lovrien is a reporter for the Duluth News Tribune. He spent the summer of 2015 as an intern for the Duluth News Tribune and was hired full time in October 2017 as a reporter for the Weekly Observer. He also reported for the Lake County News-Chronicle in 2017-18. Lovrien grew up in Alexandria, Minn., but moved to Duluth in 2013 to attend The College of St. Scholastica. Lovrien graduated from St. Scholastica in 2017 with a bachelor's degree in English and history. He also spent a summer studying journalism at the University of California, Berkeley.
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DULUTH — Olli Kinkkonen renounced his United States citizenship to avoid being drafted into World War I. One hundred years ago Tuesday, Sept. 18, a mob of warmongers retaliated. On the night of Sept. 18, 1918, the group of five or so, claiming to be members of the "Knights of Loyalty," found Kinkkonen, an immigrant from Finland who worked as a logger and dock worker in Duluth, at his 237 S. 1st Ave. E. boarding house. The mob threw him inside a vehicle, took him to Congdon Park and interrogated him on his loyalty to the U.S.
NASHWAUK, Minn. — Gov. Mark Dayton spent Tuesday, Sept. 11, in Nashwauk discussing the future of the Mesabi Metallics mine site with company officials and Iron Range politicians. In a news conference following his meeting with Iron Range mayors Tuesday afternoon, Dayton said he'd like to see more progress and plans made by Mesabi Metallics but remained hopeful that the company will finish the taconite mine, pellet plant and iron plant near Nashwauk under new management. Dayton also met with Gary Heasley, interim CEO of Mesabi Metallics, Tuesday morning.
DULUTH — A Minnesota Public Utilities Commission meeting to consider certificate of need modifications for Enbridge Energy's Line 3 oil pipeline Tuesday, Sept. 11, in St. Paul ended abruptly after being disrupted by pipeline opponents. The protesters, who describe themselves as water protectors, sat with their backs turned to the commission for the first hour of discussion with shirts that read "Public Utilities Cowards" on the back.
DULUTH—The United States Department of Agriculture ended the mineral withdrawal in the Rainy River Watershed Thursday, effectively opening the possibility for mining companies to obtain mineral leases within the watershed. It's a win for the proposed Twin Metals copper mine along the Kawishiwi River near Ely, within the Rainy River Watershed and on the edge of the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness, but a loss to critics who say the project could send tainted runoff into the BWCAW. Twin Metals intends to store the tailings near Babbitt, which is outside the watershed.
SUPERIOR, WIS.—Contractors at the Husky Energy refinery in Superior were told to return to work April 26 after hearing a "strange knocking noise," which caused them to fear for their safety and temporarily leave the work area. But, within 30 to 40 minutes of returning to work, the explosion occurred, resulting in numerous onsite injuries and the evacuation of most of Superior, right across the border from Duluth, Minn., according to a lawsuit filed by seven contractors.
SUPERIOR, Wis. — A class action complaint was filed against Husky Energy and Superior Refining Company in response to the April 26 explosion and fire at their Superior refinery, which prompted the evacuation of most of Superior. In a complaint filed in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin on Aug. 20, Jasen Bruzek, Hope Koplin and Neil Miller argue Husky displayed negligence, nuisance, trespass on land and strict liability — extrahazardous and/or ultrahazardous activity before, during and after the fire and evacuation.
DULUTH — The Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa will allow Enbridge Energy to route the new Line 3 oil pipeline through their reservation. In a joint letter filed Friday, Aug. 31, Enbridge and Fond du Lac agreed the pipeline could follow the existing corridor through the reservation, referred to as Route Segment Alternative 22, or RSA 22, rather than the route around it, RSA 21. RSA 22 has been Enbridge's preferred route. "Financial terms are confidential," the letter said.
DULUTH—When Flash was found walking down the railroad tracks in Duluth's Riverside neighborhood, his family was relieved. For 11 days, Barbara and Meredith Saiki searched their East Hillside neighborhood, shared photos of Flash on Facebook and posted flyers around town with his physical description — 7 to 8 inches in diameter. Flash, their pet tortoise, had run away — far away. On Aug. 22, Flash was picked up near Spirit Lake Marina, more than 9 miles from the Saikis' East Hillside home. "When he is on a mission, he will go," Barbara Saiki said.
ANGORA, Minn. — Dave Clement used to expect a daily delivery of two truckloads of asphalt binder from the Husky Energy refinery in Superior, Wis., to his worksite's mobile asphalt plants, where it would be mixed with gravel and placed on the road. But ever since the refinery exploded in April, Husky has been offline and Clement, an asphalt manager at KGM Contractors based out of Angora, has been dealing with higher asphalt prices, driven up by a lower supply and compounded by having to transport the oil further from its source.
DULUTH — The Minnesota Public Utilities Commission ordered several of the state's utility companies to return $200 million to consumers — including $18.7 million from Duluth-based Minnesota Power. That's possible thanks to lower corporate tax rates following the 2017 Tax Cut and Jobs Act. "With respect to each regulated utility, the Commission acted to ensure that each utility's rates reflect the new, lower federal income tax rates in the cost of providing service," the PUC said in a news release Friday, Aug. 10.