First ship of the season: On Sunday, March 22, at 1:53 a.m., the Burns Harbor, operated by American Steamship Company, became the first laker to depart the Port of Duluth-Superior during the 2020 shipping season. She exited the Superior Entry, bound for her namesake harbor in Indiana, with a load of iron ore. Built in Sturgeon Bay, Wis., in 1980, the Burns Harbor was also the last commercial vessel into the Port of Duluth-Superior to close the 2019 shipping season, arriving Jan. 16.

Food Bank volunteers: Changes are happening rapidly at Second Harvest Northern Lakes Food Bank and 40 area food shelves throughout the region. The food bank has been working to source additional food for the region’s food shelves while at the same time heightening its facility and personal hygiene standards and maintaining its volunteer base. “The changes aren’t just happening here,” said Shaye Moris, Executive Director.  “Our region’s frontline food shelves from Ely to Moose Lake and Hibbing to Hurley, Wisconsin, are making changes too.” When social distancing came into play, organizations quickly moved into action offering drive through, no contact food shelf service. At the same time, they’ve reacted to a potential increase in demand and a possible decrease in their volunteers. As part of its focus to supply the region’s food shelves, Second Harvest is seeking healthy volunteers in small groups of 10 to pack boxes of food which will be mobilized to Northeast Minnesota and Northwest Wisconsin food shelves for direct distribution to in local communities. For more information about volunteer opportunities or how to help contact Second Harvest Northern Lakes Food Bank at 218-336-2303 or or visit the website

Labovitz MBA program ranked #2 in state: The Labovitz MBA program offered by the Labovitz School of Business and Economics at the University of Minnesota-Duluth has reached a significant milestone. U.S. News & World Report ranked the MBA program at #97 nationally in its recently released 2021 Best Graduate School Rankings for Part-time MBA Programs. In Minnesota, the Labovitz MBA is second only to the Carlson School of Management at the University of Minnesota Twin Cities. Nationally, the program is among the top 36 percent of all part-time programs as ranked by the magazine. Among the schools tied at #97 with the Labovitz MBA in the rankings are Creighton University, University of Delaware, University of Oregon, University of South Florida, and University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. A total of 291 part-time MBA programs were surveyed, with 272 included in the rankings. “This recognition reflects the excellence of our faculty, staff, and students and the outstanding educational value of our programs in Duluth and Rochester,” said Amy B. Hietapelto, Dean of the Labovitz School of Business and Economics. Applications for the 2020 fall semester are being accepted until July 15. Its website is

Introducing the Twin Ports Women’s Foundation: New to our community is a grant-awarding foundation consisting of all women members appropriately named the Twin Ports Women’s Foundation (TPWF). Collectively these women share their devotion to have greater community impact by creating a greater sum through their combined contributions. TPWF’s purpose is to strengthen the Twin Ports community through charitable donations, to promote women’s leadership in philanthropy and to continually engage and educate others about the rewards in belonging to an inclusive, diverse group of women philanthropists. After careful and deliberate review, TPWF proudly announces their first grant award recipients are the Duluth Area Family YMCA’s Food Access Program, which served food to nearly 6,000 youths in 2019 and the Safe Haven Shelter and Resource Center, which is an emergency shelter for domestic violence survivors. TPWF’s 2019-20 Board consists of Karis Boerner, Denise Bussa, Lynnea Emerson, Ashley Lindsey and Laura Weintraub. For more information on TPWF, visit

DSSO suspends 2019-20 Season:  Because of the limitations on group gatherings and the increasing restrictions in our daily lives, the directors of the Duluth Superior Symphony Orchestra have suspended the remainder of its concert season, and say they are working to reschedule the March Beethoven concert, April (Pop Goes the Classics and Peter & the Wolf) and May concerts (Carmina Burana and DSS Youth Orchestra Spring Concert). Updates will be provided through e-mails, social media and at Plans are in the works for virtual activities, so follow the DSO on social media for more information. Ticket purchases for any of the upcoming performances can be saved and will be valid for rescheduled dates, or if you are unable to attend a rescheduled concert or if it is not rescheduled, you can donate the value of the ticket back to the DSSO. All patrons who donate tickets will receive a tax credit letter at the end of the calendar year. g options are available for those that purchased direct through the DSSO Box Office. Please remember, transferring your ticket into a donation supports your DSSO during these uncertain times and we appreciate your consideration. Unused tickets can also be applied as a credit on your DSSO account and is available to redeem for a concert in the 20-21 season. This credit can be redeemed anytime after Aug. 10, when single tickets are on sale for individual concerts. Credits must be used by the end of the 20-21 season.  

Supporting youth and families: While our nation and world continue to deal with the ongoing COVID-19 Crisis, the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Northland are finding ways to help support our youth and families. The staff started out by preparing Care Packages before the Clubs closed on March 17. Youth members were sent home with care packages that included: food items such as cereal, noodles, vegetables, fruit and milk as well as personal care and hygiene items. On March 18 staff started a calling tree to reach out to youth members and families to help keep them informed about resources at the Club and the community. Since the Clubs closed we have been consolidating supplies and resources to determine the feasibility of what we can offer in the coming weeks and we are grateful to be able to offer a grab and go dinner option for youth and families from 5-6 pm at our Lincoln Park site, 2407 W. 4th St., and continuing until further notice or supplies last. Many schools and businesses are offering breakfast and lunch support, leaving our at-risk youth without food resources for dinner. The Clubs are asking for any donations and support from the community to help with the meals and other supportive programs. Donations can be made by calling or going online: 218-727-1549 or, In addition to meal support, the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Northland are also offering the following supportive measures for youth in our community: Homework support; distance learning support; Google Hangout to keep the lines of communication open with youth

Fitger’s 5K Run & Walk postponed: The event was scheduled for April 18. The Fitger’s 5K is one of three fundraising races in the KP Challenge. Participants commit to run three Young Athletes Foundation (YAF) races, including the Saint Fennessy 4K, Fitger’s 5K and Park Point 5-Miler. The Park Point 5-Miler is still scheduled as planned for July 16. Any updates to future events will be posted at The Young Athletes Foundation (YAF), a Grandma's Marathon program that focuses on the promotion and development of healthy and active lifestyles for youth throughout the region. Since its inception in 1990, the YAF has contributed more than $1,100,000 to area nonprofit youth athletic organizations.

Run/Walk coming: Veterans Memorial Hall is again sponsoring the VMH 5K Fun Run/Walk on Saturday, May 16. The race begins at 9 am. Join us for the race at The Other Place Bar and Grille, 3930 E. Calvary Road, Duluth. Free parking is available for participants across the street in the Voyageur Bus Company lot. This annual event is open to all ages. Runners may register ($25) online with a credit card at Registration forms are also available at

Virtual Glensheen: On March 13, Glensheen temporarily closed its doors due to the public health concern involving the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19). Now, the University of Minnesota system museum has gone digital. In line with the MuseumFromHome movement and many museums across the globe, Glensheen is finding innovative ways to bring the century-old historic home to you on your couch. The 39-room mansion and historic home is now posting Facebook Live tours given by Director, Dan Hartman, one of the few allowed on the estate these days. In partnership with Explore Minnesota, Visit Duluth, and Alleycat Photography, Glensheen launched a 360º virtual tour experience on March 18, which is available to all on their website (, free of charge. Glensheen Mansion launched the tour app through museum app company, Encurate, in 2019 to enhance the self-guided tour experience. With maps and audio descriptions for nearly every room, the app is a complementary tool to not only the in-person experience but also now, the Glensheen 360º virtual tour. Feeling a little stir crazy? The app and Glensheen 360º also allows you to explore the 12-acre estate. We suggest viewing the 360º virtual tour on a desktop or laptop while using the Glensheen app on a smartphone. With a little bit of manual work, you can connect what you’re seeing on your computer with the descriptions you’re hearing from the app on your phone.  

Election Day still scheduled: Minnesota Secretary of State Steve Simon issued the following statement and video address about the current COVID-19 pandemic and the Office's work to safeguard Minnesota's upcoming elections: “The current public health crisis has been a serious test for all Minnesotans. It has also been a test for our democracy. I've heard from many Minnesotans who wonder how, or even if, we will vote in this high-stakes election year. My answer is clear: The [April 7] 2020 statewide elections should go on as scheduled. It is important that we be prepared for a different kind of election than we're used to. There are many options available, and which one we use will depend on what our world looks like on Election Day.”