Updated: 06/27/2014 6:13 PM
Created: 06/27/2014 5:50 PM WDIO.com
By: Briggs LeSavage
Northlanders had a chance to honor the late Congressman Jim Oberstar at a memorial service in Duluth Friday.
About 150 people gathered in the Harborside Ballroom in the Duluth Entertainment and Convention Center, many of whom reside in the state’s 8th District, where Oberstar served for 36 years. Governor Mark Dayton, Senators Al Franken and Amy Klobuchar and U.S. Representative Rick Nolan were among the 10 speakers who shared memories and stories they had of Oberstar. Duluth Mayor Don Ness worked for Oberstar for 10 years and said he was a man of public service.
“Working for Jim Oberstar, you are acutely aware of the fact that he was a powerful force in shaping our nation’s future, and you were equally aware of how much he cared for you as a person,” Ness said. “That’s a special combination.”
Ness grew close with Oberstar and said he invited him to his home for dinner many times. He even named his son after the late congressman because of what he called Oberstar’s strong contributions to the community and Northeastern Minnesota.
“I believe that Jim Oberstar has made the most significant impact in Northeastern Minnesota of any elected leader in our region's history,” Ness said.
Alan Netland, who worked alongside Oberstar as a Democratic Farmer Labor party activist and labor union leader, echoed Ness’ sentiments, saying he was respected across party lines as well.
“He also was able to works across the aisle with republicans in order to get infrastructure jobs done all over the country,” Netland said. ”So he really did put the 8th District on the map, because everybody had to work through Jim.”
Archie Chelseth said he first met the congressman 47 years ago when he worked on the governor’s staff and said Oberstar was proud of his Iron Range heritage, using that to fuel his work in congress.
“He obviously helped fund a lot of important projects over the years and made sure that the district was treated fairly in terms of federal monies,” Chelseth said. “He was a great champion for northeastern Minnesota.”
Minnesota congressional member introduced a bill yesterday that would rename the Chisholm Post Office and portions of Highways 35 and 61 in Oberstar’s memory.
2 Suspects Arrested, 1 at Large in Hibbing Armed Robbery
Hibbing Police say two men have been charged for armed robbery and a third suspect is still on the loose. According to police, a man was robbed at gunpoint early Sunday morning on the 2400 block of Fourth Avenue East. They say there is no threat to the public.
Authorities Release New Details in Fond Du Lac Reservation Homicide
Authorities said Tuesday that a Medical Examiner's report shows 31-year old Waubunoquay Dawn Randall of Stoney Brook Township died as a result of "multiple" stab wounds, allegedly at the hands of her husband. Authorities said they have now located the other woman they were searching for after she called 911 Tuesday night.
Minnesota Hotline Set Up for Ebola Questions
The state Health Department has set up a hotline to answer Minnesotans' questions about Ebola and precautions against the disease. The line will be staffed during regular business hours, from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday.
The Touchstone Awards: Men as Peacemakers
Men as Peacemakers are using sports to help children succeed in the Duluth area. They've been honored for their work by the Duluth Superior Area Community Foundation.
Superior Firefighters Battle Real Flames for Practice
Superior Firefighters are doing their first live training in a burning house over the next three days. The battalion chief says they've trained other ways, but nothing is as helpful as this. He says the smoke and heat-retaining rooms help to make the exercise more realistic.