School levies prevail across northern Minnesota

Duluth, Minnesota, news and cultureYesterday’s election didn’t provide many surprises here in northern Minnesota, and my hypothesis that schools would face a more difficult time passing referendums proved incorrect.

Voters in Duluth, Hermantown and Hibbing all approved their levy referendums. Only Hermantown and the second Duluth question were remotely close, and even then not really in doubt. (Duluth’s second question was an additional levy on top of a renewed levy that passed easily).

Zack Filipovich and Barb Russ won the at-large Duluth City Council races, with Ryan Stauber just missing the cut behind Russ.

Howie Hanson won the District 4 council race against incumbent Garry Krause, who had withdrawn from the race but remained on the ballot.

Patrick Boyle was unopposed in his District 2 city council race, but is also running for the open St. Louis County Commissioner seat. He and former Duluth councilor Jim Stauber (noted Duluth conservative and father of Ryan) advanced out of a special election primary that was also on Tuesday’s ballot.

Annie Harala, Harry Welty, Rosie Loeffler-Kemp and Art Johnston were all elected to the Duluth school board.

I neglected to mention a mayoral race in Aurora. Mary Hess was easily re-elected against two challengers with 86 percent of the vote. One of those challengers is the owner of was associated by local officials with legal a “head shop” synthetic drug controversy, and was angry about the way his business he was being treated.

UPDATE: I’ve updated this post based on a conversation in the comments.


  1. Renee Padget says

    To Aaron Brown you should study the ethics of journalism before you make false statement that could leave you open to a law suit. First off Dick Clark Doesn’t own Dick’s head Shop I do. For your information I have never sold synthetics in my smoke shop. As a journalist your not very good at your job. sound more like you like to make the news the report the news.

  2. Someone I trust told me otherwise. If I’ve made an error I can correct. What do you sell?

  3. Renee padget says

    Tobacco, dietary supplement,air fresher products jewelry & clothing you should get your facts straight before you leave yourself open for laws suites. I would think for someone smart enough to be a instructor hibbing college you should know to check your sources before you commit to text. Simply thing would of be to looked up who the owner of the store. Safe bet if your trusted source gave false information once most likely they didn’t learn to do their research. (hear say is always trusted source that’s what i heard.) I guess if you are into making the news and not reporting it. You can create your own journalism ethic

    • OK. Well the word “head shop” carries quite a connotation with it and you’re clearly hunting out references to your shop on the internet in a defensive manner. I am not looking for a fight, nor am I looking to be inaccurate. I’ll clarify the post. So, you’re saying Dick Clark has no affiliation with your shop whatsoever, and none of your products are among those people abuse, despite labels saying not for human consumption?

      • Renee padget says

        I’m saying Dick Clark doesn’t own DICK’s HEADshop. The store name is a market tool to grab the eyes and its works very well DICK’s HEAD shop was grated to me by the state If the state didn’t see anything wrong with it why do you. I use it for a play on words for my tee shirt designs. The products I sale are made from USA license manufactures and or usa distrbutors. If the USA government approves their licensed. and direction on their package. like every store with everything you should follow direction. I have no ideal what people do when they go home from any store. So what are you trying to insinuate? Or teach? I stated the facts. If your going to be a good journalist and teach you should know your facts before you put them in writing it will save you a lot of trouble in the long run. Response to what you said I’m the owner and I didn’t run for mayor. I complained that after being in business for almost 4 years with no problems with the city. I see it as funny until announced Dick Clark was running for mayor Then the city shortly passed a broad paraphernalia ban that should effect almost all the store in our town and residents. We will see if it does or if it just effects mine. I invited the sheriff walk threw my store and the biggest thing they point out was my hookah pipes. I sell hookah tobacco.

      • Renee padget says

        I didn’t hunt for it I read it because like many times I read your work. I just don’t care for journalist that make news I rather read the real facts. If on any of your other works I new your fact where not true I would point that out to you again

  4. An elected official gave me information that was wrong. I’ve corrected that. I didn’t say Dick’s Head Shop in the post and obviously you didn’t run for mayor. This post was mostly about entirely unrelated news. I pass along interesting tidbits about life on the Range. I was presented a tidbit. There is no agenda. I personally think you run a “wink wink nudge nudge” business but it doesn’t really matter what I think and on a Saturday night I’m not going to argue about it.

  5. Renee Padget says

    As unprofessional as conduct yourself in this work. You must also form your bias on lack of facts hear say/ gossip. Fact I run legitimate tobacco store with high quality tobacco which saves my customers lots of money. Based on it being on you thoughts and you professional conduct I have no ideal or care about a what your wink wink nudge nudge is insinuating?
    Again I question you ethic of journalism and your professionalism. When you provide education service a the Hibbing college what ethic do you teach your class yours? Even in your correction you’ve failed to know facts. I know for a fact that the candidates never stated that he was angry about the way he was treated. You should always check your resource for the facts before you commit to spreading gossip/hear say. People look to your profession for corrected facts that’s why there is a code of ethic that you should follow. If you did received this so called information from an elected official provide the source so they can take credit for the unprofessional conduct instead of you. If you can not provide the public source then in my personal view you are an unprofessional person who should question how you can teach students if you can not follow the ethics of you profession. If you want to sugar coat the spreading lies gossip and hear say as interesting tidbits with out founded facts then you must be making the news not reporting the news I also question if my child or other were to was choose your class if they would be get taught the correctly most people can only teach what they know and practice.

  6. First, this site has nothing to do with my work at the college. Second, what we have here is a misunderstanding. We can talk about it. But I’m not going to yell about it or get personal. I didn’t say your business was illegitimate. But you sell hookahs and this can’t be the first time people have raised their eyebrows at that fact. I mean, really. Think about it. What would be the most effective way to convince me and all the critics to respect and understand what you do?

    • Renee Padget says

      Again you need to research I sale sisha tobacco what do you think they smoke it in anyone sisha tobacco smoker will tell you.

  7. AB . . . The person arguing with you is apparently a twit of the first order. Ignore, forget and move on. You’ve a good book with Overburden, an interesting blog, and the Great Northern Radio Show. Trust me, you don’t need a hookah.

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