It's no surprise to residents of the Northland that Duluth Mayor Don Ness is popular.  He was elected in a very controversial time in the city and navigated through some very tough decisions.  While there are still some hot issues to work through, such as Fond Du Luth Casino, the city of Duluth has received a lot of good news as of late.  I was very happy to see that Duluth and its Mayor are now receiving positive coverage across the state through the Minneapolis Star-Tribune.

Their Sunday edition features a very positive article about Mayor Ness and how he's helped to get Duluth on a positive swing.  How often does a mayor run unopposed because everyone knows they can't win right now against the incumbent?

Here is part of the featured story, but make sure to read it in its entirety as it's quite a feather in the cap for the Northland.  Well done Mayor Ness, keep up the good work.  The more positive press the Northland can receive across the Midwest the better chance we keep rolling.

In a recent picture posted to his 4,900 Facebook friends, Duluth Mayor Don Ness called attention to his "goofy perma-grin."

The gangly, shy politician -- think Jimmy Stewart in "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington" -- wore that toothy expression a lot in early May during his favorite event: the Homegrown Music Festival, which organizers bill as "Duluth's annual showcase of rawk and/or roll devil music."

But the festival, which Ness ran before finding his calling running his hometown, is more than a political victory lap for the 38-year-old mayor. It represents the younger, hipper character he envisions for the aging industrial Lake Superior port he's steering into the future.

Six months after voters ushered him unopposed into his second four-year term as mayor of Minnesota's city by the inland sea, Ness has plenty to grin about.

Old Downtown is blooming into new life as an arts haven. It's there that developer George Sherman of Uptown Minneapolis fame plans to spend $19 million to restore the historic art deco NorShor Theatre. Enbridge Energy plans to expand there, adding about 100 jobs for engineers and other professionals.

Federal and state grants were just finalized to build a $27.5 million transit center downtown, with spacious skyway connections to Superior Street and the city's arena and convention center.

And Cirrus Aircraft, which went into a tuck during the recession, is hiring again, with its new Chinese owners putting up nearly $100 million so that the personal-airplane maker can finish developing its first jet.

Read this entire story via Duluth's Mayor Ness: Cooler by the lake |