Jana Hollingsworth and I now comprise the Duluth News Tribune’s investigative reporting team, and I can’t thank my editors enough for the opportunity to focus on the biggest and best stories our readers deserve.
Right to it then —
It’s no secret that good day care is increasingly hard to come by, in Minnesota or elsewhere. But the reason so many providers are leaving the business? Cindy Giuliani decided to take a stand by contacting me and telling of a hostile work environment between licensors and providers, offering a window into a profession rarely seen as such.
For this story written by Peter Passi I contributed some data handiwork that also led to an interactive map. Nearly $149 million could be locked up in special tax districts in Duluth over the next few decades, starving county, city and school coffers of much-needed revenue. But could those taxpaying developments exist if not for this incentive?
My first story of 2018 was on the Year of the Woman, a local look at the national echo of 1992, and the top story of 2017 was our chasing of the Enbridge Line 3 replacement pipeline debate.
And the news is hot. Kind of like our real estate market, which is causing some unhappiness up yonder.
Deeper problems lie within the rentalmarket, however, as Duluthians of all income levels are often stuck paying too much, searching too long or settling too fast for a limited supply of often lower-quality rentals.
Finally, I’m pleased to share I took first place in the Minnesota SPJ Best Beat Reporting category after submitting the manufacturing series I wrote last fall. Just grateful I get to tell these stories at all.
Along the Columbia River in a nondescript warehouse sit a few unfinished yachts that will likely fetch about $35 million each. When I looked upon them and stood among workers of a dozen trades building the behemoths by hand, I thought yet again about what a great job I have.
After years of struggles, Vancouver’s luxury yacht builder Christensen Shipyards is emerging from the depths of debt and litigation. Or so the story goes.
Then of course there is the beat inside my beat — the nation’s largest oil terminal, proposed for the Port of Vancouver. While many stories can seem procedural, a few hearings saw plenty of action last month.
I also cover Clark Public Utilities, the electric utility for this county of 450,000. Staff there recently allowed too many people to sign up for solar incentives, which means people already enrolled and counting on that pool of state subsidies to break even on their investment could now see less money.
Jobs, housing and earnings can populate my weeks, though I also get to write the occasional column for Sunday’s section, stretching my voice and, who knows, maybe attracting some readers my age. Last week I wrote about my generation’s peculiar personal finance. Coming up: Who knows, maybe I’ll hang out at the mall?
Another one of my articles made the Associated Press wire, so I’ll let you read about electric cars and some of the county’s under-used, federally funded charging stations… at Oregon Public Broadcasting.
As you’ve seen from some of those stories, I’m keeping up on that whole do-it-all ethic by shooting many of my own photos. And as of Friday night, I’m a published sports photographer. Weirder things have happened.
That should do it for weekend reading for any of you who have stumbled upon this living document of my career. But it wouldn’t be this close to year’s end without a proper list, so let me present to you a few of my favorite ledes thus far at The Daily News:
… of which I’m feeling pretty on top for a newly minted quarter-century-year-old. Aside from seeing Alabama Shakes at Grand Targhee and Belle & Sebastian in SLC (photos below), I’ve received another birthday present of sorts: I’ve been made the online editor for Montana Headwall as well as its Facebook curator. (Notice the Facebook link, which I highly recommend you click and ‘like.’) The quarterly outdoors magazine publishes user-contributed trip and gear reports, which I’ll be in charge of making attractive and accessible. Not to mention I’ll be adding my own adventures to the mix, like last week’s discovery of the crazy amount of fish at Lake Hebgen near West Yellowstone. I’m excited, what can I say.
It’s been busy (overtime busy) at the Post Register as we transition to a new CMS and InDesign at the copy desk. It’s been nice teaching instead of being taught (Quark) for the past two weeks, as I know shortcuts and secrets that have aided the migration. I’ll be taking over the A section a few days this week as the assistant copy chief acquaints herself with the whole ordeal. Again, very exciting.
Fun stuff coming up at the Indy, but no spoilers just yet. Instead here is some work I’ve done recently and photos of the bands I had promised:
In hindsight I wish I had done some sort of reverse type, but font choice, not color, dominated my thought pattern. Might as well stick with one theme and show off my first sports page (again, playing with fonts):
And here is Stuart Murdoch of Scottish indie-pop kings Belle & Sebastian, followed by Brittany Howard and Co. of the super-soulful Alabama Shakes: