Staff Directory 10645326

Pam Louwagie

Reporter | Regional
Phone: 612-673-7102
Location: Minneapolis
Other languages: None

Pam Louwagie is a regional reporter for the Star Tribune. She previously covered courts and legal affairs and was on the newspaper's investigative team. She now writes frequently about a variety of topics in northeast Minnesota and around the state and region. 

Previously, Louwagie worked at The Times-Picayune in New Orleans and the Philadelphia Inquirer. She is a graduate of the University of Minnesota.
Recent content from Pam Louwagie
This stump bears the telltale teeth marks of a beaver. The critters are a growing problem in Grand Marais, which is losing many trees to the critters.

Vexed by beavers, Grand Marais tries to limit the damage

The Lake Superior city has been hurriedly armoring tree trunks with chicken wire and strategizing at council meetings about their furry foes.
The moon rises in the sky as ducks fly by a light house in Duluth harbor in December 2017.

Duluth gets Christmas love from NY tabloid

The Lake Superior city has 'plenty of that legendary Minnesota nice,' says New York Post.
A severe solar storm smacked Earth with a geomagnetic jolt in February 2015, giving aurora watchers in northern Minnesota a chance to catch the result

Cook County celebrates an unusual asset: dark sky

A new festival is promoting the Arrowhead's nighttime views.
Jared Scheierl is pictured in November 2016 outside the U.S. Courthouse shortly after speaking at Danny Heinrich's sentencing.

Victim of a sexual assault by Wetterling's killer is awarded $17M by judge

Jared Scheierl was 12 years old when Danny Heinrich abducted and molested him in January 1989, nine months before he kidnapped and killed Jacob Wetterling.
Attorneys for Byron Smith, center, filed a federal appeal of his case this week. Here, Smith is pictured with attorney Steven Meshbesher, right, and B

Byron Smith's attorneys file federal appeal in Little Falls murder case

The appeal cites a brief closure of the trial to the public.
Daniel Rassier, shown in 2016

Attorneys seek to question Jacob Wetterling's killer in civil suit for defamation

Daniel Rassier, wrongly named as "person of interest," is suing Stearns County for defamation.
Steven Fowler of Luck, Wis., and his dog Cheeka searched a cornfield near Hwy. 25 just north of Barron, Wis., for missing 13-year-old Jayme Closs on T

Wave of volunteers aiding search for Jayme Closs brings 'outpouring of hope and support'

The volunteers' assignment was to look for evidence of her disappearance and clues behind the killing of her parents.
An Oct. 10 storm whipped up waves in the Duluth Ship Canal, causing damage to the Lakewalk and other amenities.

Lake Superior's waves take $18M toll on Duluth shoreline

The gales of October are proving to be quite expensive for the city of Duluth. The Oct. 10 storm that whipped up a frenzy of…
James, Denise and Jayme Closs

Wis. town on edge with search for missing teen, slain parents

The Barron County sheriff said 13-year-old Jayme Closs was in the home when her parents were shot and killed. She has been missing ever since.
Rosemary Freeman

Rosemary Freeman, who led University of Minnesota sit-in in 1969, dies at 71

When black students at the University of Minnesota sat down to negotiate with President Malcolm Moos in 1969 after they effectively shut down the school's…
Owner Bob Monahan is set to open his new no-frills Hostel du Nord this fall. Prices will range from $45 for a single bunk to about $95 in peak season.

Hostel, boutique hotel help fill niche in Duluth's expanding lodging scene

As the owner of a Duluth music venue, Bob Monahan understands that many touring musicians need inexpensive places to sleep. That was becoming less and…
A large wave rolls past two spectators and down the length of the Duluth Ship Canal on Wednesday morning. (Steve Kuchera / Duluth News Tribune)

Duluth to start assessing damage from battering by strong winds, big waves

Gusts topped 50 mph while snow was forecast in north-central region.
Megan Peterson, left, Sara Freeman and others rallying against Brett Kavanaugh contend Christine Blasey Ford is more credible than Kavanaugh.

Kavanaugh foes ask if victims' trauma matters to society

In the minds of many opposing the nomination, the confirmation is not just about one situation, not just about victims being heard and believed. It's about the next step.
Waterfront recreation and hotel rooms have boomed in Duluth in the last decade.

Great Lakes cleanup comes with an economic ripple effect

Duluth and Superior are among the regional cities seeing a boom after environmental restoration efforts.
“I did not set out to find failure and errors in the file. They were glaring almost from Page 1,” Stearns County Sheriff Don Gudmundson said.

Sheriff said he couldn't ignore flaws in Jacob Wetterling case

Don Gudmundson stunned the state with a blunt critique of the 27-year child abduction investigation and its perplexing blunders.
A train typically carries visitors through a tunnel at the Soudan Underground Mine State Park in northern Minnesota. Now the park is adding walking to

New Soudan mine tours go deep – into geology, that is

Underground walk focuses on the science behind ore mining

St. Peter couple charged with child neglect after boy, 5, left in woods

A man and woman in southern Minnesota have been charged with child neglect after telling authorities they dropped off a 5-year-old boy in the woods…
The town of Winthrop, Minn., placed its only stoplight in a local museum after it was taken down.

It's lights out for lone traffic signals in small Minn. towns

A series of traffic signals in southern Minnesota have disappeared in recent years, casualties of low volumes of vehicles, modern state standards and aging infrastructure expensive to replace.
Miami-based Victory Cruise Lines plans some stops in Duluth by next summer.

With cruising industry booming, Duluth bets on new wave of passenger ships

In hopes of establishing the Lake Superior port city as a destination for passenger ships, the city and local agencies are investing in port infrastructure.
A worker handed an object to local archaeologist Susan Mulholland for examination at an excavation site along Arlington Avenue near Arrowhead Road.

Duluth officials discuss ways to respect unearthed remains

Crews digging near an intersection in Duluth in preparation for future road construction came across 55 coffins — all believed to be empty — as…
Biology student Sam Hansen, kayaking near Pokegema Bay, is researching whether paddlers’ activity will scare away geese that are gobbling up wild ri

Near Duluth, geese police paddle to save a beloved grain

University student's research involves scaring away hungry birds.

Confused GPS steers drivers down treacherous road near Ely

Six Mile Lake Road is a two-track, overgrown and muddy thoroughfare — a place better suited to off-road vehicles.

Well-read on current events, Doris Ferree Clegg defended heartfelt causes

Even into her 90s, Doris Clegg wouldn't finish the milk at the bottom of a glass.That was where the dirt settled during the storms of…
Volunteer Carl Solander hosted a program at WTIP North Shore Community Radio, which recently won an Edward R. Murrow award.

WTIP in Grand Marais: A deep-woods dose of radio charm

Listeners near and far have come to appreciate the little community station broadcasting on the tip of Minnesota's Arrowhead.
Wintergreen Northern Wear owner Sue Schurke visited at the product showcase with Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross.

Ely outdoor clothing featured at White House showcase

Susan Schurke was proud that Wintergreen Northern Wear was chosen but also a bit conflicted.

Duluth changes laws, seeks more dignity for homeless

The laws that made it illegal to panhandle or sleep in a car hadn't been enforced lately.
Jack Jablonski, seen in February 2016

Paralyzed in hockey game, Jack Jablonski posts video showing movement in toes

Jablonski, the Benilde-St. Margaret's hockey player who was paralyzed in a game in 2011, raised hope in his recovery Monday when he posted video showing him slightly moving his toes on command.

Plan for northern Minnesota back-roads adventure prompts dust-up

Opposition to the proposed Border to Border Touring Route has mushroomed in places.
Star Tribune file
You can celebrate the Fourth of July with a bang, thanks to local fireworks displays.

After social media storm, Duluth's Independence Day celebration goes forth on the 5th

Officials apologized for heeding weather report, postponing original event.
Neighbors push for more review of proposed pig lot in Fillmore County

Neighbors push for more review of proposed pig lot in Fillmore County

Water and air quality are among their worries.
Thanks to the internet, renting out cabins has become so popular that some officials are now wondering: At what point does the simple family cabin mor

Surge in northern Minnesota cabin rentals sparks tax debate

Renting out cabins has become so popular in Cook County that officials are now reconsidering how they are taxed. But property owners say even if they are often booked, they're not raking in cash.
Chisago County Sheriff Rick Duncan in 2010.

Chisago sheriff resigns amid investigation into 'bizarre' scheme

Investigators say Rick Duncan admitted writing anonymous, threatening letters to coerce a female employee.
Historical Society officials and others are discussing reopening the sacred Grand Mound, an ancient American Indian burial site in northern Minnesota.

Decision to reopen Grand Mound site expected this fall

The American Indian burial mounds have been closed since 2002
Duluth Harbor South Breakwater Outer Light

To the lighthouse: Historic Duluth structure seeks qualified owner

The U.S. Coast Guard deemed the red-roofed structure "excess" to their needs.
The new Ten Below Coworking space in Ely sports the city’s first superfast fiber-optic broadband connection available to the public.

'End-of-the-road' office in Ely gets on the internet fast lane

Ten Below Coworking boasts the city's first fiber-optic broadband-connection available to the public.
Toni Rannetsberger and Jason Horgan rent out their camper on Airbnb. A new ordinance in Two Harbors doesn’t allow for such rentals in backyards.

In Two Harbors, ordinance restricts camper sharing

While it was already a violation of the city's zoning code to occupy a recreational vehicle in a backyard, the new ordinance spells it out clearly for rentals.
Broken service station pipe leads to gasoline spill in Ely

Broken service station pipe leads to gasoline spill in Ely

Officials said some leaked into local sewer system.
Zach Paider, with Bill’s Bay Marina in Red Wing, discussed the challenges facing Lake Pepin as sediment increases in that area of the Mississippi Ri

Shallower Lake Pepin is call to action to deal with sediment

Sediment buildup is making things difficult for boaters as well as local aquatic life, so a grass-roots group is working on changes.
The William A. Irvin has to be moved, but the retired ship is just 15 inches narrower than the opening in the blue pedestrian drawbridge blocking its

William A. Irvin ship museum faces tricky move in Duluth

Slip cleanup, paint job will mean moving the William A. Irvin
Dennis B. McGrath

Dennis B. McGrath, public relations executive who connected with people, dies at 81

The 81-year-old showed an interest in people's lives, families and hobbies, friends said.
Liz Torres looked out a missing window at her home in Villalba, Puerto Rico. "I try not to think about it, but it's impossible because it was very tra

Minnesota doctors call attention to Puerto Rico children's hidden scars

The stress and anxiety left by the storms still plagues young people who have seen their homes destroyed, families uprooted and futures shaken.
Residents of Comerio, Puerto Rico, gave Maria Isa and a relief team from the mainland a walking tour of damage and rebuilding work from Hurricane Mari

Minnesotans reaching out to a still-struggling Puerto Rico

St. Paul hip-hop artist Maria Isa, a proud Sota-Rican, jumped wholeheartedly into bringing attention and aid to the storm-damaged U.S. territory.
A Kick Up the Bricks celebration Thursday launched Duluth’s long-planned reconstruction of Superior Street. The project will take three years.

Long-awaited construction to begin in downtown Duluth

Starting this week, sections of Superior Street will be closed to vehicles over the course of a three-year, $28 million reconstruction project.
No easy task, gathering maple sap in April to boil.

Spat over sap causes maple-tree flap in Ely

The sudden emergence of competition to tap city-owned maple trees now has Ely leaders reconsidering whether to allow anyone to do so.
Todd Carlson, program coordinator for Duluth’s engineering department, navigates a storm tunnel under the city.

Duluth's hidden creeks create miles of grief under city streets

Duluth's aging tunnels can be ticking time bombs for homeowners, city.
In St. Paul, 20,000 rally for gun control

In St. Paul, 20,000 rally for gun control

In rallies at the Capitol and in a few other communities across Minnesota, students found new power and energy as they led March for Our Lives demonstrations.
The last two surviving wolves on Isle Royale might soon get up to 30 new neighbors.

Park Service favors adding up to 30 gray wolves to Isle Royale

Under the plan, which could be finalized in a month, officials will start looking for healthy ones suitable for moving beginning in late autumn.
Cars traveled Monday on the ice road from Madeline Island to Bayfield, seen in the distance.

For Madeline Islanders, Superior's thick ice is a ticket to freedom

This winter's stretch of bitter cold has been downright blissful for full-time residents of Madeline Island, with subfreezing temperatures finally delivering a sheet of lake ice thick enough to drive over.
U.S. Attorney Gregory Brooker announced indictments in connection with the heroin distribution network Thursday at the Duluth Public Safety Building.

Two dozen charged in bust of major heroin ring in northern Minnesota

The distribution network is alleged to have brought multiple kilos of the drugs from Chicago, through the Twin Cities and into the Duluth area.

Should Minnesota's vast St. Louis County be divided?

Once a decade or so, talks stir up the matter of dividing the sprawling Minnesota county.

Duluth plans paddle-only boat launch, park along river

The 7-2 vote came amid controversy, after the city Parks and Recreation Commission voted not to endorse it.
“If this is not the tipping point, we’re getting awfully close," Bob Mokos said on the opening day of the legislative session, holding a photo of

Gun-control advocates sense momentum but prepare to continue fight

A growing cohort of gun-control activists are cautiously optimistic that this time, their voices will make a difference.
Gregory Peck is shown as attorney Atticus Finch in the movie adaptation of "To Kill a Mockingbird." The 1960 novel is staple of classrooms, but that i

After dropping two books with racial slurs, a painful turning of the page in Duluth

The school district's move to drop two beloved books has raised questions and debate about who decides the canon of literature — and when it can change.
Harper Lee, author of the classic "To Kill A Mockingbird," on the campus of the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa, Jan. 27, 2006.

Duluth drops 'Huckleberry Finn,' 'To Kill a Mockingbird' from school curriculum

The district made the decision to remove the two classics in an effort to be considerate of all its students.
Diana Gonzalez and Joseph Bonner from Philadelphia celebrated after the Eagles scored a touchdown in the third quarter.

'Bold North' Super Bowl was smooth showstopper

Super Bowl LII's 10-day celebration of all things winter — ice sculptures, ice skating and even ice in cocktails down Nicollet Mall — culminated Sunday with record-setting cold temps outside as a warm U.S. Bank Stadium cradled a hotly contested game inside.
Vikings fan Andrew Grein of Edina, walked through a crowd of hostile Eagle fans before kickoff of the NFC Championship game at Lincoln Financial Field

Can Philly fans change their image? Only if they want to

Deep loyalties to sports teams form early in life, establishing a culture of conduct, both good and bad, that can be difficult to change, sociologists and psychologists say.
Barber John Vreeman gave long-time client Steve Stormoen his last haircut by Vreeman at Crossing Skyway Barbers & Salon in The Crossings building, Thu

Downtown Minneapolis barber calls it quits after 50 years

John Vreeman was a calm sounding board for political bigwigs, CEOs, FBI agents.
Bluefin Bay resort on Minnesota's North Shore and other businesses in Cook County hire more than 400 international workers each year. But competition

North Shore businesses searching far, wide and close to home for workers

New strategies include recruiting underemployed rural workers and students in small-town high schools, starting a culinary school program and reaching out to displaced Puerto Ricans.
Minnesota Vikings fans do the Skol Chant at US Bank Stadium on Sunday.

What are the odds? Extra point in Vikings game counts for gamblers

Once he had stopped jumping up and down and doing karate kicks inside his living room minutes after the Vikings' walkoff victory Sunday, one fan turned his thoughts to winning an extra $260.
Dee Bartlam rode along the shore of Lake Superior on Duluth’s Park Point. The city’s Cold Front February celebration will feature fat bike demonst

Duluth celebrates winter with Cold Front February

Organizers hope the new festival will lure residents outside.
A snow proposal over Eighth Crow Wing Lake near Nevis, Minn.

Will you be my co-pilot? Flight over Minn. lake leads to creative marriage proposal

A flight student proposed to his girlfriend in lofty northern Minnesota style.
The Nichevo II headed back to Bayfield after picking up passengers at Madeline Island Friday.

Madeline Island ferry put on ice by big winter chill

Frigid weather on Lake Superior halts service to Madeline Island.
Steam rises from Lake Superior at the ship St. Clair comes to harbor during some of the coldest temps of the year Sunday at Canal Park in Duluth.

Winter causing misery in Minnesota with frostbite, busted pipes

Despite the stretch of biting cold temperatures, the winter season, at least so far, has been deemed mild by those who track the so-called Winter Misery Index. And relief is on its way as temperatures warm up on Sunday.
In October, Mayor Emily Larson stopped by a birthday party for centenarians at the Duluth Entertainment Convention Center.

Sky's the limit for energy-packed Duluth Mayor Emily Larson

Mayor Emily Larson shows up with energy and pluck
The St. Cloud Regional Airport is gearing up for Super Bowl traffic, expecting VIPs in private jets to need space to land, park and refuel their aircr

Regional airports prep for Super Bowl landings

At St. Cloud Regional Airport, staff members are counting out corporate jet parking spots and rehearsing scenarios to plow snow from runways amid more takeoffs…
“First Day Hikes” will give Minnesotans a chance to follow in these 2015 walkers’ footsteps.

Minnesota state parks to offer 'First Day Hikes' on New Year's Day (weather permitting)

About a dozen state parks are slated to offer "First Day Hikes" on Jan. 1. But the forecast calls for a bitter start to 2018, with Monday's expected high temperature in the Twin Cities to be 2 below.
The BWCA is unlikely to see a lot of debate about bicycles in the wilderness. “Mountain bikes generally don’t float,” said one bike enthusiast.

Wheels in the wilderness? Bill to allow bikes divides outdoor lovers

Bill splits cyclists, conservationists over bikes in BWCA, other wild areas.
Billy Glaze, pictured in a 1988 file photo, walks out of the Federal building in Minneapolis.

Minnesota high court considers whether late serial killer deserves case review

Innocence Project wants to clear the name of Billy Glaze and seek justice.
FILE - In this Nov. 12, 2017, file photo, participants rally outside CNN's Hollywood studios on Sunset Boulevard to take a stand against sexual assaul

Could cascade of allegations send #MeToo off the rails?

Some fear the cultural shift in the movement engenders backlash.
A snowy owl somehow made its way in through an exhaust venting system at Alakef Coffee in Duluth, Minn.

Snowy owl rescued from Minnesota coffee roaster's equipment

A snowy owl somehow got stuck inside a vent at a Duluth coffee roasting facility.
Oxycodone-acetaminophen pills. County attorneys in Minnesota on Thursday announced lawsuits against drug manufacturers and distributors for the public

Minnesota counties file lawsuits against opioid manufacturers

They join a wave of lawsuits across the country trying to recoup costs for the public health crisis.
Eileen Brown, owner of How Sweet It Is Cakes, worked recently in her new space inside the Duluth Grill.

After financial woes, a sweet solution for Duluth bakery

Eileen Brown has brought the goods loved at How Sweet It Is Cakes to the Du­luth Grill.
FILE - This June 18, 2016 photo provided by the Pine County Jail in Minnesota shows Victor Barnard. Barnard, the leader of an isolated religious commu

Cult leader's prison sentence ordered reduced by six years

Victor Barnard's sentence reduced to 24 years.
Ramsey County Attorney John Choi, who said his County Board met in a closed session Tuesday to discuss pending litigation, said the county plans to fi

Minn. counties, cities joining rush of lawsuits against opioid producers

They are joining scores of county and local governments alleging manufacturers and distributors of prescription opioids are largely responsible for an epidemic of dangerous addiction.
Rose Carlson, 5, and Della Ridlon, 4, played while community members put up holiday decorations at the new pocket park in downtown Chisholm.

Grassroots effort is sprucing up Chisholm

Locals brainstormed on making downtown better with grant money.
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