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
The shore has badly eroded in front of Mike and Kathy Briggs’ log cabin on Lake Superior, so they chose to build a new structure farther back.

Fierce storms, high water gobble up Lake Superior's south shore

After several years of high water on the Great Lakes, residents and governments are scrambling to figure out what to do to combat Mother Nature's wrath.
Former Vice President Walter Mondale on the balcony of his Mill District condo, which is a short drive from his office at Dorsey & Whitney.

Walter Mondale still in demand and politically engaged at 91

While the grind of an election campaign is well behind him and his hair is now white, he's still engaged and the demands on his time don't stop.
Marine 19, Duluth’s new tricked-out firefighting and rescue boat, shot a stream of lake water at a target during a training session

Duluth's new boat helps fight fires from Lake Superior

Duluth vessel equipped for fire, medical, environmental response
Seth Steed Jeffs, 32, of Hildale, Utah, leaves the federal courthouse in Denver, on Thursday, Nov. 17, 2005, after entering a plea of not guilty on ch

NE. Minn. county orders work to halt on building project with possible ties to religious sect

Project has raised public concern because of Seth Jeffs' past.
Rochester VFW Post 1215 Honor Guard members presented the colors during a shortened Memorial Day military salute in the rain. Three twisters touched d

Memorial Day weather in Minnesota included heavy rains, tornadoes

Much of Minnesota got a Memorial Day soaking, with spots in the southeast corner of the state getting hit by tornadoes. The National Weather Service…
Jake Patterson walked into court for his sentencing in the murder of James and Denise Closs at the Barron County Justice Center in Barron, Wis., on Fr

Jake Patterson sentenced to life without possibility of parole

"You are the embodiment of evil," Barron County District Judge James Babler told the kidnapper of Jayme Closs and the murderer of her parents. Closs' statement called Patterson "a coward."
Jake T. Patterson, shown at a February hearing in Barron County Circuit Court.

Patterson faces sentencing today in Closs murders, kidnapping

Wisconsin man pleaded guilty to killing the teen's parents and abducting her.
“I often say to myself, ‘If it wasn’t for these guys I probably wouldn’t be where I’m at right now.’”
Mark Sertich

Duluth's 97-year-old hockey legend Sertich keeps on skating

It's the friendships formed through hockey that help keep him going, says Mark Sertich, who was honored Thursday and still suits up with a local hockey club.
Angle Inlet Elementary School in northern Minnesota will no longer be a one-room schoolhouse after the addition of a multipurpose room this summer.

With addition, Minnesota will lose its last public one-room school

When the multipurpose room is added, the building will double in size.
Elizabeth Smart, who was kidnapped at the age of 14 and held for nine months, spoke at a town hall forum Friday night at Barron High School.

Stay close but give Jayme space, Elizabeth Smart tells Wis. town

Smart, who also survived a lengthy kidnapping as a teenager, offered praise and advice to Jayme Closs' hometown of Barron.
A stand-alone property outside of Grand Marais city limits. Named “Devil Track 219” sitting on Devil Track Lake.

Cook County in northern Minnesota looks to license short-term rentals

Cook County looks to license short-term tourism properties.
A semi got stuck during one of this winter’s many storms.

Drivers scoff at bad conditions, often at own peril this winter

While expectations for winter travel have changed over the decades, the dangers from snow and ice haven't.
Inver Grove Heights police got an 11 p.m. call Friday, Feb. 8, 2019, from a resident who was apparently surprised to find a horse in her basement.

Horse in basement of Inver Grove Heights home spurs police to action

Officers arrived to find a white or tan horse hoofing it through various rooms as police watched through windows from the outside.
Leo Perez, a Minneapolis postdoc, and his mother, Amara, visiting from Puerto Rico, walked along Duluth’s Canal Park in June.

Despite bump in tourism dollars, Duluth sees room for growth

Overall, tourism tax revenue was up 4.7 percent from the year before.
Jake T. Patterson, charged with kidnapping 13-year-old Jayme Closs and killing her parents last fall, appeared for a brief hearing in Barron County Ci

Man charged with kidnapping Jayme Closs appears in court

Jake T. Patterson did not enter a plea to charges that could imprison him for life if convicted. His next court date was scheduled for March 27.
A long lines of people for the security are seen at Chicago O'Hare International airport.

American Airlines' move into Duluth airport 'changes the game'

American Airlines announced two daily direct flights from Duluth International Airport to O'Hare, and two coming from the Windy City.
An artist’s rendering shows a planned 15-story, market-rate apartment building along Duluth’s main downtown thoroughfare, Superior Street.

Skyline change coming to downtown Duluth

New apartment building, medical center will rise near each other.
In this image made from a pool video by KSTP-TV, Jake Thomas Patterson, 21, who is accused of abducting 13-year-old Jayme Closs and holding her captiv

Douglas County, Wis., to hold off on additional charges vs. Closs suspect

But additional charges could still be filed against the man accused of abducting Jayme Closs and murdering her parents last October.
Antonia Long

Northern Minnesota girl wins bid to pose with gun in yearbook photo

Blackduck school board clears yearbook photo after discussion.
In this image made from a pool video, Jake Thomas Patterson, 21, makes his initial court appearance on kidnapping and murder charges related to the di

Decision to add charges vs. Closs kidnap suspect will be sensitive

Few details of what happened in Jake Patterson's cabin have been released. They might be shielded to protect Jayme Closs.
Barron Area School District Administrator Diane Tremblay said administrators will meet with Department of Justice officials on Thursday to work on a p

After Jayme Closs returns, Wisconsin town wonders how to feel safe

The randomness of a meticulously planned crime has shaken residents of Barron, Wis.
Facing charges: Jake Patterson appeared with one of his attorneys via video. Charging documents sat on the table.

Charges: Suspect says he killed Jayme's parents, abducted her

The 13-year-old Wisconsin girl told authorities that the suspect first killed her father at the front door of their house, and then broke down the door to the bathroom where she and her mother were hiding.
Jayme Closs, right, with her aunt Jennifer Smith in a photo posted Friday to the "Healing for Jayme Closs" Facebook page, which has closely tracked Ja

Back with family after escaping, Jayme Closs 'is the hero'

Wisconsin authorities said Jayme Closs was abducted by 21-year-old Jake T. Patterson, who is being charged with murder and kidnapping. She was reunited with her family. "It's amazing, the will of that 13-year-old girl to survive and escape," Sheriff Chris Fitzgerald said.
The sign outside Barron, Wis., City Hall celebrated the escape of 13-year-old Jayme Closs.

After 88 days of worrying about Jayme Closs, northwest Wisconsin finally can celebrate

Elated residents couldn't help but gush after the teen's 88 days away.
Denfeld High School senior Lindsay Johnson, 17, helped Laura Macarthur Elementary School second grader KaMirra Spencer with her reading as part of the

Duluth works to bridge teaching gap with new high school course

There are about 30 students in Denfeld High School's new class, promoted especially to students of color and designed to encourage students to think critically about the history of educational inequity and show them how they can become part of the solution through a career in teaching — preferably right back in the Duluth school district.
“After this week or this weekend … if there’s no agreement, we will start doing long-range planning,” said Minnesota Management and Budget Com

Minnesota state agencies ponder how federal shutdown will hit home

With no end in sight for the stalemate in Washington, leaders in Minnesota are scrambling to figure out what, exactly, will be disrupted and when.
Elizabeth “Betty” Scheurer

Elizabeth Scheurer, compassionate critical care nurse, dies

Elizabeth "Betty" Scheurer was practically unflappable.As a pioneer in critical care nursing for open-heart surgery patients and a mother of four whose husband frequently traveled…
The sculpture “Green Bear” sits near Lake Superior in Duluth’s Lake Place Park, which will now be called Gichi-ode’ Akiing.

New name for Duluth park aims to close cultural gaps

Lake Place Park sits over Interstate 35 and connects Lake Superior to Duluth’s historic downtown. Soon, community leaders say, it will connect cultures and people,…
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.
mug

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.
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