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
People walked away from the community center in Fond Du Lac after the lock down was lifted. The gymnasium inside is where a man was shot in the head o

Minneapolis man arrested after shooting during Fond du Lac funeral

Mourners helped restrain the suspect until police could arrive
The William A. Irvin museum ore ship was carefully moved into its slip at the Duluth Harbor late Wednesday.

William A. Irvin museum ship is back in its Duluth slip

The masterful maneuver took place with just over a foot of clearance.
William A. Irvin in dry dock.

Duluth's famous Irvin museum ship ready to come home as soon as Wednesday

Officials need a calm day to tow it through the pedestrian bridge.
A photo of Jayme Closs posted last January to Facebook by her aunt Jennifer Smith.

Jayme Closs, who freed herself from her captor, feels 'stronger every day'

Year after her kidnapping, parents' killings, teen is "reclaiming her life."
Split Rock Lighthouse is getting its first new resident keeper in 36 years.

You're hired! Split Rock Lighthouse gets new resident keeper

Hayes Scriven, who now directs a veterans historical museum in Superior, Wis., starts Nov. 1.
A cow moose is spotted on Isle Royale National Park.

Too many moose? Michigan lawmakers push for hunt on Isle Royale

The proposal comes about a year after the Park Service began the controversial move of introducing more wolves to the island, bringing the wild canines in from Minnesota, Canada and the park's home state of Michigan.
The tug Edna G., built in 1896, is on the National Register of Historic Places. It needs expensive repairs, and residents are divided on what to do.

Minnesota town of Two Harbors struggles with saving beloved tug

Historic Edna G. tugboat needs costly repairs and maintenance

Job coach at Duluth high school sentenced to probation for making threats

DULUTH – A former job coach working at Duluth East High School charged with possessing a machine gun conversion kit and threatening violence was…
Former president of the synagogue's board, Rabbi Phillip Sher spoke on behalf of the Adas Israel congregation at the press conference on Sunday.

Homeless man charged in Duluth synagogue fire

Homeless Duluth man not charged with arson but with felony negligence.
Duluth Chief of Police Mike Tusken spoke to members of the press in Duluth City Hall on Sunday. He discussed the arrest of a suspect and the details r

Duluth officials don't believe synagogue fire was a hate crime

No accelerants found in Duluth synagogue blaze; suspect is ID'd.

Booming Duluth craft district scores new tenants

Three new businesses are set to open in Lincoln Park before year's end.
Little remained of Duluth's Adas Israel Congregation on Tuesday after the synagogue was gutted by fire early Monday morning.

Cause of Duluth synagogue fire unknown; officials check new evidence

Investigators are knocking on doors and reviewing surveillance video in search of answers.
Duluth’s William A. Irvin museum ship sat in dry dock at Fraser Shipyards in Superior, Wis. Metal-eating bacteria had gorged not only on its hull, b

Decay on iconic Duluth museum ship more extensive than thought

Bacteria have attacked rivets on William A. Irvin attraction in Duluth.
Steve Kolbe scans the sky for nighthawks. Even from afar, he can spot their telltale long, angular wings, tilted flying patterns and white wing patche

He counts the birds by the thousands

UMD researcher keeps tabs on migrating common nighthawks
St. Louis River Alliance Executive Director Kris Eilers reached down to test some growing stalks in a patch of wild rice.

Local groups help wild rice take root in St. Louis River estuary

"It really is just an important piece of the ecosystem for the wetlands in this region," said Matt Steiger, the St. Louis River's Area of Concern coordinator for the Wisconsin DNR.
Crews hauled out sediment that built up near sawmills on the St. Louis River estuary, a nursery for many kinds of fish and birds.

St. Louis River estuary cleanup starts to bring species home

Projects costing more than $300 million are underway to restore the estuary, which was put onto a list of Great Lakes Areas of Concern three decades ago.
Lt. Cary Rickoff checked with Minnesota Teacher of the Year Jess Davis before her Blue Angels flight.

Ride with the Blue Angels offers front-row seat to precision flying

Reporter gets an up-close look at what will be on display this weekend at Duluth Airshow.
Bowlus, Minn., town treasurer Molly Sobania enjoyed the new playground with her children Aubrey, left, and Roman. Sobania led the grassroots fundraisi

Community of Bowlus comes together to build new playground

Community fundraisers included a garage sale.
A freighter sailed under the Lift Bridge in Duluth in June 2012.

Great Lakes high water could hurt shipping, industry warns

Opening dams in the East could thwart flooding but hurt shipping in Duluth.
Gerry Spiess on his boat trip in "Yankee Girl" in 1981.

Alone against the Atlantic: Minnesota adventurer Gerry Spiess dies at 79

People thought Gerry Spiess was crazy to try to sail across the Atlantic in the tiny vessel he meticulously crafted out of plywood and fiberglass and called Yankee Girl.
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.

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.