Duluth’s interim police chief will likely be getting the job full time. Mayor Emily Larson last week announced that Mike Tusken, a former deputy police chief, sergeant and lieutenant, is her choice for the job after a monthlong hiring process including a community review panel, survey and staff meetings.

Larson said in a news release that Tusken “exemplifies passionate public service, dedication to the shield and deep commitment to ensuring the safety of all neighbors and all neighborhoods.”

Tusken said he is accepting the appointment knowing it is a “great responsibility with an equally great opportunity to serve my hometown.”

The Duluth City Council will vote on the appointment Monday.

Pam Louwagie @pamlouwagie

Groundbreaking held for new youth shelter

On any given night, there are an estimated 120 youngsters in Duluth without a safe place to sleep.

Last Thursday, Lutheran Social Service broke ground on a new $9.4 million facility that will offer housing, security and education to at least some of them. The new center in the 1400 block of E. Superior Street will have space for apartments and transitional housing, as well as areas for counseling, classes and life skills lessons.

“Many kids who walk through our doors have not had a stable childhood,” program manager Lynn Gerlach-Collard said in a statement. Some, she said, have grown up hearing the adults around them tell them that they are worthless. “With safe housing and support from caring adults, these kids go on to do amazing things in their lives.”

Lutheran Social Service is close to its fundraising goal, thanks to state and city aid, but is still working to raise an additional $600,000. For more information, visit fromhereon.org.

Jennifer Brooks



Special citizenship ceremony planned

Zahra Zamiri, an immigrant from Iran who survived being shot by her ex-husband earlier this year, will be sworn in as a new U.S. citizen Monday morning during a special one-person ceremony at the Olmsted County Government Center.

U.S. District Judge Donovan W. Frank will preside over the ceremony and administer the Oath of Allegiance to Zamiri, who was shot twice in the chest at close range on March 7, 2016, and required a lengthy hospitalization. Before the shooting, Zamiri had completed most of the process of becoming a U.S. citizen, including an interview with a U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) officer.

The oath will be the final step in the naturalization process. While naturalization ceremonies for applicants living in Minnesota typically take place in the Twin Cities, federal judges and USCIS can accommodate special circumstances.