Freighter detained in harbor says bon voyage

A freighter that's been anchored in the Duluth harbor since October finally left on Friday.

The U.S. Coast Guard announced Thursday that it had reached an agreement with the owner and operator of the Cornelia, which it is investigating for dumping oily water. That agreement ended a six-week detention, allowing the oceangoing freighter to depart for the Atlantic before the locks close for the winter.

Earlier this month, the agency revealed its examination into whether the 575-foot ship allegedly discharged the dirty water. Officials have not said where that discharge occurred, only that it didn't appear to have happened in the Duluth harbor.

Jenna Ross @ByJenna


Mayor plans to meet man who hosts nude parties

The City Council this past week voted down a proposal that would have asked party host Glen Williamson to stop holding "clothing optional" parties at a Virginia hotel. Mayor Larry A. Cuffe Jr. said the city might not have the authority to ban the parties, and at least one city councilor said forcing the group out felt like "a witch hunt." The measure failed by a 3-4 vote.

The parties have been held in Virginia since 2010, Williamson told the Star Tribune last month. Williamson owns a nudist campground near Sandstone and says he's hosted similar parties for 20 years with his company, AttractionUSA.

A Virginia pastor drew the council's attention to the parties earlier this year, and a coalition of citizens plans to write a letter asking Williamson to leave, Cuffe said. Williamson, in a lengthy e-mail to the City Council, said he would leave if the city asked him to. For now, Cuffe said, he doesn't know what will happen.

"The issue has not been put to bed," he said.

Williamson told Cuffe he would like to meet with the mayor in February around the time of the next planned clothing-optional party in Virginia. Cuffe said he's not sure what the meeting will involve, adding there may be some other people there.

Matt McKinney @_mattmckinney


Police chief resigns to take job in Wichita next month

Saying it was a tough decision, Duluth Police Chief Gordon Ramsay announced Friday he plans to leave the city to become the next chief of the Wichita Police Department in Kansas. His first day will be Jan. 28. Ramsay, 43, attended a Duluth high school and earned degrees from the University of Minnesota Duluth and the College of St. Scholastica. He has been on Duluth's police department for 22 years, and its chief since 2006.

In Wichita, Ramsay will oversee an $82 million budget and 836 employees, compared with a $20 million budget and 120 employees in Duluth. Ramsay beat out 61 other applicants for the $170,000-a-year post.

Matt McKinney @_mattmckinney