City voted the coolest small town in America

Continuing the North Shore’s trend of winning magazine online voting contests, Grand Marais was just voted America’s Coolest Small Town by Budget Travel magazine.

The town of 1,351 bested the other nine finalists by capturing 30 percent of online votes, outpacing Chinco­teague, Va., an island town known for its wild ponies. That town got 24 percent of votes.

None of the other 13 semifinalists, which included Crested Butte, Co., and Fort Myers Beach, Fla., received more than 10 percent of votes.

The magazine encouraged voters to “Get your canoe on!” when voting for Grand Marais, which it said was perfect for either “a romantic getaway or a real adventure.” More than 100,000 ballots were cast.

Last year Duluth was voted Best Town in America by online voters of Outside magazine.

Karen Lundegaard @DatelineMN


Mondale recovering, released from Mayo Clinic

Former Vice President Walter Mondale was doing well after being released Saturday morning from the Mayo Clinic, where he was treated for flu and cold symptoms, said hospital spokeswoman Kelley Luckstein. Mondale, 87, was admitted after a routine checkup on Friday.




Hay bale hits pickup and starts fire, injuring two

A runaway hay bale hit a pickup in Houston County on Saturday morning, started a fire and seriously injured two people.

The incident occurred northeast of Houston, Minn., near the intersection of County Roads 9 and 21 when a semitrailer truck traveling on a curved stretch of southbound County Road 9 lost some large round bales. One struck a northbound GMC Sierra, causing the GMC to crash into a ditch on the east side of the road and catch fire, according to the State Patrol.

The patrol said Dale Erickson, 59, and his wife, Teresa, 52, of Houston were taken to Gunderson Lutheran Hospital in nearby La Crosse, Wis. It’s unknown whether either was wearing a seat belt. The driver of the semi, Randall Hongerholt, 49, also of Houston, was not injured.

Jim Buchta



Historic Comstock house to close for summer work

The historic Comstock House in Moorhead will close for the summer for lead dust removal.

High levels of lead were detected during restoration work that began last year to the house’s exterior and interior window sills, said Ben Leonard, manager of community outreach for the ­Minnesota Historical Society.

The Victorian home, built in 1883, normally attracts about 1,000 visitors from Memorial Day to Labor Day.

Jenna Ross @byJenna