Retired WDIO/WIRT news anchor Dennis Anderson (Good Night, Everybody…and be Kind) has been called “The Voice of the Northland” and the region’s “dean of television broadcasting,” A native of Virginia, Minnesota, Anderson anchored the WDIO/WIRT-TV news from 1970 until 2011, during which his newscasts received many honors, including two Emmy awards, an Edward R. Murrow award, and three Eric Sevareid awards for coverage of the Paul Wellstone plane crash. Today Denny co-hosts WDSE-TV’s “Almanac North” on Friday evenings.
Heidi Bakk-Hansen is an educator and writer who fled to the Air-Conditioned City during the Chicago Heat Wave of 1995. She was one of the founders of the Clayton Jackson McGhie Memorial Committee and wrote for the Ripsaw News during its heyday as an alternative weekly newspaper. Heidi resides in Hunters Park and is currently developing two books for Zenith City Press. Click here to view an archive of Bakk-Hanson’s work for Zenith City Online.
Duluth native Anthony Bush a graduate of Proctor High School, works as a special education paraprofessional for Duluth Public Schools. Bush has served as pitcher, president, and general manager of the Duluth Dukes amateur baseball club of the Wisconsin Baseball Association’s Upper 13 League. A member of the Society For American Baseball Research, Bush began writing about the history of local sports in 2012. Click here to view an archive of Bush’s work for Zenith City Online.
Duluth native Pete Clure, coauthor of Naturally Brewed, Naturally Better: The Historic Breweries of Duluth & Superior, has been collecting memorabilia related to and researching the history of brewing in the Twin Ports for more than forty years. He has coauthored histories of Northern Brewing Co. and Duluth Brewing & Malting for the American Breweriana Journal and is a member of the American Breweriana Association, the National Association of Breweriana Advertising Collectors, the North Star Chapter of the Breweriana Collectors of America, the Hamm’s Club, and Duluth’s own Nordlager Club. He works seasonally for Sea Service, shuttling ship pilots to oceangoing vessels docked outside of the Duluth-Superior Harbor, who in turn navigate the salties through the Duluth Ship Canal as required by law. But most days you’ll find him working as a sales representative for the Zenith City’s Michaud Distributing, making sure that Superior, Duluth, and Proctor, Minnesota, never run out of beer.
John DeSanto (Will to Murder) was born in Duluth and graduated valedictorian from Duluth Cathedral High School in 1964. He received a B.A. from the University of Minnesota Duluth in 1968 and went on to study law at the University of Minnesota, graduating in 1973. In 2009 DeSanto was appointed trial court judge for Minnesota’s Sixth Judicial District after 35 as Assistant St. Louis County Attorney. He finally retired for good in 2016.
Tony Dierckins, founder and publisher of Zenith City Press, has written or co-written over two dozen books. Click here to learn more about Dierckins, and here to view an archive of Dierckins’ work for Zenith City Online.
Gail Feichtinger (Will to Murder) first researched the Glensheen murders as a crime reporter for the Duluth News-Tribune and Duluth Herald. Feichtinger was born in Stamford, Connecticut, studied journalism at Southern Methodist University and received a B.A. from Carleton College, and worked as a journalist until 1995. Feichtinger is now an assistant attorney general for the Minnesota Attorney General’s office.
Chuck Frederick (Leatherheads of the North), editorial page editor for the Duluth News Tribune, is a veteran journalist of more than thirty years. With a passion for local history, Frederick is the author of Spirit of the Lights (2011) Duluth: The City and the People (1994) and contributed heavily to two News Tribune book-length publications: Aerial Lift Bridge: Spanning a Century (2005) and Duluth: Then and Now (2005).
Former Duluth Herald and Duluth News Tribune columnist and journalist Jim Heffernan (Cooler Near the Lake), who shared his funny and fascinating perspective of Duluth for decades continues his musings while in retirement on his blog (www.jimheffernan.org). Click here to visit Jim’s blog and read the stories he published for Zenith City Online.
Jeff Lemke is a research specialist and former corporate training manager who became a federally certified railroad conductor and locomotive servicing engineer. Today he leverages these capabilities operating trains on a Class 1 railroad and instructing new conductors on how to do their jobs safely and efficiently. Jeff’s current passion, along with model train design, is restoring old railroad and industrial photographs and sharing them digitally on his website, Twin Ports Rail History. Click here to view an archive of Lemke’s work for Zenith City Online.
Judith Liebaert has been writing and publishing regionally for more than 25 years and writes regularly for local publications. Judith was born and raised in Superior. She has worked as an employee and volunteer at Superior Public Museums since 2005, which fuels her undying interest in the region’s history. Click here to view an archive of Liebaert’s work for Zenith City Online.
NANCY S. NELSON
Nancy S. Nelson (Duluth’s Historic Parks) has worked as a freelance technical writer, geologist, and educator in the Duluth area for over twenty years, writing and editing for a variety of non-profit and grassroots organizations, political campaigns, newspapers, government agencies, and environmental consulting firms. She has also taught at Lake Superior College, University of Wisconsin–Superior, and Wisconsin Indianhead Technical College. She moved to Duluth from northern Illinois in 1987 to live near Lake Superior and attend the University of Minnesota Duluth, where she earned a master’s degree in geology. One of the founders of Duluth’s Skyline Planning and Preservation Alliance, she continues to advocate for the protection of our historic greenspaces and enjoys exploring local parks and trails, always seeking to better understand the ways in which we are influenced by the landscape.
MARYANNE C. NORTON
Historian and Minneapolis native Maryanne C. Norton (Lost Duluth) worked as an archivist and librarian for the Marathon County Historical Society in Wausau, Wisconsin, before moving to Duluth in 1987. Maryanne served as assistant director of the St. Louis County Historical Society and volunteered at the Duluth Public Library, helping others with historic and genealogical research for over two decades. Along the way she served on Duluth’s Heritage Preservation Commission, received the the Duluth Depot Foundation’s Historic Preservation and Interpretation Award, and coauthored several books including Images of America: Duluth, Minnesota with Sheldon Aybut and Zenith City Press’s Lost Duluth. Maryanne passed away in 2018 at age 84.
Dennis O’Hara (Picture Duluth, Glensheen) grew up in West Duluth, graduating from Denfeld High School and the University of Minnesota Duluth before studying at the New York Institute of Photography. His photography career began in the early 1970s, operating cameras in a RF-4C reconnaissance jet with the Minnesota Air National Guard’s 148th Fighter Wing. His photos can be found online at northernimages.com.
Duluth native David Ouse worked as a reference librarian at the Duluth Public Library for over thirty years and retired as the library’s Supervisor of Public Services. A graduate of UMD and the University of Minnesota, Ouse is the author of the book Forgotten Duluthians and writes the Duluth News-Tribune’s daily “Bygones” column. Click here to view an archive of Ouse’s work for Zenith City Online.
Gina Temple-Rhodes records oral histories for local non-profits. Recordings of her efforts are on file at the Northeast Minnesota Historical Center at the University of Minnesota Duluth Kathryn A. Martin Library Archives and Special Collections. Read her article “Giving Birth in Duluth, 1855–2015” here.
Dan Turner a historian, photographer, and linguist. His work includes numerous building profiles from around the country focussing on lost history, some of which can be found on his website, substreet.org. Dan has worked with Zenith City Press on several of its publications and designed and maintains our website. Click here to view an archive of Turner’s work for Zenith City Online.
Gary Waller (Will to Murder) was born in Duluth, Minnesota, where he served in the police department for twenty-one years. Waller holds a B.A. in criminology from the University of Minnesota Duluth and an M.A. in management from the College of St. Scholastica. In 1986, he was elected St. Louis County Sheriff. He retired in 1999 and died in August, 2017.