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Judge Steven B. Hanke Officially Sworn-in at February 2nd Ceremony

Judge Steven B. Hanke was offi­cially sworn in during a ceremony on the morning of February 2, 2024 at the Lake County Courthouse in Two Harbors. He succeeds Sixth Judicial District Judge Michael Cuzzo.

Minnesota’s Sixth Judicial Dis­trict includes St. Louis, Carlton, Cook, and Lake counties.

Judge Hanke will be chambered in both Two Harbors (Lake County) and Grand Marais (Cook County).

Receptions were held following the ceremony in Two Harbors that morning and Grand Marais in the afternoon.

Judge Hanke was appointed last fall by Minnesota Governor Tim Walz. “I am pleased to announce the appointment of Steve Hanke to the Sixth Judicial District,” stated Gov­ernor Walz in an October press re­lease announcing Hanke’s appoint­ment. “His dedication to serving his community and commitment to finding creative solutions to chal­lenging issues makes me confident that he will be an excellent jurist for Lake and Cook counties.”

Dignitaries on hand to greet the new district court judge in Grand Marais that afternoon included Cook County Commissioners Sta­cie Hawkins and Ann Sullivan, along with Chairman of the Grand Portage Band of Lake Superior Chippewa, Robert Deschampe.

Members of law enforcement and the broader community also got some time to meet the new judge and his wife, Chelsea, while enjoy­ing coffee and scones from local businesses.

Steve Fernlund
Steve Fernlund
Typically these “about me” pages include a list of academic achievements (I have none) and positions held (I have had many, but who really cares about those?) So, in the words of the late Admiral James Stockwell, “Who am I? Why am I here?” I’m well into my seventh decade on this blue planet we call home. I’m a pretty successful husband, father, and grandfather, at least in my humble opinion. My progeny may disagree. We have four children and five grandchildren. I spent most of my professional life in the freight business. At the tender age of 40, early retirement beckoned and we moved to Grand Marais. A year after we got here, we bought and operated the Cook County News Herald, a weekly newspaper in Grand Marais. A sharp learning curve for a dumb freight broker to become a newspaper editor and publisher. By 1999 the News Herald was an acquisition target for a rapidly consolidating media market. We sold our businesses and “retired” again, buying a winter retreat in Nevada. In the fall of 2016, we returned to Grand Marais and bought a house from old friends of ours on the ridge overlooking Lake Superior. They were able to move closer to family and their Mexico winter home. And we came home to what we say is our last house. I’m a strong believer in the value of local newspapers--both online and those you can wrap a fish in. I write a weekly column and a couple of feature stories for the Northshore Journal. I’m most interested in writing about the everyday lives of local people and reporting on issues of importance to them.
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