July 14, 2004

On Monday, discovery of a live mortar shell disrupted excavation work at the Duluth Entertainment Convention Center, just one day before President George W. Bush will attend a campaign rally at the complex. The Minnesota Air National Guard's 148th Fighter Wing Explosive Ordinance Disposal Unit successfully detonated the World War II-era, 60mm round, which was discovered in a dirt stockpile excavated for a new theater's sewer, water and gas lines. It was the third unexploded shell discovered in recent weeks at the site of the $5 million multiplex under construction in the northeast section of the DECC parking lot. "At the request of the Secret Service, we can't do any excavation Tuesday, because the president is here, but we can do other work," said Jerry Barrett, co-owner and supervisor with CBS Construction, the contractor building the new theater.

The $5.5 million, 44,000-square-foot Pipac Centre on the Lake in Cedar Falls, Iowa, opened last week. The convention and meeting center features an in-house chef, A/V services, a Brazilian cherry wood boardroom and a terrace overlooking the Prairie Lakes. A 64-room Wingate Hotel next to the new facility will open in September.