Duluth's Redlight District Shines in Spotlight in the Wake of Friday's Murder

By KBJR News 1

April 30, 2012 Updated Apr 30, 2012 at 9:26 PM CDT

Duluth, MN (Northlands NewsCenter)
-- In the wake of the 1st Murder in Duluth since 2010, the 100th Block of 1st Street in East Duluth has been in the spotlight.

An area some say is gaining a reputation for drugs, alcohol and prostitution.

If you look at the past week, for example, within a half mile radius of this location, 62 crimes have taken place ranging from disturbing the peace to Friday's homicide.

Other neighborhoods like Lincoln Park have only seen nine crimes.

Higher on the hillside in the 900th block on 8th street only ten crimes.

It's safe to say, in the city of Duluth, the majority of crimes take place in this downtown area.

But it's not just the numbers that tell the story, the people that have been working and living in this area call this area the red light district.

Pastor Keith Jefferies works at On Eagles Wings, and says in the twelve years he's been in the Downtown area, he's seen it all; drug and alcohol addition for the most part but also an issue with prostitution, an age old problem still prevalent on 1st Street.

"There are some of them that have been out here ten years...they lock them up and they are right back out here. It's an ongoing cycle but theres not many new faces."

Pastor Jefferies takes anybody into his church and provides food and shelter and says this block needs this type of refuge.

Zach Vavricka

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