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Great Lakes Freighter Renamed To Honor Oberstar

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James Oberstar. (credit: Brendan Smialowski/Getty Images)

James Oberstar. (credit: Brendan Smialowski/Getty Images)

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DULUTH, Minn. (AP) — A Great Lakes freighter has been renamed the Hon. James L. Oberstar, honoring the former Minnesota congressman who spent decades as a leading player in U.S. transportation policy.

His wife formally rechristened the 806-foot ore carrier in the Duluth harbor Tuesday by smashing a ceremonial champagne bottle across its bow.

The carrier is owned by Interlake Steamship Co. Company officials say Oberstar deserves to be recognized because he made the Great Lakes a priority during his entire congressional career.

The 76-year-old Oberstar says he’s humbled by the honor. He says he never imagined having his name on a vessel of this significance.

The Duluth News Tribune report says the ship has been used most recently to shuttle taconite pellets from Minnesota to steel mills near Detroit and Chicago.

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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