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 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)