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Articles written by Ann Markusen

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On The Mark: Finding out what makes politicans tick

Have you ever wondered why our neighbors decide to run for office? What life encounters led them to do so? Here are my endorsements for three local candidates - Michelle Lee, Mike Sundin and Quinn...

 

Sawyer native wins Minnesota Sings contest

Due to Covid-19 and social distancing mandates, the 11th annual Minnesota Sings competition took place virtually this year. Participants submitted videos of their performances via YouTube. Sawyer...

 

On The Mark: Scarecrows bring a fall flair to Cromwell

If you've driven through Cromwell this past week, you'll have glimpsed the 10 scarecrows lining the main street downtown. Because the usually annual Harvest Fest had to be canceled, the Cromwell Area...

 

On The Mark: There are always surprises when putting garden to bed

Three nights of frost propelled us into motion. Our roomy veggie garden still had lots growing in it: squash, pumpkins, tomatoes, peppers, chard, kale, basil and other herbs. Green beans that have bee...

 

On The Mark: DFL makes best of Labor Day

Labor Day turned out windy and rain-free but cold - 57 degrees in Cloquet's Veterans Park. Lots of people showed up for chili, music and rousing speeches in front of a cheeky sign saying to "elect an...

 

Drifting Into Watercolor

Cloquet's Lyn Jutila is currently exhibiting her watercolors at the Pine Knot office. She recently sat down with us to talk about her work and how she became a watercolorist after hanging her...

 

On The Mark: Cromwell-Wright plan uses small school size to its advantage

Over the past month, our area schools have had to redesign their spaces and curricula to cope with Covid-19 and submit their plans to the Minnesota Department of Education. Thanks to the size of the...

 

On The Mark: There are better ways to cut prison costs

In early August, the Minnesota Department of Corrections announced the pending closure of two of its prisons due to the state’s budget crisis. Both are among the smallest of our prisons. They are...

 

On The Mark: Gershwin comes alive with close listening

Music and film have long offered “outsiders” — immigrants, women, African Americans — opportunities to tell their stories, use their talents and earn a living. Often pigeonholed into...

 
 By Ann Markusen    News    August 7, 2020

County has a berry cornucopia

As children, we'd pile into our family car and head north from Minneapolis on Highway 65 for Cromwell to visit my grandfather. After 30 miles or so, leaving the suburbs behind, my father began to scou...

 
 By Ann Markusen    Opinion    July 24, 2020

On The Mark: Jazz, al fresco, is a delight

It was a balmy evening, perfect for sitting outside and listening to high-energy jazz. We'd brought our lawn chairs and positioned them near the front of the tent, to the left of the stage. We were...

 
 By Ann Markusen    Outdoors    July 17, 2020

On the Mark: Up north swimming vacation hits the spot

Tired of staying home and not hosting friends and family for meals, music evenings and overnights, my husband and I provisioned our small motorhome and set out for a week in the Northwoods. We'd...

 
 By Ann Markusen    Opinion    July 10, 2020

On The Mark: School made things work

Cromwell-Wright Superintendent/Principal Nathan Libbon reflected recently on his team’s response to the order to close schools and educate from afar this past spring. To me, it sounded incredibly cr...

 
 By Ann Markusen    Opinion    July 10, 2020

Senior offers perspective on school year cut short

“It was the second week of April,” recalled Amber Collman, a senior at Cromwell-Wright High School. They had only a couple of days to decamp and prepare for remote schooling, time that their...

 
 By Ann Markusen    Opinion    July 3, 2020

On The Mark: Violence against Black Americans has deep roots through history

Why are African Americans so often the victims of police killings? A history of enslavement, violence-enforced exploitation and often killing labor, followed by decades of industrial exploitation and...

 
 By Ann Markusen    People    July 3, 2020

Watercolorist finds joy in plein air painting

For the next two months, the Pine Knot Gallery will exhibit Julia Jaakola's watercolors, with an opening and in-person (socially distanced) reception on Thursday, July 9. How did Julia become an artis... Full story

 
 By Ann Markusen    News    June 26, 2020

On The Mark: Police trainings pit 'warrior' vs. 'guardian'

I’ve been so sad since George Floyd’s murder. It’s sad and enraging. I keep wondering how it could have been different. For years, my son has been teaching me about police brutality against...

 
 By Ann Markusen    COVID-19    June 12, 2020

Artists get a boost in pandemic dearth

In this pandemic, artists are among the most financially vulnerable. At the last full Census count, 65 percent of writers, 57 percent of visual artists, 41 percent of musicians and singers, and 36... Full story

 
 By Ann Markusen    Opinion    June 12, 2020

On The Mark: Still peeling popple after all these years

Walking south and west from home, over moraines left by the last glacier, I follow the chainsaw sound, pausing to watch a chestnut-sided warbler. Veering off trail, I find my brother Steve peeling...

 
 By Ann Markusen    Outdoors    May 29, 2020

On The Mark: Birders delight in nearby refuge

May is a spectacular month for birding in our part of Minnesota. Not just in numbers, but variety, artistry and antics. In April, the early birds touch down for a visit on their way north: snow... Full story

 

Obituaries: Delynn Marie (Morrow) Loeb

Delynn Marie (Morrow) Loeb, 76, of Los Gatos, California, and formerly of Pengilly, Cloquet, and Owatonna, passed away May 18, 2020. Our merciful God was truly on her side as she passed suddenly,... Full story

 
 By Ann Markusen    News    May 15, 2020

On the Mark: Past economic challenges offer lessons

Through interviews, we’ve been learning about Carlton County’s small-business challenges with COVID-19 social distancing requirements and mandatory shutdowns of many kinds of businesses. Here’s...

 
 By Ann Markusen    News    May 8, 2020

On The Mark: Food shelf volunteers fill new gaps

As increasing numbers of our neighbors are laid off or staying home with children, they find it harder to make ends meet. Nonprofits such as the Tri-Community Food Shelf are helping mightily to...

 
 By Ann Markusen    News    May 1, 2020

On the Mark: Small businesses try to stay upbeat

Tracey Goranson's "Hair It Is!" is the longest-living commercial business on Cromwell's Main Street. Tracey offers haircuts, perms, color, eyebrow waxing and a tanning booth to men, women and...

 

On The Mark: Food providers adapt during 'stay at home'

I set out to ask small businesses in Carlton County how they are faring under social distancing practices. I found amazing spirit, concerns, and accommodation on the part of employers, suppliers, cust...

 

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