Articles written by Francy Chammings

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Calling for some kindness

The words “Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” are ensconced in the preamble to the Declaration of Independence. At a time when people in the new colonies struggled to meet basic needs, procu... Full story


Francy that: When it comes to saving the world, everybody matters

We live in the land of more than 10,000 lakes and 6,000 rivers and streams. Fresh clean water sustains our way of life from the systems in our homes, to the farmers who grow our food, to the outdoor... Full story


We can all help the watersheds

For much of the history of this country, rivers, lakes and waterways served as our sewers. That is until the Cuyahoga River in Ohio caught fire for the 13th time in 1969. This prompted the passage of... Full story


Francy That: 'Worthless' land provides wide range of benefits

When I was young, we called them swamps, those low areas on the farms where grass for pasture or hay crops failed to grow. They were often wet and farmers said the soil was “sour” and the land wor...


Francy that: Theater is a shining gem in the area

We had seen the flyers around town and the articles in the Pine Knot in the six years after we moved to Carlton County. We never managed to attend a performance of the County Seat Theater until our... Full story


Newspapers play important role in ancestry research

Those enticing ads depicting people immigrating to a better life in the USA sponsored by have succeeded in convincing millions of people to submit DNA samples as a means of finding their... Full story


Movie theater survives despite many plot twists

There was a time in America when going to the movies was a favorite pastime for people of all ages. Then, enter television, home theater systems, movie rentals and now streaming services, and the... Full story


Home sweet home, here in Carlton County

Christmas will have passed by the time this piece appears in the paper. Here’s hoping it was a time of peace and joy for all. Now, we look to the new year with expectations that maybe life will i... Full story


Francy that: An unwanted holiday guest lurks

Last spring, after months of following Covid-19 guidelines, we completed a road trip to South Carolina. Many activities were outdoors or in buildings that required masks. No Covid symptoms upon our...


Francy that: 'As a civil society, we know better'

In general, Americans are generous and willing to lend a helping hand to our fellow citizens. Donations after disasters, local charitable fundraisers and volunteer efforts for those in need... Full story


Legacy lives in beadwork and in book

For many of us, the opportunity to tell people how much we admire them or recognize their accomplishments slips away when that person passes from this life. Ozhaawashkogiizhigokwe Janis Fairbanks...


Francy that: We can't take water for granted

Cool, clear, water. Nothing compares with that most basic of human needs, the substance that comprises 55-60 percent of our bodies, the liquid that flows freely from our taps, flushes our toilets and...

 By Francy Chammings    News    June 24, 2022

Students fill gaps at Mobile Food Pantry program

The bad news just keeps coming: War in Ukraine, mass shooting, gas prices and inflation. But in the midst of the cacophony of the negative, we can find reasons to hope for a better future. One of the... Full story


They're sharing Lilly's hearing journey

Storytime at Cloquet's Public Library has been an integral part of Katie Beck's schedule ever since Stella, her 5-year-old daughter, was born. So, when children's librarian Keiko Satomi suggested...


Wanted: a place for lost dogs and cats

In August, Carlton County will have been without an animal shelter for four years. That's not OK, says a new group of concerned citizens. Now called Carlton County Animal Rescue, the group has been... Full story


Across a century, print shop remains

Rebuilding Cloquet after the 1918 fire spurred not just growth of the wood products industries, including paper production, but also what are known as "spin-off" developments. The Northern Printery,...


Francy That: Thank goodness we have a local newspaper

We know as citizens of Carlton County that we are very fortunate. We live in one of the most bucolic domains of nature populated with magnificent forests, crystal clear streams, and multiple lakes... Full story


Wood City Quilters scratch an itch for stitch

Some of us may remember learning about the pioneer days when the women settlers would gather every so often for a quilting bee, a day of camaraderie and sewing. Even though our 21st-century lifestyle... Full story


Francy That: Farm stories show the value of local agriculture

For the past several months, I have had the privilege of interviewing and writing about a few of the farmers in Carlton County. Summer is an extremely busy time for them, but they graciously sat...


Family keeps tradition alive at 100-year-old farm

In 1976, Roy and Rose Aho decided to sell their dairy cattle and quit farming. Roy had been hired full-time at the paper mill (now Sappi). With small children to care for, Rose could not manage the... Full story


A branch off the area CSA farming tree

In 2005, Rick Dalen and his wife Karola had the opportunity to start their own Community Supported Agriculture business under the tutelage of John Fisher-Merritt, founder of the Food Farm in... Full story


Holding on despite dairy trends

"I am one of a dying breed," said Peter Laveau during a recent interview at his farm. He is referring to his occupation as an independent family dairy farmer. In 1990, the state numbered just under... Full story

 By Francy Chammings    News    June 11, 2021

Lands: Muse and music on the farm

Some folks come to farming through family generations, finding themselves tilling the soil on acres cleared and planted by those whose DNA inhabits the cells in their bodies. Others arrive on the... Full story


In a changing world, savoring our farms

Sometimes we hold a treasure within our reach without an awareness of its value and, as the refrain from the song "Big Yellow Taxi" goes, "Don't it always seem to go that you don't know what you don't... Full story


Francy That: It's rinse, repeat on discord -but don't let that dash hopes

It comes with age, not wisdom necessarily as the Bible says, but rather an ability to recognize and fathom the depth of the divide facing our democracy. We have been here before, in the lifetimes of... Full story


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