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Articles written by Jana Peterson


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  • Alarm saves animals

    Jana Peterson|Jun 7, 2024

    Alert neighbors heard smoke alarms and called 911 last week, leading to the rescue of two dogs and a number of cats, along with the prevention of much-more serious fire damage. Cloquet Area Fire District firefighters were called to a possible structure fire at approximately 2 p.m. May 29 on the 300 block of Second Street in Cloquet. Upon arrival, firefighters found smoke coming from the first level of a two-story home, but the homeowner wasn’t home. They quickly located the fire and e... Full story

  • New owners, renovations coming to senior high-rise

    Jana Peterson|Jun 7, 2024

    Larson Commons is getting a new lease on life. All the pieces for the renovation of the seven-story senior high-rise building by new owners clicked into place during the Cloquet city council meeting Tuesday. That’s when councilors approved a housing program for Larson Commons along with the eventual issuance of $9.37 million in tax-exempt bonds, which will be used to pay for renovations and programming. The bonds will be paid back by the new owners, Steele Properties, LLC, which has experience across the country with affordable housing d...

  • Memorial Day 2024

    Jana Peterson|May 31, 2024

    While some people worked in their gardens, rode four-wheelers or frolicked at the lake, members of honor guards and local veterans organizations made their way from cemetery to cemetery Monday, honoring the dead on Memorial Day with taps and rifle salutes. At Veterans Park in Cloquet, the last stop for the Cloquet Combined Honor Guard and company, a crowd of nearly 150 people of all ages gathered for a short program on a day set aside to honor the men and women who died while serving in the... Full story

  • Legislative effects still uncertain locally

    Jana Peterson|May 31, 2024

    Since the chaotic end to the 2024 legislative session on May 19, folks back at home have been trying to figure out exactly what it all means. Local ambulance services expect to see some of the short-term emergency aid for rural EMS, but exactly how much is still uncertain. Steve Risacher, who serves on the board for the Cromwell-Wright Area Fire District, said they’re pleased something passed, but they still don’t know what it involves for the ambulance service there. How to gain access to it, and what it’s going to be used for, is still pendi...

  • Summer school is short of paraprofessionals

    Jana Peterson|May 31, 2024

    The Cloquet School District is hiring. For the first time in his tenure, superintendent Michael Cary said not enough paraprofessionals applied for summer care jobs. “We were short one person for three weeks, Monday through Thursday, so 12 days,” Cary told school board members during Tuesday’s meeting. “So by contract, we’re having to go from most senior to least senior and offer formal employment one by one until we find somebody willing to take the job.” Cary suspected why there was a dramatic dip in summer applicants: unemploymen...

  • Grads cherish one last moment

    Jana Peterson|May 31, 2024

    At the start of the fourth quarter of the school year, Wrenshall English teacher Joel Swanson drew a 13-foot line on the classroom whiteboard, representing the lives of this year's seniors from kindergarten through senior year. Both Wrenshall valedictorians Jack Riley and Lexis Swanson spoke about it in their commencement speeches Friday afternoon. "He marked out the last three inches of that 13 feet - the time we had remaining as students here. He told us not to take those three inches for... Full story

  • Photo: Knot found

    Jana Peterson|May 24, 2024

    Carlton's Ben and Deb Croft (that's Ben in the picture) received a gift certificate to Outdoor Advantage when they were spotted in a Cloquet parking lot earlier this month with a Pine Knot News "I Think Knot" bumper sticker. Pick up your own sticker at our office at 122 Avenue C in Cloquet and maybe you'll win a gift certificate.... Full story

  • Hyde wove career from art teacher to principal

    Jana Peterson|May 24, 2024

    Thirty-five years ago, Cloquet Area Alternative Education Program principal Connie Hyde would not have dreamed she would be retiring from one of the state's leading alternative learning centers, a school that sends staff and students to train their peers at other schools and which graduated its highest number of students (57) on Thursday. The surprise is not that Hyde remained an educator. "I think I was born for it," she said. "You know how you play school with the neighbor kids? Nine out of...

  • The Jack bar to change hands

    Jana Peterson|May 24, 2024

    Come July 1, Cloquet's most popular downtown bar, The Jack, will be changing hands. Longtime owner Adam Bailey is selling to brothers Ryan Lindstrom and Zach Zezulka, owners of Carmen's Bar & Restaurant. Both are Cloquet grads, both know their way around a bar. But first things first: The Jack will still participate in the annual Labor Day parade, although no one knows if the elaborate dance routines often starring the bar owner will continue. "We've got some fun ideas, a few things up our... Full story

  • After 12 years, city planner Cottingham retires

    Jana Peterson|May 24, 2024

    City planner and zoning administrator Al Cottingham received a round of applause during Tuesday's Cloquet City Council meeting - a meeting he hopes will be his last. Cottingham is retiring June 6, after 12 years with the city of Cloquet. "I will very very much miss seeing you here every day and keeping the rest of us on point," said city administrator Tim Peterson. Cottingham said he will miss the people, the job not so much. "It's time to retire and go do some things that I've been putting on...

  • Signals win the day on Hwy. 33

    Jana Peterson|May 17, 2024

    Roundabouts are off the table, state officials told residents at a May 9 informational meeting on the proposed reconstruction of Minnesota Highway 33. The estimated $3.2 million project will include complete reconstruction of the four-lane highway from Big Lake Road to the north side of the St. Louis River Bridge. Replacement of the intersections at Carlton Avenue and Cloquet Avenue with enhanced signal lights was revealed Thursday as the recommended "preferred concept," said Angie Bolstad,...

  • Esko makes space for fitness, learning

    Jana Peterson|May 17, 2024

    Esko school board members set an open house for the new fitness center for 4-6 p.m. June 10. Expect to see lots of "Esko" and "Sisu" logos decorating the space, located on the south side of the school. "By June 10, all our equipment and furniture will be set up, and I believe our partner, Essentia, has what they need," said superintendent Aaron Fischer. "It's a big deal for Essentia too." At the same meeting Monday, board members voted unanimously to spend almost a half-million dollars to turn...

  • Township tackles sewer issues, approves apartments

    Jana Peterson|May 17, 2024

    A larger-than-expected pipe helped unjam a planned apartment project being held up by sewer capacity issues in Thomson Township. Josh Evans, an assistant engineer with the township’s contracted engineering company, AE2S, had recommended a halt on any new construction in Thomson Township at the board meeting April 18, because he believed the sewer system there was at or exceeding capacity based on modeling and flow data. At the time, township supervisors had refused to issue a moratorium on new construction, but they did delay a vote on the 2...

  • Family picks berry farm

    Jana Peterson|May 10, 2024

    A chilly wind raced across the strawberry fields Monday evening as the Lambert family and four young teenagers meticulously planted rows of strawberries. Together, they were a picture that could have been taken any time in the past 100 years. Slowly, the tractor rolled across the field: Amanda driving with two younger kids inside the cab, protected from the wind, and three or four older kids behind the tractor. Two teenagers sat with their backs to the tractor, taking turns feeding a planter... Full story

  • Bad River Band keeps fighting for rights

    Jana Peterson|May 10, 2024

    The Thunder Film Fest welcomed a regional celebrity to its screening of the "Bad River" documentary Saturday afternoon at Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College. Mike Wiggins Jr., former chairman of the Bad River Band of Lake Superior Chippewa, was the guest of honor and featured in the movie. "Bad River" tells the story of the Wisconsin- based Bad River Band and its ongoing fight for sovereignty - not only its recent legal battle over the 70-year-old Enbridge Line 5 pipeline and the threat...

  • Fire district looks for state funding sources

    Jana Peterson|May 10, 2024

    Work to complete the Minnesota Highway 23 culvert replacement project at Perch Lake near Gary New Duluth will begin May 13. Contractors will begin mobilizing heavy equipment to the site on May 7. Motorists should expect a signal-controlled single-lane bypass. Work is expected to last about one month. A final phase of work to install a recreational bridge on the adjacent Marten Trail is expected to take place later in the summer. The culvert replacement is a part of a Minnesota Department of... Full story

  • 'Godspell' offers fun and faith

    Jana Peterson|May 3, 2024

    Get your dancing shoes on because New Wine is putting on a party, with Jesus and Judas as the two main characters in an updated version of "Godspell." "Godspell" is a (mostly) joyful musical that tells the story of the Book of Matthew and many of the parables through song. "All the songs are just full of energy, except for a couple tearjerkers," said musical director Jennifer Osborne. Many people will recognize the songs, including "Day by Day" and "Prepare Ye the Way of the Lord," plus at... Full story

  • Legislators won't back forestry center bills

    Jana Peterson|May 3, 2024

    Although University of Minnesota administrators say the transfer of the Cloquet Forestry Center is essentially a done deal, Carlton County legislators say they won't vote for bills proposed in the Minnesota House and Senate that would support the land transfer to the Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa. In response to questions posed by the Pine Knot News, Rep. Jeff Dotseth (R-Kettle River) and Sen. Jason Rarick (R-Pine City) both said they would "not support" any measures to move this... Full story

  • Growing school seeks state help for new facility

    Jana Peterson|May 3, 2024

    When the Northern Lights Academy was created seven years ago by the 12 school districts served by the Northern Lights Special Education Cooperative, it gave those schools a place to send students they couldn't serve on their own. It also gave the students - who might have autism or significant emotional and behavioral disabilities and/or mental health needs - a place where they could be surrounded by classmates with similar needs and teachers specially trained to help them. Northern Lights... Full story

  • Cloquet man sentenced for felony child abuse

    Jana Peterson|May 3, 2024

    A Cloquet man was sentenced April 12 for physically abusing a 2-year-old child in his care, pleading guilty to felony third-degree assault. In a plea deal with the Carlton County Attorney’s Office, Travis Dean Thrun, 22, was sentenced to four years, with a stay of adjudication, resulting in supervised probation. Thrun was arrested in November by Cloquet police. According to the criminal complaint, witnesses, including other caregivers, reported the child suffered through a series of three strangulation events, as well as a weeks-old anal cut t...

  • Crucible' offers generational lessons

    Jana Peterson|Apr 26, 2024

    It felt like the right time to tackle something a little more serious, said Cloquet High School theater director Corey Hunt, and what could be better than a play about the Salem witch trials? The CHS performance of "The Crucible," by Arthur Miller, runs this Friday, Saturday and Sunday. "We wanted a different acting challenge for the kids, a different production challenge for the crew," Hunt said. "And a play that has something pretty important to say." Based on historical people and real events... Full story

  • Sewers need upsizing in Esko

    Jana Peterson|Apr 26, 2024

    The issue of sewer line capacity dominated discussions during the April 18 Thomson Township Board meeting, and threatened to shut down an apartment building project that has been in the planning process for over a year. Josh Evans — an assistant engineer with the township’s new contracted engineering company, AE2S — recommended a halt on any new construction after surveying and modeling the sanitary sewer capacity for the Southridge subdivision, where developer Gregg Perich of GSP Const...

  • New Cloquet track shines in debut

    Jana Peterson|Apr 26, 2024

    The Lumberjacks track and field teams held their first home meet Tuesday at the newly renovated Members Cooperative Credit Union Stadium. "We've got a great facility," said head coach Tim Prosen. "We're really excited." While everything is shiny and new, Prosen and assistant coach Michelle Wick really praised the arrangement of the renovated facility. "The layout is way nicer," Wick said. "The kids can stay warmed up easier on the infield turf, which is also just better on their legs. And the... Full story

  • This train is leaving the station

    Jana Peterson|Apr 19, 2024

    A historic train locomotive and caboose pulled out of the Carlton County fairgrounds this week, although not under its own steam. After calling the fairgrounds in Barnum home for 68 years, the former Duluth & Northeastern 2-8-0 No. 27 is headed to the Wisconsin Great Northern Railroad, a family-owned historic train business in Trego, Wisconsin, which currently offers around seven train excursions. Train enthusiasts there hope to restore and ultimately get No. 27 running again. The Carlton... Full story

  • Board cuts 23 to balance budget

    Jana Peterson|Apr 19, 2024

    More than four years later, the Covid-19 ripple effect continues, with school districts everywhere coming to terms with the end of federal grant funding intended to help students recover from the effects of the pandemic. On Friday, Cloquet school board members approved roughly $1.6 million in staff cuts — 23 employees in total — most of those the result of federal Covid dollars and a state literacy grant ending this year. About a quarter of the job cuts were due to declining enrollment. School board chair Nate Sandman said this was the lar...

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