Articles written by Lois E. Johnson

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Divided board approves $10.8 million in renovations

After overturning a vote on $8.3 million in projects in March, the Barnum school board voted 4-3 to bond for $10.85 million on Tuesday, Oct. 25. Beth Dinger, Beth Schatz, Steph Ferrin and board chair Jessica Unkelhaeuser voted yes, while Paul...


Farm honored after nearly 50 years raising buffalo

American buffalo have roamed Don and Marlene Solwold's farm near Esko for 48 years. Marlene died of Alzheimer's 10 years ago, but Don, 89, still has a small buffalo herd and enjoys spending time with... Full story


Cromwell farm earns prestigious century label

In 1918, Charles and Martha Wilhelmena Anderson bought an 80-acre farm southeast of Cromwell from a private owner, not knowing they were starting a legacy. More than 100 years later, their... Full story


County names its outstanding seniors

Shirley Magnuson, 83, has been selected as the female Outstanding Senior Citizen for Carlton County this year. She will be honored during a ceremony at noon at the Carlton County fair Friday, Aug. 19... Full story

 By Lois E. Johnson    News    August 5, 2022

No more free lunches for all

As with many other area school districts, the Barnum school board approved an increase in lunch prices, at 10 cents per meal at various levels for the lunch program during its July 26 meeting. The coming school year marks the first time in two years...


DFL state senate candidates sound off

The names of two Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party candidates - John Peura of Moose Lake and Michelle Boyechko of Tamarack - will be on the ballot for Minnesota Senate District 11 in the Aug. 9 primary... Full story

 By Lois E. Johnson    News    June 24, 2022

Barnum sharing top positions with Willow River

In addition to half-time superintendent Bill Peel, the Barnum school district will have another staff member who will also serve the Willow River school district after July 1. At the June 14 meeting, the board voted to hire Laura Carlson as a half-ti...

 By Lois E. Johnson    News    June 10, 2022

Barnum graduates 56 seniors

The 56 members of the Class of 2022 graduated Friday evening, June 3, in a commencement ceremony at Barnum High School. Senior Jennie DeCaigny welcomed her fellow students and their families. "This... Full story

 By Lois E. Johnson    News    May 27, 2022

Barnum hires new elementary principal

The Barnum school board hired Melisa Maxwell as the elementary principal at its monthly meeting Tuesday, May 17. Maxwell is currently K-6 Dean of Students in the Isle School District and will start with Barnum in July or August, after the new...

 By Lois E. Johnson    News    April 22, 2022

Barnum Board settles teacher, superintendent contracts

After approving a two-year contract with the teachers union, Barnum school board members expressed their relief that the process was over and that negotiations went well. “Things went fantastic,” board member Jamie Fuglestad said. Board cha...

 By Lois E. Johnson    News    April 8, 2022

Barnum to share superintendent

The Barnum school board took unprecedented action to hire Bill Peel as a half-time shared superintendent during a special meeting on Thursday, March 31. Peel is also superintendent of the Willow River school district. “The opportunity presented i...


DFL delegates endorsed at county convention

Cloquet resident and Esko businessman Pete Radosevich has been officially endorsed as the DFL candidate for House District 11A seat in this year's election, running against Jeff Dotseth, the... Full story

 By Lois E. Johnson    News    March 18, 2022

Barnum board overturns vote on building improvements

The Barnum school board voted against proceeding with the $8.32 million in proposed projects at the regular meeting of the board on Tuesday, March 15. Board member Paul Coughlin pointed out during the meeting that the board had approved, 4-3, to...


Thrift store, auctions draw customers

The Classy Moose on 61 has something for everyone, even some four-legged friends. A black cat named Tank and Gus (a dog) greet shoppers when they enter the thrift store and auction site in Barnum. "Ta...

 By Lois E. Johnson    News    March 4, 2022

County Board: Expect sticker shock with property values

Due to what’s been called an “extreme increase” in property values since 2020, Carlton County property owners can expect the estimated market value of their property to increase substantially this year, according to the Carlton County asses... Full story


Barnum faces looming staffing, building needs

On top of a pandemic, the Barnum school board is looking at a challenging 2022, with top administrators leaving and an $8 million decision on school maintenance coming fast. During the regular...


New jail efforts come to fruition

Carlton County will break ground on the new justice center/jail this summer, a massive undertaking. "This is the largest project Carlton County has ever undertaken since the courthouse was built,"...


Wish list is at $8 million; paying for it is up in air

At a special meeting Dec. 7, the Barnum school board approved, by a 4-3 vote, specific facility maintenance projects totaling more than $8 million. However, board members tabled anything to do with funding those projects this week. Some of the items...


Cloquet mask debate lingers as cases climb

The mask requirement for students was discussed at length during the working meeting of the Cloquet School Board Monday, Dec. 13. Superintendent Michael Cary presented data from the Minnesota Department of Health and Carlton County Public Health...


Board gets a look at new jail cell option

The Carlton County Board of Commissioners examined a model jail cell as part of a regular meeting on Nov. 22. The board met in the Carlton County Transportation building and a jail cell was mounted...


New Barnum building combines city services, muni

Changes are underway for the city of Barnum. A new building houses the Barnum Municipal Liquor Store, a spacious event center and the city offices. The 100-year-old Barnum Community Center - once the Legion Hall - was demolished last week. The brick...


County promises to keep Carlton buildings bustling

The next steps toward annexing land from Twin Lakes Township into Carlton were approved by the Carlton County board of commissioners during its meeting Tuesday, Nov. 9. Carlton County attorney Lori...


Esko residents talk about school's future

Just under 20 community members attended a community listening and input session at the Esko school auditorium Monday, Oct. 25 to share what they like about the school and their concerns about what is...


Photo studio owner inspired by place

One of Amy Louhela's favorite places is Jay Cooke State Park, and that is often the setting for her clients at Amy Louhela Photography. "I go to Jay Cooke every day," said Louhela in an interview in... Full story


Volunteering is this senior's gig

Shirley Goodwin of Barnum was honored as the Outstanding Senior Citizen at the Carlton County Fair in Barnum last month. "It was quite the experience," she said this week as she prepared to head to...


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