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Articles written by Mike Creger

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  • Knot Pining: Dad dance is a constant reckoning

    Mike Creger|Jun 14, 2024

    Call me shocked the other day when the 6-year-old started unpacking groceries and putting them away after her long day at camp. Unprodded. She also brushed her teeth that night without any coaxing. Every day has its moments, and those were nice ones. Of course, parenting is often laden with a tug and pull to get your kid to listen to anything you say or to move one muscle to help with anything. A lyric often comes to mind when in the throes of child negotiations: "My love and I, we are boxing... Full story

  • Union cites needs for sex offender program

    Mike Creger|Jun 7, 2024

    David Clanaugh, director of the Minnesota Association of Professional Employees Local 1701 union, talked with a group gathered Sunday at the Duluth Entertainment Convention Center. It was a rally to raise awareness about work conditions at the Minnesota Sex Offender Program facility in Moose Lake. Clanaugh said there is "serious workplace staffing, retention, and safety issues" at the facility, where he coordinates volunteer service. The rally included delegates and some officeholders from the M... Full story

  • Journal provides detail on WWII air war

    Mike Creger|May 24, 2024

    "Time has a way of healing our heartaches but memories last forever." Tucked into a folder on Cloquet native William Dupont at the Carlton County Historical Society is a letter from Fred Asbell. He had been asked by a historian what he could recall about Dupont from World War II, when they were airplane navigators on the same base. It was 1990, nearly 50 years since the two had plied their skills guiding B-17s, the planes tasked with bombing deep into Germany and all around the European Theater... Full story

  • New CAAEP principal hire is made

    Mike Creger|May 24, 2024

    On May 13, the school board voted to accept the employment of Dr. Marcia Nelson as CAAEP principal Connie Hyde’s replacement at a salary of $111,576. “Dr. Nelson is being recommended due to her strong background and experience as a school principal and with alternative learning centers,” superintendent Michael Cary wrote in his recommendation. Nelson most recently worked in the educational specialist program at St. Mary’s University in Rochester, Minnesota. She has 30 years of experience as a teacher and administrator in K-12 schools, with a...

  • Knot Pining: Binded by the lights

    Mike Creger|May 17, 2024

    OK, kids — go get your placards and bullhorns and be prepared to shove “OK, Boomer” at me. We live in a world with way too much information. It overwhelms. It freezes us. It rules us. It just makes things so dumbly different. The last time I wrote about an amazing Northern Lights experience seems like a lifetime ago. The last time I saw the aurora act like it did last week was in the 1990s. I’m not exactly sure when, because I’m old. (Shakes fist.) I was in my 20s, and, as those of that age are wont to do, I was walking home with some visi... Full story

  • Photos: A honking good time

    Mike Creger|May 17, 2024

    The kids kept coming, but you didn't need to see it to notice it. What started as a few scattered horn blasts from big equipment at South Terrace Elementary school in Carlton last Thursday evening, May 9, soon crescendoed into one constant blast from a bus, semi, dump truck and various other vehicles at the annual Transportation Night. Kids were taking turns on a makeshift swing on the back of a Cars Towing truck, with a toy tow truck and a flag as added bonuses. They climbed into the empty... Full story

  • Report: Sex offender program is broken

    Mike Creger|May 10, 2024

    A study released last month on Minnesota's "civil commitment" policies regarding people convicted of sex offenses says the state has failed in proving the worth of programs run in Moose Lake and St. Peter, under the umbrella of Minnesota Sex Offender Program, or MSOP. "Minnesota's uniquely aggressive civil commitment program threatens basic constitutional rights while exacerbating the very problem it is intended to solve," said Eric Janus, director of Sex Offense Litigation and Policy Resource...

  • Eclipse viewing is a vicarious affair

    Mike Creger|Apr 12, 2024

    It wasn't just your run-of-the-mill cloud cover that kept Carlton County residents inside looking at the eclipse online on Monday. It was what writers call a leaden sky, oozing rain all day. A real soaker, with a deck of bruise-colored clouds blotting out any semblance of a sun, let alone one that was diminished by just over 70 percent as the moon moved over its path. It was dark all day, but perceptibly darker around 2 p.m., when the partial eclipse reached its peak. Or maybe it was just anothe...

  • No injuries as vehicle takes out utility pole

    Mike Creger|Apr 12, 2024

    The minivan smashed into a wooden utility pole, sheering it completely at its base. The back of the van then rose up and the entire vehicle flipped, coming to rest upside down on the sidewalk. That's the scene Dan Hertle described as he and his wife were strolling into Gordy's Hi-Hat in Cloquet Monday afternoon just before 3 p.m. "We had just parked, and there was this loud bang," Hertle said. "Really loud." He said he looked to where the sound came from, just a block north on Minnesota Highway... Full story

  • Pedestrian killed; driver charged

    Mike Creger|Mar 29, 2024

    Brent James Keranen had been drinking late into the night with friends Wednesday, March 20, after working a “lot of hours” in the Twin Cities area that week. The 21-year-old was tired the next morning, and allegedly still buzzed when he made his way north to his hometown, Pengilly, near Hibbing. He was so out of it that he fell asleep and grazed a Minnesota state trooper’s vehicle while driving north that morning. He was pulled over and received a citation. The trooper checked his blood alcohol level and it was at 0.066, under the legal limit... Full story

  • Knot Pining: Easter Sunday comes with a bevy of tales

    Mike Creger|Mar 29, 2024

    It was comical, for sure, last Easter, when my then 5-year-old and her friends went egg hunting in a backyard that had 4 feet of snow in it. She donned some snowshoes and did her level best. The parents who hid the eggs did worse. We fell crotch deep through the snow, and were soaked and cold watching the tiny ones gather their treasures. Easter just isn't the same up north from my upbringing down south. Minnesota south. Where Easter was usually fairly springlike, flowers and such. Light... Full story

  • Spring brings changes to local eating scene

    Mike Creger|Mar 22, 2024

    The annual rite of spring in Cloquet is the opening of Gordy's Hi-Hat on the hill in Cloquet. Customers will notice little change in the decor there, and, according to the Lundquist family, perhaps never will. Meanwhile, next door at Gordy's Warming House, the all-year coffee shop and eatery, there has been a total reimagining of the interior. "It needed a facelift," said Sever Lundquist, third-generation Gordy's owner. The Warming House opened in 2005 and was outfitted like many coffee shops... Full story

  • Knot Pining: Don't mess with da Range

    Mike Creger|Mar 15, 2024

    He gave it the old college try. But, they say, when you take on the bull, you get the horns. Or, in social media circles, and toned down for a family newspaper: Mess around and find out. There may be a new old saw: Take on the Iron Range and its taconite money, and you get the tailings. Alas, Sen. Jason Rarick, Carlton County’s representative in the Minnesota Senate, was awash in all of these sentiments last month when he dared to change the way of life on the Iron Range. If you recall, Rarick penned a bill this session that would expand the ...

  • Arrests made after shots fired at house

    Mike Creger|Mar 8, 2024

    At least two men were jailed this past week after a house in Cloquet was struck with five to seven bullets from a handgun on Feb 24. The house on Bagaan Street, near the Fond du Lac Supportive Housing complex, was occupied at the time. There were no injuries in what police determined was suspected retaliation after an earlier physical altercation. Four males were involved in the shooting, police later discovered, including a juvenile, who suspects have said was the shooter. Raymond Peterson,...

  • PHOTO: The first golden age of girls basketball

    Mike Creger|Mar 8, 2024

    Our keeper of local history, Clarence Badger, shared this photo of the 1931 Cromwell girls basketball team. It included, from left, Blanche Line, Laura Dumas, Edythe Kibert, Alice Gearns, Norma Jalonen, Eileen Maxner, Violet Palm, Mae Beseman, Gladys Dahl and Hulda Larson. Badger is Beseman's son, and he said this talented team traveled in a tiny school bus to other schools in the area - Floodwood, McGregor and Carlton - and dominated. "They beat the pants off of everybody," Badger said. "Years... Full story

  • Districts work out consolidation kinks

    Mike Creger|Mar 8, 2024

    If one had stumbled upon the library at Carlton High School on Monday, you would have gotten the impression you were eavesdropping on some sort of couples therapy. There was talk about doing the right thing for the kids. Talk about trauma. About threats perceived and then called misconstrued. Talk about taking a breath and letting cooler heads prevail. There were demands made and demands denied. There was talk of impasses rebutted with carrying on, keeping the dialogue going. To someone who...

  • For leap year babies, age is a numbers game

    Mike Creger|Feb 23, 2024

    In one school year in the 1940s, in rural Moose Lake, there were five sets of twins riding a bus to school. This is testament from Jim Eckman, who, with his twin brother Chuck, belonged to one of those sets. Remarkable, yes. Was there something in the water? Maybe, Jim says. Of all those sets of twins, the Eckman boys stood out for a simple fact. They were born on Feb. 29. Leap year babies. The boys were born on the Harry and Eva Eckman farm on Feb. 29, 1936. Eva went into labor two months... Full story

  • For Janae, it's all smiles ... and a crowning moment

    Mike Creger|Feb 16, 2024

    The smile on Janae Sjodin's face was everything. But then someone must have said, "But wait, there's more." Wrenshall High School principal Michelle Blanchard called it all "surreal," like "something out of a movie." That Sjodin - the 2023 winter homecoming queen - was at the 2024 coronation on Friday, Feb. 9, to present new royalty was a real miracle. Eleven months ago, she was driving home with her sister Jaela after softball practice when their SUV was hit on Janae's side by a driver who... Full story

  • Knot Pining: 1937 post office mural's fate is a mystery

    Mike Creger|Feb 2, 2024

    There was an interesting program on Minnesota Public Radio last week on the New Deal, the government efforts in the 1930s to pull the country out of the Great Depression. Included in the Jan. 24 Marketplace program was a segment on the Living New Deal project, an effort to locate and map across the country the many projects spurred by President Franklin Roosevelt's New Deal through the Works Progress Administration and other federal agencies. One of those projects was the Cloquet Post Office,... Full story

  • Son takes mom to the movies ... his movies

    Mike Creger|Feb 2, 2024

    A Cloquet High School graduate who now dabbles as a filmmaker has planned a special free screening of his short films for his mother next week at a theater in Duluth. "Cloquet native Allan H. Johnson has been making short films for the last seven years," a formal press release stated. "All of his films have played at film festivals in the Twin Cities area at one time or another. Some of his films have played around the world. However, his mom has never seen them." Johnson will remedy that in one... Full story

  • Warrants, court shed some light on shooting

    Mike Creger|Jan 26, 2024

    Search warrants issued just after the deadly Jan. 8 shootings at the Super 8 hotel in Cloquet reveal how much investigators will be processing from a scene where three people were found dead, including the suspected shooter. The first search warrant signed off by a Sixth District Court judge was standard, and came just seven hours after the shooting that Monday night. It allowed police to search and collect evidence after midnight from the hotel property and vehicles belonging to the suspected...

  • Shooting victims mourned

    Mike Creger|Jan 19, 2024

    The shock and mystery around the deadly shootings in Cloquet on Jan. 8 remain, but, this week, for friends and family of the two victims, there was time for reflection, thanks and celebration of the lives lost. Tim Trettel, the father of 22-year-old Shellby Trettel, who was killed that evening as she worked at the Super 8 hotel, traveled to Grand Rapids with family members Tuesday. He was there to attend the funeral for Patrick Roers, the 35-year-old hotel guest who was also killed in the... Full story

  • Cloquet School Board wants meeting on busing issues

    Mike Creger|Jan 12, 2024

    A continuing shortage of bus drivers for routes in the Cloquet school district has provoked school board members to meet with its transportation company to find ways to ease the crunch. The issue came up in the work session before the board's organizational meeting on Monday. "Something's got to change," said member Ken Scarbrough. Melissa Juntunen said there have been far too many instances of parents finding out that a route can't be filled, leaving them to their own devices in getting kids...

  • Those seeking weather normalcy will have to wait

    Mike Creger|Jan 5, 2024

    It was a December like no other in Carlton County, not even the strange one in 1877-78 that augured a remarkable winter into the spring. In short, history was made as the region and the state had its warmest December. This comes after history was made last season in high snowfall totals. Cloquet saw temperatures average nearly 10 degrees warmer than normal last month at 25.1 degrees at the Cloquet Forestry Center. Recordings were higher at the Fond du Lac Reservation weather station (29.2) and... Full story

  • Creating, giving: Hazel's Christmas spirit

    Mike Creger|Dec 22, 2023

    Allow Hazel her moment. Allow her to consider herself one of Santa's elves. She certainly fits the bill. This holiday season, Hazel Aili stuffed the donation box at South Terrace Elementary with 19 toys for the 29th annual Toys For Carlton Area Kids drive. She did it the hard way, creating hundreds of craft items in past months and selling them at craft fairs in order to raise the money to pay for the gifts herself. She was able to spend more than $300 on toys. "It was an amazing, selfless... Full story

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