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Articles written by Noah Beardslee


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  • Beavers are busy, and dam problems multiply

    Noah Beardslee|Jul 5, 2024

    Robert Dahl was driving down a road in Carlton County when he received a call from an excavator operator. The operator was going to leave two beaver dams alone and told Dahl about new ones popping up at other sites the county monitors. It was not an unusual call for the county’s department of transportation maintenance supervisor. “Once a week [we] have the excavator out opening all these sites,” Dahl said. “Looking at them, monitoring them, making that decision: Do we need to open it up? Is... Full story

  • Two Harbors firm will handle township engineering

    Noah Beardslee|Jun 28, 2024

    Bollig Engineering, with an office in Two Harbors, was selected to be Thomson Township’s new engineering firm by unanimous vote at the township board’s June 20 meeting. AE2S, the township’s latest engineering firm, had worked with Thomson for about three years, but its contract had expired. Thomson Township board of supervisors chair Ruth Janke said the board reassessed its needs and decided Bollig would be a better fit. Although representatives from Bollig were unable to attend last Thursday’s meeting, they were excited to hear they were se...

  • Thomson Town board deals with basic upkeep

    Noah Beardslee|Jun 14, 2024

    In a bid to fight erosion around the Northridge Park pavilion, the Thomson Township board of supervisors voted to install gutters on the park building at last week’s board meeting. The move is part of ongoing improvements to the pavilion, such as upgraded indoor lights and a security light approved at the end of last month, and new tables and chairs approved last October. A study to improve the park, kickstarted the end of last year, is on hold due to FEMA floodplain guidelines, supervisor Dave Sunnarborg told the Pine Knot. The gutters will c...

  • Sports courts coming to Esko

    Noah Beardslee|May 24, 2024

    The Thomson Township board of supervisors joined Esko Community Education, the Esko school district, Esko Hoops Club and several other businesses and organizations contributing to the construction of an outdoor multisports court after it voted to donate $20,000 to the project at last Thursday's meeting. Two years in the making, the township's donation brings the project - an all-purpose court with two side-by-side basketball courts, two pickleball courts and four four square courts estimated at...

  • CAFD zeroes in on house fire prevention

    Noah Beardslee|Apr 26, 2024

    Jason Eckenberg and Adam Swanson walked through the home of Cloquet resident Ed Enlund on a routine home safety visit Monday. The Cloquet Area Fire District firefighter/EMTs took note of which rooms needed smoke alarms, pulled out a ladder, and got to work. "I'd say it improves my living spaces and probably my life - more my life than living spaces," Enlund said. The lifespan of a smoke alarm is about 10 years. The CAFD's home safety visit program and American Red Cross's Home Fire Campaign... Full story

  • DIY road work will stay put in Thomson Township

    Noah Beardslee|Apr 12, 2024

    A do-it-yourself expansion of part of Kangas Road will remain intact after the Thomson Township board of supervisors 4-1 vote last Thursday. Resident Al Bottila doubled the width of a portion of the road near his property by laying material in the east ditch. At the April 4 township meeting, when the board considered digging up the extension, supervisor Tony Compo and township attorney Dave Pritchett said they both inspected the site and said it looked fine. "You're putting the township at risk... Full story

  • New building plan looms over CAFD budget talks

    Noah Beardslee|Mar 29, 2024

    Measures which promise to result in thousands of dollars in cost savings were approved at the March Cloquet Area Fire District board meeting, but speculation about the fate of bonding before the state legislature hung over conversations about the potential for a new building in Cloquet. "I think we're literally chasing good money after bad things anymore, and the safety and health and comfort of staff needs to come first," said Cloquet board representative Sheila Lamb, regarding Station 1... Full story

  • Local Lego robotics teams get call to State

    Noah Beardslee|Mar 8, 2024

    The boys of the Carlton-based Busted Bots Lego robotics team stared at the TV in anticipation. Would the group of nine- to 12-year-olds be one of the six teams from their region to join 70 other Minnesota teams at the state competition? When "The Busted Bots" name was announced, the boys screamed, leapt on the couch in a huddle, and jumped up and down with unbridled joy. The FIRST Lego League robotics program began in 1998 to encourage STEM - science, technology, engineering and math - education...

  • CAFD receives bulletproof vests

    Noah Beardslee|Mar 1, 2024

    After the Cloquet Area Fire District opened its February meeting with a moment of silence for fallen first responders in Burnsville, CAFD board members unanimously accepted a donation of 12 bulletproof vests from the Dead on Arms shooting range and firearms store. Assistant fire chief Corey Larson said acquiring the new Safe Life Defense vests fulfills a key objective of a crew safety system. The district has been working with the Cloquet Police Department over the past two years to maximize...

  • Wanted for fire district: money and space

    Noah Beardslee|Feb 2, 2024

    While a statewide task force examines challenges facing emergency medical services in rural Minnesota, the Cloquet Area Fire District's status as a special taxing district - with its ability to levy taxes over a broad area - is being looked at as a model. But its reliance on property taxes and ambulance billing with the absence of local government aid affects necessities such as building maintenance and staffing. CAFD officials are hoping the state legislature will come through with a more balan... Full story

  • Fire District: Fire and ambulance levies to increase

    Noah Beardslee|Dec 22, 2023

    Property tax levies will increase in 2024 after the Cloquet Area Fire District board unanimously approved the tax and budget changes at Wednesday night’s meeting. The fire levy and ambulance levy will increase 2.99 percent and 2.83 percent, respectively. The $3.6 million the combined levies will generate, not including the $118,000 to be collected for servicing ambulance debt, is meant to absorb some of the impact of inflation. “As far as expenditures go, inflation has hit everything and everybody and every organization,” district fire chief...

  • CAFD aims to reduce calls with new position

    Noah Beardslee|Nov 24, 2023

    Residents within the Cloquet Area Fire District boundaries will see increased ambulance rates and potentially a new community risk reduction officer since the CAFD board unanimously approved both at its Nov. 15 meeting. The CAFD board voted to increase ambulance rates by about 3 percent to align with inflation and Medicare reimbursement increases. Effective Jan. 1, 2024, the rate hike will add between $50 and $100 to an ambulance bill, depending on the level of care needed. CAFD chief Jesse Buhs said the increase will place CAFD in the median...

  • Fire district seeks more state funding

    Noah Beardslee|Oct 27, 2023

    After discussing its strategies to bring state money into the district, the Cloquet Area Fire District board approved new legislative priorities, which include lobbying for regular funding and bonds. The strategies discussed at the CAFD board’s Oct. 18 meeting include highlighting the impact of inflation and the effects of climate change on the district. The efforts are aimed at minimizing the burden on taxpayers in the CAFD service area. “A win for me would be that there’s an impact to the local [property tax] levy in such that we were able...

  • Board moves on park fixes

    Noah Beardslee|Oct 27, 2023

    Paving the way for the development of Esko’s Northridge Park, the Thomson Township Board of Supervisors made a series of votes aimed at improving the town’s only park last week. At the township’s Oct. 19 board meeting, in addition to voting to demolish the park stage and buy new tables and chairs for the pavilion, board members voted unanimously to sign a contract which will employ the Arrowhead Regional Development Commission to hire a design team, conduct surveys for community input and find potential funding sources for the devel...