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Articles written by Tom Urbanski

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  • Ukraine requites Cloquet kindness

    Tom Urbanski|Jun 21, 2024

    A simple gesture saved a life. But it’s a complicated story, beginning in Cloquet and covering the 5,000-mile trip to war-torn Ukraine, and then back to Cloquet. The story starts in 2022 and continues through 2024. “My niece is a doctor in Ukraine and when the war started she called me and was in tears,” said Galyna Tuttle of Carlton, who grew up in Ukraine. “There had been an accident from an explosion and a 10-year-old boy was wounded by shrapnel. She said the wounds were deep, but they ha... Full story

  • Community garden grows

    Tom Urbanski|May 31, 2024

    Are you struggling to get your kids to eat vegetables? Consider growing your own at the Cloquet Community Garden, where the Moore family is raising vegetables and children who enjoy eating them. "Gardening is fun," exclaimed Jocelyn Moore, age 8. "I love watching my plants grow and I love to plant and eat them ... especially the peas and cucumbers. Gardening makes me happy!" For the eighth summer, the Cloquet Community Garden is providing gardeners of all ages the opportunity to get busy... Full story

  • Self-serve beer now on tap in Cloquet

    Tom Urbanski|Jan 12, 2024

    There's a new game, and a lot of craft beer, in town. The 218 TapHouse opened for business on Wednesday, Dec. 27, in the business complex that includes Premiere Theatres on South Highway 33 in Cloquet. Southgate Family Pizza previously operated in the space that is now home to 218 TapHouse. "We had a very successful first week," said bar manager Dane Levinski. "Opening day was on a Wednesday and our seating was full with a good standing room crowd. Our weekends have been very popular." "The...

  • A venture through the forest

    Tom Urbanski|Sep 1, 2023

    More than 100 visitors, staff, and university students gathered at the University of Minnesota's Cloquet Forestry Center during the CFC's annual Open House on Wednesday, Aug. 23. The highlight of the event were wagon tours through the forest roads, stopping at significant locations to explain research projects and history of the CFC's forests. The educational tours were led by Kyle Gill, seen in the middle of the photo at right, Cloquet Forestry Center forest manager and research coordinator,...

  • Poking around at Pine Valley

    Tom Urbanski|Jun 30, 2023

    Add "college classroom" to the list of activities at Cloquet's Pine Valley Recreation Area, known for its ski jumping, Nordic skiing, mountain biking, hiking, trail running, snowshoeing, hockey games, picnics and social gatherings. University of Minnesota students completing the Forest Ecosystem Management and Conservation track within the Forest and Natural Resource Management major are required to attend an advanced session held during the spring term at the university's Cloquet Forestry...

  • Brush pickup underway

    Tom Urbanski|Jun 9, 2023

    The first days of the City of Cloquet-sponsored storm damage brush cleanup have been going well, according to 3-D Construction owner Dustin Follett. On the second day of the cleanup, Follett, operating the mini front loader, and truck driver Dave Tack were in the Valley View neighborhood. Follett and his crew started in neighborhoods in the southern part of Cloquet - which suffered more damage than other parts of the city - and on primary routes through the city, working 12-hour days to remove...

  • Fifty-plus years of moving education outdoors

    Tom Urbanski|Oct 7, 2022

    Area students descend upon Cloquet Forestry Center Some of the first morning frosts of the season didn't put a chill on the enthusiasm of local fifth-graders participating in the Conservation Education Days at the University of Minnesota's Cloquet Forestry Center last week. More than 500 students from eight Carlton County school districts spent a full day learning outside their usual classrooms at the educational event focused on natural science topics Sept. 28-29. The annual event for...

  • Duluth man claims Lost Forester race

    Tom Urbanski|Sep 9, 2022

    Trail runners and walkers, plus a few leashed dogs, gathered at Pine Valley early Saturday, Aug. 27 for the sixth annual Lost Forester Trail Run. The 26 participants completed one lap of the 5.5-kilometer Nordic ski trail. Leading all racers to the finish line was 35-year-old Nathan Bronk, of Duluth, in a Lost Forester course record time of 24 minutes, 29 seconds. Amber Kantonen, of Cloquet, captured the women's title and finished third overall in a time of 29:47. Before the race started, Bronk...

  • Voyageur Ultramarathon heats up again

    Tom Urbanski|Aug 5, 2022

    Running 50 miles on trails in one day is a feat few people accomplish. Add temperatures rising into the mid-80s, sunshine and July humidity, and it's the typical conditions for the Minnesota Voyageur 50-Mile Trail Ultramarathon. The 40th annual Voyageur Ultramarathon attracted 249 runners to the starting line in Carlton Saturday, July 30. The challenging course and warm weather affected participants once again, with 175 of the starters making it to the finish line within the cutoff time. The... Full story

  • Breweriana: It's more than beer cans

    Tom Urbanski|Jul 29, 2022

    There's only one place a person can see a 40-foot tall bear promoting a famous brand of beer, and it's in Cloquet. The Hamm's Bear is an iconic advertising creation, and Northeastern Saloon proprietor Bert Whittington owns the largest version of the well-known bear. With the help from a few friends, Whittington inflates his giant bear on the Northeastern's lawn on Dunlap Island once each year during the Nordlager breweriana show. Breweriana shows are like a traveling museum of beer advertising...

  • Garden Tour tradition continues

    Tom Urbanski|Jul 29, 2022

    Amateur and master gardeners made the rounds during a grand tour filled with amazing flower and vegetable gardens, orchards, and a few unexpected surprises along the way. The much-anticipated Carlton County Garden Tour 2022 featured five properties in the Blackhoof-Mahtowa area Tuesday evening, July 19. Curious garden enthusiasts were treated to pleasant weather and diverse gardens during the annual tour. According to one tour stop host, well over 100 visitors stopped by to peek and take longer... Full story

  • The Log Jam rolls into town

    Tom Urbanski|May 27, 2022

    Mountain bikers took to the trails at Cloquet's Pine Valley last Saturday for a full day of riding in a new race event called the Log Jam. For some race participants, a full day was defined as 12 hours on the race course. Aiden Jurek of Minneapolis was the overall solo winner of the 12-hour race, riding 85 miles on the hilly course and setting the individual mark to beat in future Log Jam races. The winning team in the 12-hour race completed 29 laps for 145 total miles. Riders had the option of... Full story

  • Planned fire forged through partnership

    Tom Urbanski|May 20, 2022

    Plenty of excitement, and smoke, was in the air and forests along University Road in Cloquet last week. On Wednesday, May 11, a contingent of 25 fire practitioners purposely burned 9.5 acres of the University of Minnesota’s Cloquet Forestry Center. The primary objective of the prescribed burn was to reintroduce fire as an ecological and cultural process to promote and maintain the center’s historically fire-dependent forest. “We brought fire back today, there hadn’t been fire here in … years... Full story

  • Book battle goes extra rounds

    Tom Urbanski|May 13, 2022

    When a contest needs triple overtime to determine a winner, it's usually been well-played and exciting for everyone, and maybe a little luck was involved. That's exactly what happened last Friday morning at the fifth annual Battle of the Books held in the Cloquet High School auditorium. Fourth-grade students from Cloquet's Washington Elementary, Churchill Elementary, and a group visiting from Ely gathered to compete in front of more than 100 audience members. After about 40 minutes of...

  • Community garden grows in Cloquet

    Tom Urbanski|Apr 29, 2022

    Lingering winter weather has not dampened the spirits of the Cloquet Community Garden organizing committee. The group met recently on a wintry April afternoon to plan and get a jump start on the 2022 gardening and growing season. With about a dozen topics on the meeting's agenda, the discussion was enthusiastic as the group looked forward to brighter days ahead. "This is our sixth year," said Terry Anderson, Cloquet Community Garden Committee member. "I never would have thought it would be so...

  • Ballet comes to Wrenshall

    Tom Urbanski|Mar 11, 2022

    Words of William Shakespeare, Felix Mendelssohn's music, dance by the Minnesota Ballet and acting by Wrenshall High School students connected during an expressive, and impressive, combination of fine arts in Wrenshall on March 2. The one-of-a-kind event was creatively assembled as a response to delays and interruptions caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. Centered around Shakespeare's comedy "A Midsummer Night's Dream," the event was a perfect fit with the literary classic's major themes on the... Full story

  • Local skiers successful in Birkie races

    Tom Urbanski|Mar 4, 2022

    It was another good year for area Nordic skiers at the 2022 American Birkebeiner ski events held last Friday and Saturday in Hayward, Wisconsin. Outstanding performances came from across a range of age groups, from high school-aged skiers and recent graduates on up to more seasoned, veteran skiers. Several local skiers were participating for the first time in a Birkie event, while others have been making the trek for decades. In the Birkebeiner 50-kilometer skate race, Cloquet's Benjamin Bauer... Full story

  • Ski talk: First-timer versus Kortelopet

    Tom Urbanski|Mar 4, 2022

    Last Friday, Cloquet's Kate Meisner completed her first Kortelopet, the 29-kilometer Nordic ski race that is part of the American Birkebeiner's Birkie Week events. It's a challenging endurance event that requires training, planning, perseverance, skiing skills, and dealing with a lot of other skiers on the trail ... almost 3,000 last Friday. Meisner posted a solid and satisfying debut, finishing in three hours and seven minutes in the 29K classic race. Starting in Wave 4 this year, her finish... Full story

  • Commuter bus ferries locals to Duluth and back

    Tom Urbanski|Feb 25, 2022

    It could be described as a chauffeur service that takes you to work every day. The Cloquet-Duluth commuter bus has been making twice-daily trips between the two cities for about 30 years. The service is operated by LCS Coaches in Cloquet and is appreciated by local residents who ride the bus to work in Duluth. "It started when Don Panger was here," said Jeff Lane, president of LCS Coaches. "It was when the rideshare concept was going on, so we started the Cloquet-Duluth commuter bus option....

  • The challenge? Searching for the best beer

    Tom Urbanski|Feb 25, 2022

    File this one under "It's a tough job, but someone has to do it." The tough task? Judging beer. Last weekend, the Northern Ale Stars Homebrewers Guild hosted a competition in Duluth where 149 entries of beer, cider and mead were inspected with the purpose of selecting the best of the batch. I was one of the judges. It sounds like it might be all fun and games, but it's serious business once the judges are seated and the bottle caps are pried off. And it's safe to say that judging beer is more...

  • Lumberjacks have eyes on section

    Tom Urbanski|Feb 4, 2022

    With the season-ending championship events just around the corner in mid-February, the Lumberjacks Nordic ski teams got a good look at where they stand during the Duluth East Invitational held at Snowflake Nordic Center Friday. Ten of the 11 teams in Section 7 were competing, creating a showcase of the Nordic skiing talent in northeastern Minnesota. The Cloquet-Esko-Carlton varsity boys team finished fifth overall out of 10 teams, landing behind meet hosts and winners Duluth East, followed by... Full story

  • 5 CEC skiers earn All-Conference honors

    Tom Urbanski|Feb 4, 2022

    Essentially a race-within-a-race, the Lake Superior Conference Nordic Ski Team champions and All-Conference individuals were named using the results from last Friday’s Duluth East Invitational races. While 10 teams competed in the event, a second set of results were tabulated using just the Lake Superior Conference teams to produce the team winners and individual honors. The CEC Nordic Ski Teams had three boys and two girls earn all-conference honors. The top 10 finishers in the pursuit format race make the annual all-conference team. With Mile... Full story

  • Single Track Action

    Tom Urbanski|May 21, 2021

    There's a new club in town that's rolling right along. "We're a local mountain bike club and our goal is advocacy for singletrack and multi-use trails in Cloquet and the surrounding area," said Brendon Menze, president of the Cloquet Singletrackers. "It's a way to bring the local bike community together." So why the emphasis on singletrack trails? Menze summed it up in two words: "They're fun." "Singletrack trails are basically a path for bikes through the woods," described Menze. "They are... Full story

  • Guest view: Measuring the value of our local college

    Tom Urbanski|May 7, 2021

    In April 2015, then President Larry Anderson challenged the leadership team at Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College to be prepared to discuss the value of the college during a campus administrative meeting. For some reason I couldn’t attend, so I took time to write my thoughts and handed them to President Anderson before the meeting. Six years later, as I was clearing out my office during the last days before I retired from the college, I came across my answer to Larry’s question. After re-visiting those 2015 thoughts about the col... Full story

  • FDLTCC will hold Earth Week presentations online

    Tom Urbanski|Apr 17, 2020

    Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College will continue the annual campus tradition of celebrating Earth Week through a week-long celebration of planet Earth set for April 20-24, 2020. The Environmental Institute at Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College, along with the American Indian College Fund Indigenous Visionary Fellowship, collaborated to plan the Earth Week 2020 activities. The overall theme of Earth Week 2020 is “It’s a Small World.” All Earth Week activities will use online virtual connecting technologies including Zoom and Faceb... Full story

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