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Articles from the January 13, 2023 edition


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  • Snow keeps coming down

    Mike Creger|Jan 13, 2023

    There is a lot of snow out there this winter. How much? It depends on where you are. While Duluth is breaking - or on the cusp of - all kinds of snowfall records for December and the season, areas in Carlton County are not quite setting records. But the snowfall we've had is far above normal. In Cloquet, the average snowfall in December is about 16 inches. Last month, there was nearly 30 inches of snow recorded in the city. That is the highest of area measurements. A recording 3 miles northeast... Full story

  • Bats focus of county's attention

    Jana Peterson|Jan 13, 2023

    Twelve years ago, the death of a bat during a logging operation in Carlton County would not have caused much of a stir. Today - after white-nose syndrome has decimated bat populations here by as much as 90 percent - the death of one bat could impact the health of the entire population. "Prior to white-nose, if a bat was injured, it was one of thousands. It didn't make a big dent in the population," said Carlton County land commissioner Greg Bernu. "We want to make sure we don't accidently take... Full story

  • History Mystery: Readers answer the call

    Jan 13, 2023

    Last week's item, asking for information about the group of cheerleaders at right, yielded results. Bruce Jutila let us know that the cheerleader at far right was Darlene Rosbacka, who married Bob McDonald, the basketball coaching legend at Chisholm High School. She died in 1997. Gary Bodie noted Darlene as well; she was his first cousin. He added that the toddler cheerleader, Mary "Buff" Benson, was a classmate who graduated with him in 1966. "I've seen her at class reunions, and her married...

  • Fire burns Solway residence

    Jan 13, 2023

    A house about 10 miles northeast of Cloquet was deemed a total loss Wednesday morning, Jan. 11. The St. Louis Sheriff’s Office reported that a call came in just after 8 a.m. and multiple area fire departments were dispatched to 4425 Solway Road in Solway Township. The office said a homeowner, the only resident at the home, called 911 after returning home and observing smoke coming from the residence and a fire in a bathroom. Fire departments from Solway Township, Grand Lake Township, Industrial Township, Canosia Township, Proctor, H...

  • County, city offices close for MLK day

    Jan 13, 2023

    All Carlton County and city of Cloquet offices will be closed on Monday, Jan. 16 in observance of the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday. This includes County Courthouse offices, County Government Services Building, County Transportation Department, Human Services, Public Health, Motor Vehicle License Bureau, Veterans Service Office, and the University of Minnesota Extension Service/Carlton County. The Hwy 210 Transfer Station will be open Monday. The Pine Knot News office will be closed.... Full story

  • Final Covid tests

    Jan 13, 2023

    The Minnesota Department of Health announced that four additional free at-home rapid Covid-19 tests are available to all Minnesota households through the state’s online ordering program. This will be the last chance for Minnesotans to get free tests before the program ends. Minnesotans can also place orders through the Minnesota Department of Health Covid-19 Public Hotline at 833-431-2053 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays; and 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays.... Full story

  • Radon tests focus for state

    Jan 13, 2023

    The number of home radon tests completed during real estate sales in 2022 was down 39 percent from 2020, even though home sales did not decline, a new analysis from the Minnesota Department of Health showed last week. Reduced testing means fewer home buyers are identifying and reducing this cancer-causing hazard. The health department analyzed professional radon testing data for 2020 to 2022 and found that in 2022 there were 19,976 real estate tests reported by professionals, which was lower than the 32,537 tests reported in 2020. The... Full story

  • Palisade man killed in crash

    Jan 13, 2023

    An 83-year-old Palisade, Minnesota man was killed Tuesday after his pickup lost control on Minnesota Highway 210 and was struck by a box truck. Gary Lynn Rognrud was traveling east in a Chevy Silverado when the crash with the westbound truck occurred in Aitkin County’s Jevne Township, near 257th Avenue, a Minnesota State Patrol news release said. The crash was reported at around 9 a.m. Rognrud was taken to Essentia Health-St. Mary’s Medical Center in Duluth, where he died. The driver of the work truck, 53-year-old Robert Carl Hannahs, of Nis...

  • Sunnarborg appointed to Thomson board - again

    Rebekah King|Jan 13, 2023

    The Thomson Township Board of Supervisors appointed David Sunnarborg to fill the vacancy on the board at its meeting Jan. 5, following more than four months of an empty seat and controversy surrounding the original appointment process. Sunnarborg’s appointment by the board followed his resignation in mid-December in order to allow the board to reset its appointment process. The Minnesota Department of Administration ruled in December that the board violated open meeting law in September during the process which led to Sunnarborg being a...

  • Authority slows pace on Solem development

    Brady Slater|Jan 13, 2023

    After receiving a single proposal to redevelop the 103-year-old Hotel Solem in downtown Cloquet, the city’s economic development authority is pumping the brakes on the future of the condemned property. “We’re putting it on hold for now,” said Holly Hansen, community development director. Requests to redevelop the three-story building that was formerly Mexico Lindo were due late last year. One developer offered a proposal and another toured the site while offering to wait and see, Hansen said. Hansen declined to get into specifics about the sea...

  • Wrenshall asks Carlton to share superintendent

    Brady Slater|Jan 13, 2023

    The newly constituted Wrenshall school board went straight to the heavy lifting this week, bracing for the end of its superintendent’s career, while posing the idea of sharing a top administrator with neighboring Carlton. In a letter sent to the Carlton school board this week, the Wrenshall board asked if there was interest in sharing administration, a school nurse, and grounds and maintenance staff. Last year, the districts agreed to consolidate all sports and afterschool programs beginning this spring. The letter comes as the Wrenshall b...

  • Man convicted of chilling crime in Moose Lake dies in prison

    Brady Slater|Jan 13, 2023

    The man responsible for one of Carlton County’s most heinous crimes died in prison this week. Donald Blom, 73, passed away on Tuesday at a state correctional facility in Oak Park Heights, where he was serving a life sentence for the 1999 kidnapping and murder of Katie Poirier, 19, of Barnum. “It was one of those cases that will be with me forever,” Carlton County Sheriff Kelly Lake said Wednesday. “What that family has gone through is just unimaginable.” Poirier had been working alone when she encountered Blom, a serial offender, who forced Poi... Full story

  • Elizabeth Shockman, MPR News|Jan 13, 2023

    Gov. Tim Walz kicked off his second term last week saying he wants to make Minnesota “the best state in the country for kids to live” and promising “the largest investment in public education in our state’s history.” Walz made specific mention of prioritizing universal school meals and making mental health help more accessible for young people. Last year’s attempts to pass education legislation floundered amid political disagreements between the DFL-controlled House and the Republican-led Senate. So did other proposals on health care, taxes...  Website

  • Tie vote for board chair leads to discussion

    Jana Peterson|Jan 13, 2023

    Unlike the U.S. House of Representatives, it took only three votes and less than an hour Monday for the Cloquet school board to elect its new leader. Nate Sandman and Gary Huard were both nominated for the spot previously occupied by Ted Lammi, who was not reelected to the school board in November. The first two votes were a tie, with Melissa Juntunen, Huard and Sarah Plante Buhs voting for Huard, while Dave Battaglia, Sandman and Ken Scarbrough voted for Sandman. With Sandman already filling the role of acting board chair, the board then moved...

  • Food tasting fundraiser returns with live event

    Jan 13, 2023

    Food for Thought, a food and beverage tasting event featuring local vendors, is returning with a live event after a Covid-19 hiatus. Hosted by the Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College Foundation, the 10th annual Food for Thought returns 4:30-7 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 19 in the commons area of the college. The fundraising evening features beverage and food tasting benefiting student scholarships, a news release said. Area businesses offer food specialties for guests to sample. Approximately 15 local vendors have volunteered to provide samples... Full story

  • Marciniak leads with laughs

    Steve Korby|Jan 13, 2023

    For over 60 years, he has made me and many other Carlton County residents laugh. His name is Tom Marciniak, although "Maynard" has been his informal handle since childhood. All Scanlon kids had nicknames: Bird, Heinz, Singy, Mugger, Hawk, Wennie, Jase, Speedy, Kraut, Baz, and the list goes on. Tom grew up in Scanlon and he's very proud of that - just ask him. Sather Park was his home away from home. Any place where there was a ball or puck in Scanlon in the 1960s or '70s, Tom was likely nearby.... Full story

  • One Book Northland goes to the wolves

    Mike Creger|Jan 13, 2023

    Cloquet native's 2020 book with wolves is chosen There was an ease about Thomas Peacock as he made a presentation and later sat down to talk about his work as an author of revered books about the Native experience. He was at the Jan. 6 Dream Catcher Winter Gathering for educators from the region, talking about the use of "story" in teaching and learning about Native ways. It was the first such live gathering at Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College in Cloquet since the pandemic hit. Peacock...

  • Game, atmosphere was historic

    Mike Creger|Jan 13, 2023

    Had you arrived early enough, you may have mistaken the junior varsity game for the main event jug game on Tuesday in Wrenshall. It was raucous, but not nearly as loud as it would get. The Carlton JV won going away. Wrenshall’s varsity players chose Eminem’s “Lose Yourself” and Coolio’s “Gangsta’s Paradise” for warmup music, oldies of more than 20 years ago, but a far cry from “Come on-a My House” by Rosemary Clooney, which could have been on the radio of a DeSoto as fans drove to the first jug...

  • Rebels' toughness showing

    Kerry Rodd|Jan 13, 2023

    Entering this high school hockey season, expectations were high for the Moose Lake Area girls hockey team. So far, the Rebels have not disappointed, and sit with an impressive 9-3 record after dropping a tough game to Hibbing/Chisholm on Monday night. Although young and smaller in numbers, the Rebels have a lot of varsity experience and some history. "This group is not content with what they did by winning a U-12 state championship," said Rebels head coach Reilly Fawcett. "They want to win a... Full story

  • Wilderness slip into second

    Jan 13, 2023

    The Minnesota Wilderness returned from their holiday break, slipping from first place in their division after a home split with Alaska’s Kenai River. The Wilderness won 4-3 on Friday, coming back from 3-1 down to win in a shootout. The next night, the Brown Bears gained the shootout win, following a 0-0 regulation and overtime. Isak Posch made 31 shots in the shutout, but surrendered a pair of shootout tallies to Minnesota’s one, giving Kenai River the win. The split left the Wilderness at 19-10-1 on the season, with their 42 points trailing th... Full story

  • 'Jacks move to 11-2 after busy week

    Kerry Rodd|Jan 13, 2023

    In November, the Cloquet and Esko girls basketball teams opened the season with the Lumberjacks sneaking out a 3-point home win. Last week on Thursday, the two teams met again last Thursday - in Esko this time - and the Lumberjacks somehow pulled out a 58-57 win, despite the fact that Esko appeared to play a better game. "They outplayed us, but we still managed to find a way to win," said Cloquet head coach Heather Young. "There were times where we would get up by four points and then they'd get... Full story

  • Listen, learn when it comes to what divides us

    John Napoli|Jan 13, 2023

    What does the other side think? Like the rest of you, I have experienced and witnessed countless interactions of people around me over the past many years. My education in human nature has continued from childhood to my present age. Over the past few years, I have witnessed some aspects of human nature that have caused concern but, at the same time, hope. I have been overwhelmed by how quickly some people can judge and separate from people they have known for years. Division is the game’s name, and it seems you must pick a side — a side tha...

  • Kettle River news

    Marcia Sarvela|Jan 13, 2023

    The next Kettle River City Council meeting is 7 p.m., Tuesday, Feb. 14 at the Kettle River Senior Center. I encourage all residents to attend these meetings. The next Ma & Pa Kettle Days meeting starts at 1 p.m., Jan. 29 at the Kettle River Senior Center. It is important that anyone who wants to see this organization continue come to this meeting. We will have an election of officers at this meeting. We need three officers to maintain our status. At this time, we will have one vacancy that will need to be filled. Quilting at Holy Trinity... Full story

  • Wright/Cromwell news

    Jennie Hanson|Jan 13, 2023

    A huge thank-you goes out to all the folks who donated to the Christmas Caring project sponsored by Pam and Ruth over Christmas. Gifts were distributed to many children who may not have had gifts without these contributions. This year’s homecoming candidates are Ellie Anderson, Avery Koivisto, Sascha Korpela, Taylah Pfisthner, Payton Rosbacka, Rowdy Egger, Noah Foster, Levi Hoover, Romain Jacques and Liam Schoenberg. Book Blast results are in and we are overwhelmed by the generosity of our Cromwell-Wright community. Our sincere thanks and g...

  • Obituary: Randy Alan "RAZ" Zacher

    Jan 13, 2023

    Randy Alan "RAZ" Zacher, 60, of Cloquet passed away unexpectedly on Friday, Jan. 6, 2023, at Essentia Health-St. Mary's Medical Center in Duluth. He was born Nov. 6, 1962, in Cloquet to Vernon and Jean Zacher Sr. He graduated from Cloquet High School in 1981 and then attended Staples Technical College at Fond du Lac. He was a skilled carpenter who took pride in his work and was currently employed by the Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa. RAZ enjoyed hunting, gardening, campfires,... Full story

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