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Articles from the March 20, 2020 edition

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  • Keeping up with and coping with the coronavirus pandemic

    Pine Knot News staff|Mar 20, 2020

    Days, hours, minutes and seconds. International, national, statewide, and home. In a whirlwind the past 10 days, life in Carlton County and the world has changed in response to a deadly respiratory disease pandemic. Schools are shut by order of Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz - as are bars, restaurants and other public gathering spaces until at least the end of the month and likely much longer. We've been told to not gather in groups of more than 10 people. In short, stay at home, gather supplies when... Full story

  • This week in state history

    Pine Knot News|Mar 20, 2020

    Historic Minnesota events with anniversaries this week. March 22 1882 A guilty verdict on several counts is rendered in the impeachment trial of Judge Eugene St. Julien Cox of St. Peter, who had been accused of conducting a trial while drunk. His cause was not helped when bartenders were called to testify to his ability to hold liquor. Cox was removed from office, but his allies in the Democratic Party later helped reverse the conviction in 1891. St. Julien Cox was one of the earliest settlers...

  • Census invitations are here, please respond

    Pine Knot News|Mar 20, 2020

    About 95 percent or about 143 million households in the country have received an initial invitation to respond to the 2020 Census in their mailboxes the past week. The Census Bureau says the materials can help the public know what to expect and avoid scams. Households are encouraged to respond when they receive their invitation. Depending on how likely the area is to respond online, households will receive either an invitation encouraging them to respond online or by phone (about 112 million households), or an invitation along with a paper...

  • Hospital, county ready for viral wave

    Jana Peterson|Mar 20, 2020

    Watching the number of statewide COVID-19 cases climb from two to 77 in a 10-day period, northern Minnesota residents could take cold comfort in the fact that there were zero confirmed cases in the region earlier this week. "As of this moment, there's still not a confirmed case in our seven-county region, or in any counties that touch those seven counties," Community Memorial Hospital CEO Rick Breuer said Tuesday morning, adding that the hospital had tested only one person so far, with negative... Full story

  • Restaurants, bars prepare to cope with close orders

    Jana Peterson|Mar 20, 2020

    On Monday morning, Gordy's Hi-Hat owner Dan Lundquist said the restaurant would open as planned on Thursday "unless issues develop outside our control." They did. A few hours later, Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz announced a new executive order: All bars, restaurants, coffee shops, breweries and other public gathering venues were to close to dine-in guests as of 5 p.m. Tuesday through at least March 27. So Lundquist suddenly had to pivot to new plans for his family-owned restaurant and coffee shop... Full story

  • Schools scramble for off-campus options

    Jana Peterson|Mar 20, 2020

    Cloquet schools superintendent Michael Cary woke up at 5 a.m. Sunday, March 15 to numerous messages on his cell phone. Five hours later, the rest of the state got the message that Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz was requiring every school district in the state to close by Wednesday, March 18 through March 27. Ostensibly, the time off is to be used to make plans for "distance learning" for students, in case schools close for a longer period of time following the break in response to the spread of...

  • Fond du Lac college joins the legion of closed schools

    Pine Knot News|Mar 20, 2020

    Minnesota State Chancellor Devinder Malhotra announc- ed March 12 that all Minnesota State colleges and universities will suspend classes an extra week following spring break. At FDLTCC, that means classes will be suspended March 23-29 following spring break this week. Additionally, Malhotra said all events or other gatherings totaling more than 100 attendees are canceled until May 1, and the situation will be re-evaluated. “While there will be no classes during each campuses’ extra week, administrators, faculty, and staff will spend that wee...

  • City operating with access restricted

    Jana Peterson|Mar 20, 2020

    This week's Cloquet city council meeting laid out a new world order, before even a word was said. Councilors sat one or two chairs apart, with two attending via conference call to make space for social distancing (the recommended 6 feet between individuals). More than half the chairs for audience members had been removed, to make sure no one sat too close to one another. By the end of the meeting, the council implemented even more changes to minimize the spread of COVID-19, the disease caused... Full story

  • 'Essential business only' recommended for visits to county buildings

    Pine Knot News|Mar 20, 2020

    Carlton County is still open for business, but with a few changes to access. • Beginning March 18, access to the Carlton County Extension Building on Chestnut Street in Carlton and the Carlton County Transportation Building will be closed to the public until further notice. Please call either building with essential service requests. • Access to the Carlton County Motor Vehicle Registration Office at the Community Services Building in Cloquet will be closed to the public until Monday, March 23 in order for space modifications complying wit...

  • OUR VIEW: Business needs our help in time of need

    Pine Knot News|Mar 20, 2020

    Local businesses are the first ones to jump in when needed by the community, whether to donate to a local fundraiser, sponsor a youth athletic team, or support community activities. Yet, many forget the contributions of local business when a crisis hits, such as the current COVID-19 pandemic. We encourage residents to support local business as much as is safe and practical. We particularly favor small locally owned businesses, but we also have some larger stores in town that deserve our support. “Shop Local” is not just a slogan to be bat...

  • Harry's Gang: Skeletons can rattle for a while

    Pete Radosevich|Mar 20, 2020

    I plan to keep working until I can collect my full Social Security benefits. Or, at least until something I did 20 years ago comes back to ruin my career. I know most of us are focused on quarantines, about catching the virus, or how to handle a house full of kids who are not in school. But I can’t help thinking that we have started to put an enormous importance on things that happened many, many years ago that most people would rather forget. As the Democrats have been selecting their n...

  • Letters to the editor: One more thing to do in times of uncertainty: Get outside

    Pine Knot News|Mar 20, 2020

    In light of the coronavirus pandemic, we are being asked these days to do some things to protect ourselves and others from the spread of the illness. Wash your hands. Social distance. Work remotely if you can. Stay home if you are ill, and keep your coughs and sneezes to yourself please. (Someone missed the memo about not hoarding toilet paper.) Did I mention wash your hands? I am going to add another one: Take a walk. When I was growing up, my mom liked it when we were outside every day. I remember times when she would make us get outside,...

  • The Political Account: Coronavirus is testing our liberties as well

    Uriah Wilkinson|Mar 20, 2020

    In a time of uncertainty and disruption — at a level not experienced since World War II — I think we need to take a step back and ask ourselves a very important question: Where should the line be drawn in giving up our civil liberties in exchange for our own safety? Yes, this is an article about COVID-19, caused by the coronavirus. If you are unaware of this — now labeled a global pandemic — you probably live off the grid and are in better shape than the rest of us. Under the guidance of the...

  • Guest commentary: I'm Finndian and proud of it

    Pine Knot News|Mar 20, 2020

    I walked out of the Washington Elementary school gym, my head held high. My dance was beautiful. I walked into my kindergarten classroom and watched as all the kids scrambled to take their seats. They were all squirrely and ready to be set free. I sat in my little yellow chair. The pods were scattered across the room, in a flower-like pattern. I sat with most of the “bad” kids in my class, not a good idea. The other kids sat around the pod. They watched me. I felt their eyes burn holes into my head. “I saw you dance,” one kid said. I looked...

  • Guest commentary: Public's right to know is a continuing battle

    Pine Knot News|Mar 20, 2020

    The media is definitely not your enemy. Far from being the enemy of the people, day in and day out we take our role as the Fourth Estate seriously and work hard to protect your right to know, making public records requests and attending public meetings to keep you informed. Why? Because we believe all the business government does, whether in open public meetings or behind closed doors, is your business. We believe every last penny government spends is your money. We believe it is your right to know every transaction, every decision, every expen...

  • On The Mark: Enjoying the sweet sounds at music contest

    Ann Markusen|Mar 20, 2020

    Buses loaded with high schoolers disgorged their passengers and teachers in front of the Univeristy of Minnesota Duluth's Weber Music Hall. Eager and nervous, the students retrieved their instruments from trailers in tow. Youth from Carlton and St. Louis counties streamed the halls, finding practice and performance rooms. Piling coats onto desks in temporary homerooms, the students warmed up their voices, horns and woodwinds. Pianists limbered up fingers and paired off with singers in tiny and...

  • Am I sick?

    Pine Knot News|Mar 20, 2020

    Mild cases of COVID-19 - and the majority of cases are mild - cause symptoms similar to a cold or flu. They include a fever, dry cough and shortness of breath with some patients also reporting a sore throat and headaches. But in about 20 percent of patients, infections can become more serious. It can attack the lungs, causing an immune system response that can destroy lung tissue and cause inflammation that can then trigger other problems. "The lack of oxygen leads to more inflammation, more... Full story

  • I'm sick. Now what?

    Pine Knot News|Mar 20, 2020

    Stay home People who are mildly ill with COVID-19 are able to recover at home. Do not leave, except to get medical care. Do not visit public areas. Stay in touch with your doctor. Call before you get medical care. Be sure to get care if you feel worse or you think it is an emergency. Avoid using public transportation, ride-sharing, or taxis. Isolate Separate yourself from other people in your home, this is known as home isolation Stay away from others: As much as possible, you should stay in a specific “sick room” and away from other peo... Full story

  • Obituaries: Father Donald LeMay OSB

    Pine Knot News|Mar 20, 2020

    Father Donald died Wednesday, March 11, 2020, in the Retirement Center at St. John's Abbey. Donald Joseph LeMay, 97, the oldest of five children, was born on Sept. 24, 1922, to Edward and Alice (Demers) LeMay of Cloquet. After graduating from high school in 1940, he worked at Northwest Paper Company in Cloquet until he was accepted into the military in 1945. He served in Alaska and the Aleutian Islands. Following his discharge from the U.S. Army, Don was enrolled at St. John's University... Full story

  • District Court update

    Pine Knot News|Mar 20, 2020

    In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the judicial branch has also made some adjustments to its usual procedures that were effective March 16. • All court facilities shall remain open. Service windows at court facilities will also remain open, and courts will continue to accept filings in all case types. The Judicial Branch discourages the public from making any non-essential visits to court facilities. • Each judicial district will identify cases by priority, and proceed with “super-high priority” and “high priority” cases. • Other than th...

  • Death Notices

    Pine Knot News|Mar 20, 2020

    Sheldon LeRoy LaPrairie, 77, of St. Paul died March 9, 2020 in his home. He was born Dec. 3, 1942 in Cloquet to Lawrence and Gertrude (Diver) Bosto. A funeral service was held March 14 at Fond du Lac Head Start in Cloquet. Interment will be in New Holy Family Cemetery. Arrangements by Nelson Funeral Care. Duane Allen Immerfall, 59, of Carlton passed away unexpectedly Monday, March 16, 2020 in his home. A gathering of family and friends will be held at a later date. Arrangements entrusted to Atkins Northland Funeral Home, Cloquet. Jeanne M.... Full story

  • Fire hits city home; child OK after crash

    Pine Knot News|Mar 20, 2020

    Cloquet Area Fire District firefighters responded to a fire Wednesday, March 18, on the 1200 block of Carlton Avenue in Cloquet. CAFD battalion chief Gordy Meagher said the fire was confined to a small room on the third floor of the house, and everybody was out when they arrived. The firefighters used the ladder truck to reach the top of the home. "We got it extinguished quickly," Meagher said, adding that they vented the roof and checked ceilings inside to make sure the fire hadn't spread....

  • Barnum school board votes to cut staff

    Lois E. Johnson|Mar 20, 2020

    The Barnum school board voted to cut positions from the school staff for the next school year at its monthly meeting on Tuesday, March 17, despite a plea at a community meeting a couple of weeks ago to cut the positions slowly. “We are where we are,” board chair Colleen Fetters said, and called for approval of the reduction of one full-time elementary teacher, a half-time Spanish teacher, a full-time physical education teacher, a full-time math teacher, and a third-time science teacher. All passed. A vote on the reduction of a half-time mus...

  • Stay safe at home

    Pine Knot News|Mar 20, 2020

    Risk is universal The Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a respiratory illness in people caused by a new virus. It can spread from person to person. The virus was first identified in Wuhan, China, and has now spread to more countries including the United States. Since this is a new virus, there are still things we do not know, but we are learning more about COVID-19 each day. Minnesota’s public health community is taking this seriously and planning for a spike in cases. Avoid assumptions about who you think may be sick. Viruses don’t dis... Full story

  • Cloquet council member tells mask seller to beat it

    Pine Knot News|Mar 20, 2020

    Cloquet City councilor Lara Wilkinson had harsh words for a man who was selling rather expensive face masks and gloves out of the back of his vehicle in a Cloquet parking lot on Sunday morning, as reported in the Duluth News Tribune earlier this week. “No. 1. It’s unethical,” Wilkinson said. “Plus people can’t come in here and sell masks from the back of a truck. It’s not legal here.” She said the city of Cloquet has a requirement for a transient merchant license in cases like that. “So I hope no one thinks they can do that.” Last week Minneso... Full story

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