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Articles from the April 2, 2021 edition


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  • Vaccination throttle is wide open

    Minnesota Public Radio|Apr 2, 2021

    In a major milestone for the state’s Covid-19 vaccination strategy, all Minnesotans 16 and older are now officially eligible to be vaccinated — regardless of age, location, occupation, health conditions or living situation. But state health officials are cautioning that the expansion won’t mean that vaccine doses will be immediately available to everyone who’s eligible. The Health Department on Wednesday reported about 48,000 new vaccinations, pushing the seven-day trend to nearly 51,000... Full story

  • Squeaky wheel, bumpy ride led to road fixes

    Dan Reed|Apr 2, 2021

    Community service was drilled into many of us growing up. This was necessary in rural communities of the past that had little money to spare. People gave time and energy to provide community centers, local celebrations, 4-H groups, local theater, food drives, cemetery care and more to enrich our rural lives. As a volunteer myself - township officer, reporter, western Carlton County promoter, and donor - without any fanfare to many good projects, I see this tradition continue. Read the local... Full story

  • Sturgeon Lake residents rue reality of covered bridge: It's beyond repair

    Lois E. Johnson|Apr 2, 2021

    People in the Sturgeon Lake area are experiencing bittersweet feelings about losing a much-loved landmark, the Sturgeon Island covered bridge. "It will be replaced this fall if the state funding comes through," said Pine County engineer Mark LeBrun. "The issues with the old bridge are that parts of the structure that the bridge sits on are starting to wash out and it is narrow at 14 feet. It has served its life." Inspections in the past few years have shown that the bridge is beyond repair and...

  • Obituary: James Charles Blossom

    Apr 2, 2021

    James Charles Blossom, 53, of Carlton died suddenly at work on March 27, 2021. He was born in Edina on April 11, 1967. He moved to Carlton when he was 5 years old because of his father’s work and was a Carlton High School graduate. He is preceded in death by his grandparents, Hubert and Alice Blossom and Benny and Bernice Nelson. He is survived by his father, Jerry Blossom of Carlton; mother, Judy Kay Skillern, and spouse, Ken, of Missouri City, Texas; and his brother, Eric Blossom and wife R... Full story

  • Obituary: Craig Gilbert Johnson

    Apr 2, 2021

    Craig Gilbert Johnson, 76, of Cloquet passed away March 16, 2021, at St. Luke’s Hospice in Duluth. He was born Nov. 5, 1944, in Cloquet to Alexandria (Maslowski) Johnson and Wallace Johnson. Craig graduated from Cloquet High School and worked at Potlatch for his entire career. He married Colleen Montoye in 2002. Craig loved fishing and hunting, especially partridge hunting, with his brothers Bernie and Harold. He enjoyed hanging out with his brother Wally and watching the Vikings. He enjoyed fam... Full story

  • Obituary: Brad D. Mundell

    Apr 2, 2021

    Brad D. Mundell, 52, of Cloquet passed away Jan. 4, 2021, after a short battle with cancer. He was born Dec. 10, 1968, in Cloquet to John “Sonny” and Hazel (Nelson) Mundell and graduated from Wrenshall High School in 1987. Brad served in the U.S. Army National Guard. He had several jobs throughout his life, with pipeline work being his most memorable. Brad was an avid Vikings and NASCAR fan. He was preceded in death by his son, Luke; his parents; and his sister Nancy. He is survived by his wif... Full story

  • Obituary: Sharon Joy Merrill

    Apr 2, 2021

    Sharon J. Merrill, 68, died March 24, 2021, at North Shore Estates in Duluth after a short battle with cancer. She was born Sept. 12, 1952, to James and Ailie (Laine) Merrill in Cloquet. Sharon was a licensed practical nurse in her younger years and then worked at Super One Foods in West Duluth for 27 years until retiring. She loved to visit with customers, and some would wait in her line for the chance to chat with her. Sharon loved to bake treats for her friends and co-workers. She enjoyed... Full story

  • Obituary: Kathleen Ann Lengol

    Apr 2, 2021

    Kathleen Ann Lengol of Rutland, Vermont passed away peacefully March 27, 2021, at Our House Residential Care. She was born March 27, 1945, in Cloquet, the daughter of Howard and Irene (Granvick) Ross. Kathleen graduated from Cloquet High School in 1963. She was active in many school activities and had a special interest in music, being a participant in orchestra and marching band with special performances in Milwaukee and Winnipeg. Kathleen was inducted into the National Honor Society. She... Full story

  • Rebels turn to defense to win Section 7AA championship

    Kerry Rodd|Apr 2, 2021

    A switch in game plan and the perfect execution of that plan made the difference last Thursday night as Moose Lake/Willow River slipped by Pequot Lakes 57-53 to win the Section 7AA boys basketball title and a place in the state tournament. The team got a tough draw in Wednesday's opening state quarterfinal and lost 71-40 to top-seeded Minneapolis North. To reach state, the Rebels had to reimagine themselves against Pequot Lakes. "We played our normal up-tempo game last time we played them and... Full story

  • Tax case hits keep coming

    Mike Creger|Apr 2, 2021

    The erroneous property tax evaluation monster has struck again, and this time the bite is big. Two decisions in March, in favor of Enbridge and its pipeline that cuts across the state, in Minnesota Tax Court mean that Carlton County will need to find about $1 million to return to the utility. There have been several such corrections in evaluations for utilities in the past few years, but the decisions last month, which cover how Enbridge property was valued and subsequently taxed for for five years beginning in 2012, is a hit that eclipses all...

  • History Mystery

    Pine Knot News|Apr 2, 2021

    As we find ourselves in the holiest part of the year, with Easter on Sunday, we were delighted to come across the story below from 1975. It involves an innovative turn on fundraising at Cloquet's Our Savior's Lutheran Church and Pastor Gilbert Lee. The story of encouraging parishioners to take money given by the church, invest it and gain a return for the church was novel enough to make the news across the country. Given the pandemic that we hope is on its last legs, this might be an idea worth...

  • Supreme Court rejects appeal in murder case

    Jana Peterson|Apr 2, 2021

    The Minnesota Supreme Court denied an appeal for a Bayfield County man who was convicted last year of murdering his uncle in Carlton County. James Francis Montano was arrested in April 2018 for shooting his uncle, 56-year-old Andrew James Gokee, and injuring Gokee’s son, 38-year-old Hudson Gauthier, in rural Carlton County. Montano was found guilty in January 2020 on all three of the charges against him, including first-degree premeditated murder and intentional second-degree murder for the shooting death of his uncle. Montano, 35, had a...

  • Federal relief includes pension bailout

    Dan Reed|Apr 2, 2021

    In addition to the popular $1,400 payments for many citizens, the recently passed $1.9 trillion federal American Relief Plan also allocated $86 billion to help stabilize distressed multi-employer pension funds for the next three decades. The money would shore up 185 union pension plans that are close to collapse. It’s a group that includes a million retired truck drivers, retail clerks, builders and others who face a loss of earned retirement income. Cloquet’s Sherman Liimatainen serves as vice president of the National United Committee to Pro...

  • Local vaccination options abound

    Pine Knot News staff|Apr 2, 2021

    Vaccinations went into high gear in Carlton County this week thanks to a joint vaccination clinic held by the Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa and Carlton County on Thursday, April 1, after this issue of the Pine Knot News went to press. Fond du Lac made 500 doses available for wider community use at the event, which was staffed by both health departments. The vaccinations were available to residents ages 18 and older. “Having the opportunity to vaccinate our neighbors will increase the overall health and well-being of our c... Full story

  • Earth Day cleanup is set

    Pine Knot News|Apr 2, 2021

    The Boldt Company, in collaboration with the City of Cloquet, will host an Earth Day clean-up, scheduled for the morning of April 24. Registration is required for this event. People will gather between 9:30 and 10 a.m. at the Dunlap Island Park shelter for registration. The cleanup will go until about noon, when there will be a free picnic for those helping. The first 100 people registered will get a free T-shirt. Be sure to include sizes for all of your participants when you register. Visit the city website for information and to sign up:... Full story

  • College offers a food boost

    Pine Knot News|Apr 2, 2021

    In a repeat of a successful Thanksgiving food distribution last November, Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College employees handed out spring bundles to current college students on March 26. Student government leaders at the Cloquet college determined that the spring semester bundles would help address food needs of students and their families during the spring break week at area public school districts, a time when some families may not have access to sufficient food via the traditional... Full story

  • On the Mark: Passion, practice rule music contests

    Ann Markusen|Apr 2, 2021

    A goodly share of Cromwell-Wright High School students participate in vocal music every year. It's an art form requiring intensive individual work and attentiveness to instruction as well as the challenges of singing with others. Each learns about his/her own voice. Its range and clarity. How to memorize the pieces. How to breathe and sustain notes through slow passages. How to feel and convey the mood of each composition. How to modulate between powerful, often high, and passionate notes, and... Full story

  • Cloquet plans to hold outdoor prom, graduation

    Pine Knot News|Apr 2, 2021

    As of right now, Cloquet High School plans are to hold both prom and graduation outside, according to principal Steve Battaglia. Prom will be in the school parking lot with large tents “to help facilitate air flow,” Battaglia said. He said the student leadership team wants the school to explore holding it indoors, but moving inside creates challenges. “We’re finding that we’ll have to significantly cut capacity if we try to do that,” the principal said, adding that prom plans are still fluid. Graduation will be on the football field. “Our... Full story

  • Esko girls fall to Marshall in Section 7AA championship

    Kerry Rodd|Apr 2, 2021

    An impressive season came to an end for the top-seeded Esko girls basketball team on Friday in a loss to Duluth Marshall in the Section 7AA championship game. The Eskomos defeated Crosby-Ironton in overtime March 24 in the semifinal round. The Eskomos fell 63-52 to the No. 2 seed Marshall. The Hilltoppers feature Division 1 recruit Gianna Kneepkens, who scored 31 points and controlled the flow of the game for her squad. "We fell behind 10-1 and it just felt like we were on our heels from the sta... Full story

  • Music scholarship available

    Pine Knot News|Apr 2, 2021

    The Friends of Brad Memorial Foundation $1000 scholarship is available for students in rural northeastern Minnesota who plan to pursue music in college. The foundation is providing two scholarships. The foundation was created in 2010 to honor the memory of Bradley Edward Rozman, a percussionist and native of Virginia, Minnesota who passed away in 2009. The foundation honors Rozman through its programs that seek to cultivate and celebrate young musicians. The foundation started the BradFest summer music festival in Two Harbors in 2010 and has...

  • Dean's lists

    Pine Knot News|Apr 2, 2021

    Samuel Rengo, son of Todd and Sandra Rengo of Esko, was named to the dean’s list for the fall semester at St. John’s University in Collegeville, Minnesota. Rengo is a junior political science major. Four students from Cloquet were named to Bemidji State University’s dean’s list for fall semester. They are Stephanie Ferguson, Preston Lowe, Allyson Rahkola, and Spencer Wehr....

  • Anderson plays softball for UW-Stout

    Pine Knot News|Apr 2, 2021

    Bella Anderson, a first-year psychology student at the University of Wisconsin-Stout, is also on the softball team, playing third base. Anderson graduated from Carlton High School....

  • Jumping for a cause

    Pine Knot News|Apr 2, 2021

    Students at Washington Elementary School in Cloquet jumped rope to help fight heart disease during their physical education class on Friday, February 26th. They had a record-breaking year during this 23rd annual event, raising $23,490 for the American Heart Association. There were 86 students in the 100 club, students who raised $100 or more to help kids with special hearts. Pictured here are three students who each raised more than $1,000....

  • Our View: Cloquet needs city hall to be open

    Pine Knot News|Apr 2, 2021

    It’s time for Cloquet to reopen City Hall and resume in-person council meetings. City Hall is set up well for social distancing. The lobby area is spacious, and could easily accommodate crowd-control lines and ropes to keep citizens safely spaced. And the staff is generally secure behind the partitions and service windows. With proper safety protocol, we feel City Hall can open safely. Residents need to pay their utilities, get permits, and conduct other business with the city in person. Reopening will reduce the burden of dealing with city i...

  • Harry's gang: There's freedom of speech and the freedom to ignore it

    Pete Radosevich|Apr 2, 2021

    Even I was a little shocked to get my Pine Knot News in the mail last Friday. Maybe we should start mailing them in brown paper wrapping, so little kids can't see the covers, like they used to do with "adult" material. I'm referring, of course, to the front page picture in last week's issue. Apparently, someone in town feels strongly enough about his perception of the political climate that he feels a flag, emblazoned with vulgar expletives, is an appropriate way to express his frustration.... Full story

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