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Articles from the May 8, 2020 edition


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  • Mobile testing comes to Cloquet

    Jana Peterson|May 8, 2020

    Mobile testing for COVID-19 has arrived in Cloquet in true Northland style: a fish house. "Technically it's a fish house with no holes," said phlebotomist Alicia Rock with a chuckle Tuesday morning. A nearby walker cracked: "They're not catching much there." That's the goal. Detect, but don't catch. Rock and nurse Kasie Sundeen work in full personal protective equipment - gloves, isolation gowns, goggles plus full face shields and half-face respirators - as they travel between vehicles and their... Full story

  • As theater goes dark, popcorn still pops

    Jana Peterson|May 8, 2020

    The first famous movie quote, "There's no place like home," went up on the Premiere Theatres sign after Gov. Tim Walz issued his stay-at-home order and shut down movie theaters, restaurants and other gathering places to guard against COVID-19 spread. Owner Rick Stowell said they've been changing the quotes frequently. On Tuesday, the sign at Premiere proclaimed: "I'll be back." They will, Stowell promised. Just not right away. "Even if we were allowed to open today, the next new release is...

  • This week in state history

    Pine Knot News|May 8, 2020

    Historic Minnesota events with anniversaries this week. May 8 1910 Governor Adolf O. Eberhart declares Minnesota's first Mother's Day holiday. 1924 Ships idled in ice in Duluth's harbor begin to break free after stranding passengers and cargo for three days. May 9 1921 Daniel Berrigan is born in Virginia on the Iron Range. His brother Philip was born Oct. 5, 1923, in Two Harbors. The Berrigans, once called "rebel priests" in the early 1970s on the cover of Time magazine, learned protest from...

  • Cloquet grads opt for a drive-in ceremony

    Jana Peterson|May 8, 2020

    It will be a Cloquet High School graduation unlike any that have come before, that's for certain. Restricted by orders prohibiting large gatherings and aiming to promote social distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Cloquet school district is renting a 40-foot-wide drive-in movie screen and inviting each graduate and his or her family to come to the Cloquet Business Park on North Highway 33 to watch a graduation ceremony on the big screen. The big event is scheduled for 9 p.m. Friday, May... Full story

  • COVID case numbers still climbing

    Pine Knot News|May 8, 2020

    Increrased testing across the state is sending the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases higher while it gives health officials a better idea of where the spread is occuring. On Wednesday, the Minnesota Department of Health reported that the total number of positive tests in the state had reached 8,579. The total number of deaths in the state was at 485, with 391 of those residing in long term care or assisted living facilities. In Carlton County, the number of confirmed cases reached 61 on Wednesday as reported by MDH, which reports numbers from... Full story

  • USG shuts down with more cases

    Pine Knot News|May 8, 2020

    After reporting that the Cloquet USG plant had one person test positive for COVID-19 on April 24, the company announced Wednesday that it had two additional confirmed cases of the disease. The company found out this week and suspended operations at the plant. “USG has shut down temporarily to do a thorough cleaning and a disinfections crew was called in,” said USG spokesperson Kaitlyn Henderson, adding that they expect to reopen within a few days. The cleaning will be done in accordance with recommendations from the World Health Org... Full story

  • Two injured in two-car accident

    Pine Knot News|May 8, 2020

    Two people were taken to the Cloquet hospital Saturday after a teenage driver ran a stop sign on County Road 4 in Silver Brook Township. According to the Carlton County Sheriff’s Office, a 43-year-old male driver and his 42-year-old passenger in a 2020 Kia Sportage were traveling north on County Road 1, approaching County Road 4. A 17-year-old female traveling eastbound in a 2003 Ford Explorer on County Road 4 failed to yield to the northbound traffic and continued through the intersection, and the two vehicles collided. The crash was r...

  • Highway 23 bridge projects begun

    Pine Knot News|May 8, 2020

    Two bridge projects on Highway 23 in Carlton County south of Wrenshall began this week and are expected to run until October. The road will not be closed, but single-lane bypasses will be used. The bridge over Deer Creek, south of Pleasant Valley, will be removed and replaced, and the creek area restored. The bridge over the Nemadji River will also be removed and replaced with river work done. Minnesota Department of Transportation road work has been identified as a critical service in Gov. Tim Walz’s Stay at Home executive order. MnDOT r...

  • Social distancing disregard closes basketball court ... again

    Jana Peterson|May 8, 2020

    Cloquet city councilors tried to find a balance between keeping people safe on the one hand, and allowing them to have fun outside at city parks on the other during Tuesday’s online council meeting. In the end, they chose safety in a time of pandemic, acknowledging that it is almost impossible to actually police the parks and ticket people who aren’t complying with orders to remain socially distanced while exercising outdoors. Councilors voted 4-3 to close the Pinehurst Park basketball cou... Full story

  • Boards fine-tune school site plans

    Mike Creger|May 8, 2020

    A joint committee made up of school board members from Carlton and Wrenshall districts is chipping away at site plans for a consolidated district. The boards have to submit a plan to the Minnesota Department of Education next week on what it will be asking voters for in a planned referendum in August. But that hinges on the current state legislature passing a measure in its bonding bill allocating money to schools seeking consolidation — and the legislature needs to finish its work by May 18. The joint facilities commission decided late last m...

  • County board member will run to keep seat

    Dan Reed|May 8, 2020

    Two-term Carlton County board commissioner Gary Peterson announced this week that he will seek re-election this fall. He made the announcement at the board’s committee of the whole meeting on Monday. Filing opens on May 19 with the Carlton County Auditor. Peterson is the commissioner for District 5, which includes Moose Lake, Kettle River, Cromwell and Wright. Peterson admitted it is a hard time to campaign for political office. Parades, festivals, prominent holidays, and door-to-door talks with the public are almost impossible with social d...

  • Story train chugs along

    Jana Peterson|May 8, 2020

    Cloquet librarian Keiko Satomi said she was reading about the food train at B&B Market in Cloquet, along with stories about community members reading to kids online, when it occurred to her: Why not do a "Story Train by community helpers" online during the stay-at-home order? Satomi sent out a batch of emails and people obliged: already she has stories read by a doctor, a teacher, a farmer and a firefighter with more to come. The videos are posted on the library's new YouTube channel, along...

  • Praise high on the roof

    Pine Knot News|May 8, 2020

    They were singing and preaching from the rooftop Sunday at Journey Christian Church in Cloquet. It was the second drive-in church service where associate Pastor Fred Goldschmidt preached and the worship team played music while folks sang along and listened in the safety of their cars with radios tuned to the service. "It was a great service and the parking lot was full," said church member Walt Lindquist. "When Pastor would make an important point, people would honk their horns." The horns...

  • On Faith: Promise can hold us together

    Rev. Bruce Johnson|May 8, 2020

    The Danish physicist Nils Bohr famously observed that “it is difficult to make predictions, especially about the future.” Never has that statement been truer than today. The COVID-19 pandemic has created deep uncertainties and anxieties, not only about our public health, but also about the future of our economic and political systems. So many variables are at work that even our best scientific minds cannot forecast the outcome of this contagion with certainty. We simply can’t predict how it will end, or when. With all due respect to the Nobel... Full story

  • Our View: Election season coming right at us

    Pine Knot News|May 8, 2020

    We’re expecting a different campaign season this year, with social distancing both a barrier to traditional campaigning and an issue in itself: How much social distancing and other restrictions does the government have over its citizens? So we were interested to see the endorsements made by the two major parties for Minnesota State Senate District 11, which includes Carlton County. Both incumbents received their parties’ endorsement: Sen. Jason Rarick, the Republican from Pine City has represented Carlton County in the Senate since he won a spe...

  • Harry's Gang: I prefer a warm, dry camp

    Pete Radosevich|May 8, 2020

    Now we can't camp overnight in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. I say it's no big deal, for now. It's a ban lasting only until May 18. But who camps in early May except the diehards? It's too cold. The ice just went out, which means the water's cold. The air is cold. The ground is cold. Sure, there are no mosquitoes, but it's been a rough spring. Even the neighborhood kids who set up their tent in the backyard last weekend came into the house about 10 p.m., mildly hypothermic. In the...

  • Letters to the editor: Support Enbridge line; support our economy

    Pine Knot News|May 8, 2020

    As a longtime taxpayer and consumer of energy products, I am writing to express my support of Enbridge’s Line 3 project and the economic benefits it would bring to our community and the state of Minnesota, particularly on the heels of the COVID-19 pandemic that depleted budgets in our state. The project would benefit surrounding communities and local business owners, including restaurants, stores, service stations and all local businesses. I am from Cloquet and have lived here for 70 years and have come to understand how important Enbridge i...

  • On The Mark: Food shelf volunteers fill new gaps

    Ann Markusen|May 8, 2020

    As increasing numbers of our neighbors are laid off or staying home with children, they find it harder to make ends meet. Nonprofits such as the Tri-Community Food Shelf are helping mightily to compensate. Year-round, on Friday afternoons from 3 to 5:30 p.m., the food shelf, serving Wright, Tamarack and Cromwell, offers boxes of food for all who come to their quarters on the northeast corner of highways 210 and 73. The organization was started by the late Art and Bea Jauss of Tamarack and...

  • Take advantage of many local farm food options

    Pine Knot News|May 8, 2020

    Our new normal during the coronavirus pandemic has made many appreciate the ease of access to basic needs here in our local communities. All of the local grocery stores have been relatively well-stocked, thanks to the hard work and sacrifice of essential workers. The news surrounding the agriculture economy during the pandemic has not been much different from that of other industries. Meat processing plants are being shut down due to virus outbreaks in the workforce, and dairy co-ops are being...

  • The Green Guy: I'm leaving, but SWCD works goes on

    Chris Gass|May 8, 2020

    Goodbye. Maybe it’s just me, but “goodbye” seems reserved for formal occasions with suits and ties or when the end just can’t come soon enough. I much prefer the intentionally vague “until next time” which carries with it a likelihood, or at least opportunity, for paths to cross once more. With that in mind, I say to you readers of Carlton County, “until next time.” I am leaving the SWCD. This will be my last report to you on the happenings of the Carlton Soil and Water Conservation Di...

  • Rickety Desk: Shows must go on

    Timothy Soden-Groves|May 8, 2020

    When I was kid, one of the fun things that might happen when the family was stuck in the house on a snowy day was a "theatrical production." These were usually a one-act play dreamed up by the kids who planned it all out, gathered the props and put on a show for Mom and Dad. The snow had brought life's big show to a grind-ing halt, so it fell to the kids to put on a little show. It may have been Plato, some 2,400 years ago, who first articulated that big, show-stopper problems often demanded...

  • With pandemic, what's old is new again ... sort of

    Dan Reed|May 8, 2020

    Saturday night sauna visits with Great-Uncle Krigsholm and the Reed and Koivisto grandparents included tales of past epidemics that killed family members or neighbors. Average life expectancy in 1918 wasn’t much past age 50. People who died in their 70s or 80s were few and far between — 50 was old age and 80 was ancient. I wrote for the Barnum Herald while I was in high school in Barnum and at the University of Minnesota Duluth. I scoured back issues and wrote a weekly column entitled “The Good Old Days.” It noted events and interes...

  • Boy Scouts stay busy virtually

    Pine Knot News|May 8, 2020

    The Scouts from Cloquet’s Troop 171 have been busy with distant learning activities during the ongoing health emergency. Scoutmaster Kevin McGrath says they have been holding weekly virtual troop meetings on Friday nights, which have kept Scouts engaged and linked to one another. Scouts have taken part in a letter writing project for residents at Evergreen Knoll. Each Scout wrote a letter introducing himself, explaining what he is doing during “Stay at Home” measures and asking how the resident is coping. The Scouts have received grate...

  • Obituaries: Barbara Little

    Pine Knot News|May 8, 2020

    Barbara Ann Cloud Little was born in Washington, D.C. in 1934, the second of four children born to Etienne L. and Dorothy Ball Cloud. She entered into the next realm on May 4, 2020, after living with metastatic breast cancer for several years, during which time she continued to manifest her usual grace. She did not lose this battle. Instead, she has passed the baton on to her family and friends to make this world a better place for others. Barbara was loved by many. Her giving and nurturing... Full story

  • Obituaries: Lauretta "Lori" Lee McCollum

    Pine Knot News|May 8, 2020

    Lauretta "Lori" Lee McCollum, 67, of Esko passed away April 30, 2020, at home. She was born Aug. 25, 1952, in Minneapolis to Lyle and Jenny Mae Putnam. Lori worked as a cook at the Black Bear Casino Resort for 10 years, Gramma Polo's Bottle Shoppe and, most recently, at the Rendezvous Sports Bar & Grill in Scanlon. She loved going to the Bayfront Blues Festival in Duluth, and belonged to the Cloquet Cribbage League. Lori was always caring for people and liked to party like a rock star. Lori was... Full story

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