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Articles from the June 3, 2022 edition


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  • 2022 grads sailed some rough seas

    Mike Creger|Jun 3, 2022

    The marker on the Cloquet class of 2022 is obvious, and it wasn't ignored last Friday at the outdoor commencement at Bromberg Field. Speakers embraced what this crop of seniors have been through, their final three years of high school scarred by the Covid-19 pandemic. It only made them stronger, they said. Class president Jonah Bryant-Nikko called it the "best and worst times of our lives." Principal Steve Battaglia said the class before him would have laughed if they had been told as... Full story

  • In Wrenshall, small graduating class allows for a lot of huzzahs

    Jana Peterson|Jun 3, 2022

    Wrenshall students and supporters may have enjoyed the most unique graduation ceremony Friday afternoon, thanks to English teacher Joel Swanson. The guest speaker rapped - rather than recited - his original "Grad Poem 22" before the crowd in the Wrenshall gymnasium. In the poem, Swanson spoke of the fork in the road: "one path taken by those seeking less resistance and the more difficult one that questions our existence." But Swanson wasn't done. When he was done, the teacher called for a volunt... Full story

  • Guilty verdict comes quickly in Thompson murder trial

    Jana Peterson|Jun 3, 2022

    A Carlton County jury of 10 men and two women deliberated about five hours Tuesday before finding Sheldon Thompson guilty of eight counts of murder. Five of those eight counts are first-degree murder charges, which come with an automatic sentence of life in prison. Thompson, 35, was accused and found guilty of brutally killing his pregnant girlfriend, Jackie Defoe, their unborn child, and 20-month-old Kevin Lee Shabaiash Jr. in March 2020. About two dozen people attended the final hearing at the...

  • Remembering the fallen: Memorial Day 2022

    Mike Creger|Jun 3, 2022

    Spates of rain did not deter Carlton County's honor guards as they made their solemn rounds on Memorial Day Monday. Events at cemeteries and parks across the county were marked by U.S. flags and required umbrellas that added color to a colorless, rain-dotted morning. The rain subsided at St. Matthews Cemetery on North Cloquet Road at 10:30 as people gathered for song and prayer before the Cloquet Combined Honor Guard arrived for the playing of taps and a rifle salute to those lost in service to... Full story

  • Unrequited 'something' at heart of latest comedy

    Pine Knot News|Jun 3, 2022

    Things are moving quickly at the County Seat Theater these days. Opening today in person and with view-on-demand is the comedy "Jerry Finnegan's Sister." It's been a busy few weeks for the community theater, said general manager Joel Soukkala. "Due to Covid-19 cases in the previous production pushing back its opening date, the actors and crew in 'Jerry Finnegan's Sister' have had a shortened time span to get ready for their opening night," Soukkala said. Less than two weeks after County Seat's...

  • On the Mark: Cromwell community makeover underway

    Ann Markusen|Jun 3, 2022

    If you’re driving east or west on Minnesota State Highway 210 between Carlton and McGregor over the next few weeks, you’ll be slowed down going through the city of Cromwell. A major makeover of the highway and storm sewer system is in progress, the first of several upgrades that include a better city park with a river walk, improved highway and park lighting, and better sidewalks. Mayor Sharon Zelazny and her city council have worked hard on these projects over the past few years. While the Minn... Full story

  • Police: Car thefts, vandalism are up

    Pine Knot News|Jun 3, 2022

    There has been a spate of vandalism and car prowls and thefts in the Cloquet area the past month, and the police department has asked for help from the community. In a social media post from May 27, the department said there had been an “uptick in suspicious activity” that included damage to two portable toilets, one pushed into the St. Louis River and another lit on fire. “We've also seen a rash of vehicle prowls and thefts,” the post stated. The department continues to investigate the recent activities and reported no leads this week. D...

  • Candidates for local offices make deadline

    Pine Knot News|Jun 3, 2022

    The filing period for state and local offices — only those that could require primary elections in August — ended Tuesday, May 31. While a number of incumbent candidates will face no challengers, the Cloquet mayor’s race will feature incumbent Roger Maki and former Cloquet city councilor David Bjerkness. Another former city councilor and retired police officer, Erik Blesener, is challenging Bun Carlson for the Ward 1 seat. Sheriff Kelly Lake is also facing a challenger: Jason Syrett filed to run for sheriff. It appears only one race in Carlt... Full story

  • 'Unconscious' sexual assault case resumes

    Jana Peterson|Jun 3, 2022

    Hearings in a 2020 case of a Sawyer man accused of sexually assaulting an intoxicated woman who was a guest at his home have resumed, after first being delayed because of Covid-19 concerns and then because the suspect failed to appear in court. Jamin Paul Beardley, 46, faces charges of first-degree criminal sexual conduct filed in August of 2020. After he failed to appear at a review hearing on May 10, 2021, the jury trial set for the following week was canceled. Beardsley had also been sentenced to 90 days in jail in April 2021 — which he didn...

  • Charges filed for child assault

    Jana Peterson|Jun 3, 2022

    A Cloquet man is facing charges for allegedly sexually assaulting a young girl approximately five years ago. Kim James Connors Jr., aka KC, age 30, is facing one charge of first degree criminal sexual conduct-penetration or contact with a person under 13. Charges were filed in late March, but Connors didn’t make his first court appearance until May 23, after being picked up on a warrant by Fond du Lac police. According to the criminal complaint, last summer a now 11-year-old girl reported to staff at the Carlton County youth shelter and e...

  • Fond du Lac general election is June 14

    Jun 3, 2022

    The Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa will hold a general election June 14 for Reservation Business Council secretary-treasurer and District II positions. Incumbent Ferdinand Martineau and challenger Robert Abramowski are vying for the RBC Secretary-Treasurer position. Two challengers will face off for the RBC District II (Sawyer) seat. Brad “Raff” Blacketter and Naomi Northrup were the top two vote getters in the April 5 primary, edging out incumbent Bruce M. Savage....

  • Water, sewer cleanup begins

    Jun 3, 2022

    The city of Cloquet will be flushing water mains and cleaning sewer mains now through September between the hours of 6 a.m. and 6 p.m. Monday through Friday. Customers in the immediate area of the water main flushing may temporarily experience rusty or dirty water. Those doing laundry during the week should check their water prior to washing. Sewer customers in the immediate cleaning area may temporarily experience sewer gas odors and bubbling toilets or drains due to the cleaning process. If sewer odors are detected, it is advisable to refill...

  • Farmers market opens Saturday

    Jun 3, 2022

    The Carlton County farmers market is open 9 a.m. to noon Saturdays starting June 4, through Oct. 21 in front of Premiere Theatres in Cloquet. The Carlton site will be open 4 to 6 p.m. Tuesdays, June 21 through mid-October in McFarland Park, Highway 210 and Grand Avenue....

  • Crews work to restore power

    Jun 3, 2022

    Lake Country Power line crews were still working Wednesday, June 1, to restore electric service with 114 outages left to repair for more than 1,000 co-op members. That’s down from the 8,700 members impacted at the height of the Memorial Day storm. The majority reside in Itasca County with 500 members remaining without service, and 390 more in St. Louis County. Parts of Cass County, Lake County and Aitkin County were also impacted. The severe holiday storm broke at least 30 poles, blew trees onto power lines, downed power lines and damaged i...

  • FDLTCC appoints VP of academics

    Jun 3, 2022

    Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College is happy to welcome Kelly McCalla as the new Vice President of Academic Affairs as of May 23, 2022. “I am so excited to be at FDLTCC,” shared McCalla, “The work that everyone here is doing to support the students and the unique communities we serve is really special. Plus, as someone who grew up not too far from here, it very much feels like coming home.” Kelly McCalla grew up in central Minnesota and attended Central Lakes College before transferring to...

  • Our View: 'Gun culture' has skidded from us

    Jun 3, 2022

    After Uvalde, there are, again, millions of takes on social media and in conversations across the country. Millions of emotions. Millions of reasons, searching for blame. A cry about just what is in us as a people that lets this happen time after time. This reaction to another shooting in America is exhausting, frightening and just so maddening. How we respond is just as fractious as the divisions among us socially and politically. Can we add to the mix? Maybe. In the whole, there can seem little to say that will change gun culture in America.... Full story

  • Op-Ed: Why good investigative journalism matters

    Lee Hamilton|Jun 3, 2022

    Recently, a couple of reporters at The New York Times published an intriguing story about conversations between House Republican leader Kevin McCarthy and other members of his leadership team. It was shortly after the events of Jan. 6 at the Capitol, and they were talking about what to do about then-President Trump. His conduct, McCarthy said, had been “atrocious and totally wrong.” Moreover, wrote Alexander Burns and Jonathan Martin in their article, McCarthy “faulted the president for ‘incitin... Full story

  • Future nurses earn pins

    Jun 3, 2022

    Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College celebrated the Associate Degree Nursing Program Graduating Class of 2022 during a Pinning Ceremony on Tuesday, May 10, 2022. The wonderful ceremony featured speeches from Kasey Enerson, the FDLTCC Nursing Club President, and Elsa Ring, a member of the FDLTCC Nursing Faculty. Andrea Simek, Dean of Nursing and Health Sciences provided the opening address; FDLTCC President, Stephanie Hammitt, offered a President's Welcome; Chelsea Salzer, from the FDLTCC...

  • Rotary continues book tradition

    Pine Knot News|Jun 3, 2022

    An important mission of Rotary International is to promote literacy. In April the Cloquet Rotary Club distributed 337 dictionary/reference books to third-graders from Churchill, Washington, Winterquist elementary schools in Cloquet, South Terrace in Carlton, and the school in Wrenshall. In addition, 324 kindergarten students from the same schools each received a personal storybook with the characters and the settings selected by each student and woven into a story. The kindergarteners are proudl...

  • South Terrace is home to 'Wax Museum'

    Pine Knot News|Jun 3, 2022

    The second-grade classes at Carlton's South Terrace Elementary hosted a "Wax Museum" on May 19. Students chose a famous person they wanted to research, learned how to take notes and then used research to answer five questions about their person. They used their notes to write a speech in the first person, memorized it, and worked on presentation skills. Pictured above are students in Wendy Greer's class. "Students and parents came up with awesome costumes and presented their speeches to our gues... Full story

  • Kettle River News

    Marcia Sarvela|Jun 3, 2022

    The Ma & Pa Kettle Days committee met May 25 to plan for this year’s event, planned for Saturday, Aug. 13. Look for more information on what will be happening. Plan to attend the next city council meeting at 7 p.m. June 14 so you know what is happening. We need everyone to attend these meetings so they can understand why we have such legal fees that we don’t have the funds for and other needs such as filling in potholes. With road construction starting and a detour of Minnesota Highway 73, it may be a problem for some of the Cromwell peo... Full story

  • Wright/Cromwell News

    Jennie K. Hanson|Jun 3, 2022

    Melinda Ferry wants folks to know they are invited to the burial service for her husband, Scott Ferry, who passed away March 24 this year. The service will be held at 11 a.m. Friday, June 10 at Lakeside Cemetery and will be followed by a luncheon at the Lakeside School, featuring Scott’s favorite foods. Mayor Sharon Zelazny reports that the city of Cromwell is ready for the Minnesota Highway 210 and Highway 73 project that started May 24. There are four phases: the north side of Highway 210, e... Full story

  • Lumberjacks toppled in playoffs

    Kerry Rodd|Jun 3, 2022

    After opening the Section 7AAA softball tournament with a win over Grand Rapids, the Cloquet Lumberjacks were eliminated with back-to-back losses to Chisago Lakes and Hibbing Saturday. The Lumberjacks dominated Grand Rapids in the early part of last Wednesday's section opener and raced to an 11-3 lead after three innings. Then the Thunderhawks found a way to answer with nine runs in the fourth to gain a 12-11 lead. In the bottom of the fifth inning, Cloquet scored five runs to shut the door on... Full story

  • Eskomos battle, fall in softball playoffs

    Kerry Rodd|Jun 3, 2022

    After starting the season 2-4, the Esko softball team went on a roll and entered the 7AA Section playoffs as the No. 2 seed. The Eskomos opened the playoffs with back-to-back wins before losing to Eveleth-Gilbert and dropping to the losers bracket. On Tuesday, the Eskomos put up two more wins before finally bowing out of the playoffs with another loss to Eveleth-Gilbert. “We finished with an 18-7 record this season and three of those losses were to Eveleth-Gilbert,” said Esko coach Huff Ema... Full story

  • 7A softball roundup: Rebels claw way to championship game

    Dwight Cadwell|Jun 3, 2022

    The Section 7A softball tournament has found its way to the final two teams as tournament action continued Tuesday at Braun Park in Cloquet. Defending section 7A champion Cherry will face Moose Lake/Willow River Thursday with a trip on the line to Caswell Park in North Mankato next week. Thursday, May 26, the double-elimination portion of the Section 7A playoffs began in Grand Rapids. Four Polar League schools opened play: Carlton/Wrenshall (No. 5) versus Barnum (No. 4), and South Ridge (No. 9)... Full story

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