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Articles from the June 17, 2022 edition

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  • Judge: Life sentences for Thompson

    Jana Peterson|Jun 17, 2022

    Once the jury found him guilty, there was never any doubt that Sheldon Thompson would be sentenced to life in prison for brutally killing his pregnant girlfriend, Jackie Defoe, their unborn child, and Jackie's 20-month-old son, Kevin Lee Shabaiash Jr., in March 2020. How many life sentences he would be sentenced to was the question. The sentencing hearing Tuesday at the Carlton County Courthouse came just over two weeks after a jury found Thompson guilty of eight counts of murder on May 31.... Full story

  • Photo: Dandy Lying

    Jun 17, 2022

    Next week is International Pollinator Week. AJ Miller, owner of Drone Grown Photography, captured this photo of his 4-year-old daughter in the family’s backyard in Cloquet. “We participated in “no-mow May,” and I thought it would be fun to take some photos in a sea of dandelions,” Miller said. “My daughter, Livia, jumped right in. I powered up my drone and took to the skies.” That’s when he captured this unique photo of Livia and entitled it, “Dandelioness.” She was awestruck by the ph... Full story

  • Wrenshall: School Board leans toward inquiry

    Mike Creger|Jun 17, 2022

    After more than 50 people showed up at its last meeting, the Wrenshall school board held its regular June meeting in the commons area of the school instead of the cramped library. A microphone was deployed so a similar-sized audience could hear what was being discussed Monday. But when it came time to talk about the current controversy consuming the board, the microphones went unused and the mumbled conversation that ensued was difficult to hear even on a playback of a recording. The Monday meeting began like many of the board’s meetings do the...

  • Weekly weeders

    Jun 17, 2022

    Good conversation and beautifying the perennial flower garden at a trailhead in Carlton go hand in hand. A small group of women gets together weekly to enjoy one another’s company and improve the flower garden across from the firehall at the Munger Trail. The crabapple tree and original shrubbery were planted approximately 20 years ago. A suggestion to upgrade the area inspired the City of Carlton, a 4-H group and the Carlton County Master Gardeners to transform the tired area into something n... Full story

  • Photos: Barnum Spring Fever Days launch summer

    Jun 17, 2022

    The annual Barnum celebration included a car show, parade - with Virginia and Darryl Wickstrom as grand marshals - meals, sports tournaments and music. Enjoy these photos of the rodeo by Dave Harwig / Pine Knot News... Full story

  • The Beach at Pinehurst is open

    Jun 17, 2022

    The Beach at Pinehurst Park is ready for business, albeit only when the weather cooperates. Which means the swimming pond didn’t open as planned on Monday, June 13. That’s life in the Northland, said Cloquet Community Ed director Erin Bates. On the bright side, Bates said The Beach has plenty of lifeguards this summer, in contrast to last summer, when they were in short supply, meaning swim vests needed to be worn by older children. Kids ages 11 and younger will still have to wear swim ves... Full story

  • Race is on for new Sawdust 5K organizers

    Jana Peterson|Jun 17, 2022

    When Sam and Julie Jacobson decided to run the Sawdust 5K with their boys on July Fourth last year, they had no idea they'd literally be running the race this year as its new organizers. But they love the annual Cloquet race, so when Sawdust founders Jeff and Alyson Leno said they needed to step down to spend more time with their kids, the Jacobsons stepped up. The couple complement each other as race organizers, as Julie has experience with fundraising and event organizing from past jobs with C... Full story

  • Searching for Esko grads

    Jun 17, 2022

    In preparation for the Esko All School Reunion set for August, organizers are seeking people who graduated between 1940 and 1966, who may not be regular users of social media. While the reunion is being held in conjunction with Esko Fun Days from Aug. 2-7, Class of 1964 grad Joyce Houtz said they are trying to find older grads who may not be on the internet and are hoping they will reach out. “All the others are doing a Friday night mixer,” Houtz said. “We are planning a meal at the Buffalo House Junction the afternoon of Friday, Aug. 5 for o... Full story

  • Friends raise $1 million for Teen Challenge

    Jana Peterson|Jun 17, 2022

    Rich Brummer said he "got hooked" on the Minnesota Fishing Challenge when he was a charter captain on Lake Superior and participated in the second year of the fishing tournament. The next year he suckered Stuart Nelson into joining him and the two became an unstoppable fundraising team. "We haven't looked back," Nelson said. "Each team is asked to make some money, and that's what we do. But we've taken it to another level." Minnesota Fishing Challenge is now the largest fundraising fishing... Full story

  • County probation aims to reduce 'super-utilizers'

    Dan Reed|Jun 17, 2022

    As a member of the Arrowhead Regional Corrections agency, Carlton County pays 11 percent of that operating budget to handle 100 percent of Carlton County’s client probation needs. With the advent of the soon-to-be-built justice center, a Carlton County probation committee has been studying ways of managing the growth of the local jail population by “improving criminal justice operations … and reduce recidivism through improvement of existing supervision and treatment programs,” quoting the earlier Carlton County jail and justice system plannin...

  • Covid, inflation pressures impact school budget

    Jana Peterson|Jun 17, 2022

    Not surprisingly, the Covid-19 pandemic impacted lives in a wide variety of ways. One aspect the pandemic has unexpectedly continued to affect is school finance, Cloquet superintendent Michael Cary told school board members Monday. While student numbers had been rising slowly but steadily before the pandemic, they have failed to rebound after students returned to in-person classes. Fewer students means less funding from the state of Minnesota. Additionally, inflation — blamed in part on supply shortages caused by the pandemic — is getting in...

  • College police program will have new leader

    Jana Peterson|Jun 17, 2022

    The law enforcement program at Fond du Lac Tribal & Community College will see new leadership this fall, as former Cloquet police chief Wade Lamirande passes the baton to recently retired Duluth police chief Mike Tusken, who will begin in August. Lamirande replaced former Duluth police chief Scott Lyons as law enforcement program coordinator in 2014. Lamirande said there is a steep learning curve when transitioning from active law enforcement to teaching. He had a master's degree in public... Full story

  • State softball: Rebels fall in title game, an instant classic

    Jake Kachinske|Jun 17, 2022

    For a couple of heart-racing moments last Friday in North Mankato, Rebels fans thought the wait for a state title was finally over when freshman Sandi Ribich sent a towering fly ball into left center field in the bottom of the eighth inning. Seconds later, Nicollet center fielder Brooklyn Bode snatched victory from the jaws of defeat when she tracked down the near home run ball, crashed into the fence and held on for the catch and the opening out. Two batters later, the final out was recorded... Full story

  • Photos: Senior Day draws a crowd

    Jun 17, 2022

    What turned into a perfect summer day lent itself to a successful turnout for the annual Senior Day in Cloquet's Veterans Park Wednesday, June 15. It's where older people in the region could pick up valuable information on services, have some fun and enjoy each other's company. Photos by Darrell Davey / Pine Knot News... Full story

  • FDL surveys coming

    Jun 17, 2022

    The Fond du Lac (FDL) Band of Lake Superior Chippewa planning division has launched a Housing and Community Needs Assessment household survey. The survey has two components: a randomly selected group of households on the reservation will receive a door hanger with an online survey code in June; and any other interested households can complete the general survey. This survey is an important data collection project designed to compile accurate demographic, employment and housing information about FDL community members. The data collected during... Full story

  • Esko schools plan renewed focus on sportsmanship

    Rebekah King|Jun 17, 2022

    The Esko athletic department is developing a new sportsmanship initiative to help educate and encourage athletes, along with establishing guidelines and consequences for actions that don’t “represent who Esko is.” Activities director Chad Stoskopf presented an outline for the new sportsmanship initiative to the Esko school board at its meeting Monday, June 13. The initiative, Stoskopf said, is focused on educating athletes and coaches to prevent any unsportsmanlike behavior. It will include the reinstatement of the mandatory all-sports meeti...

  • Middle school mural mounted at last!

    Jun 17, 2022

    With assistance from Cloquet area artist Adam Swanson, Cloquet Middle School students created this colorful mural, as featured in the May 6 issue of the Pine Knot News. The finished outdoor mural is now mounted and available for the world to see on the south wall of CMS, facing Washington Avenue. Here, art teacher Andrea Cacek and Swanson’s two sons, sixth-grader Jasper and second-grader Oliver, do some touch-up painting before varnishing. Read the May story about the making of the mural h... Full story

  • Photos: Libraries boom with sounds of drums

    Jana Peterson|Jun 17, 2022

    Naomi Guilbert (pictured here in Cloquet) and Hiroshi Koshiyama, professional Japanese taiko drummers, perform an original song called "Covid drive-thru," which Koshiyama said was inspired by a two-hour wait for a Covid vaccination. The husband and wife drummers are part of Fubuki Daiko (Blizzard Drums) from Winnipeg, Canada, and visited the Cloquet and Carlton public libraries last week to both perform and educate. According to their Facebook page, Fubuki Daiko reinvents traditional Japanese... Full story

  • Free Range Film Fest returns to traditional slot

    Pine Knot News|Jun 17, 2022

    If the movies weren’t enough, next week’s Free Range Film Festival in Wrenshall will have a twist: live music. The Denfeld Honors Quartet will provide music at intermission Friday, June 24 and guitarist Darin Bergsven will provide entertainment Saturday, June 25. Annie Dugan, one of the festival founders who lives down the road from the former milk barn-turned-theater, announced the festival lineup of independent films last week. There will be a food truck onsite and a “giant century-old barn... Full story

  • Our view: A simple solution for Wrenshall woes

    Jun 17, 2022

    What is wrong in Wrenshall? That’s a question that has been vexing anyone following the actions of the district school board in recent years. As it was stated at Monday’s regular board meeting during the public comment period, Wrenshall once had a reputation as a small and efficient place to get an education, a “hidden gem.” Today, that status is damaged. While often there can be myriad reasons for discord in a small community, in this case there is just one: a mostly dysfunctional school board. It’s a board with members who have insulted commu...

  • Apply to a MN state college for free June 21-24

    Jun 17, 2022

    Apply for free to Fond du Lac Tribal & Community College and all 26 state colleges and seven state universities of Minnesota State during Minnesota State Week, June 21 to 24. Learn more about Minnesota State Week at https://fdltcc.edu/admissions/visit-us/minnesota-state-week. FDLTCC will offer campus tours and a special schedule of information sessions hosted by FDLTCC staff, including sessions on financial aid and admissions, student support, and a virtual open house featuring a range of academic program faculty. Students can also register... Full story

  • Knot Pining: A decade ago, it rained and rained and rained

    Mike Creger|Jun 17, 2022

    It began raining at midday on June 19, 2012. Five inches and about 10 hours later, I found myself driving in the heart of what has simply become known as the 2012 flood. I had been working two jobs. One was for the weekly newspaper in Two Harbors and another was for the daily News Tribune in Duluth. When I pulled off the expressway coming back from Two Harbors and into Duluth, I called the News Tribune office and reported what I had seen. Water was covering blocks and blocks of Superior Street and it was rushing down the avenues. Debris was...

  • South Ridge gets an edge and Section 7A title

    Kerry Rodd|Jun 17, 2022

    With the Section 7A baseball championship on the line in the top of the seventh inning, South Ridge Panthers coach Aaron Weber made a visit to the pitching mound and starting pitcher Christian Pretasky. Pretasky had thrown over 100 pitches and was starting to show signs of tiring against the Ely Timberwolves, but Weber made the decision to ride his starter to the end of the game. The decision turned out to be the right one, as the Panthers slipped away with a 3-2 win. South Ridge entered the sta... Full story

  • Track: Esko's Perich is a state champion

    Kerry Rodd|Jun 17, 2022

    The Class A state track meet last week featured some impressive performances from local small-town track teams. including one state title performance. Esko's Makoi Perich took first place in the boys long jump, leading the Esko boys team at last week's Minnesota Class A state track and field meet at St. Michael-Albertville High School. "Makoi was excited to compete in the state meet after exploding for a last-attempt state-qualifying leap of 22 feet, 3.5 inches at sections," said Esko boys... Full story

  • Cloquet girls have third state track champion

    Kerry Rodd|Jun 17, 2022

    The Cloquet boys and girls track team headed south to the state track meet last week and came away with a number of top performances, including a state champion. "It was really fun to have such a group at the state meet," said coach Tim Prosen of the Thursday-Friday meet at St. Michael-Albertville High School. "As coaches, we were running around between the track, the jumpers' area, throwing area, and so forth. It was difficult to watch everything and cheer our athletes on because they were comp...

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