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Articles from the August 18, 2023 edition

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  • Church vandalized, members clean and pray for intruder

    Aug 18, 2023

    The pastor at Good Hope Church returned from sabbatical last weekend to find it pouring ... inside the Cloquet church at 55 Armory Road. Someone had broken into the church, plugged drains and turned on the faucets in the kitchen and bathrooms, then brought a garden hose inside, turned it on "full blast" and left it running for what amounted to 10 hours. That's what lead pastor Mike Stevens walked into Saturday morning. Stevens initially thought the sprinklers were going off because there was so... Full story

  • Carlton School Board lukewarm to Wrenshall appeal

    Ted Lammi|Aug 18, 2023

    The Carlton school board discussed a new letter from the Wrenshall school board regarding a merger between the districts during Monday’s committee of the whole meeting. Consolidation ideas have been on again, off again for decades, with this being the latest, this time initiated by Wrenshall. The letter was signed by all six members of the Wrenshall school board, and contains no preconditions or specifics, only a request for discussion with both school boards in attendance. Reaction to the idea by the Carlton board was desultory. Board clerk S...

  • Obituary: Chuck Pfisthner

    Aug 18, 2023

    Charles William “Chuck” Pfisthner, 92, of Cloquet passed away on Tuesday, Aug. 8, 2023, surrounded by his family at Evergreen Knoll in Cloquet. He was born Jan. 3, 1931, in Morris, Minnesota to Charles and Delma Pfisthner. Chuck was a dedicated person, even at a young age when he decided to leave school after the eighth grade to go and work at logging camps. Then he joined the U.S. Army, reaching the rank of sergeant by the time he was discharged. Chuck married Gloria Ranta on Sept. 15, 195... Full story

  • Obituary: Dennis Michael "Denny" Breitkreutz

    Aug 18, 2023

    Dennis M. “Denny” Breitkreutz, 76, of Eagan passed away Aug. 10, 2023, at Our Lady of Peace Hospice in St. Paul. He was born Aug. 13, 1946, in Carlton, the son of Melvin and Dorothy (Larson) Breitkreutz. Denny served in the U.S. Army in Germany during the Vietnam War. He was a member of Our Savior’s Lutheran Church in Cloquet before moving to Eagan in 1986. Dennis enjoyed working on old cars. He had worked as an asbestos abator for the United Steelworkers Union at many places around the Twin Cit... Full story

  • Obituary: Rich Holmi

    Aug 18, 2023

    Richard E. “Rich” Holmi, 71, of Esko passed away Monday, Aug. 14, 2023, surrounded by his family at St. Luke’s Hospital in Duluth. He was born Jan. 26, 1952, in Esko, the son of Arne and Gladyce (Randa) Holmi. Rich graduated from Esko High School in 1970. He worked at St. Mary’s Hospital (now Essentia) in Duluth and most recently for Jack Link’s in Wisconsin. Rich was an avid hunter and fisherman and also enjoyed trapping, bicycling, street ministry, and photography. He was very religious... Full story

  • Obituary: Ryan Paul Hogan

    Aug 18, 2023

    Ryan Paul Hogan, 41, passed away peacefully, surrounded by family, on Aug. 3, 2023, at Hennepin County Medical Center. Born on April 8, 1982, in Minneapolis, Ryan was a lifelong resident of Minneapolis. He attended school at Fulton Elementary and DeLaSalle High School there, graduating from DeLaSalle in 2000. He was a Cub Scout and a Boy Scout. His many friends and relatives will miss his sense of humor, kindness and friendship. Ryan is survived by his parents, Dan and Rebecca Hogan, who grew... Full story

  • Death notice: Donna Frigon

    Aug 18, 2023

    Donna Mae Frigon, age 89 of Cloquet, Minnesota died peacefully on Wednesday, Aug. 9, 2023, at Bayshore Residence and Rehabilitation Center in Duluth, Minnesota. A memorial ceremony will be held on Wednesday, Aug. 16, at 11 a.m. at Nelson Funeral Care in Cloquet. The visitation will be one hour prior to the ceremony. Inurnment will be held at New Calvary Cemetery in Cloquet. A luncheon will follow at the funeral home. To sign an online registry, please visit www.nelsonfuneralcare.net.... Full story

  • Obituary: Janet Ruth Bodin

    Aug 18, 2023

    Janet R. Bodin died peacefully on Tuesday, Aug. 8, 2023, at Diamond Willow Assisted Living in Cloquet, Minnesota at the age of 82 years, one month, and six days. She was born on Wednesday, July 2, 1941, to Paul and Rose (Borin) Pohjola in Cloquet where she was raised and earned her education. Janet was united in marriage to Warner Bodin on April 16, 1960. During her career, Janet held several positions with the Skyline Café, Skogomos Department Store, and the Carlton High School kitchen, but... Full story

  • College notes

    Aug 18, 2023

    The University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire awarded 42 degrees in May. Megan Wirtanen of Esko received a bachelor of science degree in nursing. Marcus Pocernich of Wright received a bachelor of arts degree in social studies teaching. • • Mary Osborne of Carlton was named to the Luther College dean’s list for the spring semester. Luther College is in Decorah, Iowa. • • The University of Minnesota in the Twin Cities released its dean’s list for spring semester, including the following students from the area: Carlton Alexandra Aker, Annabeth Jo... Full story

  • Esko business park just keeps growing

    Aug 18, 2023

    Esko Industrial Park is booming, so much so that Thomson Township supervisors recently raised the price on the last two available lots. For proof, just look at the amount of digging going on when you drive by the park, visible from southbound Interstate 35. That giant rectangle of dirt is the future site of a 163,000-square-foot highly automated warehouse that will support the medical supply needs for more than 100 Essentia Health facilities regionally, reaching to the Dakotas. Essentia chose... Full story

  • History mystery

    Aug 18, 2023

    Do you recall the great meat price crisis of 1973? Often referred to as a shortage, it really was about prices spiking when artificial price controls went wonky on foods during a nationwide inflationary period. Quibble all you want about the exact reasons meat prices went sky high. We did see one item of local interest in a statewide paper from August of 1973, 50 years ago. There apparently was a spate of cattle rustling in Carlton County and the region. People were taking cattle right off pastu...

  • Sawyer, Wright farms honored with century status

    Dan Reed|Aug 18, 2023

    The Mike and Jen Olesiak farm of Sawyer and the Dahl farm in Wright - owned by Cindy Dahl Jokinen - are both being recognized as Carlton County Century Farms for 2023. Qualifying farms have been in continuous family ownership for at least 100 years and are 50 acres or more. The two family farms will be recognized at the Carlton County fair at noon today, Friday, along with this year's outstanding senior citizens. They join a long list of century farms in the county. Barb Olesiak Dahl shared the... Full story

  • State tax rebates on way to accounts

    Aug 18, 2023

    More than $1.1 billion is making its way from state government coffers to bank accounts or mailboxes of qualifying Minnesotans starting this week. The first wave of payments will be direct deposits — $260 per person and up to $1,300 for a household — and paper checks in the mail will follow for those who haven’t supplied bank information to the state previously. The Revenue Department expects payments to be distributed by the end of September. Rebates were reserved for married filers with an adjusted gross income below $150,000 in 2021 or si...

  • Body found along river was Duluth man

    Aug 18, 2023

    Officials have identified human remains found July 15 by canoers along the Nemadji River southeast of the Soo Line ATV trail and Minnesota Highway 23 intersection in Carlton County. After receiving a positive match via DNA comparison with a family member, the deceased person was identified as Jeffrey Sjolander, a 61-year-old man from Duluth. Sjolander went missing in spring 2022. Although the cause of death is not known at this time, criminal activity or foul play is not susp... Full story

  • Forestry Center to host an open house

    Aug 18, 2023

    The Cloquet Forestry Center, 175 University Road, will hold a free open house from 4:30-8 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 23. Activities include forest wagon tours, presentations by staff and students at the research site, crafting activities, bonfire and s’mores, educational talks around the fire and food for purchase from Room at the Table. Find schedule on Page 20....

  • Carlton County fair schedule

    Aug 18, 2023

    FRIDAY 8 a.m. • Gates open • 4-H dairy show 11 a.m. Chmielewski Fun Time Band, Pavilion stage Noon Outstanding Senior, century farm wards Noon-6 p.m. RC Racecars, Sample Building 12:30 p.m. 4-H Sheep shows 1-5 p.m. Splatter painting Noon-4 p.m., 6-10 p.m. Wristband day at midway, $25 1 p.m. • Bingo, Sample Building • Comedian Don B strolling the grounds 2:30 p.m., 4 p.m. Cory & Friends, Pavilion stage 3:30 p.m. 4-H Goat shows 4 p.m. Beer garden opens 5 p.m. 4-H poultry shows 6 p.m. Cloverbud Horse Show 6 p.m. • Oval Races in the grandstan...

  • Boys, girls lacrosse may get spring start

    Brady Slater|Aug 18, 2023

    During a Cloquet school board work session Monday, superintendent Michael Cary forecasted the arrival of lacrosse as a new varsity sport beginning in the spring. Cloquet-Esko-Carlton has been tentatively accepted into the Hermantown-Proctor cooperative girls program, Cary reported, while the boys program would be operated for five years by the local youth program, the Northern Siege. “For Title IX purposes we have to have equal numbers so it wouldn’t make sense to approve one and not the oth... Full story

  • Esko Business Park just keeps growing

    Jana Peterson|Aug 18, 2023

    Esko Industrial Park is booming, so much so that Thomson Township supervisors recently raised the price on the last two available lots. For proof, just look at the amount of digging going on when you drive by the park, visible from southbound Interstate 35. That giant rectangle of dirt is the future site of a 163,000-square-foot highly automated warehouse that will support the medical supply needs for more than 100 Essentia Health facilities regionally, reaching to the Dakotas. Essentia chose...

  • Mascot change is a process

    Jana Peterson|Aug 18, 2023

    Although the Esko school board voted to eliminate the Eskomos nickname and associated iconography as of June 30, it will take time to eliminate the word and associated igloo image from various locations and uniforms. For now, the school district is simply using a block-style letter “E” or the word “Esko” where it can, said superintendent Aaron Fischer. Board members considered and agreed with the block letter style following Monday’s school board meeting. Board members voted on the change in June, after the state passed legislation that prohibi...

  • Business SPOTLIGHT: Carmen's Bar & Restaurant

    Aug 18, 2023

    Carmen's Dry Dock West opened in May 1997, originally a sister company to the Dry Dock on Midway Road, by Carmen Lindstrom-Zezulka and Michael Van. Their goal was to have a bar and restaurant with a home-feel vibe by offering quality comfort food with caring staff and committed ownership. Throughout its history, Carmen's Bar & Restaurant has always been a family-owned and -operated business. In December 2020, Carmen's sons, Ryan Lindstrom and Zachary Zezulka, took over full ownership with... Full story

  • Our View: Another reminder of what fire can do

    Aug 18, 2023

    There was Cloquet, smack dab in the middle of breaking news last week. It happens too often these days, this list of "deadliest wildfires" in the wake of so many current-day versions. And so it was on the island of Maui on Aug. 8. A wildfire in paradise seems so oddly out of place. We've grown used to fires in the mainland west, but on the Hawaiian Islands? Definitely not on anyone's radar. While the scenes and stories coming from Hawaii are otherworldly to many, we here in the north country... Full story

  • Harry's Gang: Girl Scouts get it done

    Pete Radosevich|Aug 18, 2023

    When Esko kids want safer crosswalks, they get safer crosswalks, even if it means they have to make some noise to get it done. There’s a wide, paved trail running from the high school to the playing fields a half-mile away that passes the town’s only public park, Northridge Park. But kids need to cross busy Canosia Road to get to the park, and it’s dangerous. Until recently, the crosswalk was marked only with faded stripes on the road and a lone “Crosswalk” sign, partially obscured by overgrown... Full story

  • It's been quite the blueberry season

    Mike Creger|Aug 18, 2023

    A cathedral of pines serves as entry to a path that winds over and through 32 acres of undulating land off Prevost Road, just north of Cloquet. A short walk is enough to slough off any travails of the day. Then there is a gate, the only gap in a fence tall enough to keep deer out. And a vista opens up, rows and rows of blueberry bushes. This is Sweet Land Farm, one of now a handful of places in Carlton County where one can pick blueberries. And, man, are they ever prevalent here. The berries... Full story

  • Wood city worship festival

    Jana Peterson|Aug 18, 2023

    On Saturday, Veterans Park echoed with music and filled with people of all ages, as the Wood City Worship Festival returned for its 10th time. Despite some evening rain, turnout was quite good. "It went above and beyond what we dreamed," said Joe Nelson, a board member of Kingdom Builders Ministries, which organizes the annual event. As part of that outreach, he was enthusiastic about the 31 baptisms performed during the festival. "Some people who won't go to church will go to a music...

  • Ma & Pa Kettle Days 2023

    Jana Peterson|Aug 18, 2023

    Ma & Pa Kettle Days showcased downtown Kettle River Saturday. Both sides of Highway 73 were bustling, as residents and area businesses turned out for a three-hour stationary parade along the main drag. A lively cornhole tournament attracted at least two dozen people to the lot next to the Tower Tap bar, while others chose to wander the main drag, where they could find food, friends and meet a variety of folks. That included farmers, four-wheeler enthusiasts, folks for and against the Talon mine... Full story

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