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Articles from the September 17, 2021 edition


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  • Death investigated at veterans home

    Pine Knot News|Sep 17, 2021

    The Cloquet and Fond du Lac police departments are investigating what they term a "suspicious death" earlier this week. Meanwhile, a 58-year-old man was arrested Tuesday and in custody in Carlton County jail on possible charges of manslaughter in the first degree, while committing a gross misdemeanor with violence. Officers from both departments responded to a 9-1-1 call at approximately 2:09 a.m. Tuesday, Sept. 14, reporting an unwanted person in an apartment inside the Fond du Lac Veterans...

  • History mystery

    Pine Knot News|Sep 17, 2021

    We recieved responses to our inquiry last week about the photo found here of a group of people, young and old, believed to have been taken likely 50 years ago. If you have any items for History Mysteries, or info on current cases, email [email protected]. Here are some of those responses: Jennifer Jaakola I showed this picture to my parents and they recognized a bunch of people. They both grew up on Big Lake Road, which is where the people they recognized also lived. They believe this photo...

  • Wrenshall petition is filed

    Pine Knot News|Sep 17, 2021

    A petition to rescind a school board appointment in Wrenshall has been turned in to the school district office. Superintendent Kim Belcastro reported at the regular school board meeting Monday night that the petition had 200 signatures on it. If all of the signatures are valid, it would be well above the required signatures required by state statute, which set the amount at 5 percent of eligible voters in a district, or, in Wrenshall, 168 people. The petition will now be reviewed by the district’s head of elections, Beth Peterson. If enough s... Full story

  • Prisoner flees; found next day

    Pine Knot News|Sep 17, 2021

    A Cloquet man escaped from the Northeast Regional Corrections Center in Saginaw Friday evening, Sept. 10, and was missing for more than 11 hours before being located the next morning by St. Louis County deputies. Branden Russell King had been sentenced for domestic assault convictions. County deputies found him in Hermantown early Saturday morning after an off-duty police officer spotted him....

  • Passing on wild rice techniques

    Taylor Warnes|Sep 17, 2021

    Students from Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College and others got an in-depth look at wild rice and how to harvest it Saturday at the annual Manoomin demonstration camp at Leeman Lake. The lessons learned included "how to sustainably harvest, or knock, the rice without breaking the stems to drying, parching, and winnowing the rice to get the final product that ends up at our dining room table," said Courtney Kowalczak, director of the Environmental Institute at the college. "Each step is a...

  • Trial delayed in rape, kidnapping case

    Jana Peterson|Sep 17, 2021

    The trial for a Scanlon man accused of criminal sexual conduct “with heinous elements” and a kidnapping was canceled for this week and reset for January. Dennis Michael St. John Jr., 54, was arrested in July 2020, after being accused of holding a woman against her will and raping her repeatedly, forcing drugs on her and threatening to kill her. According to the criminal complaint, the alleged victim ran into St. John at the Black Bear Casino Resort on July 17 and they left about 11 p.m. to go to his home. She told police she had been in a previ...

  • Covid relief grants available

    Pine Knot News|Sep 17, 2021

    ​​The Northland Foundation and the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) is helping northeast Minnesota businesses learn about and apply for Main Street Covid Relief grants. The DEED portal to apply will open Sept. 20 and close Sept. 29. Applicants who qualify and are selected will receive grants between $10,000 and $25,000 depending on the number of full-time employees on staff. Grants may be used for working capital to support payroll expenses, rent, mortgage payments, utility bills and other similar exp... Full story

  • Wildfire burning restrictions lifted

    Pine Knot News|Sep 17, 2021

    Continued favorable weather has lessened wildfire risk for much of northern Minnesota. In response, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources is removing fire restrictions in 14 counties. Only Cook and Lake counties are still under Class III burning restrictions, meaning no campfires except attended fires at a home, cabin, campground or resort in those two counties. According to DNR acting wildfire prevention supervisor Allissa Reynolds, the change reflects “reduced wildfire risks for much of the north, while also recognizing that w...

  • Take part in the color season

    Pine Knot News|Sep 17, 2021

    It's fall, and the Pine Knot is continuing the tradition of asking readers to send in their best fall color photos. It is expected to be a short season this year, with abnormally dry conditions. But it will be interesting and different. And remember, fall color can be found anywhere, as editor Jana Peterson found at the Cloquet Forestry Center last week, at right. Send in your snaps to [email protected]. Place the words "fall color" in the subject line so we don't miss your email. Cloquet... Full story

  • Rescue plan money reaches county level

    Dan Reed|Sep 17, 2021

    Just under $7 million is available from the federal American Rescue Plan Act for coping with the effects of the pandemic for Carlton County residents and entities. Economic development director Mary Finnegan, addressing the Carlton County board on Monday, announced that half of the money allotted to the county has already come in and the rest is scheduled to arrive in another year. Passed by Congress and signed by President Biden in March, the $1.9 trillion package delivered direct payments to many Americans but also provided $350 billion in...

  • Districts find way on Covid-19 response

    Jana Peterson|Sep 17, 2021

    The furor over masks continued at the Cloquet school board meeting this week, with five of seven audience members addressing the board about the district's universal mask mandate for all grade levels. Again, Cloquet parents opposed to masking told board members - with varying degrees of hostility - that their decisions were not based in fact, and that masking children has no direct correlation to the spread of the coronavirus and they should stop. Meanwhile, up the road in Esko - where masks... Full story

  • College to host scientist, author

    Pine Knot News|Sep 17, 2021

    Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College will debut the Ruth A. Myers Lecture Series in the Sciences and Humanities with a free virtual presentation by Robin Wall Kimmerer at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 22. During the event, Robin Wall Kimmerer will discuss, “What Does the Earth Ask of Us?” We are showered every day with the gifts of the Earth, and yet, we are tied to institutions that relentlessly ask, “What more can we take?” To register for the free event, visit fdltcc.edu/ruth-a-myers-lecture-series. Kimmerer is a mother, scientist, decorat...

  • Reserve your 'Screenagers' seat

    Pine Knot News|Sep 17, 2021

    “Screenagers, Next Chapter,” a movie about teenagers, anxiety, depression and screen time, will air for free in person and online for up to 300 local residents in October, courtesy of the Carlton County Collaborative, Cloquet School District, Cloquet Eagles Club, United way and the Cloquet Public Library. High stress, anxiety and depression are experienced by millions of young people. The movie follows physician and filmmaker Delaney Ruston as she discovers solutions for improved adolescent well-being in the digital age. The live showing sta...

  • Our View: Chance to celebrate Gordy is welcomed

    Pine Knot News|Sep 17, 2021

    We applaud the family of the late Gordy Lundquist for inviting everyone to an ice cream social Sunday to celebrate the life of the legendary patriarch and founder of the famous drive-in that bears his name. When Gordy and his wife, Marilyn, started Gordy’s Hi-Hat restaurant in 1960, no one thought their summer-only, drive-in burger joint would put Cloquet on the map, but it did. Even after fast food chain restaurants suffocated most old-fashioned drive-ins, Gordy’s not only survived but thrived, attracting customers from near and far. A sim...

  • Harry's Gang: In a league of lawyers, Tom Skare stood out

    Pete Radosevich|Sep 17, 2021

    I learned Tom Skare passed away over Labor Day weekend. He was apparently in his law office on Cloquet Avenue across from the Holiday gas station, where he spent a lot of his time, and wasn’t heard from for two days. I had driven by his office that Saturday morning and thought maybe I should stop in. I hadn’t chatted with Tom for a few weeks and I was due a visit. I wish I had stopped in. Tom was an interesting character. I first met him when I was interviewing at the Newby law office back in... Full story

  • Nature's Path: Listen to the wind

    Ruth Reeves|Sep 17, 2021

    Reading the wind is an art. The wind carries important messages in smells, sounds, debris and signs of change in the weather that let us know what is happening both near and far. If you have been outside in the past month, you have likely seen or smelled evidence of the forest fires to our north. These signs were big and pervasive, and easy to notice. The wind carries subtle messages also, if we listen closely. My birding partner Keith and I have been striving to improve our recognition of bird...

  • We miss the coach who changed soccer for us

    Jack Slater and Woody Waugh|Sep 17, 2021

    In light of the one-year anniversary of Anthony L. Makela III's tragic death, we wanted to share with the world how much he meant to those around him. Tony passed away in a single-vehicle accident on Sept. 13, 2020. He worked as a counselor at Northwood Children Services. Beyond that, he was the assistant coach for men's soccer at Lake Superior College and Proctor High School. We played under Tony when he was head coach for the Cloquet U18 spring soccer team in 2019. Tony's enthusiasm and approa... Full story

  • Obituaries: Lyle G. Schaak

    Pine Knot News|Sep 17, 2021

    Lyle G. Schaak, 75, of Cloquet passed away from underlying health conditions following surgery on Saturday, Sept. 11, 2021, at University of Minnesota Medical Center surrounded by family members. He was born in Lakeville, Minnesota on June 15, 1946, to George and Selma (Pudil) Schaak. He graduated in 1964 from Lakeville High School. Lyle joined the U.S. Navy and served from December 1964 to 1968, serving on the USS Mount McKinley as a master signalman during his three tours in the Vietnam War.... Full story

  • Obituaries: William "Bill" Nicholas Meisner

    Pine Knot News|Sep 17, 2021

    William "Bill" Nicholas Meisner, 94, of Cloquet died peacefully Wednesday, Sept. 1, 2021, at Suncrest Assisted Living. He was surrounded by his family as they sang favorite songs he taught them. He is survived by his daughter, Susan; four sons, Jess (Wendy), Bart (Lynn), Paul and Ross; nine grandchildren, Willa, Adam, Brionna, Dielle, Aylie, Lars, Elora, Anna and Samuel; and seven great-grandchildren, Noah, Joey, James, Callum, Shae, Rhys and Layne. Bill was preceded in death by his dear wife,... Full story

  • Obituaries: Donald Andrew Pykkonen

    Pine Knot News|Sep 17, 2021

    Donald Andrew Pykkonen, “Farmer Don,” 86, passed away at home from complications of pancreatic cancer on Sept. 5, 2021, not more than 100 yards from where he was born. Donald was born during a blizzard on Jan. 5, 1935, to Andrew and Hulda Mary (Helberg) Pykkonen in Thomson Township. It was there on the family farm that he spent his entire life. He was the middle of five children, with four sisters. Finnish was Donald’s native language and once he went to Washington School in Cloquet in 1941 he began learning English. He farmed the homes... Full story

  • Obituaries: Loren E. Terp

    Pine Knot News|Sep 17, 2021

    Loren E. Terp, 92, of Carlton passed away Tuesday, Sept. 7, 2021 in Inter-Faith Care Center. He was born July 2, 1929, in St. Louis Park to Peter and Bernice Terp. He grew up in the St. Louis Park area and married Ann Huisinger on July 22, 1950. Loren worked at turkey farms in Canby, Biglow and Worthington, then they moved to Cloquet and worked at Diamond Brands, Potlatch and Conwed. At one point he was working for all three at the same time. He taught first aid classes at Potlatch and for the... Full story

  • Obituaries: Barbara Lynn Smith Solem

    Pine Knot News|Sep 17, 2021

    Barbara Lynn Smith Solem, 66, of Culver passed away Saturday, Sept. 11, 2021, from injuries sustained in a motorcycle accident near Webster, Wisconsin. She was born on Nov. 5, 1954, in Duluth to Leo and Ingrid Smith. She was raised in Proctor and graduated from Proctor High School in 1973. Barb owned Northland Wreaths, had a tax preparation service and was a bus driver for South Ridge schools. She was a member of multiple motorcycle groups, the Cowboy Fast Draw Association, Twin Ports Dance... Full story

  • Death Notices

    Pine Knot News|Sep 17, 2021

    Robert Roy Williams, 84, of Cloquet, died on Sunday, Sept. 12, 2021, at home. Visitation: 10 a.m. until the 11 a.m. Mass of Christian Burial Friday, Sept. 17 at Queen of Peace Catholic Church. Interment will be in New Calvary Cemetery. To leave an online condolence, visit the guestbook at www.nelsonfuneralcare.net. Susan Jackson of Cloquet died Sept. 3, 2021. A Celebration of life will be held 2-6 p.m. Oct. 9 at Solway Township Hall. Ardeth “Ardy” Ann (Malluege) Pykkonen, 83, of Esko passed away Friday, July 31, 2020, in her home after a lon... Full story

  • Area church youth gather in Cloquet

    Pine Knot News|Sep 17, 2021

    Approximately 200 people gathered at the Common Ground building in Cloquet last week to gear up for the fall church season. Pastor Brandon Monson, youth pastor at Grace Baptist in Cloquet, said 10 youth groups - from Cloquet, Duluth, Meadowlands and Two Harbors - came together on Sept. 8 "as one body" to focus on the next season. Two professional speakers addressed the crowd of mostly young people and their leaders. Jesse Smith, a former backup dancer for Justin Timberlake and Rihanna and now... Full story

  • Neglected West End getting some love

    Jana Peterson|Sep 17, 2021

    It's not unusual to see visitors to Cloquet snapping photos of the world's only working Frank Lloyd Wright-designed gas station and its cantilevered roof at the corner of Minnesota Highway 33 and Cloquet Avenue. When they're done, they might head east and stop by the historical society or downtown Cloquet to eat or shop. More often than not, they simply hop into their cars and continue their journey north on Hwy. 33 or back to Interstate 35. Rarely do guests realize a significant part of the... Full story

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