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Articles from the October 2, 2020 edition


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  • Mail-in, absentee ballots abound

    Mike Creger|Oct 2, 2020

    The dynamics of this year's general election brings to mind a question: Is it the pandemic or the rhetoric? Minnesotans are requesting absentee ballots in record numbers for the Nov. 3 election - "Off the charts," as secretary of state Steve Simon said when early voting began Sept. 18. After an August statewide primary that saw 60 percent of the vote come via absentee or mail-in vote, the general election is sure to keep the trend going. In Carlton County, absentee and early in-person voting is... Full story

  • Easy color access

    Jana Peterson|Oct 2, 2020

    Annette Christian of Cloquet didn't have to go far to find fall color. It exploded in her backyard last week. Send your color captures to [email protected]....

  • Suicide memorial walk will be virtual

    Pine Knot News|Oct 2, 2020

    For the first time this year, the annual Suicide Awareness Memorial Walk will not involve a large gathering of family and friends of people who have died by suicide. Because of the pandemic, instead the walk will be “virtual.” People are encouraged to make the walk in memory of their loved ones, but rather than going to Carlton High School, they are asked to register online. Once registered, participants will receive an email with details and a video with a speaker, the names of those you are... Full story

  • Cloquet secondary grades will switch to hybrid

    Oct 2, 2020

    Cloquet students in grades 7-12 will switch to a hybrid learning model starting next week because of an increased number of people in the county testing positive for Covid-19. Superintendent Michael Cary sent this email to families Thursday afternoon: Under the Minnesota Safe Learning Plan issued by the Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) and Minnesota Department of Health (MDH), schools are guided to shift to a hybrid plan for secondary students when county rates of COVID increase above 10 cases per 10,000 county residents. Our most... Full story

  • History repeats itself at the Shaw building

    Jana Peterson|Oct 2, 2020

    One hundred years ago, Cloquet's library was reborn from the ashes of the 1918 fire, thanks to the generosity of two sisters. One hundred years later, the descendants of those sisters - Cordelia (Shaw) Lynds and Hattie (Shaw) DeLescaille - are again coming to the rescue of the building that bears their family name. Now it's water (and snow) that is damaging the building, which is in desperate need of a new roof and more. No longer a library, the Shaw Memorial Library building has been home to... Full story

  • County settles at $6.2 million in shooting lawsuit

    Jana Peterson|Oct 2, 2020

    Carlton County settled a federal lawsuit with a man shot by a Carlton County deputy last summer for $6.2 million earlier this week. Shawn Michael Olthoff, 35, was paralyzed from the chest down after being shot twice by Carlton County deputy Sgt. Jason Warnygora during a Consolidated Emergency Response Team (CERT) operation on July 29, 2019. Olthoff had sued for $25 million in compensatory damages — as his paralysis is irreversible — and $10 million in punitive damages. The lawsuit claimed War... Full story

  • Cromwell woman dies in crash

    Pine Knot News|Oct 2, 2020

    A Cromwell woman died after a head-on collision at approximately 8:49 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 24. According to the Minnesota State Patrol report, Melissa Kalinoski, 42, was driving a 2002 Honda Odyssey west on Highway 2 east of Brookston when the driver of a 2009 Chevrolet truck, 54-year-old Tony Northrup, crossed the centerline and hit her head-on while traveling eastbound on Highway 2. Northrup had been drinking, according to police, Kalinoski had not. Road conditions were dry. Kalinoski’s injuries were fatal. She was wearing a seatbelt. N...

  • Cloquet candidate forum is Oct. 21

    Pine Knot News|Oct 2, 2020

    The Cloquet Chamber of Commerce will hold a local candidate forum 6-9 p.m. Oct. 21 in the council chambers at Cloquet City Hall. No spectators will be allowed at the forum, which will be aired on CAT-7 and online. Featured races include candidates for Cloquet City Council, Cloquet School Board, State Senate and State Representative, and the District 5 Carlton County Commissioner candidates. The Pine Knot News and WKLK are media sponsors and PKN publisher Pete Radosevich is moderating the forum....

  • Covid cases are up

    Pine Knot News|Oct 2, 2020

    Positive Covid-19 cases are on the rise statewide and in Carlton County, with 286 cumulative positive cases reported Wednesday, Sept. 30, up 40 from the week before. That follows an increase of 27 over the previous week, which was triple the number of new cases from the week before that. Meanwhile, the 14-day rate per 10,000 people reported by the Minnesota Department of Education was 6.75 last Thursday, but the reports lag behind real-time infections by about two weeks, school officials acknowledge. So while the 6.75 number allows schools to... Full story

  • Music will play along with extra fall sports in Esko

    Shannon Genereau|Oct 2, 2020

    The Esko school board continued its focus on addressing issues created by the coronavirus at its meeting Thursday, Sept. 24. The recent decision by the Minnesota State High School League to bring football and volleyball back to fall with an abbreviated season prompted the board to re-evaluate some of the school events they had not yet started or had placed on hold. Programming for grades 7-12 will be returning. Activities director Chad Stoskopf provided a breakdown on what changes would be...

  • Sub shortage still crippling schools

    Mike Creger|Oct 2, 2020

    People coming down with Covid-19 is not the problem handcuffing the Cloquet school district. It’s the waiting for test results when someone shows symptoms. That was the assessment this week from superintendent Mike Cary as the district continues to have problems replacing staff with an “absolute dire need” for substitutes. A typical scenario, Cary told the school board at its regular meeting Monday, is a teacher has a family member with symptoms. That person gets tested and there is a three- to five-day wait for results. The entire famil...

  • Man pleads guilty in funeral shooting case

    Jana Peterson|Oct 2, 2020

    A man who fired a gun at a Fond du Lac funeral last year pleaded guilty Wednesday in federal court. Shelby Gene Boswell, 29, of Hugo, Minn. was accused of shooting and injuring another man in the back of the head at a funeral ceremony Oct. 18, 2019 in the Head Start gymnasium on the Fond du Lac Reservation. Carlton County attorney Lauri Ketola said her office originally considered an attempted murder charge for Boswell, but the investigation didn’t support that. The weapons charge in U.S. D...

  • Our View: Poll workers needed, step up

    Pine Knot News|Oct 2, 2020

    This year’s election cycle has had many twists and turns, but the bottom line is that on Election Day, Nov. 3, all the available votes — cast via mail and at the polls — will be tabulated. It takes a lot of work to pull off an election, and there is always a need for election judges. This year the need is greater than ever. Because of the Covid-19 pandemic, many older election judges are declining to serve. So, we are encouraging young people and those less at risk for the coronavirus to step up and serve our community as an election judge... Full story

  • Harry's Gang: Keep your boos to yourself

    Pete Radosevich|Oct 2, 2020

    I have never seen someone get booed at a high school graduation, or at a wedding or funeral. Have you? When I hear boos, it's usually good-natured ribbing - for example, when a Packers fan, all dressed up in green and gold garb, shows up at a Vikings party. But not always. Sometimes I hear boos in very inappropriate places. I first heard it in 1990, in the Metrodome at a Minnesota Twins game. It was a lousy season for the Twins, who had won the World Series just a few years earlier. But on that...

  • Voter Guide: State Senate, District 11

    Oct 2, 2020

    Michelle Lee, DFL Background My life experience is my qualification. My husband and I built a home and raised a family in Moose Lake. Two pay checks allowed us to enjoy a good life here. My concern is the next generation won’t have the same opportunity unless we work together for our rural communities. Please describe where you stand on the following issues in 25 words or fewer (each): - Statewide pandemic mandates: COVID-19 has claimed lives and livelihoods. Without an effective vaccine, the s... Full story

  • Letters to the editor: Change is healthy in politics

    Pine Knot News|Oct 2, 2020

    U.S. Sen. Mike Enzi, a Republican from Wyoming, once spoke on the Senate floor, referring to bipartisanship in applying an 80/20 rule. Enzi understood that receiving 80 percent of something was better than 100 percent of nothing. The 20 percent was the amount that was to be advocated for later. Minnesota needs more bipartisanship action to elevate the state’s innovation that led the nation and enacted change throughout each sector and industry. When elected officials are rehired through elections or appointments, the seasonal change becomes s...

  • Sports: Lumberjacks face swimming pool challenges

    Kerry Rodd|Oct 2, 2020

    As if dealing with the Covid-19 pandemic were not enough, the Cloquet-Esko-Carlton girls swim team has also been swimming every meet on the road because of problems at the 3-year-old pool at the Cloquet Middle School. "From my understanding, there is a motor that is not working in the ventilation system," said Cloquet activities director Paul Riess. "When the replacement motor was delivered, that one did not work either. So we are waiting for another replacement motor. It will be about three... Full story

  • CEC boys soccer ranked 10th in state

    Pine Knot News staff|Oct 2, 2020

    What most fans expected would be a close game turned into a rout on Tuesday, as the CEC boys soccer team beat Denfeld 11-0 at home. Junior Ryan Tomsche started off the scoring with a header into the net in the second minute of the game, then senior Drake Schramm converted a penalty kick in the 15th minute for one of his two goals. Schramm wasn't the only one with multiple goals in the match against the Hunters. Freshman Elijah Aultman scored four goals Tuesday and his brother, sophomore Jordan A... Full story

  • Spectators limited at games

    Kerry Rodd|Oct 2, 2020

    The announcement last week about high school football and volleyball set off a chain reaction that saw activity directors and coaches scrambling to try and figure out how they would climb the mountain of tasks ahead of them in just two weeks. ADs spent the past week nailing down game schedules, finding officials, locating game event workers, calling bus companies, all on top of communicating with their coaches. One of those important tasks is to communicate to the public, and staff, as to what w... Full story

  • Wright/Cromwell news

    Jennie K. Hanson|Oct 2, 2020

    Our sympathy to the family and friends of Melissa Kalinoski, 42, of Cromwell, who died in a car crash Sept. 24 near Brookston. She was killed when a truck crossed over the centerline and hit her car head on. There will be a second auction of the items the late Larry Hamren collected over the years. It starts at 10 a.m. Oct. 3 under the Big Top in Wright. There will be antiques, glassware, lanterns and vintage furniture. There will also be an auction at Alice Lake’s home in Wright at 11 a.m. O...

  • Wrens Nest: Wrenshall news

    Anne Dugan|Oct 2, 2020

    On a computer screen in Wrenshall last Saturday, the fate of the first champion of the USA Jigsaw Puzzle Association was being decided. The president of the association and Wrenshall resident, Valerie Coit, was toggling through her Zoom screen gallery to keep a close eye on the more than 100 teams and individuals competing from 11 a.m. to 6:45 p.m. when the final heat ended. Coit's attention to detail paid off as a few of the contestants were within seconds of each other's time. "Some of the...

  • Voter Guide: State Representative, District 11A

    Oct 2, 2020

    Jeff Dotseth Background I am a husband, father, grandfather, farmer, small business owner and a lifelong Minnesota resident. I care deeply for our community and the values we share. I am not a politician, I am just like the people of our district that are tired of not having their voices heard in St. Paul. Please describe where you stand on the following issues in 25 words or fewer (each): -Statewide pandemic mandates: The governor should work with the legislature on managing our response to... Full story

  • Obituaries: Randy Backe (Gene Randolph)

    Pine Knot News|Oct 2, 2020

    Randy Backe (Gene Randolph), 76, passed away Sept. 28, 2020, at his home surrounded by his family after a courageous battle with cancer. Randy was a graduate of Cloquet Senior High School and the University of Minnesota Duluth. He was an elementary teacher at South Terrace in Carlton for 33 years and taught hundreds of teenagers how to drive. After retiring, he enjoyed working part-time as a substitute teacher at area elementary schools. Randy married Carol Sather in 1966 at Zion Lutheran... Full story

  • Obituaries: June Evelyn Bong

    Pine Knot News|Oct 2, 2020

    June Evelyn Bong, 87, of Cloquet died Sept. 25, 2020, at Chris Jensen Nursing Home in Duluth. She was born June 18, 1933 in Brevator Township, the daughter of Leonard and Cora Berglund, and was raised on the family farm in Brookston. June was a 1951 graduate of Brookston High School. Later that year, she married Carl Bong in Cloquet. June was a homemaker and worked in the fabric department at White Mart in Cloquet. One of her greatest joys was the time she spent with her grandchildren and great-grandchildren. She also loved keeping in touch... Full story

  • Obituaries: Betty Lou Starkey

    Pine Knot News|Oct 2, 2020

    Betty Lou Starkey, 80, passed away Sept. 29, 2020 in St. Luke's Hospice in Duluth after a courageous battle with cancer. She was born Nov. 24, 1939 to John and Dorothy (Shovein) Lightfoot. Betty graduated from Cloquet High School in 1957. She married Jerry Starkey April 11, 1959. Betty was the church secretary at Cloquet Presbyterian Church and later served as Sunday school superintendent. At the age of 65, she returned to school to become a lay pastor. She loved being a pastor and her... Full story

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