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Articles from the October 30, 2020 edition


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  • Esko pastor dies after Covid battle

    Mike Creger|Oct 30, 2020

    When Jeff Walther was transferred to the intensive care unit at Essentia-St. Mary's Hospital in Duluth, he was greeted by nurse Amanda Valentine. She would spend 16 hours with him that day as the pastor at Esko's St. Matthews Lutheran Church struggled with the effects of acquiring the Covid-19 virus. "When I say it was an absolute joy caring for him that day, it was," Valentine wrote to the family. "He was so nice, pleasant, and funny, and he made my double go by so quickly." Valentine had... Full story

  • Halloween "as usual" is not a good idea

    Jana Peterson|Oct 30, 2020

    With a full moon and above-freezing temperatures predicted for Saturday, it might have been the perfect Halloween. Except we're in the middle of a pandemic and heading into a long cold winter with Covid-19 cases on the rise. With all that in mind, Raiter Clinic Dr. Ken Ripp said "a hard no" to trick-or-treating as normal. While handing out candy - with a mask and gloves - is probably not a super high risk for a healthy person with no underlying conditions, Ripp said it is the folks out...

  • History mystery

    Pine Knot News|Oct 30, 2020

    We think we've solved last week's History Mystery item. Northeastern Saloon and Hotel owner Bert Whittington shared the photo partially shown above with the Pine Knot News. He bought the photo at a Cloquet American Legion auction when the Legion was moving out of its longtime home on Cloquet Avenue. He believed the men in their unusual capes may have been part of a group called the "woolies" or "woolly bullies" from the Wood Conversion Company, which made balsam wood insulation at its Cloquet...

  • Updated: Haven't voted yet? Here's what you need to know

    Jana Peterson|Oct 30, 2020

    The months of campaigning are peaking now, with Election Day on Tuesday and both local and national candidates trying to reach people who have yet to vote. Carlton County acting auditor/treasurer Kathy Kortuem wants people to know they can't bring those campaigns to the polls with them on Tuesday. That means no signs, and no T-shirts or facemasks emblazoned with candidate names. "All that stuff should be covered or left in their vehicle," she said. For those voting in person on Tuesday, Kortuem... Full story

  • Watch candidate forums on CAT-7, city website

    Pine Knot News|Oct 30, 2020

    Did you miss the Oct. 21 Cloquet candidate forum? Don’t despair. The forum is running at 6 p.m. every night through Monday, Nov. 5, on CAT-7 for Mediacom cable subscribers. Residents with online access can watch the forum anytime by clicking on this link: https://cloquetmn.new.swagit.com/videos/87477 If that doesn't work, go to cloquetmn.gov. Click on “I want to … watch a meeting,” then choose “archived videos/city council” and “Election Forum.” Online users can choose to watch via video or download an audio MP4 file of the forum. Featured... Full story

  • Carlton school board race needs a write-in

    Pine Knot News|Oct 30, 2020

    With only two candidates running to fill three seats up for election, the Carlton school board will have to make some decisions after canvassing the Nov. 3 vote on Nov. 12. Longtime board member Tim Hagenah is seeking re-election, while chairwoman LaRae Lehto and member Jennifer Chmielewski chose to not seek re-election. Hagenah and Eryn Szymczak are the only candidates on the ballot. Protocol in these situations is to accept the person getting the most write-in votes in the election to fill what will be a vacant seat. If that person chooses... Full story

  • Pipeline staging area plan dropped; jail plans continue

    Dan Reed|Oct 30, 2020

    It took 12 minutes for the Carlton County board of commissioners to meet Monday, Oct. 26. Chairman Marv Bodie chaired the meeting, which was livestreamed and attended virtually by commissioners Tom Proulx and Dick Brenner. A permit for the use of the Alex Omar land on the Bromfield Road in Atkinson Township for pipeline construction staging needed no board action, because the company withdrew its permit application after residents living near the proposed staging area voiced concerns at the board’s Oct. 13 meeting. The negative neighborhood f...

  • Time goes back this weekend

    Pine Knot News|Oct 30, 2020

    It’s that time of year again … time to “fall back” and change the clocks. Daylight Saving Time ends at 2 a.m. Sunday, Nov. 1. On Saturday night, set your clocks back one hour before you go to bed … or, if your world runs on cell phones and computer time, don’t do anything....

  • Winter parking begins Nov. 1

    Pine Knot News|Oct 30, 2020

    Winter parking begins for at least three cities next week, meaning overnight parking is not allowed. From Nov. 1 until March 31, cars cannot be parked overnight on streets or in alleys to allow snowplow drivers and others to clear the streets where winter parking is observed. In Esko, it’s prohibited between 4 a.m. and 7 a.m., and, in Carlton, the hours are 3 a.m. to 6 a.m. Cloquet doesn’t allow parking on the street between midnight and 6 a.m....

  • County Covid-19 rates continue to climb

    Jana Peterson|Oct 30, 2020

    Carlton County saw its second death from Covid-19 this week — Esko pastor Jeff Walther — along with a sharp rise in the number of positive cases. On Wednesday, the Minnesota Department of Health reported a total of 483 cumulative cases in Carlton County, a jump of 21 from the day before and a single day high for the county. Wednesday’s number represented a two-week rise of 128 cases, up from 355 on Oct. 14. It took two months for the number of cases to rise by that amount from July to Septe... Full story

  • Some in-person learning better than none, superintendent says

    Jana Peterson|Oct 30, 2020

    Since secondary grades in Cloquet switched to hybrid learning — attending classes in person every third day and distance learning the rest — the schools have seen an uptick in the number of students switching to distance learning. That’s a concern, superintendent Micheal Cary told school board members in Monday’s regular board meeting. “When kids transition to full distance learning, even though we’re doing a good job, we do tend to see poorer results,” Cary said. “As an educator, I would really urge families, it’s important to keep your chil...

  • Sex charges marked by 'heinous elements'

    Jana Peterson|Oct 30, 2020

    A grand jury indicted a Scanlon man last week with three counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct “with heinous elements” and a charge of kidnapping. If convicted, the first three charges all carry a life sentence without possibility of release. Dennis Michael St. John Jr., 53, was arrested in July, 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 complaint, the alleged victim ran into St. John at the Black Bear Casino Resort on Fri...

  • Our View: Not that you need the push ... Vote

    Pine Knot News|Oct 30, 2020

    There’s just a few things we expect from citizens in American: respect the law; pay your taxes; and vote. We feel that voting is the most important of those expectations. That’s because your vote will control who will be deciding which laws and taxes elected leaders implement. It’s your chance to have real input into the system. And it’s your civic duty. Democracy will fail if people don’t vote. While our region enjoys a fairly engaged citizenry who participates in democracy, there are still plenty of people who don’t vote for various rea...

  • Harry's Gang: Let's hope we get what we want after Election Day

    Pete Radosevich|Oct 30, 2020

    It seems that, with the elections just a few days away, much of the conversation we hear involves politics and candidates. We've divided our nation so deeply I fear it will take a miracle, or maybe a major event, to get us back together as a country. Each side demonizes the other: it's no longer just a passionate discussion about how to solve the everyday problems that come up in trying to run a country ourselves. No, the political conversation has resorted to name-calling, slander, alternative...

  • It's nice to have a local paper

    Francy Chammings|Oct 30, 2020

    We know as citizens of Carlton County that we are very fortunate. We live in one of the most bucolic domains of nature populated with magnificent forests, crystal clear streams, and multiple lakes creating a "little slice of heaven." Folks are friendly and community-minded whether celebrating local festivals all year-round or fundraising for charities. The list of pluses could fill the whole paper, but the major reason we can celebrate our good fortune is that we are one of a diminishing list...

  • We can't tax ourselves into better times

    Dave Chmielewski|Oct 30, 2020

    The Carlton and Wrenshall school districts made a joint effort to obtain funding from the State of Minnesota but it didn’t make the cut in this year’s bonding bill. This funding — called enhanced debt equalization aid — would have covered approximately 46 percent of the proposed consolidation improvements between the two districts. Depending upon what consolidation scenario was sought, the total cost was estimated at around $38 million, so about half of that would have been paid by our local C...

  • Obituaries: Gladys "Gladie" Mae (Peterson) DeVriendt

    Pine Knot News|Oct 30, 2020

    Gladys "Gladie" Mae (Peterson) DeVriendt, 82, passed away at Inter-Faith Care Center in Carlton on Oct. 22, 2020, with family by her side. She was born Oct. 28, 1937, in Saginaw, and raised on the family farmstead. She was a 1956 graduate of Brookston High School and later Carey-Gaspard School of Business in Duluth. Gladys married Henry DeVriendt Sr. on April 15, 1961, at Queen of Peace in Cloquet. Gladys enjoyed gardening, carpentry, baking, bowling, and especially being an auntie and grandma.... Full story

  • Obituaries: Rev. Jeffrey Walther

    Pine Knot News|Oct 30, 2020

    The Rev. Dr. Jeffrey Walther, 58, of Esko went to his heavenly home on Sunday, Oct. 25, 2020, with his loving family by his side. He was born on Feb. 24, 1962, to Howard and Elaine Walther in Wadena. Starting at an early age, Jeff felt called to a life of ministry. Jeff loved the outdoors, especially the national parks. He grew up visiting national parks with his parents and brother, which instilled in him his love of nature. Jeff attended Concordia College in St. Paul and Concordia Theological... Full story

  • Obituaries: Donald Anthony Kujawa

    Pine Knot News|Oct 30, 2020

    Donald Anthony Kujawa, 85, of Dumfries, Virginia, passed away on Oct. 16, 2020. He was born Aug. 13, 1935, in Cloquet, where he grew up just blocks from the love of his life, Jean Mattinen, whom he would later marry. A football and track athlete at Cloquet High School, he graduated in 1953 and enlisted in the U.S. Army, serving his country proudly at several stateside bases, including Alaska. After his military service, he moved to California, where he worked in airline manufacturing before... Full story

  • Obituaries: Terrance John Salo

    Pine Knot News|Oct 30, 2020

    Terrance John Salo, 73, of Cloquet passed away from various health issues on Oct. 22, 2020, in Essentia Health-St. Mary's Medical Center in Duluth with his family by his side. He was born Oct. 9, 1947, in Esko to Harold and Nina (Johnson) Salo. He graduated from Esko High School in 1965. While in high school he was a three-sport athlete, running track and playing football and basketball. After high school he attended culinary school in St. Paul and then went to work at the London House restauran... Full story

  • Obituaries: Julie Ann (Jenski) Winter Bristol

    Pine Knot News|Oct 30, 2020

    Julie Ann (Jenski) Winter Bristol, 70, of Savage passed away peacefully from glioblastoma brain cancer with her family by her side. Julie was born Aug. 21, 1950 in Cloquet, and graduated from Cloquet High School in 1968. She enjoyed traveling, sewing and spending time with her children and grandchildren. Family was always her first priority. Her infectious laugh and beautiful green eyes will be missed forever. Julie was preceded in death by her baby brother David; her parents, Anthony and Marie... Full story

  • Credit union selects president

    Pine Knot News|Oct 30, 2020

    The Members Cooperative Credit Union Board of Directors has selected Steve Ewers to serve as the organization's next president and CEO, following the retirement of Tammy Heikkinen. Ewers has over 22 years of industry experience and most recently held the position of senior vice president and chief information officer at University and State Employees Credit Union. "I am incredibly grateful for this opportunity to lead such a prestigious organization and one for which I have a great deal of...

  • Wrenshall news

    Anne Dugan|Oct 30, 2020

    Halloween is arguably one of the most creative holidays, and this year that spirit (pun intended) will have to go toward figuring out new ways to celebrate. Luckily, Wrenshallites are figuring out some safe alternatives. The city of Wrenshall is hosting scarecrow scenes in Hugh Line park over the weekend. Visitors can walk through the park and pose for selfies, then vote for their favorite creation. Votes are due to City Hall by Nov. 3, with a winner announced on Nov. 4. Wrenshall school is...

  • Wright/Cromwell news

    Jennie K. Hanson|Oct 30, 2020

    Important news for Bethlehem Lutheran Church in Wright: The church council decided to hold in-person worship services only on the first Sunday of the month, due to recent low attendance, the pandemic, and the cold, darker winter months to come. This should be a savings on the fuel bill and also keep the congregation safer. Pastor Deb will resume 9 a.m. online services starting Nov. 8. We thank all for their participation and generous donations during the past nine months of the shutdown. Cole...

  • Strange year, same result

    Kerry Rodd|Oct 30, 2020

    Goaltender Gracie Meagher saved her best game for the last game of her senior year as the Cloquet girls soccer team held on for a 1-0 Section 7A championship win over Duluth Marshall last Wednesday night in Proctor. Meagher faced a barrage of shots throughout the game, but in the second half of Wednesday's game she was called on time and time again to hold the Lumberjacks one-goal advantage. "Gracie was amazing on Wednesday. She's been solid all season and has just continued to get better and... Full story

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