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  • Letter to the Editor: Thank you to the Medich family

    Apr 19, 2024

    I worked for the City of Cloquet for 40 years and came to know Pine Valley well. It has long been a Cloquet gem overlooked by many. The first time I walked into the chalet, my immediate thought was what a great place this would be with an updated chalet that had a Master Fireplace! Thank you to the Medich Family for having this same vision. It will forever be a lasting legacy for not only Joe Nowak, Mike Marciniak and Hank Nelson, who gave their everything to Pine Valley, but also to George and Helen. Thank you! Jim Prusak, Pike... Full story

  • Letter to the Editor: Thanks to kind strangers

    Apr 19, 2024

    I want to express my appreciation to kind strangers. Thank you to the father carrying his young son, who took my hand and made a path through the snowbank so I could get to the Good Friday service. Thank you to the kind gentleman who took notice of me struggling to push my grocery cart through the heavy slush and puddles in the Super One parking lot, and came to the rescue, pushing and parking with a smile. So appreciated! Thank you to the patient, smiling clerks who wait for me to decipher and count out the right change with my dimming... Full story

  • Letter to the Editor: United we stand

    John Sanders|Apr 19, 2024

    Last week the Pine Knot ran a story by the Minnesota Reformer, with the self-ascribed tagline “Minnesota Reformer is a nonpartisan news producer.” I visited the Reformer website. After perusing several articles, it appears to me this organization is basically a surrogate for the Democrat party that publishes hit pieces. I wrote a letter to the editor filled with vitriol and accusations but paused before I submitted it. I thought, what is one more angry letter going to do to help the situation? It won’t. It may get a few nods of approval by pe... Full story

  • Calling for some kindness

    Francy Chammings|Apr 12, 2024

    The words “Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” are ensconced in the preamble to the Declaration of Independence. At a time when people in the new colonies struggled to meet basic needs, procure property and establish a free society, it is a bit puzzling that the Founding Fathers would list “pursuit of happiness” on an equal level as “life” and “liberty.” We are almost 249 years removed from the time when those words were written. The United States of America has grown from 13 colonies t... Full story

  • Religious exemptions are also freedoms

    Jason Rarick|Apr 12, 2024

    Freedom to practice religion is a cornerstone of our country and its history — we enjoy many freedoms that are constitutionally protected, and the freedom of religion is the prime example. In the past, the Minnesota Human Rights Act included an exemption for religious groups from being forced to hire individuals that don’t align with their deeply held religious beliefs, because of that very protection. This meant that religious institutions like churches and schools were not forced to hire those whose belief system did not align with those of...

  • Letter to the editor: Rep. Dotseth lacks common sense

    Apr 12, 2024

    Trees, lakes, and water: Minnesota is known for an abundance of each. And there’s something else we have in abundance: common sense. We work hard, play hard, and don’t waste time on things that don’t serve us. Rep. Jeff Dotseth would be wise to follow suit. His time in the Minnesota House of Representatives has made one thing painfully clear: He doesn’t lead with common sense. Dotseth recently co-authored a bill, HF4687, seeking to address “cloud-seeding,” “weather control,” “zenobiotic radiation” and “electromagnetic radiation,” parallel to ch... Full story

  • Our View: With the eclipse, a ripe opportunity

    Pine Knot News|Apr 5, 2024

    The Pine Knot and our weekly dose of news is likely complicit in any information overload you may be feeling these days. On average, Americans spend at least eight hours in front of a screen each day. And there’s that fascinating fact that one day of information today is as much as our ancient ancestors learned in a lifetime. Ugh. So let’s take a break Monday. It’s a perfect opportunity with the solar eclipse occurring in the early afternoon. It’s a good time to reset, relax and perhaps repent. The effect of this cosmic event on our brains... Full story

  • Letter to the editor: Wrenshall has a gem of a school campus

    Apr 5, 2024

    As a 1966 graduate of Morgan Park High School, I befriended many Wrenshall graduates in that era. Morgan Park was a K-12 school, then a middle and high school, then just a middle school and now it’s gone forever. It was replaced by apartments as a result of Duluth’s consolidation known as the Red Plan, which cost taxpayers upwards of $300 million dollars. There are only a handful of K-12 school buildings left in the state. It is my belief these are diamonds in the rough. Wrenshall has always been K-12 and now has a trades facility to boot. Whe... Full story

  • Our View: What can we do about the weather?

    Mar 29, 2024

    Well, this week was a cold, wet reminder of winter, wasn’t it? If you got stuck with your car, or felt you were holding up all the traffic because of your unpracticed driving ability, or lack of assuredness, you were not alone. It’s been that kind of non-winter in these parts. A year without much snow to deal with after records were set for depths last winter. The snow that just kept falling this week, and temperatures that dipped under the freezing mark just after, were enough to perhaps make us rethink any wish for a normal winter. But wha... Full story

  • Knot Pining: Easter Sunday comes with a bevy of tales

    Mike Creger|Mar 29, 2024

    It was comical, for sure, last Easter, when my then 5-year-old and her friends went egg hunting in a backyard that had 4 feet of snow in it. She donned some snowshoes and did her level best. The parents who hid the eggs did worse. We fell crotch deep through the snow, and were soaked and cold watching the tiny ones gather their treasures. Easter just isn't the same up north from my upbringing down south. Minnesota south. Where Easter was usually fairly springlike, flowers and such. Light... Full story

  • Letter to the Editor: Find historical nirvana at CCHS

    Mar 29, 2024

    I enjoyed Steve Korby’s article about Angelo Pergol in last week’s paper, especially the part about him experiencing “historical nirvana” as he read through our collection of Pergol’s scrapbooks. When you walk through the door at the Carlton County Historical Society, you see the museum exhibits, which are just the tip of the iceberg of our collection. We have thousands of documents, books, letters, ledgers, reports, newspapers, and scrapbooks in storage. These items are waiting for someone passionate about a topic to explore them and find... Full story

  • On the Mark: A day of music and beauty

    Ann Markusen|Mar 29, 2024

    Early on Monday, March 11, Cromwell-Wright High School singers boarded a big yellow bus headed for the Crosby-Ironton School to participate in the annual Minnesota State High School League choral contest. The students had been preparing for months, receiving solo, duet, and ensemble instruction from MaryRose Varo, Cromwell-Wright's energetic and accomplished vocal teacher. On the piano, Cromwell-Wright's Macie Lind and I served as accompanists, rehearsing with soloists and singers of duets and... Full story

  • Our View: Credit Carlton on ambulance issue

    Mar 22, 2024

    It’s no secret rural ambulance services are struggling. Called a “quiet crisis” by the state health department as far back as 2002, rural ambulance services across the state are being confronted with their own mortality: Continue forward in the face of endless budget deficits, or fold, and let neighboring or private ambulance services take over, sometimes coming from much farther away. It all makes what the city of Carlton has accomplished so impressive. Instead of waiting for legislative solutions, city officials and leaders in Carlton spent t... Full story

  • Letters to the editor: At DVS, cuts do make sense

    Mar 15, 2024

    What Sen. Jason Rarick failed to mention in his article last week is that the testing locations that the Driver and Vehicle Services department is proposing closing are open only one day a week, at most, for limited or inconsistent hours, and run by examiners who are stationed full-time elsewhere. He mentioned losing Moose Lake, a testing center that is open for road tests from 12:30 to 3:30 on Thursdays. At 20 minutes per appointment, the lone examiner who travels there from Duluth can usually give six Class D skills tests before they need to... Full story

  • Letter to the editor: Let's make township elections better

    Mar 15, 2024

    I was at the Thomson Township annual meeting last evening, March 12, and proposed a resolution for the town board, staff, and attorney to lobby the Minnesota Association of Townships and our state representative and senator to consider changing state statute to again have township board elections held “at large,” as was done a number of years ago. The state, a number of years ago, mandated township boards be elected “by seat” instead. The only thing that this accomplishes is to give re-election advantage to the incumbent due to severel... Full story

  • Knot Pining: Don't mess with da Range

    Mike Creger|Mar 15, 2024

    He gave it the old college try. But, they say, when you take on the bull, you get the horns. Or, in social media circles, and toned down for a family newspaper: Mess around and find out. There may be a new old saw: Take on the Iron Range and its taconite money, and you get the tailings. Alas, Sen. Jason Rarick, Carlton County’s representative in the Minnesota Senate, was awash in all of these sentiments last month when he dared to change the way of life on the Iron Range. If you recall, Rarick penned a bill this session that would expand the ...

  • Our View: Everyone should let the light shine

    Mar 8, 2024

    It’s time to shine a light on an annual week of mindfulness in the journalism industry. March 10-16 is Sunshine Week, a nonpartisan collaboration among groups in the journalism, civic, education, government and private sectors that shines a light on the importance of public records and open government. At the Pine Knot, we are proud of our role in watching out for our readers. As you have read in the past, we are bullish on freedom of information issues and proper behavior by elected officials. It isn’t easy covering more public bodies tha... Full story

  • Guest View: DVS drives people away

    Sen. Jason Rarick|Mar 8, 2024

    The Department of Vehicle Services continues to be an issue throughout the state, specifically when it comes to accessing behind-the-wheel drivers tests. Families have grown frustrated with the current backlog that seems to be growing every year. To make matters worse, when families are lucky enough to find open appointments, it oftentimes means driving across the state. DVS representatives came to the Senate Transportation Committee a few weeks ago to offer an updated solution to this problem: closing half of all testing locations. In 2021,...

  • Guest Views: Wrenshall students write on issues

    Mar 8, 2024

    Wrenshall High School English teacher Ted Conover said students in his College in the Schools composition course were eager to add to local discourse. So they revised and shortened their long-form problem-solution essays on local issues into print-length editorials, and shared those with the Pine Knot News. Topics range from addressing issues in local schools, arts, athletics, all the way up to state funding and the Legislature — and we are sharing them with you. Enjoy these writings. The first batch appeared in last week’s Pine Knot The fig... Full story

  • Our View: Townships show us democracy at home

    Mar 1, 2024

    George Bernard Shaw was riffing on Thomas Jefferson when he once wrote: “Democracy is a device that ensures we shall be governed no better than we deserve.” Are we deserving? There is one way you might answer that question this month. You can take part in an annual township meeting on March 12. Yes, national politics gets all the ire and fire these days, but don’t take your most-local government for granted. Townships are the epitome of democracy, the oldest form of representation in the country. At the annual meeting you can learn about the l... Full story

  • Letter to the Editor: Townships could have been the difference

    Mar 1, 2024

    On Feb. 14, after a previous public hearing and discussion, the city council of Moose Lake voted to contract with the Carlton County Sheriff’s Department to provide law enforcement protection for the residents of Moose Lake. It was not a decision made lightly. It was a vote to ensure that the residents of Moose Lake will be provided affordable, quality, consistent law enforcement protection. It will provide more coverage for less costs. Since that time I’ve noticed that some of the people quoted, who are in favor of keeping the Moose Lak... Full story

  • Letter to the Editor: An overdue thank-you

    Mar 1, 2024

    Patty and I would like to thank the moms and dads, grammas and grandpas, aunts and uncles, school officials, coaches and past coaches and the many boys basketball players from the Fond du Lac Ojibwe School, past and present, for all the enjoyment you’ve given us for the many years we’ve followed you. We’ve gotten to know a lot of fine boys and we wish them all good luck in their future years. The seasons go by so fast. Good luck to you all. Doug and Pat Anderson, Barnum... Full story

  • Notes From the Small Pond: Us

    Parnell Thill|Mar 1, 2024

    We’re stuck with each other. All of us. All of us Trumpsters and all of us Biden-Buddies and everyone wishing there was some sane Other Option and all of us Christians and all us Muslims and all of us Jews and Palestinians and all of us short, fat idiots and all of us tall, lean geniuses and all of us Cops and all of us Robbers and all of us addicted to chemicals and all of us addicted to religion and exercise and gambling and shopping and eating and all of us Having and all of us Wanting and a... Full story

  • Wrenshall students write on issues

    Mar 1, 2024

    Wrenshall High School English teacher Ted Conover said students in his College in the Schools composition course were eager to add to local discourse. So they revised and shortened their long-form problem-solution essays on local issues into print-length editorials, and shared those with the Pine Knot News. Topics range from addressing issues in local schools, arts, athletics, all the way up to state funding and the Legislature — and we are sharing them with you this week and next. Enjoy these thought-provoking writings from Wrenshall. Book b... Full story

  • Our View: Thumbs up, thumbs down on newsy month

    Feb 23, 2024

    THUMBS UP to the Moose Lake city council for its unpopular but fiscally responsible decision to contract with Carlton County for its law enforcement needs. The months-long saga ended last week, in what many considered disappointing fashion, with a 3-2 vote. Choosing the Sheriff's Office to provide four deputies and a part-time clerk to cover the city meant dissolving the city's long-standing police force. But the force had dwindled to one, a result of disgruntled officers resigning and early... Full story

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