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  • Frequent volunteers named Barnum grand marshals

    May 31, 2024

    The Barnum Area Community Club announced this week that Bill and Irene McKay from Mahtowa are the grant marshals for the Spring Fever Days parade on June 8. Bill and Irene moved to Mahtowa when a hobby farm with acreage became available. The couple raised five daughters - Jenny, Amy, Heidi, Colleen, and Maurita - and now 10 grandchildren come to visit often. Bill has held jobs at Diamond Tool, USG, Inter-Faith Care Center, and ended his career when he retired from Mercy Hospital in Moose Lake. I...

  • Journal provides detail on WWII air war

    Mike Creger|May 24, 2024

    "Time has a way of healing our heartaches but memories last forever." Tucked into a folder on Cloquet native William Dupont at the Carlton County Historical Society is a letter from Fred Asbell. He had been asked by a historian what he could recall about Dupont from World War II, when they were airplane navigators on the same base. It was 1990, nearly 50 years since the two had plied their skills guiding B-17s, the planes tasked with bombing deep into Germany and all around the European Theater... Full story

  • Photo: Knot found

    Jana Peterson|May 24, 2024

    Carlton's Ben and Deb Croft (that's Ben in the picture) received a gift certificate to Outdoor Advantage when they were spotted in a Cloquet parking lot earlier this month with a Pine Knot News "I Think Knot" bumper sticker. Pick up your own sticker at our office at 122 Avenue C in Cloquet and maybe you'll win a gift certificate.... Full story

  • Hyde wove career from art teacher to principal

    Jana Peterson|May 24, 2024

    Thirty-five years ago, Cloquet Area Alternative Education Program principal Connie Hyde would not have dreamed she would be retiring from one of the state's leading alternative learning centers, a school that sends staff and students to train their peers at other schools and which graduated its highest number of students (57) on Thursday. The surprise is not that Hyde remained an educator. "I think I was born for it," she said. "You know how you play school with the neighbor kids? Nine out of...

  • At age 91, jockey still riding tall

    Brady Slater|May 17, 2024

    Standing atop a stool, the onetime jockey prepared to climb on board a horse for one of the first times in a long time. "This is when I have my problem," said the 91-year-old Jack Carter, crossing a leg over the horse's back in an unsure manner. "Never in my life did I dream I'd be using this (stool)," he added. "I used to jump on bareback." "Slow and steady," the volunteer hand reminded him at North Country Ride in Esko. The white-speckled, one-time show horse, Cisco, stood still as the helper... Full story

  • Commissioner reflects on decision to step away

    Brady Slater|May 17, 2024

    Dick Brenner knows how to win an election. Eight of them, amounting to 32 years on the Carlton County board alone, to go with 17 years as a Cloquet school board member. "I have a philosophy," he said. "When you run you have to have a visible name and the best way to do that is to put out lawn signs. I had over 500 lawn signs in my district. Particularly, you need to get all the corners." Brenner also knocked on doors in his district twice each campaign season, receiving sandwiches, cookies and...

  • Carlton teen wins song contest and a trip to Nashville

    Chloe Farnsworth Max Thibault|May 3, 2024

    Carlton teen Abrianna Schmidt just won the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum's "Journey of a Song" contest. Schmidt's song, "Small Town Girl," won her an all-expenses-paid trip to Nashville, where she will be able to participate in the Hall of Fame's weeklong songwriting camp working with music producers and other artists. "I saw an ad for this specific competition," Schmidt said. "And they had a pamphlet and I came up with the idea of writing about Carlton and growing up in a small town." W... Full story

  • Chmielewski: musician, senator dies at 97

    Apr 26, 2024

    Polka celebrity, farmer and retired Minnesota state senator Florian Chmielewski died Tuesday at his home in Sturgeon Lake at the age of 97. He should be buried with his accordion, which he played for nearly 80 years and famously played on the steps of the Minnesota Capitol building in his first Minnesota Senate term in 1971. "Freshman senator stages 'polka protest' at Capitol," a newspaper headline shouted, the story detailing how Chmielewski had broken out his accordion and performed a special... Full story

  • Wrenshall Honor Roll

    Apr 26, 2024

    Wrenshall Schools Quarter 3, 2023-24 A Honor Roll Connar Ankrum Kiara Ankrum Bryce Bartczak Drew Bartczak Gavin Beetcher Soyure Beetcher Vera Brown Marissa Carlson Willow Cash Kyler Clarke Annabelle House Angel Hughes Addison Hulgan Taylor Hulgan Brysen Jessup Julieauna Johnson Quinn Johnson Kendal Kot Elliana Lattu Carson Laveau Eden Loucks Uriah Loucks Ryan Mattson Alexis Nelson Andrew Olesen Isaias Padilla Douglas Pearson Camden Peterson Owen Resberg Isabel Riley Jack Riley Hunter Roy Matthew Shaw Molly Sheda Jaela Sjodin Jeshua Sjodin... Full story

  • Korby's Connections: Clothing Depot set to close in August

    Steve Korby|Apr 19, 2024

    They've been friends since they were both in kindergarten at Jefferson Elementary School on Eighth Street and Cloquet Avenue in Cloquet. Now, after roughly 70 years, they volunteer together at the Clothing Depot in Cromwell. Dardanell "Beanie" Randa and Jayne Hakamaki have been fixtures and leaders in the Cromwell area for years. Unfortunately for many of its devoted customers, plans call for the nonprofit organization to close its doors in August. Their paths have crossed and separated many... Full story

  • She's always known she would fly

    Max Thibault|Apr 12, 2024

    Sammi Olson is a Cloquet native who lives in Minneapolis and is a pilot for Delta Air Line's regional carrier Delta Connection. She graduated as Sammi Proulx from Cloquet High School in 2017. She'd wanted to be a pilot for a long time. "I think my dad had a really big influence on it because he was a pilot for the Guard in Duluth," Olson said. Don Proulx is her father. "I always wanted to do it since I was a kid, and I never really had any other plans or ideas." Olson got her bachelor's of...

  • Postmaster delivers through the ages

    Jana Peterson|Apr 12, 2024

    Cloquet Postmaster Todd Manisto retired April 3, 30 years and one day from his first day as a city carrier in the city of Cloquet. It's been a rewarding career, but increasingly busy as he climbed the ranks of the United States Postal Service. Manisto may not know what to do with himself at first. He often puts in six or seven days a week. "We'll miss him," said supervisor Ben Bergerson, after threatening "words" for Manisto. "I came to this office thinking I'd take postmaster for sure when he... Full story

  • Korby's Connections: It's 'so long' for now with Bill at the golf club

    Steve Korby|Mar 29, 2024

    Bill Manahan, longtime Cloquet Country Club golf professional and manager, has accepted the general manager position with the beautiful The Wilderness at Fortune Bay golf course on Lake Vermilion near Tower, Minnesota. He starts his new job on April 1. Bill was my golf confidant and a friend. You could always count on Bill. He knew a little bit about everything and he liked to chat. He'll be missed, but it's a wonderful opportunity. "It's going to be an adjustment with me missing all the people... Full story

  • Road to recovery leads to book

    Chloe Farnsworth|Mar 29, 2024

    Recovering from any addiction can be a struggle and the journey looks different for everyone. Cloquet native and now author Doug Norgren said priority and passion fueled his successful recovery. Norgren started journaling at Alcoholics Anonymous meetings about 16 years ago. From Day 1, he said, he spent time reading, note taking and diving deep into spirituality. It all led to his decision to pull it all together and in a book. Years later, the Covid-19 pandemic gave Norgren time and motivation... Full story

  • A wry goodbye

    Brady Slater|Mar 22, 2024

    Jobs? Greg Bernu has had them. "This is the best job of my life and I've had a lot of them," said Bernu, who spent the last 16 years as the Carlton County land commissioner. "It was a lot better than I've ever dreamed," he added. "The county board has given me great latitude to get the job done." Bernu punctuated the thought with his trademark sense of humor. "It's my job to make them look good and stay out of jail." Retiring at the end of the month, Bernu leaves behind a lasting body of work... Full story

  • On Faith: Easter offers reflection on our joys and sorrows

    Matt Kohl|Mar 22, 2024

    As someone who has attended my fair share of funerals, I have often found them to be bittersweet. Funerals can be joyful, as they are frequently filled with wonderful stories about our loved ones, encounters with long lost relatives, good food, and even the knowledge that our loved ones are no longer hurting and struggling but are at rest. Of course, I’m speaking in broad generalizations, but by and large most funerals have some joyous and hopeful moments. On the flip side, funerals really stink. They stink and they really hurt, because the p... Full story

  • Look for some new faces on the Pine Knot staff

    Pine Knot News|Mar 8, 2024

    Three University of Minnesota Duluth journalism students are getting a taste of the small-town newspaper world with the Pine Knot News this spring through a first-ever micro-internship experience. Chloe Farnsworth, Max Thibault and Maddie Gagnon all seniors, will participate in the program. Farnsworth and Thibault will work on the editorial side of the paper, while Gagnon - who is business manager at UMD's student-run news magazine The Bark and its website - will be working mostly with Pine... Full story

  • Business Spotlight: Creating space at The Nest in Cloquet

    Carolyn Ripp|Mar 1, 2024

    We practice yoga for many reasons. Some of us come to the mat to find a community connection. Some people come for the strengthening and balance that yoga provides, while others come for help with flexibility. Still, others come to their mat for assistance with finding calm, and learn new ways to tame an overactive mind. This is why it's impossible to compare yourself to others while practicing yoga. Not only does everyone have their own agenda, but they come with their own strengths and... Full story

  • PHOTO: Carlton crowns homecoming royalty

    Mar 1, 2024

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  • For leap year babies, age is a numbers game

    Mike Creger|Feb 23, 2024

    In one school year in the 1940s, in rural Moose Lake, there were five sets of twins riding a bus to school. This is testament from Jim Eckman, who, with his twin brother Chuck, belonged to one of those sets. Remarkable, yes. Was there something in the water? Maybe, Jim says. Of all those sets of twins, the Eckman boys stood out for a simple fact. They were born on Feb. 29. Leap year babies. The boys were born on the Harry and Eva Eckman farm on Feb. 29, 1936. Eva went into labor two months... Full story

  • Other local leap year babies share their stories

    Pine Knot News|Feb 23, 2024

    Finally legal Marlys Kilen of Cloquet will celebrate her 21st birthday on Feb. 29. "I'll be at an age when I can start to drink," chortled Kilen, who will be 84 years old. Growing up in Lakefield, in southern Minnesota - where she had one classmate, her future husband's cousin, born on the same day - her parents couldn't agree when to celebrate her birthday in non-leap years. Mom said Feb. 28. Dad suggested March 1, because she would be officially another year older then. "So we celebrated both... Full story

  • For Janae, it's all smiles ... and a crowning moment

    Mike Creger|Feb 16, 2024

    The smile on Janae Sjodin's face was everything. But then someone must have said, "But wait, there's more." Wrenshall High School principal Michelle Blanchard called it all "surreal," like "something out of a movie." That Sjodin - the 2023 winter homecoming queen - was at the 2024 coronation on Friday, Feb. 9, to present new royalty was a real miracle. Eleven months ago, she was driving home with her sister Jaela after softball practice when their SUV was hit on Janae's side by a driver who... Full story

  • A Friday night for royalty

    Feb 16, 2024

    It was a royal night of homecoming for schools on opposite ends of Carlton County last Friday.... Full story

  • Quilting group gets award, cash

    Pine Knot News|Feb 2, 2024

    The Lake Country Power electricity utility selected the Lakeside Quilters of Tamarack as the winner of its annual Touchstone Energy Community Award. The co-op chose to recognize the group as its members volunteer time to make quality quilts by hand and donate to people in local communities. The quilters were awarded a plaque and $500 that will go toward materials needed for making quilts. "Receiving this award is an absolute honor because it recognizes our mission to give handmade quilts to peop...

  • How history can flow through one man

    Jana Peterson|Feb 2, 2024

    Over the years, Cloquet resident Clarence Badger has told stories of playing basketball at the old Civic Center where the fire station now sits. He shared photos of his uncles returning from World War II and partying in the Cromwell bars with happy friends. Of Pinehurst Park in the 1940s and '50s, he wrote: "The building that I used most was the large one where we would roller skate one or two days a week in a huge building that sat near what the tennis courts are today. The Wilsons would come... Full story

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