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Multi-state drug ring targeting Native American lands busted, 41 arrested

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opinion Cloquet, 55720
Cloquet Minnesota 122 Avenue C 55720

Thumbs down to copper thieves who wreak so much havoc for a couple hundred dollars’ worth of copper wire. They steal from businesses and construction sites, city parks and utility companies. They leave behind a mess for everyone else to clean up, whether it’s the Cloquet Kids Ski Club that is left holding the bag or Cromwell-area residents who were left without power two weeks ago.What do the thieves get for their efforts? Best case scenario for them, a few hundred dollars’ worth of copper. Best case for the rest of us, they get arrested. Worst case, they get electrocuted. Just Google “copper theft electrocution.” It happens with some regularity, even in Minnesota, where a 21-year-old man died last summer in southern Minnesota after trying to steal metal off a power pole. Of course we know these majority of thefts happen because people are addicted to drugs and need easy money to buy them, but they may end up with a different kind of buzz, a lethal one.

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Thumbs up to the Junior Rotarians, who organized the first-ever Color Run in Cloquet. They showed their elders at the Cloquet Rotary Club that teenagers can be a tremendous asset to an organization, and they showed Cloquet runners and wanna-be runners a happy and colorful time. As well, we like anything that makes running a joyful occasion for folks of all ages and shapes. Here’s hoping this year’s Color Run was the first of many, and that other Junior Rotarians will carry on what this group started.

On that subject, thumbs up to all community celebrations, be it July Fourth, Agate Days, Wrong Days in Wright, Carlton Daze, Ma and Pa Kettle Days, Barnum Spring Fever Days, Wrenshall Brickyard Days, Esko Fun Day or any of the other events that pepper our Carlton County towns. We applaud the unnamed legions of volunteers who make such fun events happen. While it might be tempting to get out of town on those busy weekends to avoid the crowds, we encourage folks to stay around and remember what it’s like to be part of the community that you live in. At the end of the day, life is about the relationships we make, and spending time with classmates, neighbors and others can only make a community stronger.

Thumbs up to the soon-to-be Carlton County Drug Court, which will likely begin operations in early August, according to Carlton County Attorney Thom Pertler. After researching all the issues of drug addiction in this area, we hope that drug court will help stem the seemingly unending cycle of drug addicts committing all kinds of crimes (repeatedly) to feed their habit. Anyhow, when Carlton County Commissioners OK’d the hiring of a full-time probation officer for drug court, that was one of the final steps toward making drug court a reality here. Pertler revealed Tuesday that long-time probation officer Tom Proulx (who is also a Carlton County Commissioner) has been hired for that position. With his extensive background in probation and knowledge of the county and the people who live here, we believe his hire will give the drug court an even better chance to succeed. Success, even in small doses, would be a good thing for Carlton County.

Jana Peterson

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