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While the agenda for Tuesday's Cloquet City Council meeting was definitely on the light side - with the most debate centering around a temporary liquor license for the Cloquet Eagles - that didn't mean a small work load for city councilors or the mayor. With next year's budget process in the early stages, councilors and city staff spent 90 minutes prior to the meeting and nearly an hour afterward going through the numbers. Many of the figures extend out five years, some even longer.
While election signs are proliferating faster than dandelions right now, Paul Vernon is concerned because his signs are disappearing almost as quickly. The Carlton County Commissioner candidate said a person or persons have removed approximately 30 of his signs, out of the 100 he's placed in yards around the county. "They've all been on private property," Vernon said, adding that only about 15 of his first lot of 50 signs are left standing. "And they're not disappearing during work hours, it's at night most of the time." One family actually saw a man take the sign from their yard.
Art Wojtysiak didn't coach when his son and daughter were young - he didn't think he had the patience for it. Enter a certain little girl with light brown hair and blue eyes named Allie, and Wojtysiak decided to give it a try. He started by assisting his granddaughter's basketball coach when Allie was 5 years old. The next year he started helping his wife, Cathy, with Allie's soccer team. When that season ended, it was on to coach-pitch baseball for two years, which turned into softball when Allie turned 8. "I thought I'd be too hard on the kids, expect too much," Wojtysiak said.
Derek Chester Cherrington was arraigned Monday in Carlton County Court for felony second-degree drug possession, for allegedly possessing approximately 8 grams of cocaine. When Cherrington was stopped by Cloquet police the afternoon of Friday, July 23, however, the location of the cocaine wasn't immediately apparent. According to the criminal complaint, police knew in advance that Cherrington was going to purchase drugs in the parking lot of the Super 8 Motel on Big Lake Road in Cloquet. Cloquet Police Chief Wade Lamirande observed Cherrington's vehicle arrive in the motel parking lot.
City Community Development Director Holly Butcher sent out 260 meeting invitations last week. It's just one way of getting a full house for a public informational meeting at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday in Cloquet City Hall on a pending landfill request. "This is a 'hey guys, what do you think, what are your concerns' kind of meeting," explained Butcher, who's been very proactive about preparing the city to deal with the landfill permit, which actually hasn't yet been requested.
For the past four or five years, long-time Cloquet resident Dorothy Green has allowed the Cloquet Youth Baseball Softball Association to use her field for T-ball and coach-pitch baseball games. Now the field bears her name, a fact made official by a sign on the backstop. Jodi Lorenz, CYBSA board member, said the league has 185 kids playing the two youngest levels of baseball.
Monday morning was the first time ever that all three of Cloquet's hockey stars - Corey Millen, Derek Plante and Jamie Langenbrunner - signed autographs together. Current New Jersey Devils captain and 2010 Olympic silver medalist Langenbrunner last appeared with Derek Plante in 1999 with the Stanley Cup (both were on the Dallas Stars team that won the cup in the 1998-99 season). And Langenbrunner, who graduated from Cloquet High School in 1994, remembers going to events featuring Plante (Class of '89) and Millen (Class of '82) before he joined them in the ranks of the NHL.
Cloquet native Catherine Wagner figures her earliest memory of eating at Gordy's Hi-Hat is around 1963. "That's when you just drove up and walked to the window to order," she said, adding that she has lots of memories of Cloquet's most famous burger joint. Her husband, Chris Wagner, grew up in the Twin Cities but recalls his first visit was around the same time. "A lot of times we'd debate stopping at Tobie's [in Hinckley] but if it was the right time of the year, we'd wait for the Hi-Hat," Chris said.
Cloquet resident Clarence Manuel Lozoya Jr., 18, pleaded guilty and was sentenced Monday in Carlton County Court for felony first-degree aggravated robbery. The robbery took place Feb. 24 after an individual working with Cloquet Police and Carlton County Sheriff's officers received a call from Lozoya, who said he wanted to purchase approximately 2 ounces of high grade marijuana in exchange for $700. Detectives were situated so they could observe the interaction and watched as a white car arrived at the location.
Scanlon Mayor Jim Putnam is proud of the city's long tradition of having an all-volunteer fire department, but he's also trying to be practical about the city's future. The way Putnam sees it, that future should probably include membership in the Cloquet Area Fire District (CAFD). "Our volunteer fire department has been and still is very good," Putnam said, "but most of the volunteers don't live in Scanlon and most of them have day jobs. ...