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Lately, it seems even a cursory inspection of state and national politics is a recipe for frustration. The two parties can't get along, and this dysfunctional relationship means they keep voting for temporary fixes, instead of any courageous moves to fix an obviously ailing budget, not to mention Medicare and Social Security. While it's important to contact elected officials with your thoughts in times such as these, the savior in tough times doesn't usually work in Washington or St. Paul. He or she lives next door to you, or attends the same church.
Former Atkinson Township Supervisor Traci Ann Juntunen, 41, pleaded guilty to two counts of felony theft by swindle in a Carlton County courtroom Thursday, July 28. Juntunen was originally charged with three counts of felony theft by swindle a year ago for allegedly submitting false claims for reimbursement while serving as an Atkinson Township Board Supervisor.
If copper thieves didn't cut the telecommunications line near the Interstate 35 corridor two weeks ago, the alternative is worse. "We don't know if [the fiber optic line] was cut with the intention of disrupting the 911 system or to steal the cable for financial gain," said St. Louis County Sheriff Ross Litman, confirming that the cable was cut deliberately, rather than by accident or force of nature. Although no one has been arrested yet, Cloquet Police Chief Wade Lamirande believes copper thieves were responsible.
Joanne Vnuk snapped awake at approximately 1:30 a.m. Tuesday when she heard something hit the back of her house, not far from where she was sleeping. "A split second later I heard the glass break at the front of the house and I smelled the pine," Vnuk said. "I headed for the bathroom because I don't have a basement." In total, three trees landed on Vnuk's rural Carlton County home, two white pines and an aspen. One of the white pines measured 9 ½ feet around its base and fell across and through the family room, essentially cutting the room in half.
A motorcycle versus car collision put a Carlton man in intensive care last week. Just after 4:30 p.m. July 25, Carlton resident Shannon Svacina, 39, was riding his Harley Davidson in the left lane of westbound Highway 210, near Black Bear Casino, when a Toyota Camry driven by Cloquet's Floyd Johnson, 88, pulled out in front of Svacina. According to Minnesota State Police Sgt. Mark Baker, Svacina hit the front corner of Johnson's car and was thrown from his motorcycle, landing near the median on the left side of the intersection.
The Lacrosse-4-Life camp at the Fond du Lac Reservation is more than a sports camp. For its American Indian participants, who travel here from reservations around Minnesota and Wisconsin, it is an opportunity to learn to play a sport invented by their ancestors, meet kids from other places and acquire the knowledge to live a healthier lifestyle. While half of this year's 47 campers were doing drills and scrimmage games on the field outside the Fond du Lac Tribal Center last Thursday morning, the other half was attending a class on tobacco.
The past 12 years have been a blur for Cloquet's Lori Moe, since the day she gave birth to quadruplets at St. Mary's Hospital in Duluth. Lori doesn't remember being featured on the "Our Neighbors" page in the Cloquet Journal four months after the Caesarean birth on May 23, 1999, nor does she remember the actual interview.
When state legislative leaders and Governor Mark Dayton last week bridged part of a $1.4 billion gap in a budget compromise by delaying payments to schools, they essentially borrowed the missing money from the state's school districts. The fact that the state authorized a $50 increase in the per-pupil allotment from the state was good news to school districts; however, some may end up spending the promised extra money on loan interest. By delaying $700 million in payments, the state will force most school districts to borrow money simply to pay the bills.
Until the lifeguards started shouting at people to clear the pond, 11-year-old Sam Godbout said last Thursday seemed like any other day at The Beach. She and two other friends were having a splash fight when everyone had to clear Cloquet's sand-bottomed pond. At first, Godbout and her friends thought it was a practice emergency. They could see the lifeguards working on someone, but thought it was a training drill. Then they heard the ambulance. "That's when we knew it was real," Godbout said. Wyatt A.
After 6-year-old Wyatt Hanna drowned Thursday at The Beach, Cloquet's sand-bottom swimming pond, the pond was closed immediately and has remained closed ever since. According to Cloquet City Administrator Brian Fritsinger, the city-owned swimming pond will now reopen Friday. Initially city officials had thought the pool would reopen today, but that was before they realized that funeral services for Hanna were also today. Fritsinger said the pool did not reopen today out of respect for the family.