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Challenging. That's the way both county and city engineers described the wet, heavy snow that broke the record for snowfall in the month of April this year. "The roads are all thawing and soft, especially the gravel roads," said County Engineer Michael Tardy, noting that plowing is entirely different midwinter when everything is frozen solid. "The problem -- with spring snow clearing -- is the equipment sinks in. The blades will dig up the gravel surface and often make it more impassable than if left alone.
A Cloquet man who was reported missing by his family in January and who is wanted for questioning by law enforcement was apparently living in a state park in California until recently. John Edwin Bemis III, 37, was reported missing by his family two days after his ex-wife, Marie Majerle, was arrested and charged with attempted homicide for shooting her estranged husband, Richard Alan Majerle, in the upper chest. Marie Majerle was also charged with removing or altering a serial number on that firearm.
In a move designed to simplify the city code, Cloquet Planning Commission members Tuesday voted unanimously to recommend a plan to no longer require a city license for commercial kennels, because the kennels are already required to go through a very similar process to obtain a conditional use permit. However, private kennels -- basically residents with four or five dogs and cats, over the city's legal limit of three -- will still be required to get a license from the city. "Staff tried to eliminate the private kennel [clause] and make the limit three for everyone, but the council wasn't read
Cloquet City Engineer Jim Prusak budgets for a "normal" winter, therefore the late season snow hasn't affected the city's budget ... yet. Prusak told Cloquet City Councilors and Mayor Bruce Ahlgren that before the snowstorm at the end of last week, the street department had used up $13,200 of a $21,500 overtime budget. However, with the storm and staff working long hours Friday and Saturday, it added another $7,500 in overtime. "That last storm was the worst I've seen in probably 10 years," Prusak said. "Wet, heavy snow in 35-degree weather.
It took some discussion, but members of the Cloquet Parks Master Plan Task Force and representatives of various veterans groups in Cloquet agree on one thing -- relocating the current Veterans Memorial Plaza to the eastern end of Dunlap Island is a good idea. What is now known as Voyageurs Park (with the big wooden statue and stockade) would become Memorial Park.
With this month on track to be one of the snowiest Aprils on record, it seems Mother Nature didn't get the note about the change in seasons. Just look at the snowfall totals for evidence: normal snowfall for April is 6.9inches -- as of Monday, the Northland had seen 23.9 inches according to the National Weather Service. The snow got so heavy in Cloquet last Thursday that the local postmaster called letter carriers off the street because of whiteout conditions.
A Cloquet woman pleaded guilty Wednesday to "aiding an offender after the fact" in the murder of Cristyna Leah Watson, whose body was discovered Oct. 4 outside a home on Reservation Road in Cloquet. Alyssa Rae Peterson, 24, pleaded guilty in Carlton County Court Wednesday to aiding an offender after the fact and to an unrelated probation violation. Fifth-degree drug charges in another case were dismissed in the plea agreement.
Conditions got so bad in Cloquet Thursday that the local postmaster called letter carriers off the street because of whiteout conditions. "It was the first time that's happened in five or six years," said Letter carrier Lance Wuolet Friday morning, as he delivered mail in central Cloquet. A bundled-up Wuolet said he was running about an hour late halfway through his route, because he had to trudge through high snow drifts and unshoveled sidewalks. Cloquet Police Officer Kerrick Johnson said Friday got a little crazy. There were nine accidents in town between 11 a.m.
A professed Native Mob member pleaded guilty to two charges in a plea deal Tuesday, then promptly failed a drug test, earning himself a "go directly to jail" card. Patrick Charles Lussier, 26, was originally charged in November 2012 in Carlton County Sixth District Court with seven felonies: two counts of second-degree assault, two counts of possession of a firearm by a felon, one count of terroristic threats, one count of endangering safety by discharge of a firearm, and one count of reckless discharge of a firearm within a municipality.
With the jury selection set to begin Tuesday in Carlton County Court, a Duluth man opted for a plea deal instead. Todd Richard Carter, 39, pleaded guilty to charges of second- and third-degree drug possession, while charges of fleeing a police officer and possession of pharmacy drugs and drug paraphernalia were dismissed. Carter was arrested in late 2011, just two weeks after a previous first-degree drug possession charge had been dismissed in Carlton County Court. According to the criminal complaint filed in the incident, Carter was stopped for a vehicle equipment violation at approximatel