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A Cloquet woman pleaded guilty Wednesday to a felony as part of a plea agreement in an incident in which a handgun was used to threaten people in a Cloquet home on Sixth Street. Kaley Marie Defoe, 24, pleaded guilty to felony terroristic threats and had charges of felony aggravated robbery in the first degree, interfering with an emergency call, fifth degree assault and theft dismissed. She also admitted to violating probation which stemmed from an earlier conviction. She was convicted in 2009 of felony receiving stolen property and misdemeanor theft.
A Carlton man will face a mandatory minimum sentence of three years in prison in connection with a November armed robbery in Mahtowa. Zachary Scott Moehrke, 19, pleaded guilty to felony second-degree assault with a dangerous weapon and had one count of felony first-degree aggravated robbery dismissed as part of a plea agreement last week. With that plea, a minimum 36-month prison sentence is required, according to court documents. Moehrke remains in jail with sentencing set for March 1.
Instead of taking the Monday holiday to relax, some 600 teachers and administrators in Carlton County used the day as Martin Luther King Jr. likely would have intended - to come together. They gathered at Barnum High School for the third annual Joint In-service Day. This year, however, was the first to include Cloquet staff.
Cloquet natives Frank and Jeanette McLaughlin run the Haiti Mercy Mission, which includes four schools, four small churches and an orphanage with 50 children in Pignon, 60 miles north of capital city Port-au-Prince. With the 7.0 magnitude earthquake on Jan. 12, however, their focus has shifted from improving lives to simply helping people survive. So far - they are surviving, but a week later, the challenges are mounting. "Supplies of everything get less and less each day," Frank McLaughlin said in a Jan. 19 e-mail to the Pine Journal.
Cloquet residents will likely find their water bills to be higher come March. Cloquet city councilors are planning to approve an increase in water rates at their first regular meeting Feb.
A Cloquet police officer who was fired and reinstated last year had a sexual relationship with a witness in a case in which he was the lead investigator, an arbitrator's decision shows. However, city officials said this week they will not pursue the matter further. "It is done and we are moving forward," said Cloquet City Administrator Brian Fritsinger. Jeff Palmer was terminated in April by the Cloquet City Council, who voted on the matter in a closed meeting.
It didn't take long for police officers to put the recently enacted "social host" ordinance into effect in Cloquet. On Jan.
Cloquet and Fond du Lac Police are investigating a drive-by shooting that took place in the early morning hours Sunday on Whispering Pine Drive on the Fond du Lac Reservation. Three shots were fired through a kitchen window at Fond du Lac Home No. 15 at about 2 a.m. Jan. 10, according to Cloquet Police Deputy Chief Terry Hill. Bullets went through the window glass and metal blinds and ended up in the floor, Hill said. One bullet was reportedly found lodged in a loaf of bread. Two adults and a toddler were home at the time but no one was injured.
Two Texas residents were charged this week in connection with transporting 62 pounds of marijuana through Carlton County. Jorge Gutierrez-Salazar, 24, faces a felony charge of third-degree possession of a controlled substance, while Graciela Yadit Medrano, 21, is charged with felony third-degree possession of a controlled substance - aiding and abetting. According to the complaint, the Rockwall, Texas, residents were stopped by a Minnesota State Patrol officer as they were driving a vehicle north on Interstate 35 just before noon on Jan. 5.
A Carlton County corrections officer and former sheriff's deputy was charged Monday in Carlton County Court in connection with a one-vehicle rollover near the Scanlon Park and Ride that injured his passenger last fall. Cloquet resident Michael John Laveau, 29, faces charges of gross misdemeanor criminal vehicular operation, misdemeanor fourth degree driving while intoxicated and misdemeanor fourth degree driving while intoxicated - .08 or more within two hours. The criminal complaint and summons was filed in Carlton County Court on Jan.