Howie Hanson: Takeaways from this week’s Pine Knot News

I received my latest print edition of Minnesota’s Best Weekly Newspaper, Pine Knot News, in the mail today. My takeaways from the Friday, September 10 issue:

. The layout and printing of the 24-page tabloid are world-class, and the content is on par with Minnesota’s best paper editorially, the Star-Tribune. Jana Peterson is the top weekly newspaper editor-content provider in our neck of the woods, if not in all of Minnesota and in the Upper Midwest. Reporter and page designer Mike Creger is also among Minnesota’s best in both his roles.

. The four-page sports section features strong stories, photos, game result briefs and schedules of upcoming games and events. Homegrown sportswriter Kerry Rodd, also with decades of radio broadcasting experience, has plenty of experience covering high school boys and girls sports teams in Carlton County, including in the Wood City. Sports columnist Steve Korby, one of Cloquet High’s all-time best basketball sharpshooters, is a local rising star in print journalism. Sports photographers Dan Salete and Dave Harwig are on par with their full-time colleagues at the Duluth News Tribune, professionally speaking.

. The Pine Knot News seems to have a solid local display advertising base, not paper-dominating like a newspaper shopper, but loyal and strong for a community boasting mostly mom-and-pop, locally owned small businesses who wisely lean on their award-winning community newspaper to reach eyeballs in their city and throughout Carlton County.

. Cloquet and the surrounding area are lucky to have the Pine Knot News, when many communities their size are losing their community newspapers.

Personal Note: I cut my print journalism teeth with the Pine Knot in 1971, as a high school sophomore, when I wrote a weekly sports column and covered some of the local teams I played for. I also submitted photos for publication. The good or bad news for readers is that I’m still writing sports columns and snapping photos over 50 years later, full-time. Below is an action photo I collected at the Jacks at Denfeld high school football game Friday night.

I’ve had a dream career.

Cloquet tight end Will Turnbull finished off a long catch and run gain in the first half at Duluth Denfeld on Friday night. Howie Hanson / Duluth Times

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