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News and other information from Cook County

Principal discusses Industrial Arts changes

Tue, 01/19/2016 - 8:36am

Cook County Schools ISD 166 recently lost its Industrial Arts instructor and is scrambling to replace him. With WTIP’s Jay Andersen, High School Principal Adam Nelson discusses the school board’s decision and the plan that’s in place to continue the program.



Senator Franken among those recognizing importance of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day

Mon, 01/18/2016 - 1:21pm

Many regional and national leaders have issued reminders of the importance of this day, January 18, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day. U.S. Senator Al Franken made the following statement in honor of the day.

 "Every year, we take this day to remember Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s legacy. We honor his leadership, his eloquence and courage, and his determination to bring people together.

 “Dr. King imagined a world without hate. But now, nearly 50 years after his death, we remain fractured in many ways. When I was growing up, my Rabbi always used to say that it isn’t enough to be just. He said you have to do justice. Dr. King challenged us to do the same when he said that by staying neutral in the face of injustice, you side with the oppressor.

 "So if we’re going to live up to Dr. King's dream, and if we're going to try to repair these fractures, we can't remain neutral. We need to work together to address real injustices—racial, economic, and educational—that continue to divide communities in Minnesota and all across the country."


This local news is provided by the Cook County News-Herald. Visit the community newspaper at

County Highway Department seeks bids for Sawbill Trail improvements

Mon, 01/18/2016 - 10:12am

Cook County Highway Engineer Dave Betts came before the Cook County commissioners with a request to bid a portion of the Sawbill Trail for surfacing improvements. The 8.4-mile section will run from Britton Peak to Honeymoon Trail and will include culvert replacements, culvert repairs, bituminous surfacing, putting in an aggregate base and aggregate shouldering. Also included will be a paved pull-off spot for hikers and skiers at Britton Peak, said Betts.

Betts said the estimated cost was about 10 percent higher than anticipated when the project was originally scoped out, but he said, “We will see what the bids come in at.”

Betts cited lower asphalt prices as something that might reduce the estimated cost.

Commissioners voted unanimously to allow Betts to request bids. Betts said he hopes the work will begin after spring break-up and end some time near the end of August.


This local news is provided by the Cook County News-Herald. Visit the community newspaper at

Duluth-Superior Port closes for season

Mon, 01/18/2016 - 7:33am

With a warm start to the winter and complexities from the steel industry, the shipping season was interesting at the Port of Duluth-Superior. WTIP’s Joe Friedrichs takes a look at this story.



Luick returns to Auditor's Office

Sun, 01/17/2016 - 12:55pm

The candles on her retirement cake were barely blown out when Aimee Luick was hired once again to work in the Cook County Auditor’s Office. This time, though, it is for a short period so she can train two staff members to do her old job.

On January 12, 2016, the county board rehired Luick so she could work with Courtnee Bernier on preparing tax systems including third period distribution, year-end reporting, preparing tax statements and printing tax statements. Luick will also train Rebecca Isbell to do payroll, year-end closing, year-end reporting and W2s.

Auditor/Treasurer Braidy Powers said originally the goal was to hire a payroll clerk in October and begin training at that time, but recent elections kept the office busy with very little time left for training.  Isbell was hired in December, about the time Luick retired.


This local news is provided by the Cook County News-Herald. Visit the community newspaper at


ISD 166 seeks public feedback on superintendent search

Sat, 01/16/2016 - 12:27pm

At the January 5 Cook County Schools - ISD 166 school board meeting, Sandy Gundlach of the Minnesota School Board Association (MSBA) led a dialogue concerning the superintendent search as Superintendent Beth Schwarz will not be renewing her contact at the end of the school year, June 2016.

 The process will begin with the survey of community members asking what specifics are most important to them in the new administrator. The survey will be available in a paper version and by a link located on the Cook County Schools website. The survey end date will be January 25.

A general posting of the open position will be placed on the MSBA website beginning January 7. Applications will be accepted through March 7.

You can find the survey at, just click Cook County Schools Superintendent Qualifications Survey.


This local news is provided by the Cook County News-Herald. Visit the community newspaper at