Around Cook County
Several local snowmobilers are once again participating in the Blackwoods Blizzard “Never Surrender” Tour, a ride to fight ALS. On Saturday, January 12 from 5 - 9 p.m., the community is invited to a “Dinner with a Purpose” at My Sister’s Place restaurant in Grand Marais. For each meal sold during that time, 50 percent of the bill will be donated to the ALS Association of Minnesota.
Kathy and Tom “2E” Bernier, Paul Bernier and Scott “Emit” Bystrom are the riders taking part in the three-day, 370-mile snowmobile ride to raise money to fight amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), often referred to as Lou Gehrig's Disease, a progressive, fatal neuromuscular disease.
ALS slowly robs the body of its ability to walk, speak, swallow and breathe. The life expectancy of a person with ALS averages two to five years from the time of diagnosis.
Every 90 minutes a person in this country is diagnosed with ALS and every 90 minutes another person will lose their battle against this disease.
This crippling disease can strike anyone—sadly nearly everyone knows someone who has been affected by ALS. Presently there is no known cause of the disease though support is bringing researchers closer to an answer. In the meantime it costs an average of $200,000 a year to provide the care people with ALS need. “Help make a difference and donate today,” said Kathy Bernier.
Kathy Bernier had a family member affected with this disease and her family saw first hand what the ALS Association can do to provide the help needed to those affected by it. She said, “Any donation small or large is appreciated and needed.”
The riders’ goal is $4,000 for research, education and patient assistance and you can help by making a donation on-line at http://webmn.alsa.org/site/TR/Rides/Minnesota?px=1703381&pg=personal&fr_id=8590.
Four mushers in the inaugural Gichigami Express Sled Dog Race have finished the first two stages of the three-stage race in under nine hours, wrapping up Monday's leg at Devil Track Landing.
Ross Fraboni of Two Harbors continues in the lead. He covered Monday's 59-mile stage in 4:43. When combined with his first place time Sunday of 3:55, he has run 8:38 over the first two days of the race. Ryan Redington of Wasilla , AK moved into second with a 4:46 finish today. That finish is added to his 3:56 finish yesterday for a two-stage total of 8:42, four minutes behind Fraboni.
Keith Aili of Ray moved from fourth to third Monday finishing the Windigo Lodge to Devil Track Landing trek in 4:48. He ran the first leg in 4:06 for a combined total of 8:54. Frank Moe of Hovland slipped one minute behind Aili at 8:55 after the second day. Moe and his team turned in a 4:59 finish on Monday and a 3:56 on Sunday.
Three mushers finished the second day between 9 hours and 9:10 for overall running time. After two legs, Will Kornmuller of Willow AK was in fifth at 9:02 followed by Erin Redington of Wasilla AK at 9:06 and Ryan Anderson of Ray at 9:08.
Six mushers finished the second day with cumulative times between 9:18 and 9:38. Bruce Langmaid of Kearny, ON finished in 9:18 followed by Nathan Schroeder of Chisholm at 9:20. One minute behind Schroeder was St. Cloud's Michael Bestgen with Vern Schroeder of Warba at 9:30. Tofte's Rita Wehesler finished the second stage with a total time of 9:36 and Ariane Jasmin of Clam Gulch, AK was the final finisher with a cumulative total under 10 minutes at 9:38.
James Wheeler of Clam Gulch, AK was at 10:08 after two days followed by Finland's Blake Freking at 1015. Rounding out the teams were Amanda Vogel of Ray at 10:24. Kevin Malikowski of Outing at 10:31 and Colleen Wallin of Two Harbors at 10:36.
John Wytanis, Tofte District Ranger, and Nancy Larson, Gunflint District Ranger, invite the public to learn more about the recently initiated North Shore Restoration Project. An open house to discuss the project is set for January 11, 2013. Comments on the project, orally or in writing, are due January 21, 2013.
“The North Shore is a treasured Minnesota landscape, attracting people to come view Lake Superior and the surrounding forest,” said John Wytanis. “Yet anyone who has hiked, skied or snowmobiled the trails along the shore has seen the dying birch and absence of white pine. This project we have developed is beginning to address the situation.”
Cook County Planning & Zoning is tackling some tough questions about what constitutes a building. Should fabric-covered hoops set into the ground require a building permit? What about an RV or cargo trailer that sits on a property and is only used for storage? The Cook County Planning Commission pondered these questions at their monthly meeting on December 19.
Planning & Zoning Director Tim Nelson said his department has been seeing more and more hoop structures as time goes by. Some have dirt floors while others have cement floors. Some are temporary and unobtrusive; others are situated outside setback limits near roads and waterways.
The weather looks like it will warm up for a few days, snow a little and then turn a little colder. Nothing too extreme along the way. WTIP’s Jay Andersen spoke with meteorologist Mike Stewart.
As Cook County Council on Aging rang in the New Year, the council also expressed its deepest appreciation to three departing board members. Board Chair Karen Kritta Saethre, Board Secretary Diane Parker and Member-at-Large Diane Booth.
The board welcomed two new board members Geri Jensen and Joan Hall. The board also would welcomed three current members to the executive board. Pat Zankman is our new treasurer and Dawn Byholm is our new secretary. Warren Anderson is once again chairman and Bill Shaffer has been re-elected by popular demand as our vice chairman. Congratulations to all on your newly elected positions.
Don't miss out on a great eight-week beginner clay class that includes 24-hour studio access throughout the entire class.
"Beginning with Clay" will be presented by Melissa Wickwire Jan. 8 through Feb. 26 (eight Tuesdays) from 6 to 8 p.m. There is a $190 tuition, plus a $30 supply fee.
Three mushers, including two from the North Shore, finished the Grand Portage to Hungry Jack leg of the Gichigami Sled Dog Race in under four hours on Sunday.
This is the first year for the Gichigami and it is being run in three legs. The mushers left the Mineral Center trailhead in a staggered start after 9 AM, Sunday headed for Hungry Jack and the Gunflint Trail.
Ross Fraboni of Two Harbors covered the 51 miles in 3:55 . Right behind him in finishing times were Frank Moe of Hovland and Ryan Redington of Wasilla, AK in 3:56. The fastest teams were running about 13 miles per hour over a trail that was less than ideal.
Keith Aili of Ray finished the first leg in 4:06 followed by Bruce Langmaid of Kearny, ON, Nathan Schroeder of Chisholm and Erin Redington of Wasilla, AK who ran the course in 4:08.
Ryan Anderson of Ray and Will Kornmuller of Willow, AK finished the Grand Portage to Hungry Jack leg in 4:11 followed by Michael Bestgen of St. Cloud and Vern Schroeder of Warba in 4:13. Ariane Jasmin of Clam Gulch, AK finished in 4:14.
Coming in at 4:20 and 4:21 respectively were Tofte's Rita Wehseler and Clam Gulch, AK's James Wheeler while Kevin Malkowski of Outing finished in 4:24.
Rounding out the finishers were Amanda Vogel of Ray in 4:31, Blake Freking of Finland in 4:39 and Colleen Wallin of Two Harbors in 4:54.
Bill Wehseler of Tofte was scratched from the race.
The mushers, volunteers and race fans were scheduled for an outdoor barbecue at Trail Center on the Gunflint Trail Sunday night.
The 59-mile second leg of the race starts Monday morning at 9 o'clock after breakfast at Windigo Lodge. The mushers and teams will travel from Windigo Lodge to Devil Track Landing for the longest of the three-stages. A spaghetti feed will celebrate the end of the second leg at American Legion Post 413 in Grand Marais.
The boys and girls hockey teams on the North Shore have been successful in their most-recent two games.
On Saturday night, the Silver Bay Area girls defeated Lake of the Woods, 7-0. The win followed up a Mariner victory over LOTW on Friday night, 6-0.
In boys hockey, North Shore defeated Greenway-Nashwauk-Keewatin 2-0 Saturday after stopping Ely-Northeast Range 11-0 on Thursday.
The wins brought the Mariners to 6 and 12 for the season, including a record of 5-5 in the last 10 matches. The boys are 8-4 for the season. Silver Bay Area and North Shore each feature skaters from Cook and Lake counties.
Brooke McMillen led the Mariners on Saturday night with a hat trick as her team took the seven-goal victory. The other goals came from Hannah Johnson, who scored twice, with one goal each hit notched by Katelyn DeRosier and Kristina Thums. In the goal, Sara Carman had six saves compared to 70 saves by LOTW’s Emily Ney.
On Friday night, Cora Carter and Anna Carman had two goals each to lead the Mariners to the 6-0 win. McMillan and Rebecca Dilley scored one each for the win. In the net, Cassie Swanson had 10 saves for SBA while Ney made for LOTW.
SBA hosts Proctor-Hermantown on Tuesday night, January 8 before traveling to Moose Lake Area for a game Friday night, January 11. North Shore hosts Eveleth-Gilbert on Thursday night and International Falls on Saturday.
Tomorrow, January 6, Minnesota’s newest stage-style sled dog race, the Gichigami Express begins in Grand Portage! The three-day race travels from Grand Portage, along the Gunflint Trail to Grand Marais and back to Grand Portage on January 6-8, 2013. The community is happy to welcome a field of 20 mushing teams to compete in the inaugural race.
U.S. Sens. Amy Klobuchar and Al Franken today joined U.S. Sens. Ron Johnson and Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin in a friendly wager on Saturday's NFL playoff game between the Minnesota Vikings and the Green Bay Packers. The Wisconsin senators wagered a case of Wisconsin craft beer against a case of local Minnesota beer from the Minnesota senators.
“It’s not often we have the chance to beat Green Bay two weekends in a row,” Klobuchar said. “There will be no better way to wash down the sweet taste of victory than with an ice cold Wisconsin beer from my friends across the border.”
Colin Everson scored 23 points to lead the Cook County Vikings to a 65-55 home victory over the Cromwell Cardinals Friday night in Grand Marais.
The Viking girls won their second game in a row by stopping the Cardinals 51-39 led by 14 points from Lily Gruber-Schulz.
In other North Shore high school basketball play, Silver Bay dropped a pair of games to Moose Lake-Willow River.
The Viking boys took a 36-28 lead at the half and outscored the Cardinals 29-26 in the second for the win.
In addition to Everson’s 23, Justin Goldstein had 15 while Kale Boomer had 11. Rounding out the Vikings’ scoring were Lars Scannell with eight and Jonny Jacobsen with four while Rory Bakke and Peter Warren added two each.
Austin Pfisthner had 17 for Cromwell.
The Vikings are 6-2 for the season and play Friday night, January 11 at Silver Bay in a game that will be broadcast on WTIP.
The Viking girls upped their record to 5-6 with their win over the Cardinals.
Cook County held a 30 to 20 halftime lead before holding off Cromwell 21-19 in the second to take the 11-point win.
Gruber-Schulz’s 14 led the Vikes followed by Breana Peterson’s 12 and eight from Teresa Morrin. Other Vikings on the scoreboard were Kaitlynn Linnell with seven, Jamie Sjogren with six and Leah Utities with four.
Christina Stenson led Cromwell with 13.
The now 5-6 Vikings travel to Mesabi East for a game Thursday night, January 10. On Friday, they join the boys at Silver Bay and their game will be broadcast on WTIP.
The Silver Bay Mariner girls lost a 67-38 road game at Moose Lake-Willow River.
The Rebels took a first-half lead of 35-32 before taking the second half 32-19 for the win.
Alicia Nopola scored 26 to lead the Mariners. Tara Dow added 10 and Kayla Maleski scored two. Nopola also had a three-point basket.
Cook County property taxpayers can expect some increases in their 2013 property taxes, but they won’t see an increase in the hospital levy. On December 20, 2012, the hospital board voted to keep it at $800,000 for another year.
“My hope had been to decrease it,” said North Shore Hospital & Care Center Administrator Kimber Wraalstad. Given financial projections for next year, she was not comfortable recommending that the levy be decreased but thought they could handle keeping it the same.
Board member Tom Spence pointed out that they expect to go to the taxpayers for a lot of money in facility renovations in the next several years. He said he wanted taxpayers to see that the hospital was trying to do the right thing with their money.
Administrator Wraalstad said she was disappointed to see a projected loss of $200,000 when working on the new year’s budget. The loss could be greater with potential federal funding cuts of over $200,000 and up to $400,000 that could go toward building renovation if the board decides to pursue it.
The hospital ended 2012 in the black for the first time since 2008. Wraalstad told the board it was due to a reduction in care center beds, a change in funding structure called Equitable Cost-Sharing for Publicly Owned Nursing Facilities, an increase in swing bed volume, the ability to do MRIs, and the addition of occupational therapy.
The Grand Marais city council’s last meeting of the year was also the shortest. Councilors met for about 10 minutes on Dec. 26 to put the final stamp of approval on the city’s 2013 budget and levy. As adopted, the levy for next year is $824,152.44, which is a 1.12 percent property tax levy increase.
The action concludes the lengthy budget process, which began in late summer with meetings between council and the city’s department heads. In September, council set a preliminary levy of $866,552.44, which would have represented a 6.3 percent increase over the prior year. City administrators worked since then to reduce that increase.