Around Cook County
The 2013 shipping season will get under way in the Twin Ports late today when the 1,000-foot laker Mesabi Miner is expected to be the first departure of the season.
The Duluth News Tribune reports the Miner began loading coal yesterday at the Midwest Energy Terminal in Superior. It then moved to the Port Terminal to load and install a drive motor for its conveyor system before making a Lake Superior delivery to Marquette, Mich.
The Miner will return to Duluth over the weekend to load iron ore at the CN dock and then head to Indiana Harbor on Lake Michigan. The Canadian-flag CSL Tadoussac also is set to head to Duluth this weekend from winter layup in Thunder Bay to load iron ore pellets.
Spring is in the air and the Grand Portage Elders will celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with a Stew Cook Off & Meat Bingo on Thursday, March 21 at the Grand Portage Lodge. The fundraiser will start at 5 p.m. with dinner and bingo to follow. Everyone is invited to enter a stew for the contest.
Call Carol Hackett for more information at the ENP at (218) 475-2655. All proceeds from this fund raiser will go towards trips and activities at the ENP.
Winners in the 2012 Minnesota Associated Press Broadcasters news contest have been announced. WTIP is in a class for stations with more than one and less than three full time staff in the news department.
WTIP took First in the “Feature” category for "Behind the Work: Joshua Lindstrom of Fika Coffee," by Carah Thomas.
Honorable mention in the feature category also went to WTIP for "Moments in Time: The Beaver House," by Carah Thomas; as well as "Anishinaabe Photographer Travis Novitsky," by Staci Drouillard.
In the “Series/Special” category First Place went to WTIP’s "Lake Superior Project," by Kelly Schoenfelder and Barbara Jean Meyers.
For the “Documentary/Investigative” category, WTIP received honorable mention for "History Speaks: Isle Royale National Park," by Kelly Schoenfelder and Barbara Jean Meyers.
The “Writing” First Place award went to WTIP commentator Fred Smith for his “Wildersmith on the Gunflint" for Sept. 21, 2012, about leaf peepers and the changing season on the Trail.
If you are a QuickBooks user, you probably have encountered those moments when you cannot for the life of you figure out how to do that next step, or undo that unfortunate last step. You need a user group, a gathering of fellow QB users who believe that many brains working together can find solutions where one brain, isolated, cannot. Please consider joining the Cook County Higher Education's QuickBooks User Group led by Karl Hansen and Berta Bauer, two experienced QB users.
The QB User Group held its first meeting on Wednesday, March 13, at Higher Ed. Cost per meeting is $5. The initial plan is to meet once every two weeks Wednesday from 5 - 7 p.m.for a two-hour discussion, but how often the group meets and for how long ultimately is for the group to decide.
To participate in the QB User Group, you should bring a laptop computer with your QB software loaded on it. If you have QB loaded on a desktop at your home or office, we have several laptops, loaded with the 2011 QB version, available for use during the user group meetings.
The first GPS messages from dead moose to Minnesota researchers are coming in.
Minnesota wildlife researchers trapped 111 moose in January and February and placed GPS trackers and transmitters on them. The Duluth News Tribune reports already, six of the 111 moose in the study have died.
Of those, four are listed as having perished from the stress of being tranquilized and collared, leading to other problems and their death. That rate is average for capture/collaring projects and is lower than recent Minnesota moose studies, according to Erika Butler, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources veterinarian in charge of the moose mortality project.
Of the two animals that died from other causes, both appear to be victims of wolf attacks. One had been mostly eaten, and the other had injuries from a wolf attack but had not been eaten.
While wolves were the ultimate cause of death for those two moose, Butler said both of them, and even some of the moose that died from capture-related stress, had lower-than-usual body fat in what has been a fairly normal, if not mild, winter in moose country.
Butler went on to say, “When we are capturing them in January, that’s early enough in winter that they should still have some good body fat, and three of these didn’t. That’s not normal.”
Seth Moore, director of biology and environment for the Grand Portage Band is studying 19 moose captured in and around the Grand Portage Reservation and fitted with the same kind of collars the DNR is using.
So far, one of his moose has died, and investigators found a surprising cause. Moore said “It was clear that wolves killed it. The site was just decimated from the struggle. But when we got to looking in the lungs, they were just full of bright-green pneumonia. This was a health-compromised animal that wolves got to.”
According to aerial surveys, the Northeastern Minnesota moose population decreased a jaw-dropping 35 percent from last winter to this winter — from an estimated 4,230 in 2012 to 2,760 this January. That one-year decline was more than double the average drop in recent years of 15 percent. The population was as high as 8,800 in 2006.
At the March 12 meeting, Cook County commissioners wrestled to balance security concerns with fiscal responsibility as they discussed recommendations for security improvements at the courthouse and other county buildings on March 12, 2013. The recommendations came from a security committee that was formed after the December 2011 courthouse shooting. After working with a consultant, the committee formulated a list of improvements they considered of highest priority.
Recommended were security cameras in the courthouse, Community Center, and Highway Department buildings, duress buttons in all offices and meeting rooms, an intercom system, a keycard access system that would be programmed by computer to allow various levels of access, a walk-through x-ray machine and a metal detector like those at airports, and two full-time entry-level bailiffs to staff the x-ray machine and metal detector during normal courthouse business hours. The total cost of the equipment would be just over $164,117 and the cost of two new employees was calculated at $119,100 a year.
Commissioner Garry Gamble said he understood the important of safety but thought the recommendations were an overreaction to the shooting.