Around Cook County

News and other information from Cook County

Flu is still with us, but the vaccine is here

Wed, 01/23/2013 - 12:02pm

The respiratory flu is still around, but the vaccines are all available. WTIP’s Jay Andersen spoke with nurse Teresa Borak about what’s available for which patients.

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EPA’s 2011 Toxics Release Inventory shows increase in Great Lakes Basin pollution

Wed, 01/23/2013 - 12:02pm
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Toxic releases into surface waters in the Great Lakes Basin increased by 12 percent from 2010 to 2011, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s annual Toxics Release Inventory report published this month. Nationwide, toxic surface water discharges decreased by 3 percent.

“This is a significant increase in toxic releases to our waters – and an indication that the Great Lakes region is lagging behind other parts of the country,” said Susan Hedman, EPA Region 5 Administrator and Great Lakes National Program Manager. “EPA’s Toxic Release Inventory is a valuable tool to help target areas for improvement and we will use this new information to work with municipalities, agricultural producers and manufacturers in the Great Lakes Basin to improve water quality.”

Nitrates and pesticides from municipal wastewater treatment plants and agriculture account for most of the toxic surface water discharges to the Great Lakes Basin. Nitrates were also discharged by primary metals facilities, such as iron and steel mills and smelters, and food and beverage manufacturers.

Grand Marais woman to take part in Polar Plunge

Wed, 01/23/2013 - 12:00pm

Last year when Bryann Bockovich of Grand Marais got a call from her friend Linda McClellan, asking her to take part in a fundraiser event to benefit the Special Olympics Minnesota, she said yes. When her friend told her the event was a Polar Bear Plunge in the Duluth harbor on February 2012, Bockovich still said yes. She not only dived into frigid Lake Superior, she and several other Cook County women raised $1,500 to take part in the event.
Bockovich is taking the plunge once again on February 16, 2013. Bockovich said, “I have committed to grin and ‘bear’ it for the athletes of Special Olympics Minnesota by participating in the St. Cloud Polar Bear Plunge.”
Although she is pleased to fundraise for Special Olympics Minnesota, which serves 7,000 athletes with intellectual disabilities, Bockovich has a particular young lady in mind, Linda McClellan’s daughter Holli. Holli is a medal-winning member of a Special Olympic bowling team.
After diving into the freezing water last year, Bockovich was asked if she would do it again. She replied,  “Yes! I did it for Holli and yes, we are going to do it again. We love to have more people come join us!”
If you would like to join Bockovich in the plunge, contact her at (218) 370-9551. If you don’t want to brave the icy water, you can support her on-line at http://www.plungemn.org/plunger/bryannbockovich.
To learn more about the Polar Plunge, visit http://www.plungemn.org/ to find out all the chilly details.

Lonnie Dupre reaches 14,200 feet on Denali

Wed, 01/23/2013 - 6:47am
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Grand Marais explorer Lonnie Dupre’s website reported Wednesday morning that after “another wonderful day on Denali,” he arrived at his camp at 14,200 feet  early Tuesdayevening.

Dupre is attempting to become the first solo climber to scale Denali in the winter.

One World Endeavors reported Dupre had a good rest after Monday’s long day of climbing. After arriving at the new camp, he immediately got to work on building his “deluxe” snow cave. The cave is large enough to hold most of his gear.

Tuesday night’s menu for today’s dinner included potatoes and peas.

Dupre’s adventure can be followed at www.oneworldendeavors.com.

Nominees sought for business awards

Tue, 01/22/2013 - 1:11pm

 Celebrate entrepreneurial leadership and successes in the Twin Ports and Minnesota's Northeast Region by recognizing entrepreneurs who have followed their dreams and taken on inordinate risks to forge ahead meeting the challenges of today's economic reality.
In its 21st year of celebrating entrepreneurial excellence, the UMD Center for Economic Development has issued the call for nominations. A business may be nominated for an award by a customer, client, employee, vendor or a private citizen who wants to recognize a business owner. Business people and organizations from throughout the region are encouraged to participate in the nomination process by completing the online nomination form. Nominations are due by March 1.
"Take the time to nominate a deserving business. This is an opportunity to celebrate the accomplishments and recognize those individuals who have taken risks that have created an economic impact and employment opportunities in our region," said Elaine Hansen, director of the UMD Center for Economic Development.
Award recipients will be announced at the 21st Annual Joel Labovitz Entrepreneurial Success Awards Luncheon, the regional celebration of The U.S. Small Business Administration's (SBA) Small Business Week. The luncheon will be April 24 at the DECC.
Previous Cook County businesses to receive awards are Trail Center Lodge, owned by Sarah Hamilton, receiving the award in the “gazelle/enterprise” category in 2003, and Dockside Fish Market, owned by Harley and Shele Toftey, receiving the award in the “established entrepreneur” category in 2010.
To nominate a business/entrepreneur visit umdced.com/labo.

Sign-up now for Winter Arts Festival Retreat

Tue, 01/22/2013 - 1:07pm

The Grand Marais Art Colony invites photographers and painters to the Winter Arts Festival
Retreat - Jan. 26 - Feb 1, 2013. The festival includes an exhibit at the Art Colony from Feb. 1 - 24.
Art Colony Executive Director Amy Demmer issued the invitation. She said, “Join other photographers and painters on a northern retreat to capture the glory of winter in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area. Get your creative juices flowing as you are inspired by the serene winter landscape and community of artists.”
Participants in the winter retreat will stay at Camp Menogyn ($40/night which includes three hot meals each day as well as unlimited coffee and tea) for as many days as fits your schedule.
Activities are up to the participant—skiing, snowshoeing, dog sledding, sauna, ping-pong, art critique are all optional. Days are generally spent taking pictures or painting; evenings around the wood stove playing games and connecting with other artists.
The retreat culminates in an exhibit of artwork at the Grand Marais Art Colony in February.
For more information, contact the Art Colony at (218) 387-2737 or e-mail: events@grandmaraisartcolony.org.
Another component of the festival is a snow carving symposium, contact the Art Colony for information about that as well.