Around Cook County
Efforts by Minnesota Sea Grant to spread the word to stop the spread of aquatic invasive species have received a big lift — a $400,000 grant from the federal Great lakes Restoration Initiative.
The grant, through the Environmental Protection Agency, will allow Sea Grant to continue education efforts across the Great Lakes region aimed at slowing the spread of invasive species like zebra mussels, ruffe and goby by focusing on boaters and anglers who carry species from one lake to another.
The efforts also extend to lesser-known invasive species such as aquarium fish, by encouraging owners not to throw their unwanted fish into lakes or streams.
In the past, education efforts have included billboards, media ads, floating key chains with messages and poster contests among many outreach efforts. The effort this year is expanding to marketplace issues, such as the sale of live invasive fish at markets in Wisconsin and to youth groups in Illinois.
MINNEAPOLIS— Two state conservation groups yesterday asked the Minnesota Supreme Court to stop wolf hunting and trapping this fall. Two national groups are also seeking legal protection for wolves, and in the meantime the purchase of hunting licenses is moving slowly.
The Center for Biological Diversity and Howling for Wolves seek review of a Minnesota Court of Appeals’ decision issued last week that denied their motion for a preliminary injunction.
Unless the decision of the Court of Appeals is reversed by the Minnesota Supreme Court, wolf hunting and trapping will begin Nov. 3 with the opening of the deer firearms season. The groups claim that without a preliminary injunction, the wolf seasons will be over before the appellate court considers the merits of their legal challenge claiming the state failed to take formal public comment on the hunt.
Wisconsin’s wolf hunt started Monday, although court action there has stopped or at least delayed the use of hounds for wolf hunting.
Meanwhile, The Humane Society of the United States and The Fund for Animals signaled yesterday that they will file suit against the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in an effort to return the Great Lakes wolf to the endangered species list. The groups are also asking that Wisconsin and Minnesota halt their wolf hunts.
Amid all the legal actions, Minnesota's prospective wolf hunters are taking their time buying their licenses.
Six-thousand hunters were selected in the lottery for the right to buy licenses for Minnesota's first wolf season. But as of Monday, the Department of Natural Resources had sold 1,155 of the 3,600 available early season licenses.
Hunters selected for the early wolf hunting season must buy their licenses by Wednesday, Oct. 24. Lottery winners for the late hunting-and-trapping season, which opens Nov. 24, must buy their licenses by Nov. 15. The DNR says it has sold 305 of the 1,800 late season hunting licenses and 166 of the 600 available trapping licenses.
Licenses that remain unsold by the deadlines will become available to other hunters.
MINNEAPOLIS— The Center for Biological Diversity and Howling for Wolves today asked the Minnesota Supreme Court to stop wolf hunting and trapping this fall.
The conservation groups seek review of a Minnesota Court of Appeals’ decision issued last week that denied their motion for a preliminary injunction.
Unless the decision of the Court of Appeals is reversed by the Minnesota Supreme Court, wolf hunting and trapping will begin Nov. 3 with the opening of the deer firearms season. The conservation groups’ lawsuit is still pending, with a final ruling expected early next year.
They claim that without a preliminary injunction, the wolf trapping and hunting season will be over before the appellate court considers the merits of the conservation groups’ legal challenge claiming the state failed to take formal public comment on the hunt.
The Great Decisions discussion group usually meets on the third Thursday each month. All are invited to attend. On October 18 at the Grand Marais Community Center, Hyla Napadensky will be leading the Great Decisions discussion of Energy Geopolitics. Great Decisions, an annual publication of Foreign Policy Association, Inc. that provides informative briefings of the discussion topics. It can be purchased or it can be checked out at the Grand Marais library.
The Cook County Ambulance crew is busy. Ambulance Director Steve DuChien rattled off some interesting statistics on the service to the North Shore Hospital and Care Center board on September 26.
“The ambulance service has been serving the county for over 50 years,” DuChien told the board. Its beginnings were humble, he said, providing basic life support for many years. In the last 18 months two paramedics on staff have enabled the service to provide advanced life support, which allows patients to receive more advanced care as they are heading to the local hospital or to a critical care hospital outside the county. “I think it’s a great program,” he said. “I think it’s a great benefit to the community.” About 28 percent of the crew’s calls require advanced life support care.
Cook County Ambulance Service has 15 volunteers and five people on staff including DuChien, the two paramedics—Jeff Denniston and Sheila Costello —and two other EMTs—Rebecca Sturm and Mike Flack. They are on hospital grounds most of the time, helping out with hospital patients and assisting various departments while being ready to run out the door when needed.
Cook County Ambulance Service made 411 runs last year, with 123 of them involving transfers out of the county. Its three ambulances averaged 29,053 miles in 2011, using up 2,053 gallons of gas. Ambulance No. 35 has 32,000 miles on it, No. 34 has 101,000 miles on it, and No. 36 has 208,900 miles on it, and will soon be getting a new chassis.
Coming up for the Grand Marais Senior Center are some trips
to Grand Portage. There will be another great Grand Portage Casino
Express trip on Tuesday, October 16. This will be an evening trip.
On Sunday, October 21, the Senior Center will be going to Grand
Portage to enjoy the Polka Fest to listen and possibly dance to the
famous Chmielewski Fun Time Band. This is a free show and should be a
lot of fun. Transportation is free plus you receive $5 in free slot
play and $5 off any lunch entrée including the German Polka Platter.
For more information or for registration of any of the senior center’s
upcoming trips, stop in or call the Senior Center at (218) 387-2660.