Around Cook County
Arrowhead Electric Cooperative, General Manager Jeanne Muntean has resigned after over 31 years with the organization.
Muntean started at Arrowhead as a receptionist in 1981 and became General Manager in 2010.
The Board of Directors has not named a successor or interim manager at this time.
MINNEAPOLIS — The Humane Society of the United States and other animal welfare groups filed a lawsuit Tuesday to restore federal protections for gray wolves in the western Great Lakes region that were lifted last year.
The lawsuit was filed in federal court in the District of Columbia against the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and its parent agency, the U.S. Department of the Interior. It says the decision to take wolves in Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan off the endangered list threatens the animals’ recovery throughout most of their historic range.
Hunters and trappers in Minnesota and Wisconsin killed 530 wolves combined during those states’ recently concluded seasons — 413 in Minnesota and 117 in Wisconsin. The Michigan Legislature voted in December to authorize wolf hunting, which could resume as early as this fall.
A U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service spokeswoman said she couldn’t comment on the lawsuit, but the agency took the wolves off the endangered list because the population had recovered and followed the law in doing so.
The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources issued a statement saying that putting wolves back on the list would not be in the best interest of the animals or state residents.
Michigan is expected to make a decision on wolf hunting this spring. Officials say if a hunt is approved, it probably will be limited to parts of the sparsely populated Upper Peninsula where wolves have preyed on livestock and pets.
A spokesman for the Minnesota DNR declined to comment until officials could review the lawsuit.
St. Paul, Minn. (February 11, 2013) – Portage, a musical group from Grand Portage has been named the Aging Services of Minnesota 2013 District B Volunteer of the Year for their years of entertaining the residents at Cook County North Shore Hospital and Care Center. This special award is the highest honor recognizing the dedication and service of volunteers who support Minnesota seniors.
Portage was honored in February by Aging Services of Minnesota, a trade association for older adult services organizations in Minnesota.
Portage is a classic country music band that has been performing for the residents in and around Cook County for over 10 years. They have had a long standing gig at the care center the last Saturday of every month for 8 years – and they fill the dance floor every time.
“They play my favorite song, Heartache by the Number every time, just for me,” said resident Gert Scott
“The members of Portage are an inspiring example of what volunteers can accomplish in the lives of older adults,” said Gayle Kvenvold, president and CEO of Aging Services of Minnesota. “Their dedication and talent have made a difference in the lives of so many.”
Volunteers like the members of Portage are the unsung heroes in Minnesota’s health care system. Their deep commitment, talent and contributions make it possible for older adult services organizations to extend the level of care and services to their residents, clients and communities.
For more information about the 2013 Aging Services of Minnesota Stars Among Us awards, visit our YouTube channel: http://www.youtube.com/user/AgingServicesMN?feature=watch
On Wednesday, Jan 10, the Cook County senior high Knowledge Bowl team had its first meet, facing powerful competition from a number of teams who went to the State Knowledge Bowl meet last year—International Falls, Marshall, Duluth East, Hermantown, Denfeld and Proctor.
Cook County fielded two teams and both finished quite well, said Knowledge Bowl Coach April Wahlstrom.
Team 1 was Mara MacDonell, Ben Seaton, and Sarah Larsen, who came in first in points with 110.5 points. The Cook County team was followed by IFalls with 108, Hermantown 105.
Team 2 was right behind with 104.5 in 4th place. Team 2 includes Will Seaton, Sean MacDonell and Sterling Anderson.
Coach Wahlstrom said the high-ranking finishes were all the more impressive because teams can have four individuals on a team. Cook County was missing its 11th grade students who were taking a final, so the students who competed were at a disadvantage. They still pulled off a top five finish.
“Things are on the up and up for Cook County,” said Coach Wahlstrom, “State is a goal again.”
Upcoming meets are Feb. 13 and March 6. The tournament to determine State contenders is on March 20.
Grand Marais city councilors voted Jan. 30 to go ahead with the first step of a planned public works facility by approving a pre-design proposal from LHB, an engineering firm from Duluth. Under the terms of the $10,844 agreement, LHB will look at the city’s needs, such as function, size and furnishings. LHB will then provide a planning documents, a site recommendation, a preliminary project budget and schedule.
The city council is pursuing this because they feel another site is needed to allow the city to move its vehicles and equipment from the existing garages in the Rec Park along the shore of Lake Superior.
The city has already done some of its own investigation regarding a site for the facility, and there are three locations under consideration: a lot in the Cedar Grove Business Park; a city-owned site adjacent to the hospital on Fifth Avenue West; and the city’s defunct brush site on County Road 12 (the Gunflint Trail). Each site has yet to be evaluated and compared to determine the advantages and disadvantages of each. Some of the criteria to be used in the evaluation include capacity, future expansion opportunities, topography, accessibility, wetlands, visibility, neighborhood compatibility and land acquisition cost (if any).
City Administrator Mike Roth said the LHB proposal is the same one discussed by the city council last fall, and it has been reviewed with the appropriate department heads and met with their approval.
ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — State lawmakers want to give Minnesota businesses tax credits for hiring veterans.
Apple Valley Republican Rep. Anna Wills and Sen. Chuck Wiger, a Maplewood Democrat, unveiled a bill Monday they say would lower the unemployment rate for veterans and boost Minnesota's economy.
Wills says 23 percent of veterans in Minnesota are unemployed — the third-highest rate in the nation.
Businesses would receive a $3,000 credit for hiring a disabled veteran, $1,500 for an unemployed veteran and $500 for hiring any veteran. The lawmakers hope that hiring more veterans would increase income tax revenues enough to cover the cost of the credits.
Gov. Mark Dayton floated a similar proposal last year. It was included in a large package of tax cuts that Dayton vetoed for other reasons.
At the January 8 meeting of the Cook County-Grand Marais Economic Development Authority, a decision was made on the contract for the upcoming year for the EDA’s housing program. The EDA board reviewed a request from Community Fundraising Solutions (CFS), which has been providing housing services for the EDA for five years, offering its services for January 1 – December 31, 2013.
In exchange for delivering “a successful and comprehensive Housing and Redevelopment program,” CFS requested a “lump sum fee of $73,800, excluding mileageoutside of the service area.” In the proposed agreement, travel outside the service area would be billed at federal mileage rates and expenses for lodging, meals, etc. would be reimbursed only with prior approval of the EDA. The fees for the CFS contract would be invoiced in the monthly amount of $6,150.
The Grand Marais City Council voted to list the city fire department’s 1984 General pumper for sale on e-Bay. The fire truck is considered surplus equipment, and the city needs to sell it in order to make room for a new tanker slated for delivery at the end of February.
City Administrator Mike Roth told councilors at the January 30 council meeting that the process to sell the fire truck began about 18 months ago with listings in various publications and websites, and there has been some interest shown, but no buyers have come forward. The first asking price was $10,000, which was then cut in half. “Make us an offer,” said Roth.
The 10th annual Snowarama for Easter Seals was once again a great success, with 77 riders hitting the Grand Portage trails and perhaps more importantly, raising $24,575 to help Easter Seals of Ontario.
The weather was bitter cold as riders set out from Grand Portage Trail Center. But the intrepid riders just bundled up and not only endured the minus 13 degree temperature, they enjoyed it. About half of the riders traveled the long route, heading from Grand Portage to Trail Center or Hungry Jack Lodge on the Gunflint Trail. The rest of the riders stayed closer to the comforts of Grand Portage Lodge and Casino, traveling the beautiful trails right in Grand Portage.
But the real reason for the ride was brought home by the current and former Easter Seal Ambassadors at the event. Terry Douglas of Thunder Bay, mom of Easter Seal Ambassador Kendall Douglas was the evening’s emcee. She thanked everyone for taking part, noting that it is impossible to express enough appreciation to Easter Seals for its work with children with physical disabilities.
The new Cook County Chamber of Commerce invites all county business owners and managers to a “We Love Cook County” pre-Valentine celebration from 5-7 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 12, at Sivertson Gallery in Grand Marais.
“Everyone is welcome,” said host Jan Sivertson. “We'd love to see members of the Greater Grand Marais Chamber and also business folk from other parts of the county who have not previously been active in chamber affairs.”
There will be a New To Medicare Presentation on Monday, February 11, from 10 a.m. – 12 p.m. Attend this session to learn about Medicare parts A through D, Medicare insurance options, supplemental insurance, extra help paying for prescription drugs, Medicare Savings Programs and more. Get your questions answered! This is a free informational presentation, presented by Marjori Bottila of The Senior LinkAge Line® at the Cook County Senior Center. To register and learn more call the Senior LinkAge Line® at 1-800-333-2433
Or call the Cook County Senior Center at 218-387-2660
Individual 30 minute Medicare Counseling appointments will also be available from 1:00-3:00 p.m. Please contact the Senior Center to schedule your appointment. If you are new to Medicare, please make sure you attend the group presentation prior to your appointment.
Each weekend WTIP news produces a round up of the news stories they’ve been following this week. WTIP’s Jay Andersen spoke with Grand Marais explorer Lonnie Dupre about leaving Denali, reported on the DNR’s decision to close the moose season and interviewed Rep. David Dill on mysterious moose mortality.…all in this week’s news.
The Floodwood Polar Bears visited Cook County Friday night and took two varsity basketball wins home with them.
The Wrenshall Wrens visited Silver Bay and left with a boys win over the Mariners. The Mariner girls, however, defeated the Wrens.
Kale Boomer led the Viking boys with 17 points as they fell 40-34 to the Polar Bears in Grand Marais. Colin Everson also hit in double figures with 12. The only other two Vikings to score were Justin Goldstein with three and Lars Scannell with two. Boomer and Everson each had two three-pointers in their totals while Goldstein had one.
The Vikings held the usually high-scoring Floodwood to a three-point margin, 24-21, at the end of the first half. The Polar Bears again outscored the Vikings by three in the second half, 16-13, to secure the win. The loss dropped the Vikes to 10-6 for the season.
Jarred Heggedahl and Riley Bernsdorf had 13 and 10 points respectively for the Polar Bears.
Floodwood stopped Cook County in the girls game, 84-54. Only the score was available from this game. The Vikings fell to 8-13 with the loss.
The Viking boys and girls travel to Wrenshall for basketball on Friday night, February 15.
The Silver Bay Mariners split a varsity double-header with the Wrenshall Wrens in Silver Bay.
Alicia Nopola nailed four three-pointers and scored 36 points to lead the Mariner girls to a 45-34 win over the Wrens.
Silver Bay held a 20-16 first half lead and they outscored Wrenshall 26-18 in the second to take the 12-point win.
Also scoring for Silver Bay was Tara Dow with six while Aubrey Thun and Brandi Nopola had two each. The win upped the Mariners record to 3-14.
Tatum Swanson scored eight for the Wrens.
WTIP is rolling out some program schedule changes starting Monday, Feb. 11. Changes include the addition of a locally-produced music show from 4:00 – 5:00 p.m. Wednesday through Friday, and the move of Swing Session from noon to 6:00 a.m. weekdays and 4:00 p.m. Sundays.
The changes have grown out of responses from the listener survey WTIP held in the fall. “It has been a process,” says WTIP’s Executive Director Deb Benedict. “We took listener feedback and used it to determine how to best serve our listeners as well as accommodate new needs and interests.” All proposed changes were carefully considered and approved by WTIP’s Programming Committee.
As a community radio station, WTIP works hard to be responsive to community needs and interests. Sometimes, being responsive means considering the program schedule and making changes to best serve listener needs. “We have to be responsive,” says Benedict. “We found there was a need for a locally-produced music show and early-morning programming, so we carefully considered options and created a new schedule that we’re confident will serve our listeners’ needs. We’re really excited about it.”
WTIP’s program schedule is a mixture of locally-produced and carefully selected programming that meets the needs and interests of WTIP’s unique and diverse listenership. WTIP has over 75 active volunteers that produce most of the local programming.
Click here to see the new program schedule.