Around Cook County
GRAND MARAIS — The Cook County Board of Commissioners voted unanimously this morning to remove County Attorney Tim Scannell from office, six days after his conviction on two felony sex crimes.
The Duluth News Tribune reports, the board made the decision at a special 8:30 a.m. meeting at the Cook County Courthouse. The vote came following discussion with attorney Dyan Ebert, who was hired by the county to advise the board on the Scannell matter. Ebert advised board members that case law and precedent support Scannell’s removal by the commissioners.
Assistant County Attorney Molly Hicken was appointed as Scannell’s successor.
Scannell’s term was set to expire at the end of the year, and he is not seeking re-election. He was not in attendance at the meeting.
Scannell was convicted last Friday by a St. Louis County jury of two counts of fourth-degree criminal sexual conduct following a weeklong trial. `
Speaking to the Cook County Board of Commissioners at the July 15, 2014 meeting, Chuck Flickinger of Hovland said he represented 200 families who were opposed to the sounds made by rumble strips installed by Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) on the east side of Cook County.
Flickinger said the mitigation done by MnDOT last fall, the partial filling of the offending strips, is ineffective. He said residents are still awakened at night and disturbed during the day. He said the 200 petitioners do not want more of the same. Flickinger asked the commissioners to send a letter to Representative David Dill and Senator Tom Bakk, requesting that MnDOT fill in all of the rumble strips.
Flickinger also shared two other concerns. First he said MnDOT is not in compliance with federal laws protecting scenic/recreational roadways. Second, he said MnDOT should find better, more economical, alternative to rumble strips, namely those making two lane rural roads non-passing highways.
“It is my opinion that rumble strips should never have been installed on Highway 61 without an environmental study and public hearings by MnDOT,” he said.
Before agreeing to send a letter, commissioners asked Flickinger to let them continue the dialogue they have established with MnDOT. West End Commissioner Bruce Martinson said MnDOT has had a complete reversal of its position on installing rumble strips since it received complaints about the noise from residents in Cook County and other places in Minnesota.
In the past, said Martinson, MnDOT’s plan was to include rumble strips anywhere there was an overlay or a highway reconstruction project. “But in the last year that has ended,” he said.
Minnow Camp is back the Friday of Fisherman’s Picnic and all boys and girls, ages 5 – 12 years old are invited. This year the theme is Worms!
Minnow Camp will be Friday, August 1, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Minnow Camp is hosted by Cook County Girl Scouts and they will be joined by Angelique Edgerton of the Cook County Invasives Team who will lead a nature hike. Marte Kitson of Minnesota Sea Grant will also entertain kids with an interesting show-and-tell of aquatic species and information about Lake Superior.
Preregistration is not necessary, but organizer Laura LaFavor said it would be helpful for planning She wants to make sure there are enough gummy worms! To register, call Laura at (218) 370-1245. Registration for walk-ins is at 8:30 a.m.
Bring a packed lunch and outdoor weather appropriate clothing. The cost is $15 per child, $20 per family.
LaFavor added thanks to the Grand Marais Lions Club, which underwrites the program. And she said, “Come enjoy a day of fun with a variety of activities and hands on activities!
Are non-native plants invading your woodland? Do you struggle to control tansy and Canada thistle, year after year?
If so, visit the Community Forest Restoration Shed at Sugarloaf Cove in Schroeder. The shed houses tools, herbicides, and herbicide application equipment, all of which can be used by landowners free of charge.
To use the herbicides and application equipment, landowners must attend a mandatory two-hour training. The training includes information on how to identify and best control the invasive species on your land (pulling, dead-heading, mowing, herbicide treatment and more), safety measures involved in herbicide use, and will be tailored to participants’ needs. If herbicides are the best management tool to control your invasive species, you can come away from the training with the equipment and the correct amount of herbicides needed to manage the invasive species.
Non-herbicide tools can be checked out at any time the nature center is staffed.
Registration is online at sugarloafnorthshore.org, and must be done at least two days in advance of the training. Space is still open for trainings on July 31.
For more information contact Cook County Invasives Team coordinator Angelique Edgerton at 218-387-3772.
It is definitely a major election year. The contest for two county commissioner district seats and the sheriff race is heating up with campaign ads, lawn signs and candidates door-knocking. This week a few more opportunities open for citizens wishing to seek office. The filing period for seats on the Grand Marais City Council, Independent School District 166 and the Cook County North Shore Hospital is open July 29 – August 12.
At press time, only the incumbents serving on the Cook County North Shore Hospital Board had announced that they were considering or would be filing.
Grand Marais City Council
In Grand Marais there will be three seats on the ballot, for mayor and two council seats. Those seats are currently held by Mayor Larry Carlson and Councilors Bob Spry and Bill Lenz.
Anyone interested in running for those seats can file at Grand Marais City Hall between 8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. The filing fee is $2. Candidates must live in the city of Grand Marais.
Another opportunity to serve on the city council may occur in January 2015. City Councilor Jan Sivertson is not up for reelection on the council this year, but she has filed to run for County Commissioner District 3. She is running unopposed so unless someone launches a major write-in campaign, she will certainly be elected and sworn in as county commissioner in January 2015. The city council will then have the option of appointing someone to complete her term.
School District 166
There are also three terms expiring for the School District 166 school board this year. The seats held by Jeanne Anderson in District 5 and Deb White in District 1 will be on the ballot. Anderson currently serves as chair of the school board.
The other seat, District 2, is held by Leslie Ann Sullivan. She was appointed to fulfill the term when Mary Sanders retired.
Fishcakes will be just one of the menu items at this Wednesday’s Grand Marais Lioness Club’s annual buffet dinner. WTIP volunteer Marnie McMillan spoke with Katie Anderson and Jean Spry of the Grand Marais Lioness Club on North Shore Morning.
2014 Grand Marais Lioness Annual Fish Cake Buffet Dinner and Silent Auction.
Wednesday, July 30, 2014 5:00 pm - 6:30 pm
St. Johns Catholic Church
10 East 5th Street
Grand Marais, MN 55604
This annual dinner and silent auction hosted by the Grand Marais Lioness Club is the kick-off event to Fisherman’s Picnic Weekend!