Around Cook County

News and other information from Cook County

LaBoda Grading awarded Irish Creek plowing contract

Tue, 03/05/2013 - 11:46am

Two bids came in for plowing the 10.5 miles of the newly created Irish Creek Subordinate Government Service District (SGSD).  The area covers portions of roads west of the Arrowhead Trail in Hovland.  One of the bids did not provide enough of the required information.  The other bid was from LaBoda Grading, which proposed plowing before noon every time at least two inches of snow fell for a fee of $550—a cost of $52.38 per mile.
Commissioner Sue Hakes asked Highway Engineer David Betts and Maintenance Supervisor Russell Klegstad if they thought the price was reasonable.  Betts said they had thought the cost might be closer to $350 or $400 but that was without having someone scope out the route in person.  The Highway Department budgeted for 12 snowfalls costing $300 each between the start of the contract and the end of this winter.  Statistics are kept over the course of time so that when bids for already established SGSDs are received each fall for the upcoming winter, the department has some idea how to budget.
In a separate interview, Engineer Betts explained that contractors’ snowplowing costs can vary significantly from one road to the next.  Contractors do figure in the amount of time and fuel that getting to the site will require.  But even if distance wasn’t a factor, the width and condition of a road affect the time and cost to plow it.  Some Subordinate Government Service District snowplow routes routinely get a lot more snow than others, so when it’s time to plow, some contractors have a lot more to plow. Some roads have fewer convenient places to put the snow and require bigger equipment to handle the job. 
“The market always tells you what the right cost is,” Engineer Betts said.

Boys start tourney play

Mon, 03/04/2013 - 1:15pm

The Cook County boys basketball team begins Section 7A, Subsection 1 tournament play on Thursday at Esko.

The Vikings, ranked number 5 at 13 and 7, face number 4 Fond du Lac Ojibwe (16 and 7) at 6 p.m. WTIP will broadcast the game beginning with the pre-game show at 5:45 p.m.

Number 10 Silver Bay faces number 7 Carlton Tuesday.
 

MPCA seeks comments on stormwater permit planning

Mon, 03/04/2013 - 12:49pm

The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) invites 
comments through March 20 on a permit that regulates construction 
stormwater throughout the state.
Under the federal Clean Water Act and Minnesota law, the MPCA oversees 
a program to manage stormwater runoff from construction activities. 
These activities include clearing, excavating and grading that disturb 
more than one acre of soil. The purpose of the state program is to 
protect water resources from pollutants, particularly sediment, as 
well as nutrients, oil, chemicals and litter carried with runoff. In 
addition, the program strives to prevent this runoff from flooding 
streams and lakes and damaging habitat for fish and wildlife.
The MPCA issues a general permit that requires controls for 
construction stormwater runoff. When construction site owners and 
operators apply for coverage under the general permit, they agree to 
comply with the conditions set in the permit.
The current permit expires Aug. 1, 2013. Because federal rules have 
changed since the last permit was issued in 2008, the MPCA must update 
the general permit to comply with these rules. Based on research and 
experience, the federal government continues to make changes to ensure 
that adequate best management practices are in place. While the 
primary changes concern federal rules, the changes also include 
reorganization of the permit language. The draft permit includes 
clarifications and minor language changes to make the permit more 
concise, to delete duplicate or unneeded language, and to make the 
permit more readable and easier to understand.
In addition, the MPCA will require that permit applications be 

Arrowhead Electric announces director positions open

Mon, 03/04/2013 - 12:45pm

Arrowhead Electric Cooperative, Inc. will once again be holding 
elections for seats on the co-op board this summer. Three director 
positions are open for election and there are candidates for two of
the board seats.
This year the three-year term of District 3, District 6 and District 7 
will have elections at the 2013 annual meeting scheduled to be held 
Saturday, June 8 at the Arrowhead Center for the Arts at Cook County 
High School in Grand Marais.
District 3 serves the Gunflint Trail area. Forrest Parson is the 
incumbent director and will not be seeking re-election.
District 6 serves the Lutsen area. Scott Harrison is the incumbent 
director and is seeking re-election.
District 7 serves the Schroeder - Tofte area. Tom Spence is the 
incumbent director and is seeking re-election.
The Arrowhead Electric board of directors is responsible for hiring a 
general manager, approving policy revisions, approving rates, 
reviewing and approving operating budgets and work plans and approving 
various loans and contracts.
Arrowhead’s monthly board meetings are held the last Thursday of each 
month beginning at 9 a.m. with the exception of November and December 
due to the holiday season. Board members are reimbursed $350 for 
meeting attendance. Board members who attend meetings related to the 
cooperative’s Broadband project receive an additional payment of 
$175. If both electric and Broadband meetings are held the same day, 
the reimbursement is $500.
Members living in Districts 3, 6, and 7 who are interested in being 
considered for nomination or if you know a member whom you believe 

Vikes drop close one in OT

Mon, 03/04/2013 - 9:56am

Abby Hawkinson scored 35 points, including all 11 of her team’s points in overtime, in McGregor’s 64-57 victory over Cook County in a Section 7A high school girls basketball quarterfinal Saturday night at Lincoln Middle School in Hibbing.

The Vikings took a 25-20 halftime lead over the top-seeded Mercuries who had a record of 25 and 3 before Hawkinson led them back with 15 second-half points to force overtime at 53-all.

Maikayla Collins added 15 points for McGregor, which advances to Wednesday’s semifinals against North Woods.

Theresa Morrin scored 23 points to lead Cook County who went into the with an 11 and 15 record.

Leah Utities scored 7, including a 3-pointer, Lily Gruber-Schultz  had 11, as did Breana Peterson. Kaitlynn Linnell had 5.

Local photographer earns honors in Lake Superior Photo Contest

Sat, 03/02/2013 - 6:18pm

Local photographer, David R. Johnson of Grand Marais, whose 
photos have graced the pages of the Cook County News-Herald numerous 
times has won honorable mention in the Nature category in the 18th 
annual Lake Superior Photo Contest, announced in the February/March 
2013 issue of Lake Superior Magazine.
Johnson won honors for his Hazelnut Bear. His photo of a large black 
bear was one of 1,284 images entered into the contest from 
photographers in 138 different cities, in 18 states, one U.S. 
territory (Guam) and Canada.
Mary Amerman of Duluth won the grand prize with a photo of the water-
smoothed rocks of Duluth’s Brighton Beach.
All of the winning photos, as well as finalists, can be seen in a 
slideshow at the Lake Superior Magazine website: http://www.lakesuperior.com/articles/photocontest12/
.
The deadline for the 19th annual Lake Superior Photo Contest is 
October 16, 2013. Read the rules and learn how to enter at the Lake 
Superior Magazine website as well.
Johnson also received recognition for one of his Northern Light 
photos. His was one of 13 photos selected to grace the 2013 WDIO TV 
Storm Team Calendar. Sue Holt, graphic supervisor at WDIO-TV, 
congratulated the winners saying, “There were many ‘oohs and 
ahhs’ as we went through the judging process of nearly 2,000 
entries.”