Around Cook County
The Gunflint Trail Volunteer Fire Department held a grand opening celebration for the newly expanded and upgraded Poplar Firehall, Wednesday, June 12, 2013. WTIP's Carah Thomas was there. (Click on link to WTIP North Shore Community Radio below to hear the report.)
The Fire District includes over 700 private and commercial property parcels and is surrounded by the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness and Superior National Forest. The main economic activity in this area is the resort and outfitting business, which attracts many overnight tourists throughout the year. Since 1992, the fire department has been responding to structure and wildland fires, medical emergencies, and search and rescue.
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Families will learn all the skills they need to camp outdoors at a one-night “I Can Camp!” program on Saturday, June 22, at Temperance River State Park.
Experienced instructors from Conservation Corps Minnesota will teach participants basic camping and outdoor skills, including how to set up a tent, start a campfire and prepare simple and delicious meals. All camping equipment is provided (including tents, air mattresses and cook stoves). Participants just bring their own food and bedding (sleeping bags or blankets and pillows).
The “I Can Camp!” program fee is $40 for a tent that accommodates up to six people. A one-day vehicle pass will be included as part of the program fee or participants may buy a year-round Minnesota state parks permit for an additional $20.
Advance registration is required. To register, call 866-857-2757 daily between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. For more information, visit www.mndnr.gov/ican or call the DNR Information Center at 651-296-6157 or 888-646-6367 between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.
This program is part of an ongoing effort by the DNR Parks and Trails Division to connect people with the outdoors. The division also offers skill-building programs that introduce fishing, paddling, climbing and archery to beginners.
Minnesota Department of Agriculture to talk to county board about gypsy moth lumber quarantine TuesdayMon, 06/17/2013 - 4:06pm
On Tuesday, June 18, Lucia Hunt from the Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) will appear before the county board at 11 a.m. with information about the proposed 2014 quarantine on lumber because of gypsy moths in Cook and Lake county.
Since 2006 the Minnesota Department of Agriculture has worked to suppress or slow the spread of gypsy moths in Cook and Lake County. Every year people are hired to trap gypsy moths and last year a record number were captured. Those results helped with the decision to call for quarantine on export of wood products from the Arrowhead region, making this the first area to be quarantined in Minnesota.
At this point the MDA is in the process of gathering information about impacts. Industry, environmental, and local governments are welcome to weigh in on the proposal either via the survey (http://survey.constantcontact.com/survey/a07e7baqfkwhfb811w/start) or through written comments sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Grand Marais city councilors and Public Utilities Commission members began council’s May 29, 2013 meeting by approving the refunding of two bonds. The action is expected to save taxpayers about $300,000 over the next 17 years.
Bruce Kimmel and Nick Anhunt of Ehlers Inc., the city’s financial advisors, attended the meeting and explained the bidding process. There were three bids received for the $3.5 million General Refunding Bonds, Series 2013A, and the $1.4 million electric system revenue refunding bonds, Series 2013B. The sale of the bonds was authorized by council at its prior meeting.
Although the final bids were lower than Ehlers’ original estimates, which projected that the city would save over $700,000 by the refunding, the advisors said the action was still a profitable one worth pursuing.
“This will save money for both the city and the PUC, but just as importantly it will shorten the terms by years,” said Kimmel, noting that six years will be shaved off the payment period for the larger of the two bond sales, and one year reduced from the smaller bond payments. The bonds will now be paid off by 2030, as opposed to the most recently revised timetable of 2036 – a reduction in six years of payments from Ehlers’ original proposal, which called for payment over the next 23 years.
Each week the WTIP news staff puts together a roundup of the news over the past five days. A vehicle rollover claims the life of a Cook County teenager, local fire crew are dispatched to Colorado fire, protesters disrupt mining test site, and another route for Hwy 61 is suggested…all in this week’s news.
With moose sightings getting more and more rare, Mid-Gunflint Trail residents have been delighted to see a moose cow and calves hanging around the Swamper Lake area. However, people were also very concerned, as the baby moose were napping in the road. Calls were made to Cook County Law Enforcement, requesting that temporary caution signs be erected warning motorists to slow down.
It isn’t exactly protocol to erect temporary caution signs, but Sheriff Deputies Julie Collman and Dave Gilmore agreed with citizens that something should be done. The road by Swamper Lake winds past the lake and around the terrain. A vehicle could easily come around the corner too fast and hit one of the little moose.
Deputy Gilmore contacted the Cook County Highway Department and County Highway Supervisor Russ Klegstad also agreed that something should be done. Klegstad checked the highway department’s sign inventory. All that was available was the typical moose crossing sign with a rendering of a big bull moose. Concerned that a sign with an adult moose wouldn’t pull at the heartstrings enough to slow traffic, Klegstad and Gilmore added “BABY MOOSE” to the yellow caution side.
Klegstad made the trip up the Gunflint Trail last week to install the signs. He said he wasn’t exactly sure where the deputies wanted them—until he got out of his truck. “There were moose tracks everywhere!”