Around Cook County

News and other information from Cook County

Community input taken on concept of county administrator

Tue, 06/04/2013 - 3:50pm

About 20 people gathered at the Cook County Community Center on May 22, 2013 to talk about what a county administrator could contribute to Cook County government.
Community member Jim Boyd shared his thoughts on the matter, saying that while additional government doesn’t always save money, it improves both services and efficiencies.  “You get more bang for your buck,” he said.
You don’t have a school without a superintendent or a company without a CEO, Boyd said.  “Your staff deserves one boss and right now they have five,” he said to the four county commissioners at the meeting (Bruce Martinson, Garry Gamble, Heidi Doo-Kirk, and Sue Hakes).
Another community member, Myron Bursheim said he thought the county has done a great job with its resources, but he added that he thinks the county needs an advocate inside the courthouse.  Consultants aren’t necessarily looking out for the best interests of the county, he said.
Commissioner Bruce Martinson said, “We need the right person, that’s for sure.”
He said one thing he was looking for was consistency in departmental reviews.  When commissioners each conducted employee reviews on different department heads several years ago, their reviews seemed really inconsistent, he said.
Community member Mike Carlson wondered how insulated a county administrator would be from public criticism.  Commissioner Gamble said people skills would be important for the person in this job.  “The primary role of an administrator, as I see it, is making people better,” he said.  “A person like that should be above the fray…because you’re not going to please everybody.”

Gogebic starts test drilling

Tue, 06/04/2013 - 8:32am

Exploratory drilling into the largest deposit of iron ore in North America could begin as soon as Saturday in northern Wisconsin’s Penokee Range.

According to the Duluth News Tribune, Gogebic Taconite filed a notice of intent to drill with the Department of Natural Resources in a letter dated Friday. Department of Natural Resources waste management director Ann Coakley said GTAC can start drilling five days after they get the notice, and they received the notice Monday.

Eight holes, one in Ashland County and seven in Iron County, will be drilled this month. Coakley said the DNR will keep an eye on the operation with unannounced spot-checks.

The bore holes will be 350 to 1,143 feet deep. The 2-inch holes will gather data on the layers of rock, the quality of the iron ore and the chemicals in the ore body.


Minnesota Department of Agriculture proposes quarantine of Cook and Lake county wood products

Mon, 06/03/2013 - 12:52pm

Under a proposal by the Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA), it will be illegal to bring wood products in or ship wood products out of Cook and Lake counties beginning in the spring of 2014 unless the wood products have met rigorous compliance agreements (CA) set up by the state.
The MDA is taking this action to, “prevent and stifle the growth of gypsy moth populations in Lake and Cook County,” states the newsletter distributed to the Cook County board of Commissioners at its Tuesday, May 21, 2013 meeting.
Because of their destructiveness, gypsy moth caterpillars have caused millions of dollars of damage nationwide as they defoliate trees and plants. Brought in to Boston from Europe accidentally in 1868 or 1869, gypsy moths slowly spread. Because they are so numerous and have few predators, they move almost unimpeded, slowly making their way across the country. Over the last 20 years millions of acres have been sprayed with pesticide to slow the spread of gypsy moths. But still the moths are winning, advancing along the food trail.
If the proposal is carried forward Cook and Lake County will be the first counties quarantined in the state, and Minnesota will be the 21st state to be completely or partially quarantined for gypsy moths.
Since 2006 the MDA has worked in Cook and Lake County to suppress the growth of gypsy moths. Every year people are hired to trap gypsy moths and over the years the number of moths in certain areas in the Lake and Cook County has increased.
“Populations have now grown to a point where treatment is ineffective,” stated the newsletter.
“They [MDA] need to convince us that imposing significant hardships on loggers and mill owners is going to make any real difference in the spread of gypsy moths,” said Wayne Brandt, executive director of the Minnesota Timber Association.

Senior Center offers "Casino Express" trips

Mon, 06/03/2013 - 12:50pm

There are three Grand Portage Casino Express trips planned for the Cook County Senior Center in June—Lucky Wednesday, June 5; Lucky Wednesday evening, June 19 and June 26. Contact the Senior Center for times and pick-up information.
Another Mystery Trip is planned for Wednesday, June 12, 9:45 a.m. Last month the center travelled to Silver Bay. They visited the new UMD Sustainable Farm and enjoyed lunch at Camp 61 in Beaver Bay, followed with shopping at the new Honey Bee Bakery.
This trip will include at least three mystery stops including a lunch stop. The cost is only $10 per person for transportation from the Senior Center.
For more information or for registration of any of these upcoming trips, stop in or call the Senior Center at (218) 387-2660.

Five injured near Schroeder

Mon, 06/03/2013 - 9:12am

Five people were injured — one seriously — in a single-vehicle rollover crash Sunday afternoon on Highway 61 along the North Shore.

The Minnesota State Patrol reported that the accident happened at milepost 78, near Schroeder, just before 5 p.m.

According to the Duluth News Tribune, a southbound 2001 GMC Yukon SUV driven by Kimberly Reno, 39, of Anoka, Minn., drifted over the right shoulder, overcorrected and rolled.

A passenger, Anthony Reno, 56, of Anoka, was not wearing a seat belt and was ejected from the vehicle; he suffered serious injuries.

Kimberly Reno and three children in the vehicle, ages 15, 7 and less than 1 year old, all were wearing seat belts or were in child restraints and suffered non-life-threatening injuries.

All five people were transported to Cook County North Shore Hospital in Grand Marais.

Weekend News Roundup for June 1

Sat, 06/01/2013 - 10:18am

Each week the WTIP news staff puts together a roundup of the news over the past five days. High moose calf mortality concerns the DNR, so does finding zebra mussels in Itasca County. Missing boaters were found, wolf advocate lost a court decision. A Sig Olson exhibit opens in Ely and Minnesota signs on to a mutual aid deal with Canadian provinces…all in this week’s news.

Attached file