Around Cook County
Gov. Mark Dayton with the support of Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and the Minnesota United Snowmobilers Association (MnUSA) has proclaimed Jan. 13-19 as Snowmobile Safety Awareness Week in Minnesota.
More than 1,000 volunteer instructors teach DNR snowmobile safety courses across the state.
For more information on the dates and locations of these courses, visit the DNR website at www.mndnr.gov (http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/safety/vehicle/snowmobile/index.html) or call 800-366-8917.
To legally ride a snowmobile in Minnesota, residents born after Dec. 31, 1976, need a valid snowmobile safety certificate.
DNR and MnUSA also remind snowmobilers of a few basic safety tips:
DON’T DRINK – Drinking and driving can be fatal. Drinking alcohol before or during snowmobiling can impair judgment and slow reaction time. Alcohol causes body temperature to drop at a faster rate, increasing the likelihood of hypothermia.
SLOW DOWN – Speed is a contributing factor in nearly all fatal snowmobiling accidents. Drivers should proceed at a pace that will allow ample reaction time for any situation. Remember, when driving at night the DNR recommends a speed of only 40 miles an hour. Faster peeds may result in “over driving” your headlight.
BE PREPARED – When traveling, make sure to bring a first aid kit, a flashlight, waterproof matches, and a compass.
STAY ALERT – Fatigue can reduce the driver’s coordination and judgment.
ICE ADVICE – Avoid traveling across bodies of water when uncertain of ice thickness and strength of ice on lakes and ponds. Snow cover can act as a blanket and prevent safe ice from forming. Never travel in a single file when crossing bodies of water.
DRESS FOR SUCCESS – Use a full-size helmet, goggles or face shield to prevent injuries from twigs, stones, ice and flying debris. Clothing should be worn in layers and should be just snug enough so that no loose ends catch in the machine.
WATCH THE WEATHER – Rapid weather changes can produce dangerous conditions.
BRING A BUDDY – Never travel alone. Most snowmobile accidents result in some personal injury. The most dangerous situations can occur if a person is injured and alone. If snowmobilers must travel alone, they should inform someone of their destination, planned route, and return time.
REPORT ACCIDENTS – The operator of a snowmobile involved in an accident resulting in medical attention, death, or damage exceeding $500 must file an official accident report through the county sheriff’s office within 10 days.
For a copy of DNR’s 2012-2013 Minnesota Snowmobile Safety Laws, Rules, and Regulations handbook, call 651-296-6157 or toll-free 888-646-6367. It’s also available on DNR’s website at http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/regulations/snowmobile/index.html
Photo by David Rees - U.S. EPA. This work is in the public domain in the United States because it is a work prepared by an officer or employee of the United States Government as part of that person’s official duties under the terms of Title 17, Chapter 1, Section 105 of the US Code.
The BWCABoard.com, which bills itself as the “Social Network of the BWCA,” is offering photographers the chance to share their favorite Boundary Waters scenes—and the possibility of receiving a prize.
There are three contests starting now, each featuring a different aspect of the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness (BWCAW). The first is the Gunflint Trail photo contest, which can be found at: http://bwcaboard.com/board/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=2381.
This contest is looking for pictures depicting the Gunflint side of the Boundary Waters Canoe Area, as well as photos of the town of Grand Marais and its area resorts.
The photos can include any photographs from any season of the year.
A second contest is a Winter Photography contest, intended to encourage the sharing of our wonderful winters. Photos could be winter landscapes, wildlife, snowshoeing, winter camping, cross country skiing, ice fishing, dog sledding, etc. Sorry, snowmobile photos will not qualify.
The contest winner will receive a copy of White Woods, Quiet Trails by Andrew Slade.
Find details on the BWCA-Quetico Winter Photography Contest at http://bwcaboard.com/board/viewtopic.php?f=31&t=2286.
Finally, BWCABoard is looking for entries in its Hiking Photo Contest. The theme of this contest is the hiking trails of the BWCAW. The contest can include pictures depicting the trails and trail vistas in and surrounding the BWCAW. Your photos can be from any season of the year. The December 2012 winner received a Yellowstone River Trading Hiking Stick, courtesy of Gunflint Lodge. Look for more wonderful prizes in the coming year.
So get out and enjoy winter with your camera—you could be a winner! Winning photos may also be featured on websites and in area newspapers.
Learn to play Rubber Bridge this winter! The Cook County Senior Center will be hosting a beginners’ Party Bridge Group.You will receive instruction and guidance as you improve your skills and knowledge of the game. Gather on Fridays, January 11 - February 1 at 12:30 p.m. - 3:00 p.m.
Bridge instructors will be Warren Anderson, Don Dittus and Pat Zankman. Everyone is welcome to attend and best of all it is free entertainment! To sign up, please call (218) 387-2660 or email firstname.lastname@example.org or stop in at the Senior Center.
In the latest report from Alaska's Denali, Lonnie Dupre had a good 10 hours of sleep during his first night on the mountain, but had a difficult climb Wednesday..
Dupre's website reports he pressed on his climb Wednesday for six hours until 4:30 PM. He reported deep snow, calm conditions and temperatures of 5 below zero F. He is making his third solo attempt to reach the summit of the highest peak in North America during winter. He would be the first to accomplish the solo feat.
Due to the deep snow, Wednesday was a tough day. The website reports Dupre is in good spirits and is looking forward to more progress on Thursday.
At the time of the Wednesday night report, Dupre was was at 7400 feet, half a mile from the 7800 foot camp where he is planning on breaing for lunch Thursday and pushing on until dark.
Wednesday's menu consisted of granola and coffee for breakfast, a protein bar and chocolate for lunch followed by mac and cheese with a side of chocolate for dinner.
Dupre's expedition can be followed at www.oneworldendeavors.com. .
Guns in school, better mental health programs and reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act. WTIP’s Jay Andersen spoke with Minnesota’s US Senator Al Franken.