Around Cook County
The 2012 Cook County Emergency Services Conference will be held April 27-28 at the Cook County Community Center. This is the 23rd annual conference for local and regional emergency response personnel. There are many exciting training opportunities, including a live burn simulation and advanced ATV training for emergency responders.
The ATV training is new this year. The Cook County ATV Club worked to get a qualified instructor for the conference because the club was econcerned about inexperienced people being called on to search for and/or transport patients with ATVs. “It would be terrible to have a rescuer injured in the midst of a rescue,” said ATV Club President Mickey Brazell.
ATV Club Secretary Rhonda Silence said, “We know that fire department and/or ambulance staff do not normally travel into the woods to get patients...but we also know that in emergency situations, people are called on to fill in wherever possible. So, we think this is great training for everyone in the ES service.”
Thanks to funding from the Cook County Sheriff's Department, the Emergency Services Conference has retained Steve Jacobson of St. Cloud, a retired (31-year) DNR Conservation Officer who teaches advanced conservation officer/law enforcement training. He has also been a DNR-certified youth ATV safety instructor since 1981, so he has taught all levels of ATV safety.
Jacobson is an "avid ATV enthusiast" who has logged over 80,000 miles of riding in all conditions from the Rocky Mountains to the Moab Desert to trails all over Minnesota and neighboring states. As a conservation officer, he was involved in a number of search and rescue operations that involved transporting patients, so he has had real-life experience in what he is teaching.
Grants through Blandin Foundation’s Minnesota Intelligent Rural Communities initiative to promote the development of broadband applications have resulted in an application for a new 501c3 nonprofit in Cook County called boreal.TV.
According to its website, http://boreal.TV, “boreal.TV is a collaborative effort to create a public access community video/TV network in Cook County, Minnesota. Our goal is to use local resources to produce and deliver video content about life in our communities.
At the April 17, 2012 county board meeting, Commissioner Sue Hakes said she has been talking to County Information Technology Director Danna MacKenzie about how the county, the City of Grand Marais, the Grand Portage Reservation, and Cook County Schools could make use of this technology.
Boreal.TV has made a proposal to the county. It states, “In light of the recent discussion by members of the public and the county board regarding the value of making local government and the content of public meetings more accessible to citizens, boreal.TV would like to propose the county contract with boreal.TV to video and publish their regular and special board meetings.
“For $6,000 a year, boreal.TV will provide one videographer, all necessary video equipment, editing of videos with basic tagging information, [and] online publishing and archiving (available from the county’s website) of all regular and special meetings held at the Cook County Courthouse and provide video content in a format compatible with publishing to the local cable station, as well as make it available at the public library.”
Matt Geretschlaeger, whose proposal last month to build a zip
line adjacent to a residential area at the city’s west entrance met
with citizen and council opposition, told the council on April 11 that
he had come up with a more suitable location. He said that location—a
parcel on the Gunflint Trail adjacent to and east of the city water
tower—is better because of its topography, proximity to town, minimal
area of current development and zoning.
The Council expressed its willingness to work with Geretschlaeger on
the Gunflint Trail site and voted to order an appraisal of the 20
acres (the cost of which would be billed to the developer) to come up
with a fair market value, and then negotiate for sale or lease of the
property giving Geretschlaeger the right of first refusal.
Geretschlaeger said he would be open to either option (lease or
purchase), but he preferred to purchase the land and is willing to pay
whatever the fair market price is determined to be.
City Attorney Chris Hood advised that the sale of the property would
be more of a “straightforward transaction,” and cautioned that a lease
may involve the city in any number of liability issues.
The Grand Marais City Council put the plans for a new zip line on the
fast track with unanimous approval to appraise and negotiate the sale
of 20 acres of city-owned land off the Gunflint Trail for development
of the $750,000 enterprise.
According to information presented by Geretschlaeger, the “Sawtooth
Mountain Indurance Course” will be built by Geronimo Construction of
Biwabik and include a 2,500-square-foot lodge on an additional acre, a
The Cook County county board, which holds the 1 percent sales-
tax-funded project purse strings, voted at its special work session on
April 17 to continue exploring initial concept ideas and cost
estimates for attaching a Community Center facility to the west wing of the Cook County
Schools complex. They put a cap of $5,000 on this portion of the
process, which will not involve retaining an architectural firm for
any drawings or engineering.
The board also authorized the county attorney’s office to initiate
discussions with the school on assuming ownership of the property as
well as with the Duluth YMCA regarding the feasibility of the Y
managing facility operations and programming.
The next Community Center Steering Committee meeting will be from 9
a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday, April 23 in the commissioners’ room of the
courthouse. These meetings are open to the public.
Each weekend WTIP news produces a round up of the news stories they’ve been following this week. The Superior National Forest gets a new chief, a judged rules in favor of ATVs on the Forest, it looks like the fishing opener dates stay put and you won’t pay more to catch your favorite finny friends…all in this week’s news.
A public informational meeting regarding the possibility of AT&T tower replacing
one of the county’s radio communications tower located at the Gunflint Tower
Site, and providing cell service along the Gunflint Trail has been
The meeting will be held Monday, April 23, at 6:30 p.m. at the
Gunflint Lodge Conference Center. Attending the meeting will be
representatives from AT&T and Cook County.
Please contact Sheriff Mark
Falk at 387-3030 with any questions.