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News and other information from Cook County

County supports family visitation center

Fri, 05/25/2012 - 4:09pm

Children need to feel safe and be comfortable when visiting 
with a noncustodial parent or being transferred from one parent to 
another.  Finding an environment for that to take place is proving to 
be difficult for families along the North Shore.
On April 15, 2012, Wendy Hansen of Cook County’s guardian ad litem 
office requested funding from the county board for the North Shore 
Visitation Center (NSVC), an initiative begun in 2008 to provide 
supervised visitation and child exchanges for children of separated or
divorced parents.
The program was started with a grant from the Northland Foundation, 
but funding was not ongoing.  Fifteen different families representing 
23 different children have been served over the last 3½ years, and all 
but two were referred by the court.  Judge Michael Cuzzo has relied on 
the program in family court proceedings, but it ran out of money this 
spring and had to suspend services.
“Although supervised visitation is court-ordered,” said a request 
for county funding from the North Shore Visitation Center, “it is, 
unfortunately, an unfunded service so our community struggles to pay 
for this valuable service.
“The nearest visitation center to Grand Marais is 100 miles away in 
Duluth and 146 miles from Grand Portage Reservation, creating a great 
need for a supervised site on the North Shore.”
A second location was established at Birch Grove Community Center in 
Tofte, and last fall, Grand Portage Reservation requested the service 
and offered a space to provide it.  A group of professionals from Lake 

LSProject: A Major Drop

Fri, 05/25/2012 - 9:32am

Water levels in Lake Superior have been going down. There is less ice on the lake then there used to be and water temperatures are increasing at twice the rate of air temperatures. We still don't fully understand what climate change means for the Lake Superior basin, but we're starting to find out.

Attached file

Campfire restriction lifted in BWCAW

Thu, 05/24/2012 - 9:32am

DULUTH, Minn. (AP) — The U.S. Forest Service has lifted campfire restrictions in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness.

The Forest Service says continued precipitation over most of the Superior National Forest means the restrictions are no longer needed. Campfires will be allowed any time of the day in all areas of the Boundary Waters.

The agency has also declared a forest fire near Ely controlled. The forest fire was ignited by a fallen power line May 17. Fire equipment and hoses have been removed from the area.

Forest Service lifts campfire restrictions in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness

Wed, 05/23/2012 - 12:12pm

In light of continued precipitation over most of the Superior National Forest, the Forest Service is lifting campfire restrictions in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness (BWCAW).

As of 7:00 am Wednesday, May 23, 2012, campfires will be allowed any time of day in all areas of the BWCAW. 

Forest visitors are urged to be careful with campfires.  Please use designated fire rings when available and make sure all fires are completely extinguished before leaving.

For updates regarding conditions on the Superior National Forest, see the Forest website:

Hearth oven bread baking coming soon to Birch Grove

Wed, 05/23/2012 - 11:51am

The H.O.B.B.I.T.s   (Hearth Oven Building, Bread Baking Initiative Team) are off and running with development of a proposal for local businesses and grants.
An oven building class will be held at Birch Grove Sept. 9-13 with a grand opening on Sept. 29.  The class cost is $425, but we have written a grant for local scholarships which may bring the cost down to $250.
In preparation for the oven building, on May 24 there will be a brainstorming session regarding community use of the oven and related activities/classes at Birch Grove from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Contact Patty Nordahl at Birch Grove Community Center by email, call 663-7977, or mail at PO Box 2242 Tofte MN  55615 for a survey or more information.

Community Center Steering Committee to consider project revisions Wednesday

Tue, 05/22/2012 - 12:59pm

The Community Center Steering Committee will meet again from 8:30 a.m. to noon on Wednesday, May 23 at the Jane Mianowski Conference Center.  The committee will be required to get the county board’s approval at each step in the process as plans are developed and the work is begun.  They will also be seeking public input along the way.