Around Cook County
A recount of ballots cast in the Grand Portage Band of Lake Superior Chippewa 2012 primary election showed a slightly different number of votes cast for the Reservation Tribal Council (RTC) committeeman seat, however, the difference was not enough to change the outcome of the upcoming general election. Robert J. Hull and Marie Spry will go on to the general election on June 12, 2012.
The initial count on Tuesday, April 3, 2012 for Reservation Tribal Council showed Marie Spry in the lead with 132 votes, Robert J. Hull in second with 110 votes and William “Bill” Myers with 109 votes. Rita Evans received 11 votes.
After the votes were recounted, Spry was again in the lead with 133 votes; Hull in second with 116 votes; Myers with 111 and Evans again with 11 votes. The two candidates who receive the most votes proceed to the general election, so the recount confirms that Hull and Spry moving on to the June election.
Incumbent Tribal Chair Norman W. Deschampe was also on the ballot for the primary election. The vote for chair was not challenged and was not involved in the recount.
Deschampe earned 51% of the vote, with 199 votes. Because he garnered over half of the votes, Deschampe is reelected and will not have to be on the ballot for general election in June. Deschampe has served as tribal chair for 20 years.
The election was held in accordance with Minnesota Chippewa Tribe ordinances
The Grand Portage Reservation Tribal Council is the governing body of the reservation. Current members of the Tribal Council are Chair Norman Deschampe, Vice-Chair John Morrin; Secretary-Treasurer April McCormick; Councilman Arvid Dahl; and Councilman William “Bill” Myers. The council oversees health care, social services, education, jobs, housing, public safety, and more.
At the March Tofte township meeting, citizens heard an interesting update from Birch Grove Foundation Director Patty Nordahl—about bread. Nordahl said the foundation was looking at installing an outside brick oven on the Birch Grove Community Center grounds.
Brick ovens are popular and are used by groups to make pizzas and bread (among other things) for large gatherings. The cost is estimated at $6,000, said Nordahl.
“There might even be a chance to sell bread to area restaurants,” said Nordahl, adding that she didn’t know if there were any commercial health code rules prohibiting or allowing such sales.
After some discussion the Tofte town board said it was behind the concept, and discussed ways to finance building an outdoor oven.
Tofte Supervisor Jim King asked Nordahl if she was familiar with the brick oven at North House Folk School, and Nordahl said yes, the one being proposed for Birch Grove was similar in size. King said North House has classes make brick ovens and one could possibly be purchased from the school cheaper than one being built at the center.
Nordahl will pursue that option and come back to the board with an update. The next Tofte Town Meeting is Thursday, April 12 at 6 p.m. at the Town Hall.
Cook County Viking Ashley Deschampe is one of five players named by the Duluth News Tribune to its 2012 All-Area Girls Basketball Team.
The senior Viking guard led her team in scoring every game this year. She averaged nearly 25 points per game and snared five and a half rebounds. She also averaged more than three assists per game and three steals.
Deschampe is the Vikes’ career scoring leader with more than 1,800 points scored. During her four-year starting role for Coach TJ Super, she had games of 44 and 34 points each in Section 7-A playoff games.
Deschampe was named this year as the most valuable player in the Polar League, She was also recognized as an honorable mention on both the Minneapolis StarTribune and St. Paul Pioneer Press All-State Teams.
Superior, Wisconsin sophomore forward Jessica Lindstrom was named All-Area Player of the Year by the News Tribune.
Also named to the Duluth paper’s All-Area First Team were senior guard Alex Freeman of Duluth East, senior guard Mariah McDonald of Ely and junior center Savanna Trapp of Esko.
On February 6, 2012, Minnesota Power (MP) filed a study with the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission (PUC) that explores future energy needs along with the potential impact of bringing three of Minnesota Power’s coal-fired plants into compliance with pending EPA regulations.
The study, called a Baseload Diversification Study, was ordered by the Minnesota PUC and required Minnesota Power to examine various scenarios including retrofitting the facilities to bring them into compliance with future regulations or shutting plants down completely.
In February 2012, Minnesota Power Regional Development Director Nancy Aronson Norr told the Cook County News-Herald, “We are being asked to look at the potential of closing Taconite Harbor.”
Fresh Energy, an environmental non-profit group, is hosting a free public forum from 7 to 9 p.m. April 11 at the University of Minnesota-Duluth’s Labovitz School of Business and Economics.
According to Fresh Energy, this forum will provide information about Minnesota Power’s report on the future of their oldest coal plants, and panelists will discuss plans for diversifying electricity supply to clean, efficient sources of energy that will create and sustain good paying jobs in northeastern Minnesota.
Speakers include Al Rudeck, vice president of strategy and planning, Minnesota Power; J. Drake Hamilton, science policy director, Fresh Energy; and Jill Doberstein, program manager, American Lung Association of Minnesota. The League of Women Voters of Duluth will moderate the panel discussion and question-and-answer period.
For more information, contact J. Drake Hamilton at Hamilton@fresh-energy.org.
Interested in the planning for a new Cook County community center? The Community Center Steering Committee is holding a Community Input Session tomorrow evening, Tuesday, April 10 in the Community Ed gym (the old gym) from 5 - 7 p.m.
Steering committee members and consultants have been discussing the possible attachment of the community center to the west end of I.S.D. #166 school, along with the feasibility of program and operational management through the YMCA organization, and are soliciting public input. Steering committee members encourage everyone to attend and ask questions.
School Board Member Jeanne Anderson was the only school representative at the last steering committee meeting and she said the issue of whether or not to support attaching the community center to the school had not been decided. She said it would be discussed at a school board work session at 4 p.m. on April 11 in the Jane Mianowski Conference Center at I.S.D. 166.
Anderson said the school board didn’t know yet what the costs would be to repair the community education gym floor, replace ceiling tiles, and make other repairs. She said it is hoped that School Maintenance Director Mike Groth would have that information at an April 11 school board work session.
However, Anderson added, “The reality is, we are going to be spending money no matter what. I see this as a great opportunity, but we do need some solid numbers to make that decision.”
Holiday greetings from all of us at the Cook County News-Herald --- may you have a wonderful spring day with friends and family!