Around Cook County
The 2013 Port of Thunder Bay shipping season is officially underway.
The Thunder Bay Chronicle Journal reports the occasion was marked yesterday with a traditional top hat ceremony at the port authority’s headquarters.
Capt. Douglas Parsons of the John B. Aird, the first ship to arrive in Thunder Bay’s port this season, was presented with the top hat.
The top hat ceremony dates back to the creation of the city’s harbour commission in 1953. It’s a beaver hat, a symbol of the fur trade.
On March 18, the board had a work session to discuss the possibility of restructuring the personnel director/board secretary position when Janet Simonen retires in August. They considered putting some of her duties into someone else’s job description and hiring a county coordinator or a county administrator in her place.
A county coordinator or administrator could be a point person for information, oversee the county budget, implement board actions, and provide expertise to the board. A county administrator would have authority over the other department heads, whereas a county coordinator would not.
The board will be inviting a representative of the Association of Minnesota Counties and a couple of county administrators to talk to them about how a county administrator could be useful. They asked several department heads what they knew about these positions in other counties.
“I’ve heard some very positive things, and I’ve heard some not so positive things,” said Public Health & Human Services Director Sue Futterer. “The right person can certainly make a difference.”
“The right person is the bottom line,” said Planning & Zoning Director Tim Nelson.
Information Systems Director Danna MacKenzie said having a decision-maker and point person could help the county get things done more efficiently and cost-effectively. “We have an opportunity to change the way we do business to make it work better,” she said.
The Cook County Whole Foods Co-op has joined a statewide campaign to help alleviate hunger.
In past years, Twin Cities area food co-ops have participated in the Minnesota FoodShare March Campaign, a program of the Greater Minneapolis Council of Churches that provides funds, food and educational materials to over 300 food shelves across the state. Last year the collective members, shoppers and staff gave over $91,000/pounds of food to food shelves in our neighborhoods—the third-most successful corporate campaign in the state.
This year’s collaborative efforts have expanded to include 15 food co-ops throughout Minnesota, not just in the Twin Cities. The Cook County Whole Foods Co-op in Grand Marais is among them.
This means that co-ops across the state will be running similar campaigns for their communities, and the food drive will make an even bigger impact on Minnesotans.
When we’re working together, all it takes is “rounding up” your grocery bill or adding a few dollars onto your total to make a real difference. Did you know that one dollar can feed a person for a day? Twenty dollars can feed a family of four for five days. Just imagine the impact statewide when we all give a few dollars to those who are hungry.
Consider dropping off non-perishable food items or a monetary food shelf donation at the co-op in March.
TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. (AP) - Scientists say the gray wolves in Michigan's Isle Royale National Park are in growing danger of extinction and may have stopped reproducing.
A report given Monday to The Associated Press says scientists with Michigan Technological University saw no evidence that pups were born in the past year during their recent winter trip to the park. It's believed to be the first time since scientists began monitoring the wolves' reproduction in 1971 that no offspring were born.
The report also says only eight wolves remain on the island chain in Lake Superior. Just five years ago, there were 24. The report will be released publicly today.
Grand Marais Fire Chief Ben Silence and lead firefighter Aaron Mielke visited city councilors at their March 13 meeting, and brought with them the fire department’s newest acquisition – a 2012 tender. A FEMA grant was used to pay 90 percent of the cost of the approximately $210,000 vehicle. The truck was manufactured by Stainless & Repair Inc. of Marshfield, Wis., holds 2,000 gallons of water and is equipped with a 750 gallon-per-minute pump. The tender replaces a 1984 converted milk truck, which was traded in.
Chief Silence lauded Mielke’s dedication and perseverance for completing the many grant forms, putting together the specs and attending meetings that led to the city’s successful grant application. “I give him much credit for his time and effort,” said Silence. “It was an excellent job.”
The tender joins a fleet that also includes a 2007 pumper, a 1978 50-foot ladder truck, a 1994 Ford support truck and a First Responders vehicle. The department, which includes firefighters and First Responders, is comprised of 22 members.