Around Cook County
The Voter ID Constitutional Amendment bill is moving through the Legislature. DFL Rep. David Dill doesn’t think much of it. Rep. Dill spoke with WTIP’s Jay Andersen this week.
Listen to the complete interview where Rep. Dill discusses, redistricting, the progress of wolf hunting in Minnesota, stalled non-ferrous mining legislation, how the bonding bill affects Cook County and transparency at IRRRB.
The public is invited to a presentation on wind energy at 5:30 p.m. March 23 at the Cook County Community Center.
Minnesota Wind Technology Corporation will present all the latest on its newest technology, with a special focus on wind energy turbines for houses as a secondary source, and incentives offered by the state for conversion. These incentives include a sales tax exemption (wind-energy conversion systems used as electric power sources as well as materials used to manufacture, install, construct, repair or replace wind energy systems are exempt from Minnesota state sales tax); property tax exemption (Minnesota excludes the value added by all real and personal property of wind energy systems); and federal incentives provided for in the 2008 Energy Improvement and Extension Act (30 percent tax credit).
The unique vertical axis wind turbines are available in a variety of output capacities, and the tallest stands just over 18 feet. Minnesota’s environment is rated ninth in the United States for current wind energy output, with a total wind energy potential of 657 billion kwh per year.
For more information see www.mnwind.us.
A summer apprenticeship position for a young adult, age 18-25, is available at the Cook County Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) through Conservation Corps Minnesota. The SWCD has been chosen as one of several placement sites throughout the state.
The program is funded through the MN Environment and Natural Resource Trust Fund and LCCMR. Apprentices spend their summer working alongside natural resource professionals. The goal is to train and mentor future conservation professionals by providing apprenticeship service opportunities to Soil and Water Conservation Districts.
Apprentices will serve as AmeriCorps members and will receive a monthly living stipend and an education award of $1,468 to use towards qualifying education and student loan expenses. The member will serve from May 21 through Aug. 17.
Applications are available online at www.conservationcorps.org/apply. The application deadline is March 23. For more information, contact the SWCD at (218) 387-3649 or Conservation Corps Minnesota at (651) 209-9900. www.conservationcorps.org
What would you call a program that encourages kids to volunteer? A program that fosters positive relationships between youths and adults? That gives kids something constructive to do with their free time—and then rewards them with access to recreational and cultural opportunities? Cook County Community Education calls it The Incredible Exchange.
The Incredible Exchange is a program authorized by the Cook County Board of Commissioners for youth ages 11-15 to volunteer in their community in exchange for an activity of their choice such as a ski or golf pass, dance or music lessons, or a pool pass.
Participants volunteer at “exchange sites” throughout the county such as the Community Center, Summer Kids Camp or the Grand Portage National Monument, to name just a few of the sites available. Upon completion of the program (25-50 hours), the participant receives an “exchange credit certificate,” redeemable for their chosen activity, as well as the valuable skills learned through their volunteer experience.
It is hoped that, through The Incredible Exchange, youths will discover the rewards of volunteering and continue to give of their time and skills throughout their lives.
Application forms are available at the Community Center Extension Office, Grand Marais Public Library, Grand Portage Community Center, and Birch Grove. Choice of an exchange site and cultural/recreational options may be limited and will be on a first come basis. Applications for The Incredible Exchange will be accepted March 15 through April 18.
For more information, or to apply for The Incredible Exchange program, contact Melissa Wickwire at the Community Education office at (218) 387-2271 ext. 614.
The annual chili cook-off will be held Saturday, March 24
from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. at St. John's Catholic Church. Proceeds will
be split between the Food Shelf and a trip for students who attend The
Table, the Free Church’s youth group.
Registrations for chili teams can be found online at
grandmaraisfreechurch.org and turned in at the church. Those who don't
want to make a chili can still participate by eating; chili will be
served for a nominal donation.
There are two rounds of judging and two awards decided by a panel of
judges. The winner receives the traveling “Chili Cornucopia” trophy.
The “People’s Choice” Award winner receives a bowl courtesy of The
2011 winners were: “Stealth and The Bruce” (Trevor Delamater and Bruce
Block), first place; Yvonne Gennrich, representing Mount Rose
Community Church in Grand Portage, second place; and a third-place tie
between the U.S. Border Patrol cooks and Chelsea Lueck of Gunflint
For more information, call (218) 387-1565.
The ISD166 school board will decide on money saving school calendar changes at its April 19 meeting. The saving comes from increasing the secondary school day and shifting to a modified four-day week. Superintendent Beth Schwarz.
“We’re looking at reducing the number of days kids come into school by 15, and that would extend our day by 28 minutes. We’d be looking at an 8:07 start time, 3:30 end time.”
After taking into account regularly scheduled holidays and other factors, the first semester will see additional Fridays off for students. In the second semester, many of the days off would be Mondays. Some of the 15 fewer days would be attached to regularly scheduled breaks.
Secondary class periods would increase from 52 to 56 minutes, with three fewer days in class. State law requires 1,020 classroom hours. ISD166 currently has 1,088.
“That savings in transportation plus some of the other savings through kitchens and paraprofessionals, the bus driver costs, etc, we’re looking at an approximate $85,000 savings there.”
If approved at next month’s school board meeting, the calendar would take effect for the 2012-13 school year.