Around Cook County
With the deadline for a grant application to the Minnesota Historical Society due on March 15, Carrie McHugh, Gene Erickson, and Hal Greenwood of the Cook County Historical Society again met with the county board on March 5 to discuss a partnership that would allow the historical society to purchase the Bally Blacksmith Shop in Grand Marais, probably the oldest commercial building in Grand Marais.
On February 26, the historical society had requested the partnership after hearing of Legacy funds left over in the Minnesota Historical Society’s biennial budget. The historical society’s annual budget was not sufficient to allow it to apply for the grant alone.
At that meeting, the county board discussed concerns over potential liability if any environmental contaminants were found on the property and authorized Planning & Zoning Director Tim Nelson to find a consultant to evaluate the property with a “Phase I” study, an initial evaluation conducted through visual observation, record searches, and interviews.
Environmental Troubleshooters Inc. conducted the study, and Director Nelson accompanied them when they looked at the property. He told the county board on March 5 that he was more comfortable with the site after visiting it.
Commissioner Sue Hakes said she has received some complaints about the building potentially being taken off the tax rolls. She asked the historical society if they could move the building off the property so that the sellers could sell it as commercial space. Museum Director Carrie McHugh said the Minnesota Historical Society would not support moving the building off its historic location.
More people would probably be upset about moving it than about taking it off the tax rolls, Commissioner Jan Hall said.
“I really think it would contribute to the community,” said McHugh.
You are invited to partake in a delectable array of taste samples from 12-plus Cook County restaurants and food vendors; bid on any of the quality silent auction items donated by local businesses and individuals; and enjoy fine musical entertainment while socializing with fellow supporters of the ISD 166, Cook County Schools.
E.A.T.S. 2013 (Enriching Academics Through Sustenance) will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday, March 14 at the high school. Only 150 tickets will be sold; the cost is $25.
Tickets are available in the K-12 office, from Java Moose, Blue Water Café
or any CCSDEF board member: Hal Greenwood, Hyla Napadensky, Duane Hasegawa, Lorelei Livingston, Harry Drabik, Pat Campanaro, Doug Sanders, Kaye Tavernier, Dianne Peterson, Annie DeBevec, Gene Erickson or Susan Lappi. Thrivent Financial, North Shore Chapter 31313, will match the first $600 raised.
The Cook County School District 166 Education Foundation awards grants to projects and activities that provide extraordinary educational opportunities for students in the district. Over $72,000 in grants have been awarded since 2002.
Mushers waited two years for the John Beargrease Sled Dog Marathon, and Sunday it finally happened.
The starting line was off Riley Road in the east part of Duluth and about 2,500 people showed up to see the mushers off.
Today, the Mid-Distance race winner crossed the line at 8:10 a.m. Jenny Greger of Bozeman, Montana was on the trail for 6 hours, 52 minutes for an average speed of 15 mph.
Erin Altemus of Glenwood City, Wisc. was second, just 37 minutes behind Greger.
Nick Turman of Two Harbors placed seventh and Jennifer Freking of Finland placed 11th.
In the full marathon as of 10 a.m. this morning, Andrew Letzring of Herbster, Wisc. held the top spot after leaving the Sawbill check point. Close behind was Keith Aili of Ray in second place.
David Gordon of Duluth held third place. Colleen Wallin of Two Harbors was in sixth, Blake Freking of Finland, seventh, Frank Moe, Hovland in eighth and Odin Jorgenson of Grand Marais in ninth place.
Each weekend WTIP news produces a round up of the news stories they’ve been following this week. Dry conditions continue despite the snow, a wolf hunt moratorium is proposed, the state will stop using products containing an environment-harming chemical, and a big land owner might start restricting public access …all in this week’s news.
Festivities of the 30th running of the John Beargrease Sled
Dog Marathon, originally scheduled to begin Jan. 25, will take place
beginning this weekend, Friday, March 8, and “run” through Thursday,
March 14. The race was postponed due to the lack of snow earlier this
winter. The race starts at 1 p.m. Sunday, March 10 at Jean Duluth and
Riley Roads in Duluth. The Mid-Distance finish is scheduled for
Monday, March 11 at the AmericInn in Tofte. Two days later, Wednesday,
March 13, the Marathon Race finish will take place at Billy’s Bar on
Tischer Road in Duluth. This year there will be a new race for
juniors, the inaugural running of the "Little John" for mushers
between the ages of 14 and 17. In addition, the John Beargrease Sled
Dog Marathon board of directors has elected to guarantee a minimum of
$15,400 for the 2013 purse. The current allocation is $9,000 for the
Marathon and $6,400 for the Mid-Distance. Events begin March 8 with
the annual Beargrease Gala and silent auction from 6 to 10 p.m. at
Greysolon Plaza in Duluth. Opening ceremonies and the bib draw follow
on March 9 from 5 to 9 p.m. at the Depot in Duluth; activities there
also include a pipe and drum ceremony. Awards banquets are scheduled
for March 11 at Camp 61 in Beaver Bay (Mid-Distance), and March 14 at
Black Bear Casino in Carlton (Marathon). The photographer’s show runs
through March 25 at the Great Lakes Aquarium. At almost 400 miles, the
Beargrease is the longest sled dog race in the lower 48 of the United
States. Teams must rest at least 32 hours during the race, including
So far five of the 111 radio-collared moose have died in the
first month of an intensive six-year study being conducted by wildlife
specialists to determine what is causing the high moose mortality rate
in Northeastern Minnesota.
“To date we have had five mortalities,” said Erika Butler, D.V.M.
Wildlife Veterinarian of the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources
(DNR), which is working with a number of partners on the project.
But of these mortalities, Butler said, “Four of these are considered
capture-related as they occurred within two weeks of capture. This is
a mortality rate of 3.6 percent, which is within the expected range,
especially given the poor condition of many of these animals. “The
fifth was actually outside our window for capture-related mortalities
and was a wolf kill,” Butler said.
Although moose have been radio-collared in the past, these new collars
are outfitted with GPS tracking devises and will send researchers six
locations of each moose each day, as well as the ambient outside air
temperature. If a moose doesn’t move for six hours researchers will
text its location every 30 minutes for the next six hours so DNR staff
can track the animal.
The goal is to locate moose that have died within 24 hours so they can
be brought back and studied to determine what caused their death. If
the moose is too big or too far away to retrieve a necropsy will be
conducted in the field.
While moose have all but disappeared in northwestern Minnesota,
northeastern Minnesota has been the last stand for these magnificent
creatures in the Land of 10,000 Lakes.