Around Cook County
The county board spent several hours on Tuesday, November 25 going through proposed levy expenditures department-by-department, having lunch brought in—at their own expense—as they tried to reach consensus on county spending. The discussion will continue on Tuesday, December 2.
Commissioners have been working on the budget since June and at the end of September were looking at a staggering initial levy increase of 27.8 percent. On Monday, September 29 after 2½ hours of pouring over county budget information, commissioners agreed to set a maximum tax levy increase of 7 percent.
The board has been working with department heads and Auditor Braidy Powers since then to bring the levy numbers in line with that goal. At the November 25 meeting, Powers told the board that the proposed levy is now $6,536,740, which is 7 percent over the 2014 levy.
Powers explained some of the measures to get the levy in line with the 7 percent increase. He said $175,000 of funds that had been committed to other funds could be returned to the general fund, such as $93,750 earmarked as a deposit for the wildfire sprinkler grant and $20,000 from the county car replacement fund.
Powers had some good budget news for the board. The county had planned for a 5.2 percent increase in its health insurance. The increase will only be .6 percent, which will result in savings across all of the departments, for a total reduction of $58,103.
As commissioners prepared to tackle department budgets, Commissioner Heidi Doo-Kirk said she wanted to make sure that before any cuts were made to county employees, the county took a close look at donations to nonprofit organizations. Doo-Kirk noted that these entities do a lot of good in the community but said, “I hate to take away from our employees.”
With the help of the Red Cross, Americans can send holiday cards with season’s greetings and holiday wishes to military members and veterans who cannot be with their families this season.
This year, local Red Cross chapters are playing a major role in the “Holiday Mail for Heroes” program. Card-making and signing events will be organized at the community level and the local Red Cross offices will distribute the completed cards to military instillations, medical facilities and veteran organizations in the U.S. The American National Red Cross will deliver cards to military members serving abroad.
“It just takes a moment to sign a card and share your appreciation for the sacrifices made by members of the military and veteran communities. In the Northland, we are especially in need of cards made specifically for veterans,” said Dan Williams, director for the American Red Cross serving northern Minnesota. “Start a new tradition with your family this holiday season – create holiday cards and share your thanks with our heroes."
To participate in the Holiday Mail for Heroes program, mail or drop off cards at your local chapter: American Red Cross Holiday Mail for Heroes Program, 2524 Maple Grove Road, Duluth, MN 55811.
To ensure card delivery in time for the holidays, the local Red Cross office must receive cards no later than Friday, Dec. 5. Individuals are asked to refrain from sending letters, monetary donations, or any other inserts with the cards and from using glitter.
Yes, it will be chilly for the next couple of days, then slowly warm up to the 20’s by week’s end. But, not much snow. WTIPs Jay Andersen spoke with National Weather Service meteorologist Carol Christenson.
Each week the WTIP news department puts together a roundup of the weeks top news stories. A new route for an old pipeline, concern over a new invasive insect, a U of M asbestos study and coal powered power plants get back on line…all this and more in the week’s news.
On Saturday November 29, there are a number of great local shopping opportunities. The Cook County Community Center and Log Cabin in Grand Marais will be filled with the sights and sounds of Christmas at the Crafts and Consultants Holiday Show from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. There will be many beautiful crafts and representatives from AVON, Dove Chocolates, Origami Owl jewelry, Pampered Chef, Tastefully Simple and Tupperware. Girl Scout Troop 4110 will be there with poinsettias for sale too.
There will also be a bake sale and a delicious lunch at the Community Center by Alyce from 11 a.m. - 2 p.m.
Also on November 29, the Hovland Arts Festival will be hosting its Hovland Artisan’s Christmas Sale at the Hovland Town Hall from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. It’s worth the drive to see the beautiful crafts, artwork and gift items. Shop and enjoy some coffee, cider and treats.
In Lutsen on November 28-29, Last Chance Gallery& Studio will host its Holiday Market with a tree lighting on Friday evening, exquisite gift items and much more.
This local news is provided by the Cook County News-Herald ~ www.cookcountynews-herald.com
The Last Chance Gallery is having their 9th Annual Holiday Market, Friday and Saturday, November 28 and 29. WTIP volunteer Mark Abrahamson spoke with Marcia Hyatt about this event on North Shore Morning.
The holiday party includes fund-raising for local charities, special art demos and the annual Christmas tree lighting on Friday evening.
Please bring items for the food shelf, make ornaments for the NS Health Care Foundation and know a portion of any art you buy goes to the Cook County Community Fund.
Home for the Holidays
November 28 & 29
Fri. 10 a.m. - 7 p.m. & Sat. 10 a.m.- 5 p.m.
Noon- 1 - Judie Johnson - Basket weaving
1-2 - Tom Christiansen - Casting Bronze Sculptures
2-4 - Nate Saunders - Pottery
Special event on Friday, 4 p.m. - 7 p.m. with a tree lighting and more!
Christmas Carolers and Tree lighting at 6.
Noon- 1 - Judie Johnson - Basket Weaving
1-2 John Books - Creating Figurative Sculptures
2-3 Anna Hess - Pet portraits (painting on poster)
Last Chance Gallery & Studio in Lutsen, MN (just off Hwy 61 across from Lockport, next to Arrowhead Electric)
17 Railroad Drive • 218-663-7008 • lastchancefab.com