Around Cook County
Although township elections are not held until March, the
time for citizens interested in running for a town board seat to file
is now. The filing period to run for treasurer or supervisor for the
townships of Lutsen, Schroeder or Tofte opened January 1 and will
close at 5 p.m. on January 15. Each of the townships is holding an
election for a supervisor term of 3 years and a treasurer term of two
Lutsen supervisor undecided
In Lutsen, the incumbents are Treasurer John Groth and Supervisor Joe
Buttweiler. Contacted by phone, Groth, who has served as Lutsen
treasurer since 2004 said he has filed and hopes to continue to serve
as township treasurer.
At press time Buttweiler said he was undecided.
To file for office in Lutsen, contact Town Clerk Silviya Duclos at
Schroeder incumbents file for reelection
Both of the Schroeder incumbents—Treasurer Alisha Kangas and
Supervisor Tina McKeever said they would run again. Reached at press
time, they each said they had filed their intent to run for reelection
at the town meeting on January 8.
McKeever is running for her second term as supervisor. “I would like
to keep at it,” she said. “During the first term you are just kind of
getting your feet wet.”
To file for office in Schroeder, contact Town Clerk Doug Schwecke at
Tofte treasurer stepping down
Tofte may see a change on its board. Incumbent Supervisor Jim King
said he would like to continue his service on the town board and said
he would be paying his filing fee at the upcoming Tofte meeting.
Back in December, Cook County Law Enforcement took a report of an all-
terrain vehicle (ATV) sunk in Clara Lake in Lutsen. Although the
initial call on December 11 was for assistance, Minnesota Department
of Natural Resources (DNR) Conservation Officer Tom Wahlstrom said the
ATV owner was able to retrieve the machine without DNR help.
Wahlstrom said by the time conservation officers were able to respond,
the ATVer was out and safe. Wahlstrom said the man had been fishing.
Regarding ice conditions, CO Wahlstrom, reached by phone on January 4,
said there has been “a lot of ice making since then.”
Wahlstrom said generally the ice in the Northland is safe, but people
should always be aware of possible weak spots. Anglers should know the
lake, but also be aware that things are different every year. He said
it’s a good idea to talk to other anglers and area resorts about ice
“People need to pay attention and it is a good idea to carry ice
picks,” said Wahlstrom.
And probably most important, Wahlstrom said, “Let someone know where
you are going!”
According to Capt. Greg Salo, DNR regional enforcement supervisor in
St. Paul, four people died after falling through thin ice last winter.
DNR clear ice thickness recommendations are:
Four inches for walking.
Five inches for a snowmobile or ATV.
Eight to 12 inches for a car.
12-15 inches for a medium-sized truck.
Guns in school, guns in the community and the general safety of Cook County. WTIP’s Jay Andersen spoke with Sheriff Mark Falk about guns and sun safety.
The Sawtooth Mountain Clinic's flu vaccine supply is low. They are expecting a shipment to arrive on Wednesday, January 16.
"However, vaccine for children ages 6 months to 35 months is readily available at this time," according to Sue Nordman.
More information on vaccine availability can be obtained by contacting the Clinic at 387-2330.
The North Shore boys' hockey team lost a match on their home ice Saturday night, 9-0 to International Falls.
The loss dropped North Shore to 9-5 for the season.
International Falls scored twice in the first period, three times in the second and four times in the third for the win.
Zach Duresky was in the net for the North Shore crew and made 37 saves.
North Shore's roster includes skaters from Cook and Lake County. The team hosts Virginia-Mountain Iron-Buhl on Tuesday night in Silver Bay before hosting Ashland at Two Harbors on Thursday.
Since 1999, Steve Lehto and John Wright have performed
together, building the musical foundation that was recently described
by U.S. folk magazine Dirty Linen as “… among North America’s best
practitioners of Anglo-Celtic folk-rock. Wonderfully intricate,
powerful guitar-driven music …”
Today Lehto & Wright are a high-art performance ensemble with a clear
mission—to share their powerful take on long-standing Celtic, British
and American traditional/folk music with audiences of all ages. For 12
years, Lehto & Wright has been touring throughout the Midwest and East
Coast, in both their acoustic duo and electric trio formats.
Wright and Lehto first met in a Latin jazz/fusion ensemble and stayed
in touch, having found a shared obsession with Jethro Tull and a deep
knowledge of obscure British folk-rock ensembles such as Fairport
Convention and Dick Gaughan’s Five Hand Reel.
Lehto & Wright are joined by Matt Jacobs on percussion. From the
African djembe to the Irish Bodhran, the ensemble creates a sound
larger than itself. Lehto & Wright lead audiences on a musical journey
from traditional Celtic/American tune-sets to new arrangements
centered on the lyrics of Bob Dylan and Marley to beautifully somber,
solo mandolin compositions to reinterpretations of classical
compositions by Schumann and Bartok.
Don’t miss this fabulous ensemble at the Arrowhead Center for the Arts
on Sat., January 19, 2013 at 7:30 p.m.
Tickets are $15 for adults; $5 for ages 18 and under, sold at the door
or in advance at www.tix.com.
Interested citizens have until Monday, Feb. 11, to comment on Minnesota Department of Natural Resources considerations to bring border water angling regulations in-line with the state’s inland regulations.
Lakes along the Ontario border that could be affected by the change in regulations include Basswood, Crooked, Lac La Croix, Iron, Loon, Knife, Ottertrack, Gunflint and others.
The DNR is considering extending the inland regulation of one walleye more than 20 inches to all Ontario border waters that currently don’t have special regulations. The move is aimed at standardizing regulations for all border water lakes to eliminate situations where border lakes are left less protected than inland waters.
Currently, the inland regulation for walleye is a six fish limit, only one of which can be more than 20 inches. Some fish populations along the border are left without such protection.
“Lakes like Saganaga or Rainy are already protected by special regulations that only allowed one large fish over a certain size,” said Edie Evarts, Tower area fisheries supervisor. “Other border lakes don’t have that restriction.”
“With the late closure of the season, spawning fish can be vulnerable in certain years,” Evarts said. “Border regulations currently don’t restrict the size of the fish you can take in your six fish limit. Under Canadian border regulations, anglers can keep a limit of big, mature fish.”
DNR is seeking initial public comments on these ideas until Feb. 11, so that those comments can be considered as fisheries staff develops a recommendation.
Comments, questions and requests for more information should be directed to Linda Erickson-Eastwood at 500 Lafayette Road, St. Paul, MN 55155-4020, email@example.com, or by calling 651-259-5206.
Several local snowmobilers are once again participating in the Blackwoods Blizzard “Never Surrender” Tour, a ride to fight ALS. On Saturday, January 12 from 5 - 9 p.m., the community is invited to a “Dinner with a Purpose” at My Sister’s Place restaurant in Grand Marais. For each meal sold during that time, 50 percent of the bill will be donated to the ALS Association of Minnesota.
Kathy and Tom “2E” Bernier, Paul Bernier and Scott “Emit” Bystrom are the riders taking part in the three-day, 370-mile snowmobile ride to raise money to fight amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), often referred to as Lou Gehrig's Disease, a progressive, fatal neuromuscular disease.
ALS slowly robs the body of its ability to walk, speak, swallow and breathe. The life expectancy of a person with ALS averages two to five years from the time of diagnosis.
Every 90 minutes a person in this country is diagnosed with ALS and every 90 minutes another person will lose their battle against this disease.
This crippling disease can strike anyone—sadly nearly everyone knows someone who has been affected by ALS. Presently there is no known cause of the disease though support is bringing researchers closer to an answer. In the meantime it costs an average of $200,000 a year to provide the care people with ALS need. “Help make a difference and donate today,” said Kathy Bernier.
Kathy Bernier had a family member affected with this disease and her family saw first hand what the ALS Association can do to provide the help needed to those affected by it. She said, “Any donation small or large is appreciated and needed.”
The riders’ goal is $4,000 for research, education and patient assistance and you can help by making a donation on-line at http://webmn.alsa.org/site/TR/Rides/Minnesota?px=1703381&pg=personal&fr_id=8590.
The Cook County Senior Center is making a scenic winter journey up the Gunflint Trail on Monday, January 14. The bus will leave the Cook County Senior Center at 10:30 a.m. and will return about 2 p.m. Diners will receive 20% discount off of the lunch bill, courtesy of Trail Center!
The cost is $6 for transportation, lunch at your own expense. Pick-ups and drop-offs within town are available upon request for an additional fee of $1 per person.
To sign up, please call (218) 387-2660 or email firstname.lastname@example.org or stop in at the Senior Center.
Cook County and the U.S. Forest Service continue to work on a possible exchange of 1,980 acres of Cook County land within the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness (BWCAW) for Forest Service parcels in other parts of the county.
On Tuesday, Jan. 8, the board discussed the possibility of trading acre for acre (which would require legislative approval) instead of by the assessed value of the land. The county has prioritized a list of Forest Service properties it is interested in, but the board discussed the difficulty of setting those priorities without knowing how each parcel would be valued when it gets assessed. The priorities can still be moved around after the appraisal, however.
No one knows how the land will be valued, because the county’s BWCAW land cannot be developed but it does include a lot of lakeshore, which in private hands would generate a lot of property tax. Similarly, how resources such as gravel on the Forest Service land will be valued remains to be seen.
A jump in Minnesota's minimum wage and making it harder to put constitutional amendments on the ballot are among Senate Democrats' top legislative priorities this session.
The Saint Paul Pioneer Press reports the bills were among the first introduced during the 2013 legislative session. On Thursday, 20 were introduced in the Senate and 54 in the state House.
One of the most watched will be the bill setting up the state health insurance exchange. The exchange is required under the 2010 federal health care overhaul.
The Senate minimum wage proposal would bump pay up to $7.50 an hour for most of Minnesota's lowest paid workers, while a House plan would raise it to $9.38 starting in August. Future increases would be automatic and tied to inflation.
The first bill introduced in the House would accelerate repayment of money owed to schools. The state still owes about $1.1 billion of the $2.7 billion borrowed from schools to help balance past budget shortfalls.
Senate Majority Leader Tom Bakk also highlighted a bill he's offering to make it harder to put constitutional amendments on the ballot. Bakk said, "Minnesota just came off of one of the most divisive elections our state has ever seen. I hope that we never have to go through another election like that, where we have purely partisan amendments on the ballot.”
His proposal would require a three-fifths majority of the Legislature to put a constitutional amendment on the ballot in hopes of having more bipartisan support before measures go to voters for approval.
The North Shore boys' hockey team took a home win Thursday night from Eveleth-Gilbert, 4-2.
And, the Cook County girls' basketball team lost a road game to Mesabi East at Aurora. It took an overtime, however, before the Vikings were defeated 67-54. The loss dropped teh girls to 5-7 for the season.
The team bus didn't get back to Grand Marais until early Friday morning due to poor driving conditions on the way back.
Friday the Vikings boys and girls travel to Silver Bay for varsity basketball action. Both games with the Mariners will be broadcast on WTIP with Norman Moe and Dick Dorr providing the play-by-play. The girls' tip-off is slated for 4:45 with the boys at 6:30.
In the North Shore hockey match, North Shore broke a two-all deadlock at the end of the second period with two points in the third for the win.
Austyn Wasko led the North Shore team with two goals while Mills Johnson and Tyler Schramm had one each.
Zach Duresky was in goal for the Mariners, He made 26 saves.
The win put North Shore at 9-4 for the season. The team plays International Falls Saturday night at Silver bay.
North Shore includes skaters from Cook and Lake counties on the roster.
Gov. Mark Dayton with the support of Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and the Minnesota United Snowmobilers Association (MnUSA) has proclaimed Jan. 13-19 as Snowmobile Safety Awareness Week in Minnesota.
More than 1,000 volunteer instructors teach DNR snowmobile safety courses across the state.
For more information on the dates and locations of these courses, visit the DNR website at www.mndnr.gov (http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/safety/vehicle/snowmobile/index.html) or call 800-366-8917.
To legally ride a snowmobile in Minnesota, residents born after Dec. 31, 1976, need a valid snowmobile safety certificate.
DNR and MnUSA also remind snowmobilers of a few basic safety tips:
DON’T DRINK – Drinking and driving can be fatal. Drinking alcohol before or during snowmobiling can impair judgment and slow reaction time. Alcohol causes body temperature to drop at a faster rate, increasing the likelihood of hypothermia.
SLOW DOWN – Speed is a contributing factor in nearly all fatal snowmobiling accidents. Drivers should proceed at a pace that will allow ample reaction time for any situation. Remember, when driving at night the DNR recommends a speed of only 40 miles an hour. Faster peeds may result in “over driving” your headlight.
BE PREPARED – When traveling, make sure to bring a first aid kit, a flashlight, waterproof matches, and a compass.
STAY ALERT – Fatigue can reduce the driver’s coordination and judgment.
ICE ADVICE – Avoid traveling across bodies of water when uncertain of ice thickness and strength of ice on lakes and ponds. Snow cover can act as a blanket and prevent safe ice from forming. Never travel in a single file when crossing bodies of water.
DRESS FOR SUCCESS – Use a full-size helmet, goggles or face shield to prevent injuries from twigs, stones, ice and flying debris. Clothing should be worn in layers and should be just snug enough so that no loose ends catch in the machine.
WATCH THE WEATHER – Rapid weather changes can produce dangerous conditions.
BRING A BUDDY – Never travel alone. Most snowmobile accidents result in some personal injury. The most dangerous situations can occur if a person is injured and alone. If snowmobilers must travel alone, they should inform someone of their destination, planned route, and return time.
REPORT ACCIDENTS – The operator of a snowmobile involved in an accident resulting in medical attention, death, or damage exceeding $500 must file an official accident report through the county sheriff’s office within 10 days.
For a copy of DNR’s 2012-2013 Minnesota Snowmobile Safety Laws, Rules, and Regulations handbook, call 651-296-6157 or toll-free 888-646-6367. It’s also available on DNR’s website at http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/regulations/snowmobile/index.html
Photo by David Rees - U.S. EPA. This work is in the public domain in the United States because it is a work prepared by an officer or employee of the United States Government as part of that person’s official duties under the terms of Title 17, Chapter 1, Section 105 of the US Code.
The BWCABoard.com, which bills itself as the “Social Network of the BWCA,” is offering photographers the chance to share their favorite Boundary Waters scenes—and the possibility of receiving a prize.
There are three contests starting now, each featuring a different aspect of the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness (BWCAW). The first is the Gunflint Trail photo contest, which can be found at: http://bwcaboard.com/board/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=2381.
This contest is looking for pictures depicting the Gunflint side of the Boundary Waters Canoe Area, as well as photos of the town of Grand Marais and its area resorts.
The photos can include any photographs from any season of the year.
A second contest is a Winter Photography contest, intended to encourage the sharing of our wonderful winters. Photos could be winter landscapes, wildlife, snowshoeing, winter camping, cross country skiing, ice fishing, dog sledding, etc. Sorry, snowmobile photos will not qualify.
The contest winner will receive a copy of White Woods, Quiet Trails by Andrew Slade.
Find details on the BWCA-Quetico Winter Photography Contest at http://bwcaboard.com/board/viewtopic.php?f=31&t=2286.
Finally, BWCABoard is looking for entries in its Hiking Photo Contest. The theme of this contest is the hiking trails of the BWCAW. The contest can include pictures depicting the trails and trail vistas in and surrounding the BWCAW. Your photos can be from any season of the year. The December 2012 winner received a Yellowstone River Trading Hiking Stick, courtesy of Gunflint Lodge. Look for more wonderful prizes in the coming year.
So get out and enjoy winter with your camera—you could be a winner! Winning photos may also be featured on websites and in area newspapers.