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News and other information from Cook County

Commissioners keep county board salary and per diems the same for 2015

Tue, 12/09/2014 - 6:45pm

Auditor Braidy Powers informed Cook County commissioners that it was time to set per diem rates and salary for the county board for 2015. After brief discussion at the December 2 meeting, a unanimous motion passed to keep the salary and per diem the same as in 2014. The per diem rate is $100 for all approved activities, in- or out-of-county. Per diems are only allowed for meetings on the county list of boards and commissions. Per diems are not allowed for regularly scheduled or special board meetings.

The 2014 salary, to continue to 2015 is $22,395. The county board chair makes an additional $1,500 per year.

After the motion offered by Commissioner Gamble and seconded by Commissioner Doo-Kirk passed, Gamble quipped, “It looks good to have the two commissioners who will live with the consequences make the motion.”

This local news is provided by the Cook County News-Herald ~

High school student will give arctic canoe trip presentation: December 11

Mon, 12/08/2014 - 2:29pm

Local high school student, Carrie Palmer, will be giving a presentation on her recent Arctic canoe trip. WTIP host Jana Berka spoke with Carrie and her mentor, Bob Pratt, about her trip and upcoming presentation on North Shore Morning.

Carrie Palmer's presentation will be December 11 at 7 pm at Cook County Higher Ed.

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Soon-to-be former commissioners recognized at Dec. 2 coffee

Mon, 12/08/2014 - 1:33pm

The Cook County commissioners’ room filled with friends and co-workers on Tuesday, December 2 who came to wish the soon-to-be former commissioners well. Jan Hall and Bruce Martinson will attend two more county board meetings, but for Sue Hakes, this was her last meeting as she has other obligations.

Before the cake was cut, Auditor Powers spoke to those in attendance, stating, “If you don’t follow the workings of local government closely, you might be surprised at the breadth and volume of the issues facing commissioners. I know I was when I came here.

“I think candidates are often very interested and knowledgeable about a few important issues that probably get them interested in the job, but one of the real challenges I think is to gain that knowledge and judgment about a wide variety of issues that come before a county board that affect so many lives. Local issues that start and stop here, but also statewide issues that have a big impact on us but require so much interaction with other counties and state agencies to keep our interests from getting lost in the shuffle.

I have really come to appreciate the commitment of county commissioners in general—and these three outgoing commissioners in particular—to maintain their focus and dedication to the public’s service.

“And I think we should all thank them,” said Powers.


This local news is provided by the Cook County News-Herald ~

County to pursue litigation on flawed Community Center ice rink

Mon, 12/08/2014 - 1:29pm

County Attorney Molly Hicken has been working for several months to reach an agreement with the company that poured the concrete slab at the Cook County Community Center. In October and November 2014, the county board held closed sessions to have attorney-client privilege discussion of potential litigation against contractor K. Johnson Concrete because of flaws in the ice rink. At the latest meeting, Tuesday, December 2, commissioners gave Hicken the go-ahead to initiate legal action.

At the December 2 meeting, County Attorney Hicken told the county board that the contractor had responded to the county’s request for mediation. The board closed the meeting for attorney-client privilege discussion for about five minutes. When the meeting reopened, a unanimous motion was passed by the board, directing the county attorney to expend county attorney office resources on litigation with K. Johnson Concrete.

The Cook County News-Herald contacted Community Center Director Diane Booth to ask if the hockey rink flaws make it unusable. Booth said the hockey group should be able to use the rink, but added, “It was an issue last year. We hoped to get it resolved over the summer. But we’ll do what we have to do to make it work.”


This local news is provided by the Cook County News-Herald ~

Winter warming trend on the way

Mon, 12/08/2014 - 12:09pm

The snow will stop and the temps will dip for about a day and then the rest of the week will warm up – maybe too much for some people’s taste. WTIPs Jay Andersen spoke with meteorologist Carol Christenson.

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Youth Ski League registration & equipment rental Dec. 7-8

Sat, 12/06/2014 - 3:53pm

The North Superior Ski and Run Club sponsors a Youth Ski League (Y-Ski) every year to encourage kids to learn and love the lifetime sport of cross country skiing. Another year of ski fun for kids and families will be here soon.

Y-Ski is held on Sunday afternoons, from 1:30 - 3:00 p.m. at the Pincushion Mountain Trail System starting in January.

There is an optional session for the kids in the advanced group on Tuesdays after school until 5:00 p.m.

Y-Ski is a fun, family environment where kids learn the sport of Nordic skiing in an atmosphere of games, group activities and skiing the wonderful trails at Pincushion. Y-Ski is designed for kids from kindergarten through 6th grade – all ability levels are welcomed and accommodated. (Kindergartners need to bring a full-time adult helper, please!)

Y-Ski is also affordable. The fee is only $20 per child, with each additional child only $10.

The North Superior Ski and Run Club (NSSRC) has a wide selection of children’s skis, boots and poles available for rent for the entire winter for a nominal fee of $25 (or $35 for those wanting both skate and classic skis). There is a $100 deposit required per set of equipment rented that will be returned at the end of the season when the equipment is checked back in. Discounts may be available for families who volunteer with the program.

Rental equipment will be distributed on sign up day. Kids will also receive a Cook County Y-Ski hat for first time sign up when the season begins.

Y-Ski begins January 4 and runs through February 22. We have a variety of activities including a field trip, special events and an optional fun race.

Y-Ski sign up and equipment rental times:

* Sunday, December 7 1:00 - 2:00 p.m.

* Monday, December 8 5:00 - 5:30 p.m.

Pincushion Trails Warming Building