Around Cook County

News and other information from Cook County

Diabetes Alert Day: March 26

Tue, 03/26/2013 - 2:32pm
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The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) estimates that about 80,000 adults in Minnesota may have diabetes without knowing it. 
 
Given the seriousness of the disease, MDH is encouraging Minnesotans this Diabetes Alert Day, Tuesday, March 26, to ask themselves whether they are at risk for diabetes and to take steps to improve their health.
 
The percentage of adults in Minnesota who are living with diabetes nearly doubled between 1994 and 2010 and these numbers under-represent the true number of people living with the condition. About 290,000 adults in Minnesota, or 7.3 percent, say they have been told by their health care team they have diabetes.
 
National data show that only 75 percent of adults with diabetes know that they have the disease. Given Minnesota’s population, about 80,000 Minnesotans might have the disease without being aware of it.  
 
“Given the alarming increase of diabetes, we are encouraging Minnesotans to use this day to think about whether they or someone they love might have diabetes or prediabetes and not even know about it,” said Minnesota Health Commissioner Dr. Ed Ehlinger. “Diabetes is a very treatable disease and it is important that everyone with diabetes takes steps to get their blood sugar under control and lead a healthier life.”
 
Type 2 diabetes is the most common type of diabetes and often does not have symptoms. Risk factors for type 2 diabetes include being overweight, being older, and for women, having had gestational diabetes during a pregnancy, and having prediabetes. People of color and American Indians also have a higher risk of developing diabetes.
 

County considers restructuring personnel director/board secretary postition

Tue, 03/26/2013 - 10:13am

On March 18, the board had a work session to discuss the possibility of restructuring the personnel director/board secretary position when Janet Simonen retires in August.  They considered putting some of her duties into someone else’s job description and hiring a county coordinator or a county administrator in her place. 
A county coordinator or administrator could be a point person for information, oversee the county budget, implement board actions, and provide expertise to the board.  A county administrator would have authority over the other department heads, whereas a county coordinator would not.
The board will be inviting a representative of the Association of Minnesota Counties and a couple of county administrators to talk to them about how a county administrator could be useful.   They asked several department heads what they knew about these positions in other counties.
“I’ve heard some very positive things, and I’ve heard some not so positive things,” said Public Health & Human Services Director Sue Futterer.   “The right person can certainly make a difference.”
“The right person is the bottom line,” said Planning & Zoning Director Tim Nelson.
Information Systems Director Danna MacKenzie said having a decision-maker and point person could help the county get things done more efficiently and cost-effectively.  “We have an opportunity to change the way we do business to make it work better,” she said.

Co-op takes part in statewide campaign for food shelves

Tue, 03/26/2013 - 10:04am

The Cook County Whole Foods Co-op has joined a statewide campaign to help alleviate hunger.
In past years, Twin Cities area food co-ops have participated in the Minnesota FoodShare March Campaign, a program of the Greater Minneapolis Council of Churches that provides funds, food and educational materials to over 300 food shelves across the state.  Last year the collective members, shoppers and staff gave over $91,000/pounds of food to food shelves in our neighborhoods—the third-most successful corporate campaign in the state.
This year’s collaborative efforts have expanded to include 15 food co-ops throughout Minnesota, not just in the Twin Cities.  The Cook County Whole Foods Co-op in Grand Marais is among them.
This means that co-ops across the state will be running similar campaigns for their communities, and the food drive will make an even bigger impact on Minnesotans.
When we’re working together, all it takes is “rounding up” your grocery bill or adding a few dollars onto your total to make a real difference. Did you know that one dollar can feed a person for a day? Twenty dollars can feed a family of four for five days.  Just imagine the impact statewide when we all give a few dollars to those who are hungry.
Consider dropping off non-perishable food items or a monetary food shelf donation at the co-op in March.

No new wolves on Isle Royale

Tue, 03/26/2013 - 8:32am
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TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. (AP) - Scientists say the gray wolves in Michigan's Isle Royale National Park are in growing danger of extinction and may have stopped reproducing.

A report given Monday to The Associated Press says scientists with Michigan Technological University saw no evidence that pups were born in the past year during their recent winter trip to the park. It's believed to be the first time since scientists began monitoring the wolves' reproduction in 1971 that no offspring were born.

The report also says only eight wolves remain on the island chain in Lake Superior. Just five years ago, there were 24. The report will be released publicly today.

Grand Marais gets new fire tender

Mon, 03/25/2013 - 11:14am

Grand Marais Fire Chief Ben Silence and lead firefighter Aaron Mielke visited city councilors at their March 13 meeting, and brought with them the fire department’s newest acquisition – a 2012 tender. A FEMA grant was used to pay 90 percent of the cost of the approximately $210,000 vehicle. The truck was manufactured by Stainless & Repair Inc. of Marshfield, Wis., holds 2,000 gallons of water and is equipped with a 750 gallon-per-minute pump. The tender replaces a 1984 converted milk truck, which was traded in.
Chief Silence lauded Mielke’s dedication and perseverance for completing the many grant forms, putting together the specs and attending meetings that led to the city’s successful grant application. “I give him much credit for his time and effort,” said Silence. “It was an excellent job.”
The tender joins a fleet that also includes a 2007 pumper, a 1978 50-foot ladder truck, a 1994 Ford support truck and a First Responders vehicle. The department, which includes firefighters and First Responders, is comprised of 22 members.

Computer classes at the Senior Center

Mon, 03/25/2013 - 11:14am

A free Basic Computer Class is being offered at the Cook County Senior Center in Grand Marais on Wednesday, March 27 from 12:30 - 3 p.m. If you don’t know anything about computers or are intimidated by them, this is the class for you. If you need some refreshing on using a computer, this class is for you. Pre-registration is requested and donations for the class are accepted.
There is high-speed internet, as well as computers for you to us at the Senior Center. Or if you prefer, you are welcome to bring your own laptop or tablet computer.
The Senior Center will also help provide additional training for folks with future questions.
For more information, stop in or call the Senior Center at 387-2660.