Around Cook County
The Cook County North Shore Hospital board spent considerable time at its June 20, 2013 meeting discussing how to avoid discouraging local residents and current employees from applying for the open controller job. The meeting was the last one for long-time controller Yvonne Gennrich, who took a job with another hospital nearer to family.
The new controller will be an employee of St. Luke’s Hospital, North Shore Hospital’s administrative partner, as this will afford access to potentially useful information that would not be available if the controller were an employee of North Shore Hospital.
The job description presented at the meeting listed the minimum qualifications as a bachelor’s degree in accounting, business, or a related field and three years related work experience including years of supervisory experience in a hospital or healthcare-related organization or other equivalent experience. The preferred qualifications included an MBA.
Board member Justin Meuller said he received a note from a hospital employee who was concerned that the preferred qualifications would eliminate local residents from the running.
As of 11 p.m. on Saturday, July 6, firefighters from several North Shore departments were fighting a fire at Zion Lutheran Church at 6867 Highway 1 in Finland.
A page went out to the Finland and Silver Bay at approximately 9 p.m. with a request for mutual aid from Schroeder and Tofte at 9:05 p.m. The Lutsen Fire Department was eventually paged to assist as well.
The initial cause of the fire is believed to have been a lightning strike. No further details are available at this time.
School counselor Bryan Hackbarth submitted his resignation this summer and has taken a job as assistant principal at the Cass Lake-Bena Area Learning Center in Cass Lake.
This spring, the school board had considered eliminating the school counselor position, but after a huge showing of support for Hackbarth which included testimonies regarding how he had helped students and kept them engaged in school, his job was retained.
Hackbarth was qualified for the new 6-12 principal position but did not apply for it.
Whether he will be replaced by a full-time school counselor is unknown, the school board is looking at ways to work with Cook County Higher Education and the Human Development Center to provide services that had been offered by the school counselor.
Also leaving is sixth-grade math and science teacher and girls’ basketball coach Todd Toulouse, who resigned to take a job as dean of students at Little Falls Community Middle School. His position has not been filled yet.
Two vacancies left by the retirement of teachers Dena Schliep and Joan Ege will be filled by Lacey Smith, teaching kindergarten, and Karen Obinger teaching second grade.
A class designed to introduce side arms to women who would like to become familiar with pistols is being offered July 13 at the Community Center log cabin.
This is an opportunity to learn about and shoot various pistols. It is not a carry permit class. Ear and eye protection are required for the afternoon range session.
The class will be instructed by Mary Manning of the DNR and runs from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. (with a lunch break). A $10 fee, payable to Community Education, is required. Space is limited to 25 participants.
To register, call Community Education at (218) 387-2000, ext. 533.
Rescuers were paged to Temperance River on Sunday, June 30 to rescue a father and son who had become trapped in the rushing water.
Russell Brown, 16, of Northfield, Minnesota, apparently did not realize how rapid the river was while swimming near the southernmost bridge on the river. The water pulled him under several times and his father, Gregory Brown, 49, also of Northfield, jumped in to try to save him. He too became trapped in the current.
Russell was swept to the east side of the river and was able to climb out of the water onto a small sand bar.
Gregory Brown was unable to reach him and clung to a rock in the current. Some bystanders found the life ring kept in a box near the river. They were able to toss the ring to Gregory Brown who was then able to float downstream and to shore with their assistance.
Russell however remained trapped by the rushing water. Emergency responders from Tofte and Schroeder responded. Tofte Assistant Fire Chief Tim Norman and Pete Borson of the Schroeder Fire Department were able to drop a life jacket to the teen. Once he rested and got the life jacket on, he felt he would be able to swim to safety. Coached by Borson from above, the young man swam and let the current carry him down the river and to the riverbank.
Tofte First Responders monitored the father and son as they warmed up and calmed down. Cook County Ambulance responded to the scene but neither man needed further medical attention.
Assistant Fire Chief Norman said the spot were Russell Brown experienced difficulty is where other deaths have occurred on the river. Norman said, “It looks so innocent, you can almost step over it, but it can be deadly.”