Around Cook County

News and other information from Cook County

Think of the Cook County Food Shelf over the holidays

Sun, 11/18/2012 - 4:01pm

Are you thinking about the holidays coming? Thinking about
family and friends gathering? The Cook County Food Shelf is thinking
about the approaching holidays as well. The food shelf volunteers are thinking about the
probable increase in requests for food assistance during the winter
months.
They are thinking about households having to use their small funds for
utilities, warmer clothing and the rising cost of food to put on their
tables.
Last year the cost of the food  purchased from Second Harvest
doubled in September and October. Prices went down in November,
December and January, but went up again in February. It took until
June to come down again.
Second Harvest is the most economic source to receive our food
supplies. As of late, our food shelf ordered 138 cases of food items,
but only 43 cases could be delivered. That is because Second Harvest
did not have enough food on hand to fill all requests. The Cook County Foos Shelf get delivery
once a month.
As they try to fill the bags and boxes of food for three days worth, there are sometimes 
shortages. It is only because of  donated monies that the food shelf is able to go shopping locally, filling those voids.
When you see a food shelf collection basket, please consider putting
just one can or package in there. Together we can make a difference.
Financial donations may also be sent to Cook County Food Shelf, P.O.
Box 95, Grand Marais, MN 55604.

Hockey Association to construct warming house and storage building

Sun, 11/18/2012 - 3:50pm

At the Tuesday, November 13 commissioner’s meeting, the board
approved a request by the Cook County Amateur Hockey Association to
attach a 19’ x 16’ equipment storage building to the current Community
Center and to put up a separate 24’ x 36’ warming house between the
community skating rink and the new hockey rink.
The hockey association will pay for the buildings to be built, and the
county board agreed to use funding from the community center budget to
finish the interior of the buildings at a cost not expected to exceed
$50,000. The buildings will be owned by the county.
Skating rink attendants and hockey coaches will have keys to open the
Community Center so the bathrooms will be accessible.
Regarding the fact that buildings with no bathroom facilities will be
put up, Commissioner Fritz Sobanja said, “Here you have a sub-par
situation again. …I understand that’s how government works. It is
frustrating.”

County approves contracts for new community center

Sat, 11/17/2012 - 2:50pm

Progress continues toward a new county community center. 
Coming to agreements with Cook County Schools, the Grand Marais City 
Council, and the Duluth YMCA was a rather complicated process, but on
November 13 the county board approved contracts with all three entities.
The school, the city, and the YMCA had all reviewed and made changes 
to contracts the county board had already approved.  Under these 
agreements, the county will be buying the west wing of the school and 
leasing the ground under it, the city will help pay operating losses 
at the new community center, and the YMCA will manage the county’s 
recreation and community center programs.
Four of the five commissioners were ready to sign on the dotted lines, 
but Commissioner Bruce Martinson took issue with the city committing 
to a partnership of only 25 years. Commissioner Fritz Sobanja said he 
could understand the city’s caution, since the city paid for losses at 
the Grand Marais Municipal Pool after the county and the school 
stopped paying the one-third share they each started out paying when 
the pool opened in 1977.
Commissioners Sue Hakes and Jim Johnson indicated they just wanted to 
get the project moving forward. Hakes said with a low-interest bond 
sale to generate cash for construction expenses coming up on November 
27, not moving forward could cost the county money.
After a vote of four ayes and one nay by Commissioner Martinson, the 
contracts were approved and signed.

Grand Marais City Council supports CCLEP coordinator position

Sat, 11/17/2012 - 2:48pm

The Grand Marais City Council entertained a request on 
Wednesday, November 14 from the Cook County Local Energy Project 
(CCLEP) for $2,000. The money would be used to pay a portion of a 2013 
part-time CCLEP coordinator. The budgeted cost of the half-time 
position is $21,000.
CCLEP has also requested $4,000 from Cook County, $2,000 from Lutheran 
Community Foundation and $13,000 from the Lloyd K. Johnson Foundation. 
The city of Grand Marais contributed $1,000 to help fund this position 
last year.
“I personally have some reservations about this. Not with the $2,000, 
but the mention of the biomass study. I’m concerned that with some 
positive action we will signal to people that we support the building 
of a large biomass heating facility and I personally don’t support 
that. If I had to vote right now, I would vote no. But what do you 
[councilors] think?” asked Mayor Larry “Bear” Carlson.
Mayor Carlson was referring to a CCLEP-sponsored study that is 
investigating whether or not it would be feasible to put in a biomass 
district heating system in Grand Marais.
If built, the plant would be used to heat large buildings like the 
school, hospital and law enforcement center, in addition to privately 
owned businesses or houses that would want to be connected.
Councilor Bob Spry said, “I think they (CCLEP) have done a lot of good 
work and we should support this proposal.”
Spry moved to grant CCLEP the $2,000. Councilor Jan Sivertson and 
Mayor Carlson voted to approve it. Both council members Bill Lenz and 
Tim Kennedy were absent from the meeting.

Surplus wolf hunting licenses go on sale Monday, November 19

Sat, 11/17/2012 - 8:32am

Applicants not selected in this year’s early or late season wolf license lottery can purchase a surplus hunting or trapping license on a first-come, first-served basis beginning at noon on Monday, Nov. 19.

 The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources says there are 187 surplus hunting licenses and 130 surplus trapping licenses available for the late season. The late season begins Saturday, Nov. 24, and concludes Thursday, Jan. 31, 2013, provided late season harvest targets in each of Minnesota’s three wolf zones are not met.

Eligible hunters and trappers may purchase a surplus license of their choice regardless of the season they selected when applying for the lottery. When buying a surplus license, purchasers must specify a firearm license to hunt or a wolf trapping license to trap. An individual may purchase only one wolf license.

Surplus late season wolf hunting and trapping licenses are valid when the late season is open in any of the state’s three wolf hunting zones.

Trappers born after Dec. 31, 1989, must have a trapper education certificate to purchase a surplus wolf trapping license if they have not purchased a trapping license in a previous license year.

If all licenses are not purchased by unsuccessful applicants, any eligible hunter or trapper, regardless of whether he or she entered the wolf season lottery, may purchase a remaining late season license beginning at noon on Wednesday, Nov. 21.

Surplus wolf licenses are available from any DNR license agent or online at www.mndnr.gov/buyalicense. Online buyers should proceed to checkout immediately after selecting a surplus wolf license and quickly submit payment information to improve their chances of obtaining a license.

The DNR allocated 2,400 wolf licenses for the late hunting and trapping season.

Holiday events in Schroeder Saturday

Fri, 11/16/2012 - 5:04pm

The holidays have hit the town of Schroeder. The community is invited to two wonderful events on Saturday, November 17. The Schroeder Area Historical Society’s Cross River Heritage Center is decorated for the season and will be offering a lefse and krum kaka demonstration, refreshments and a visit from Mrs. Claus at the Heritage Center from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.
The drawing for the Heritage Center’s lovely Autumn Trail quilt will be held at 2 p.m.
Just across the road at the Schroeder Town Hall the North Country Crafters are hosting their Holiday Bazaar. Start your season off right with a stop there to see the beautiful and creative crafts offered there. There will be refreshments there as well, from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.
See you there!