Around Cook County
The Cook County board has offered the position of County Administrator to Jay Kieft, currently Executive Director of Wright County Human Services in Buffalo, MN.
Kieft previously was head of human services in Kandiyohi County from 2007 to 2012.
The board has authorized its consultant, David Unmark, to negotiate the contract with respect to health insurance, salary and contract length as well as other details.
According to Auditor-Treasurer Braidy Powers, Kieft heads a department of 200 people and the county expects him to assume his position here within two months.
The 2013 Highway 61 Film Festival occurred this past weekend in Pine City, Minnesota. The competition included one film from Cook County this year. “Sled Dogs to St. Paul: The Race for Clean Water” was an official selection for the festival, and took second place in the Documentary Feature category.
Local filmmakers Patrick Knight and Kelly Schoenfelder directed the film, which tells the story of local dogmusher Frank Moe’s trip from Grand Marais to St. Paul during the winter of 2012, to raise awareness about the potential impacts of nonferrous mining projects proposed in northeastern Minnesota.
The Highway 61 Film Festival was established in 2011 as a means of supporting and promoting independent films and filmmakers from all along Highway 61 and beyond. The judges awarded films in a variety of categories, including comedy, drama, student film, animation and documentary.
At the September 10, 2013, meeting of the Cook County-Grand Marais Economic Development Authority (EDA), housing program administrator Nancy Grabko of Community Fundraising Solutions (CFS) said she needed help from West End communities to complete an application to the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) for funding to rehabilitate homes in Lutsen, Tofte and Schroeder. This week Grabko contacted the Cook County News-Herald, noting that help is still needed.
Hurdles to building a 190-foot communications tower in Tofte were cleared when both the Cook County Planning Commission and then the Board of Adjustment approved the township’s request for a variance for a 1,000-foot setback and a conditional use permit at a special meeting held September 25, 2013 in the Cook County Commissioners room. Today, October 8, the county board also gave its approval.
Fearing that a cell phone tower would hurt property values and diminish the rugged beauty of the area, several people spoke in opposition. Two who were opposed have homes within the 1,000-foot setback, one expressed fear that by building a large tower near their homes, their property could be harder to sell and their personal use of the property would be diminished because of viewing the tower from their windows.
ST. CLOUD, Minn. (AP) — Researchers at St. Cloud State University say they have reason to believe that a site in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness was home to a settlement as long as 16,400 years ago, which would make the habitation the oldest in Minnesota.
They base it on testing of soil samples collected around Knife Lake, along the U.S.-Canada border. The St. Cloud Times reported Monday that anthropologists want to do more testing before drawing firm conclusions.
Associate professor Mark Muñiz says it would fit with a theory that people lived along the edge of glaciers as they receded. It challenges previous beliefs that glacier-caused flooding in northern Minnesota caused the earliest humans to inhabit the south.
The excavation sites are believed to be where people quarried siltstone for tool-making.
Beautiful weather is ahead for the entire week. WTIP’s Jay Andersen spoke with National Weather Service meteorologist Carol Christensen.