Around Cook County

News and other information from Cook County

Moose mortality messages are coming in

Mon, 03/18/2013 - 7:17am
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The first GPS messages from dead moose to Minnesota researchers are coming in.

Minnesota wildlife researchers trapped 111 moose in January and February and placed GPS trackers and transmitters on them. The Duluth News Tribune reports already, six of the 111 moose in the study have died.

Of those, four are listed as having perished from the stress of being tranquilized and collared, leading to other problems and their death. That rate is average for capture/collaring projects and is lower than recent Minnesota moose studies, according to Erika Butler, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources veterinarian in charge of the moose mortality project.

Of the two animals that died from other causes, both appear to be victims of wolf attacks. One had been mostly eaten, and the other had injuries from a wolf attack but had not been eaten.

While wolves were the ultimate cause of death for those two moose, Butler said both of them, and even some of the moose that died from capture-related stress, had lower-than-usual body fat in what has been a fairly normal, if not mild, winter in moose country.

Butler went on to say, “When we are capturing them in January, that’s early enough in winter that they should still have some good body fat, and three of these didn’t. That’s not normal.”

Seth Moore, director of biology and environment for the Grand Portage Band is studying 19 moose captured in and around the Grand Portage Reservation and fitted with the same kind of collars the DNR is using.

So far, one of his moose has died, and investigators found a surprising cause. Moore said “It was clear that wolves killed it. The site was just decimated from the struggle. But when we got to looking in the lungs, they were just full of bright-green pneumonia. This was a health-compromised animal that wolves got to.”

According to aerial surveys, the Northeastern Minnesota moose population decreased a jaw-dropping 35 percent from last winter to this winter — from an estimated 4,230 in 2012 to 2,760 this January. That one-year decline was more than double the average drop in recent years of 15 percent. The population was as high as 8,800 in 2006.

County commissioners consider security improvements at county buildings

Sun, 03/17/2013 - 2:58pm

At the March 12 meeting, Cook County commissioners wrestled to balance security concerns with fiscal responsibility as they discussed recommendations for security improvements at the courthouse and other county buildings on March 12, 2013.  The recommendations came from a security committee that was formed after the December 2011 courthouse shooting.  After working with a consultant, the committee formulated a list of improvements they considered of highest priority.

Recommended were security cameras in the courthouse, Community Center, and Highway Department buildings, duress buttons in all offices and meeting rooms, an intercom system, a keycard access system that would be programmed by computer to allow various levels of access, a walk-through x-ray machine and a metal detector like those at airports, and two full-time entry-level bailiffs to staff the x-ray machine and metal detector during normal courthouse business hours.  The total cost of the equipment would be just over $164,117 and the cost of two new employees was calculated at $119,100 a year.

Commissioner Garry Gamble said he understood the important of safety but thought the recommendations were an overreaction to the shooting.

Financial Aid information night at Cook County Higher Education Tuesday, March 19

Sun, 03/17/2013 - 2:54pm

Need money for college education or training?  Come hear financial aid professional LaNita Robinson speak about federal financial aid and application tips in this interactive presentation.

Robinson will be able to answer your questions about financial aid whether attending a community and technical college or a four-year program. Topics include: what is the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal student Aid); completing the FAFSA (common trouble spots); when should you apply; and what is the difference between a grant, scholarship and loan? This presentation is for adults going back to college, high school juniors and seniors, parents and guardians.

Robinson lives in Duluth, and is currently the director of financial aid with Lake Superior College. She has over 12 years of experience in federal financial aid and says despite all her years of experience, “She still sees new things every day which is part of the challenge and reason why financial aid rarely tends to get monotonous.”

Area youths invited to leadership training

Sat, 03/16/2013 - 11:35am

On March 22, youth are invited to join together for a free leadership training filled with fun, friends and food.

Leadership is about standing up, inspiring others and being responsible even when it may not be convenient or pleasant.  In this two-hour session, young people in grades 6-8 will explore a variety of leadership models, begin to analyze their personal style and work together in teams experimenting with a shared leadership model.  The workshop facilitators are Pat Campanaro, Dr. Kathy Ogle and Dr. Val Ulstad.  Each one of these women brings years of leadership experience and an interest in sharing her knowledge on the topic of leadership.

After the workshop, all of the participants are invited to stay for pizza and a movie on the big screen at the Arrowhead Center for the Arts.  The event will last until 8:15 p.m.  Students are to meet at the Cook County Community Center at 3:45 and be picked up by 8:15 at the Arrowhead Center for the Arts. 

Weekend News Roundup for March 16

Sat, 03/16/2013 - 9:17am

Each weekend WTIP news produces a round up of the news stories they’ve been following this week. The senate acts on a wolf hunt moratorium, Rep. Nolan petitions the EPA, protests and petitions seek action against the county attorney, Iron Range cancer report was released, Chisholm musher takes the Beargrease and the railroad wants to fill in part of Twin Ports harbor…all in this week’s news

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Caregiver support group begins Tuesday, March 19

Fri, 03/15/2013 - 9:26pm

The first meeting of a monthly caregiver support group is Tuesday, March 19, noon to 1:30 p.m. in the Fireside Room of the First Congregational Church in Grand Marais.  Care Partners, the group sponsor, is providing facilitators and refreshments. Participation is free.

Care Partners will also provide a trained volunteer, at no cost, to stay at home with the loved one in need of care or supervision so that the caregiver can attend the group.

Roberta Olin, Grand Marais, and Vicki Biggs-Anderson, Colvill, will facilitate. Both have been caregivers to family members.