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News and other information from Cook County

Cook County Chamber of Commerce to meet July 10

Tue, 07/09/2013 - 2:36pm

The new Cook County Chamber of Commerce is “open for business in more ways than one,” Jim Boyd, interim Chamber executive director, reports.
The countywide Chamber, successor to the Grand Marais Area Chamber of Commerce, will focus on being an effective voice for all Cook County businesses, Boyd said. Its emphasis will be on promoting economic development in Cook County and will not overlap with other groups' responsibilities. The community events previously sponsored by the Grand Marais Chamber will be spun off to the Cook County Visitors Bureau.
“Our main challenge now is building confidence: Convincing businesses from all sectors and all parts of the county that we are truly, inclusively out to support all of them, and proving that we will be an active, aggressive force for positive economic change, not just civic window dressing. Cook County business folk want to know that we truly have their interests at heart and that they will get good return for their investment in the Chamber.”
The new Chamber is still finishing its organizational work but hopes soon to move actively into focusing on important economic development issues, Boyd said. He said it will work to bring us together with other state or regional agencies for grants and program support in areas that include additional affordable housing. It also will look for innovative “out of the box” approaches to marketing our community.  It will play primary or supportive roles in promoting use of broadband, further development of the county's arts and crafts economy, efforts to provide comprehensive support for entrepreneurs, investigation of promising avenues for economic diversification, and others.

CCVB hires Linda Jurek Kratt as new director

Mon, 07/08/2013 - 1:19pm
Linda Jurek Kratt

The Cook County Visitor's Bureau (CCVB) has hired Linda Jurek Kratt to replace outgoing executive director Sally Nankivell.  Outgoing board chair Mike Prom announced the hiring during an interview on WTIP, Friday, July 5, 2013.  (Click on North Shore Morning link below to hear the interview.)

Kratt is a native of Grand Marais and a 1978 CCHS graduate.  She was most recently employed by the Duluth Chamber of Commerce as Director of Events and Retention.  

(Photo courtesy the Duluth Area Chamber of Commerce.)

Program: 

Attached file
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Finland’s only church burns

Mon, 07/08/2013 - 8:40am
Fire consumes Zion Lutheran Church in Finland, July 6, 2013.

Members of Zion Lutheran Church in Finland gathered Sunday to worship at the Clair Nelson Community Center after fire destroyed their church Saturday night.

The Duluth News Tribune reports a lightning strike appears to have started the destructive blaze, according to Finland Fire Chief Pete Walsh. A fire marshal continues to investigate the fire, but based on what neighbors saw and heard, Walsh said, “We’re very comfortable believing this was the result of lightning.”

Members of the Finland Volunteer Fire Department received their first report of the fire about 9 p.m. Saturday and arrived on the scene to find the church’s kitchen area in flames.

The fire quickly spread throughout the upper levels of the building.

Firefighting reinforcements from neighboring communities were called including Silver Bay, Two Harbors, Lutsen and Schroeder.

Firefighters were able to stop the fire from spreading to a nearby parsonage, but Walsh said the church was a total loss.

The Zion church building dates to 1957 and was the only traditional house of worship in Finland.

As the only church venue in the community, Zion handled numerous ceremonies, including baptisms, marriages and funerals.

(Photo courtesy the Duluth News Tribune.)

Strathy receives Physician of Excellence Award

Sun, 07/07/2013 - 11:26pm

Janette Strathy, M.D., Fellow of the American Congress of Gynecologists and Obstetricians, comes well-recommended.  That is probably no surprise to her former Cook County High School classmates, who knew her as Jan Hansen.

Strathy is the recipient of Park Nicollet Foundation’s 2013 Earl G. Young Physician of Excellence award.  The award is in memory of the late Dr. Earl Young, a surgeon at Methodist Hospital in St. Louis Park and professor of surgery and coordinator of surgical residency at the University of Minnesota.

According to a bulletin from the May 8 award presentation, the award is presented annually to a medical staff member selected by his or her colleagues for epitomizing Dr. Young’s standards of unwavering dedication, kindness and compassion, as well as professional excellence – a “doctor’s’ doctor.”

Dr. Strathy is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Hamline University in St. Paul.  She received her medical degree at Mayo Medical School in Rochester, Minnesota, where she also completed her residency in obstetrics and gynecology.  She joined St. Louis Park Medical Center in 1985.

The bulletin states: “Dr. Strathy’s commitment and dedication to her profession is portrayed by her years of service on local, regional, and national levels.”

Hospital contemplates controller position

Sun, 07/07/2013 - 11:22pm

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. 

Fire burns at Zion Lutheran Church in Finland

Sat, 07/06/2013 - 11:35pm

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.