Around Cook County
The ISD 166 School Board has finished its negotiations with
the Cook County Educational Association— the teacher’s union. At
the May 17, 2012 school board meeting, School Board Member Terry
Collins reported on his and board member Mary Sanders’ work
negotiating on behalf of the school board. Representing the Cook
County Education Association (CCEA) were Al Heine, Marc Tavernier, and
Betsy Jorgenson. The agreement, which applies to 39 teachers, will be
in place for the years 2011-2013.
A mediator was hired because the two parties could not agree on
salaries. The union asked for a 3.1 percent increase.
Collins also said arbitration had been considered. After Collins and
Sanders were told that they would likely end up increasing salaries
even after arbitration, he said they decided to spend the
$18,000-20,000 they would have spent on arbitration on salaries instead.
The result was a 0 percent salary increase this year (although
teachers will still move up the pay scale based on years of experience
and educational level) followed by changes in the salary scale next
year—which together will amount to an increase of approximately 2
percent in the amount paid out in teaching salaries next year.
Collins said they also negotiated a change in the starting pay for a
new teacher because they felt it was not competitive. A new teacher
with a bachelor’s degree will now earn $33,392.
Also increased was remuneration for coaching and other student
involvement outside the regular classroom. According to Sanders, this
raises compensation to more professional levels. Collins said that the
Each weekend WTIP news produces a round up of the news stories they’ve been following this week. Coal ash along a Cook County stream, a high abused children rate in the region, swimming in Lake Superior, rumbles on Hwy 61, Canadians against carp, Aquatic Invasive Species and a winning local kayaker…all in this week’s news.
Cook County High School Principal Gwen Carman proudly
presented certificates of excellence to CCHS juniors Mara MacDonnell
and Sarah Larsen last week. Mara and Sara both scored in the top 3%
of all students in the nation taking the preliminary scholastic
assessment test (PSAT). Their scores qualify them for the college
plans reporting service. In addition, each student will be notified
in September whether or not she has been named a National Merit
Program semifinalist. Semifinalists have the opportunity to continue
in the competition for receiving a National Merit Scholarship.
Congratulations Mara and Sarah!
Every spring, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources Conservation
Officers receive calls reporting “nuisance bears.” Bears are
attracted to garbage left outside, to low hanging bird feeders or to
barbecue grills with food remnants. Sometimes homeowners take matters
into their own hands and shoot the offending bear—something that
occurred last week, according to DNR Conservation Officer Mary Manning.
CO Manning said she received a call of a bear found dead on a trail
just off of County Road 6 in Grand Marais. Investigation revealed it
had been shot, but Manning said it was not clear if it was shot in the
vicinity or had been shot farther away and dumped at the site.
No matter where or why it was shot, Manning said it was illegal. She said
neither she or the other conservation officers in Cook County had been
contacted about the shooting of a nuisance bear. Manning asks anyone
that may have information about a bear being shot out of season to
contact her at (218) 475-0121.
Today the Forest Service released an analysis regarding use of fire shelters during the 2011 Pagami Creek Wildfire on the Superior National Forest. And it was good news.
The deployment of the fire shelters occurred in the afternoon of September 12, 2011 when strong winds drove the Pagami Creek Wildfire on an unprecedented 16- mile run that trapped six wilderness rangers in the Insula Lake area of the BWCAW.
A fire shelter is a small, tent-like heat-resistant covering that fire fighters carry folded in a small case. Its intended use is for situations such as the Pagami event where fire fighters cannot escape an approaching wildfire.
According to Forest Service spokesperson Kris Reichenbach, all of the wilderness rangers were carrying fire shelters and trained in their use, and none were injured.
The community is invited to join fledgling film producers Carl Hansen and Beau Larson, graduates of Cook County High School class of 2008, as they debut their new video trailer promoting the Lutsen 99er bike race sponsored by Lifetime Fitness. The “premiere” will be held at Stone Harbor Wilderness Supply in Grand Marais at 7 p.m. on Thursday, May 31.
Carl and Beau will be joined by Race Director Adam Harju, and they will share “the making of the 99er trailer”— from conception to final cut.
Carl and Beau are media arts graduates from the University of Montana with an emphasis in film and digital production. Adam serves as race director for the Lifetime Fitness Lutsen 99er bike race and this year Adam is expecting nearly 400 bike racers for the June 23rd event.
Light refreshments will be served.