Around Cook County
The county board denied a request from George Wilkes and Virginia Danfelt of the Cook County Local Energy Project for $4,000 to support a part-time coordinator. After the request on March 11 was denied, with only Commissioner Sue Hakes supporting the contribution, Hakes made a motion to contribute $2,000 instead. That motion also failed, with Hakes and Commissioner Jan Hall in favor of the lesser contribution.
The board, which did give CCLEP $4,000 last year, said the donation was not budgeted for and it wouldn’t be fair to other non-mandated organizations who have been instructed to plan for a 5 percent reduction.
Further investigation into the death of a female wolf that recently left Isle Royale National Park for the mainland determined a pellet gun was the cause of death.The wolf’s remains were discovered on the shore of Lake Superior on February 8. The animal had been radio collared at the Park for long-term study by researchers at Michigan Technological University.
Park Superintendent Phyllis Green said this year several ice bridges had formed allowing for what has historically been natural movement of wolves to and from the island in extremely cold winters.
Green said death was caused by a lightweight pellet that traveled between two ribs causing fatal damage. The wolf was not pregnant and has been returned to Michigan Tech for further research.
On Tuesday, March 11, 2014, the county board authorized Sheriff Mark Falk to purchase two new replacement squad cars and equipment at a total cost of about $95,000, which was budgeted for. Commissioner Bruce Martinson voted against the purchase, saying there was not enough information provided, such as the account balance or mileage on the vehicles to be replaced.
Maintenance Director Brian Silence was given the go-ahead to seek quotes for a new vehicle to be used by the assessor, and to look at alternatives for more efficient use of the vehicles in the county fleet.
Users of the county recycling facility will notice a change beginning this week – expanded hours of operation on Tuesdays.
Cook County Planning Director Tim Nelson came before the county commissioners March 11 with the new plan and several other items.
Nelson, who also serves as solid waste officer, said he has been hearing comments and complaints for nearly as long as he’s been here (10-plus years) about the fact that the Recycling Center does not open to the public until 11 a.m. In response to those requests, Nelson said he is willing to implement a pilot program on a trial basis.
Effective immediately, the center will now open at 9 a.m. on Tuesdays until further notice.
Nelson explained that the reason the center has never been open between 8 a.m. and 11 a.m. is to allow employees time to process materials that have come in either from the drop-off boxes at the center or those from remote trailers in other locations throughout the county. Nelson said if the expanded morning hours on Tuesday prove successful and don’t interfere with the work routine, morning hours on other days will be added.
Hours of operation for the Recycling Center are 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday, except for Thursday (open until 6 p.m.) and Tuesday (open at 9 a.m.), and 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday.
Unfortunately winter still insists upon staying onstage, even though spring is supposed to be waiting in the wings. WTIP’s Jay Andersen spoke with National Weather Service meteorologist Mike Stewart about more snow on the way.
Winners in the 2013 Minnesota Associated Press Broadcasters news contest have been announced. WTIP will take home four at the Midwest Journalism Conference in Bloomington on March 28.
In the Feature category, the station won two Honorable Mentions:
"Arrowhead Transit: All Aboard!" by Veronica Weadock and "Artist Open House: Lenna Stever," by Jay Andersen.
In the Series and Specials category, First Place went to "The Lake Superior Project," by Kelly Schoenfelder. Best Documentary went to "History Speaks: The Boundary Waters," by Ada Igoe.
AP news awards are given to Minnesota stations in categories based upon their staff sizes.