Around Cook County
Gov. Mark Dayton says he will call a special session to pass disaster relief for northern Minnesota, which was ravaged by floods last week.
Dayton told reporters at the state Capitol Friday that state lawmakers will need to approve funding to address damage to public infrastructure.
The first step is to have President Obama issue a disaster declaration for the area that was besieged by floods on the night of June 19. The state and local governments will have to pay 25 percent of the costs of repair, with the federal government picking up the rest.
The damage to roads and other public infrastructure is estimated at $108 million, although Dayton said the number could increase when the assessment is complete.
Earlier today, Dayton met with his cabinet members, legislative leaders, Duluth Mayor Don Ness, and former Duluth senator and Lt. Governor Yvonne Prettner Solon to discuss the application for the federal declaration. The application was submitted Friday.
Dayton said he’s confident the application will be approved by the Federal Emergency Management Administration in one to two weeks.
Chik-Wauk Museum and Nature Center hosts a series of
naturalist presentations during the 2012 summer season. U.S. Forest
Service Ranger presentations, which are part of the Becoming a
Boundary Waters Family program, are every Thursday at 3 p.m. now
through Aug. 23. Nature Walks and Talks are every Sunday at 2 p.m.
through Aug. 28.
Topics of the presentations and walks include trees
of the boreal biome, wildflowers, wildlife and human history. All
presentations and walks begin by gathering on Chik-Wauk’s front porch.
With the planned renovation and expansion of the Cook County
Whole Foods Co-op in Grand Marais now taking shape, it has been
determined that the mural created by local schoolchildren on the outside north wall has to
An architect recently inspected the wall the mural is attached to and
determined it couldn’t withstand the re-building and expansion
planned for this fall, said Co-op Executive Director Jennifer Stolz.
“It can’t be saved,” said Stolz, “But pieces of it can be
saved, and they will be used to create a tribute to the adults and
kids who built this mural.”
The co-op board met on Tuesday, June 26, in a meeting room at WTIP
Radio where Stolz gave an update about the mural.
The mural took five years to build and was constructed by Sawtooth
Mountain Elementary fourth graders under the direction of their
teacher Jana Larson and Kelly Dupre, an artist and former teacher who
volunteered to help with the project. Many organizations, individuals
and businesses also contributed a great deal of time, money or
resources to help with this luminous art project.
Just what form salvaged pieces will take and just where they will be
placed in the new building hasn’t been yet determined.
With the recent delisting of wolves from the Endangered
Species Act, and the return of the wolf to state management, a new
interest has spawned asking, “To what degree have wolves expanded
Currently, DNR is proposing a wolf population survey to run from fall
2012 through early spring 2013. Minnesota Deer Hunters Association’s
(MDHA) members are expressing great interest as well. So, MDHA devised
a “Report Zone B Wolf sightings” web survey page to encourage MDHA
members and nonmembers to report their documented wolf sightings
across the approximately 70 percent of Minnesota that is considered
“Zone B” or non-wolf range.
Reporting Zone “B” wolf sightings will require that you provide
photo documentation as well as geographic information (township/range/
section or GPS coordinates) and your contact information.
According to MDHA Executive Director Mark Johnson, “Wolf presence
throughout Zone A is well known, but their expansion into Zone B is
not. MDHA’s objective is to collect documented and verifiable wolf
sighting information in wolf Zone B and to provide this data to DNR
for consideration toward the 2012-13 Minnesota wolf survey. DNR has
the duty of managing Minnesota’s wolves. Good management needs good
information. Our hope is that this wolf reporting opportunity will
provide DNR with valuable usable information.”
To participate in MDHA’s Zone B wolf sighting survey, keep your
camera or camera phone handy for that rare moment when you may see a
wolf. Better yet, MDHA recommends that you use digital trail cameras
“Creating sustainable prosperity for all” is the motto of
a new countywide partnership of public, private and nonprofit entities
known as the “GO [Generating Opportunities] Team.” On June 19,
2012, Cook County Higher Education Business Training Coordinator Jim
Boyd and Northspan Group President and CEO Randy Lasky asked the Cook
County Board of Commissioners for $6,000 to support the GO Team’s
development of an economic development plan for the county.
This spring an initiative was launched to expand the Grand Marais
Chamber of Commerce to include businesses throughout the entire
county. According to Boyd, this “metamorphosed” into the GO Team
and a plan to hire Randy Lasky to work with county leaders to create
an economic development plan rather than pursuing the Extension
program. The team is currently comprised of about 20 public, private,
and nonprofit representatives.
According to Lasky’s proposal for professional services, the
Northspan Group is a nonprofit organization with over 25 years
providing business and community development consulting services.
According to Lasky, his job would be “to challenge and engage various
interests throughout the county and seek consensus and alignment
around a clear vision and key strategic priorities and values that
will garner broad public support and are capable of guiding economic
growth and investment.”
Lasky told the county board the project would involve talking to
business owners from all perspectives, including small, family-owned
businesses, to find out what is important to all of them. “We’re
Each weekend WTIP news produces a round up of the news stories they’ve been following this week. Wolf season isn’t popular with the public, Lake Superior College gets a big grant, FEMA was in the area looking at flood damage, Lake Superior flood pollution is a worry, a special session on flood damage is probable and the small plane search is called off…all in this week’s news.