Around Cook County
The State of Minnesota recently welcomed 24 new D.A.R.E. officers. Among them was Cook County Sheriff’s Deputy Ben Hallberg, who is taking over the drug and alcohol resistance program from Chief Deputy Leif Lunde.
Chief Deputy Lunde has been the D.A.R.E. officer since 2001, taking over from Deputy Tim Weitz who started the D.A.R.E. program under the late Sheriff John Lyght. Lunde said he enjoyed his time as D.A.R.E. officer, but felt with the graduation of his son from the D.A.R.E. program last year it was a good time to step down.
Lunde is an impassioned advocate of the D.A.R.E. program, noting that there are some who say the program is not effective at stopping youth drug use. To that, Lunde replies, “You can find statistics to say just about anything.”
Lunde said he thinks D.A.R.E. is important not only for the drug resistence education, but because it provides an opportunity for police officers to interact with students in a positive way.
After several weeks of discussing Assessor Betty Schultz’s request to add a technical clerk position to her department, the county board voted on March 12, 2013 to create a 35-hour-a-week position that will be reviewed in five years and terminated within six years.
With the help of her staff, Schultz is implementing a new computer system that will track property information in a more detailed way and is working to comply with the state’s requirement that they assess all properties at least once every five years, something the county has not been able to do in recent years.
Commissioner Garry Gamble said, “I think Betty has a good handle on the problem and a good solution to the problem,” but added that government spending needs to be kept in check.
Each weekend WTIP news produces a round up of the news stories they’ve been following this week. The first “saltie” came into Duluth harbor, test drilling in Wisconsin will begin soon, broadband hits a snag in Lake County, a report finds no wolf cubs born this past year on Isle Royale, MnDOT road construction on Hwy 61 and more …all in this week’s news.
Cook County-Grand Marais Economic Development Authority (EDA) held a public hearing Tuesday, March 12, 2013 regarding the sale of a lot in the Cedar Grove Business Park. EDA Chair Mark Sandbo said the purpose of the hearing was to give the public the opportunity to comment.
The only citizens present however were the potential buyers, Ryan Mixdorf and Luke Gulstrand of Fine Finish Painting. The men have submitted an offer of $30,000 for Lot 5, Block 7, which is the second lot down from the top of the business park.
EDA Board Member Scott Harrison asked if the city of Grand Marais or the EDA assumed any additional responsibilities regarding the lot sale. Chair Sandbo said no. Originally, the business park covenants required that the buyer pave the lot’s driveway and parking area, however, Sandbo said, that requirement has been suspended
Harrison asked when a building would be constructed. Luke Gulstrand said within two to five years. He said they plan to clear the lot and begin site prep this year.
Looking for some fun to have with your kids or grandkids for Easter? Everyone is invited to the Cook County Community Center from 9:00 a.m. until noon, Saturday, March 30 for indoor ice skating, visits and photo opportunities with the Easter Bunny, brunch, a cake decorating contest and silent auction, raffle with prizes over $600, PEEP eating contest, kids activities and much, much, more! The outdoor Easter Egg Hunt will take place at 10 a.m.—rain, sun or snow!
The cost is $5 per child or $10 for a family.
This an annual fundraiser held by Cook County KIDS PLUS to support youth activities in Cook County. Together with Cook County Community Education and Extension, they support After School Adventures for youth, leadership training for middle school youth, opportunities for youth to learn beginning job skills through the Incredible Exchange and Incredible Internship programs, and underwrite a Summer KIDS Camp and other enrichment programs. All funds raised stay to support youth in Cook County.
Interested in entering our cake-decorating contest? Drop off your decorated cake at the Cook County Community Center on Friday, March 29 or early Saturday morning before 9:00 a.m. for judging. All cakes donated are available in a silent auction.
Despite objections from some members of the public, the county board has decided to purchase a piece of property adjacent to the southeast side of the county’s gravel pit by the Maple Hill Cemetery. County Highway Engineer David Betts and Maintenance Supervisor Russell Klegstad requested the purchase in order to create an access to the gravel pit that would be shorter, quieter for nearby residents, and safer because of the hill the pit is on.
The highway department has repaired a breach in a berm at the bottom of the pit and plans to create storm water retention ponds to keep sediment from entering a nearby stream and neighboring properties.
The pit is one of the county’s richest sources of clay, which is used as a binder on gravel roads, and has been used for about 30 years. Engineer Betts estimated the pit could continue supplying clay at the rate the county has been using it for another 100-250 years.