Around Cook County
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.
CHICAGO (May 31, 2012) - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency today announced the creation of an advisory board to support federal agencies with the implementation of the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative and the updated Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement.
The new board, the federal government’s first advisory committee on Great Lakes issues, will provide advice and recommendations to EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson in her capacity as federal Interagency Task Force chair. EPA will consider candidates from a broad range of interests including environmental groups, businesses, agricultural groups, funders/foundations, environmental justice groups, youth groups, academia and state, local and tribal representatives as needed. Nominees will be solicited through a second Federal Register notice in the coming weeks. EPA anticipates that board will be established this summer.
"The health of the Great Lakes affects the health of millions of people. These waters also play a vital role in the historical, cultural, educational and economic progress of this region," said EPA Administrator and Task Force Chair Lisa P. Jackson. “As we work to set a new standard of care for these waters, it's important that we hear from experts and stakeholders who can strengthen our efforts. By providing insight from those who know these waters best, the Great Lakes Advisory Board will ensure the continued success of the work already underway, and help move us into the next phases of Great Lakes restoration and protection."
The Great Lakes provide more than 30 million Americans with drinking water and underpin a multi-billion dollar economy. In February 2009, President Obama proposed and Congress funded the GLRI, the largest investment in the Great Lakes in two decades.
The Interagency Task Force is made up of 16 federal agencies and departments. In 2010 they developed an action plan to implement the president’s historic initiative. It calls for aggressive efforts in five areas:
• Cleaning up toxics and toxic hot spot Areas of Concern.
• Combating invasive species.
• Promoting near-shore health by protecting watersheds from polluted runoff.
• Restoring wetlands and other habitats.
• Raising public awareness, tracking progress, and working with partners.
The plan also establishes annual benchmarks for success and progress. For more on the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, see www.glri.us.
To view a copy of the Federal Register notice announcing EPA’s intent to establish the advisory board see https://www.federalregister.gov/articles/2012/05/31/2012-13186/establishment-of-the-great-lakes-advisory-board-glab.
Lodging tax revenues for the fourth month of 2012 were down for the most part compared to April of last year county-wide. According to the latest report from the Cook County Auditor-Treasurer’s office, the year-to-date totals were down 2.8 percent across the board for reporting tourism organizations.
Lutsen-Tofte revenues were down 5.2 percent from last April. Grand Marais revenues however were up 6.6 percent from this time last year. The Gunflint Trail revenues for April were up 4.6 percent.
The Auditor’s office emphasizes that not all businesses report taxes at the same time each year and revenues are an “apples-to-apples comparison.” That means only businesses which reported lodging tax revenues both in April of this year and last year are included in the monthly accounting.