Around Cook County

News and other information from Cook County

County-wide election opportunities are many in 2014

Mon, 04/21/2014 - 9:36am

If you’re thinking of running for office in Cook County, it might not be too soon put those thoughts in order. Filing for most offices starts on May 20 and closes on June 3. If you have thoughts about running for school board or city offices, you have until July 29 to decide before filing opens, and closes August 12.
There are three county commissioner seats up for election --Commissioner Districts 1 (currently held by Jan Hall), 3 (currently Sue Hakes) and 5 (held by Bruce Martinson). 
Sheriff Mark Falk will not seek reelection, The County Attorney position us up as are County Recorder and Auditor-Treasurer.
Three seats on the North Shore Hospital board are also up for election -- Dist 1 (seat held by Sharon Bloomquist), Dist 3 ( held by Howard Abrahamson) and Dist 5 (currently Tom Spence).
Soil & Water Conservation Districts 2 (Jim Hall) and 4 (David Berglund) are in play this year.
For ISD166 School Board, three positions will be up for election --  Districts  1 (Deb White), 3 (Ann Sullivan) and 5 (Jeanne Anderson). Sullivan was appointed to the board after Mary Sanders resigned because of moving out of her district.




Easter and Passover greetings!

Sun, 04/20/2014 - 10:30am

All of us at the Cook County News-Herald wish you a joyous Easter and Passover. We hope you enjoy the sunshine and time with friends and family!

UMD Center for Economic Development to announce Labovitz Entrepreneurial Success Awards April 23 - four local businesses in the running

Sun, 04/20/2014 - 10:27am

The UMD Center for Economic Development (CED) will soon be presenting the 22nd Annual Joel Labovitz Entrepreneurial Success Awards Program recognizing entrepreneurs and business owners from throughout the Twin Ports and Northeastern Minnesota. Several local businesses have been identified as successful entrepreneurs.

In the “Micro Entrepreneur” category, Fika Coffee and Joshua Lindstrom were nominated.

Fika Coffee is a small company based in Grand Marais with international flavor. Its name comes from the Swedish word for “coffee break” and it starts with organically grown green coffee beans imported with care from exotic locales such as Peru, New Guinea and Columbia.

Reached by phone, Lindstrom said it feels good to have been nominated. He said he was surprised, but pleased. He added that he sees the nomination as a challenge. “It calls you to keep working and going in the same direction,” Lindstrom said.

Two North Shore businesses have been recognized in the “Mature Entrepreneur” category. Beth’s Fudge & Gifts and Birchbark Books & Gifts operated by Beth Rogers Kennedy was nominated. Beth’s Fudge & Gifts has been a landmark on Broadway in Grand Marais for nearly 20 years, offering delicious fudge and a fun assortment of gifts. Birchbark Books & Gifts was a natural addition to Beth Kennedy Roger’s entrepreneur career. Kennedy and her family converted an old car dealership into a beautiful warehouse of books, complete with a friendly children’s reading area.

Sivertson Gallery of Grand Marais was also nominated for the “Mature Entrepreneur” award—for the second time. Owner Jan Sivertson was reached at the art gallery and asked how she feels about being nominated for the Labovitz award. “I think it’s awesome. I’m thrilled.”

Stewardship Awards and the Health of Lake Superior

Sun, 04/20/2014 - 9:46am

Lissa Radke is the U.S. Coordinator of the Lake Superior Binational Forum and a regular guest on North Shore Morning.  In this interview with WTIP’s Joe Detrick, she discussed Lake Superior stewardship awards, and the history of Earth Day.

(Photo by Kevin T. Houle on Flickr)

Attached file

"Success Strategies for the Effective Leader" to be offered this spring

Sat, 04/19/2014 - 2:41pm

The Cook County Chamber of Commerce, Cook County Higher Education and the Cook County - Grand Marais Economic Development Authority’s Small Business Development Center office have joined forces to offer two six-week management leadership courses, Success Strategies for the Effective Leader, beginning this spring. One course will be for newer supervisors and managers. The other will be for more experienced managers, business owners and operators. Underwriting and scholarships make this training easy on the pocketbook.

Each course will involve six four-hour sessions, taught by Inez Wildwood of Lake Superior College. Wildwood has extensive experience in management training and currently serves as chair of the Governor’s Workforce Development Council. Her previous work included 15 years with Allete, Inc., the parent company of Minnesota Power, where she served in a succession of management positions, including talent acquisition and development, workforce planning and development, and employee relations.

The course for newer managers will begin Tuesday, May 20. The course for more experienced managers will begin Wednesday, May 21. For each course, three weekly sessions will be offered this spring, before the busy summer season fully gets under way. Another three sessions will be offered in the fall.

Cost of the course has been reduced to $300 per participant through a contribution from the Chamber of Commerce. Individual scholarships also are available through the Duluth Superior Area Community Foundation (DSACF) that can further reduce that cost by as much as 80 percent.

Labor agreement signed for North Shore Hospital employees

Sat, 04/19/2014 - 2:39pm

By a 4-0 vote, the Cook County North Shore Hospital board voted to accept the 2014-2015 Hospital and Care Center Association labor agreement at its April 7 meeting. Under terms of the agreement employees will get wage increases ranging from .75 percent to 2 percent. Last year employees received a 1 percent raise as part of their contract they signed two years ago.

Registered nurses aren’t covered in this agreement. The Minnesota Nursing Association (MNA) covers them and that contract is still in negotiation, said Hospital/Care Center Administrator Kimber Wraalstad.

The labor agreement runs from January 1, 2014 through December 31, 2015. Highlights of the contract include agreements on union dues and union activity, layoff procedures, holiday pay, promotions, transfers, grievance procedures, discipline procedures, shift schedules, and on call rates, which will remain at $4.75 per hour.

Paid holidays include New Year’s Day, President’s Day, Good Friday, Memorial Day, 4th of July, Christmas Day and Labor Day. Anyone working on a holiday will be paid two times the regular rate of pay for the hours they work.

Paid time off (PTO) is available to all employees to provide them with opportunities for an approved absence due to illness or injury of that of a family member who resides in their household, or for personal business, which can only be conducted during business hours, and for vacation. PTO increases as employees accumulate hours for time they have worked.