Around Cook County
On January 29, the county board interviewed two people interested in serving on the Cook County/Grand Marais Economic Development Authority (EDA) board, Andrew Warren and Abby Tofte.
Warren has been managing East Bay Suites and recently was named general manager of Caribou Highlands (both of which belong to Odyssey Resorts). He has significant experience in nonprofit fundraising and construction. Tofte is young and identified herself as one of many tourist industry employees who want to be able to stay in Cook County but struggle to find affordable housing.
Both talked about the value of the tourist industry to Cook County’s economy, and both strongly supported the installation of broadband infrastructure throughout the county because it will expand career options and make the county more attractive to visitors and potential residents.
Commissioner Sue Hakes said people in the lodging industry were already on the board and recommended Tofte because of the “diversity” she would bring. Because of her difficulty finding affordable housing, Hakes said, Tofte has been “living the problem.”
Commissioners Heidi Doo-Kirk and Jan Hall agreed that the EDA was heavy on business and resort owners at this point. Hall said she believed having a non-managerial employee on the EDA was important.
Commissioner Bruce Martinson pointed out that Warren had a lot of experience and thought he might better represent the interests of the West End because he works for Caribou Highlands. Garry Gamble said he thought Warren would bring skills that would serve the current needs of the EDA.
It was a really hard decision, but the board unanimously passed a motion naming Tofte to the EDA but also encouraging Warren to apply for the next opening on the board.
At the last county board meeting on January 29, commissioners were informed that bids for the next phase of construction of the Cook County Family YMCA have come in higher than budget. Wade Cole and Mark Kragenbring of ORB Management and Dan Miller of JLG Architects talked to the county board about how $1,959,426 worth of amenities could be cut out of the project.
Wade Cole said he felt good about the level of competition in the more than 20 bids, which included bids for masonry, carpentry, roofing, flooring, painting, aquatics, plumbing, HVAC, electrical, and fire protection, among other things. At Cole’s request, the board authorized re-bidding the precast concrete portion of the work to reflect a design change that would lower the cost of the exterior panels without lowering the quality.
Cole said a lot of the overage was related to the outdoor amenities, such as the softball field. Commissioner Bruce Martinson said that the cost of the softball field was originally expected to be $250,000 but is now projected at $900,000.
The Community Center Steering Committee had met on January 25 to talk about potential cuts. They discussed options for reducing costs such as not building a soccer field or reconstructing the older tennis courts as planned. The committee looked at reducing the vestibule area in the community center, reducing window and door sizes and not installing bleachers in the gym. They believe other savings would be realized from costs not being as high as the amount budgeted, such as for furniture, fixtures, and equipment.
Lonnie Dupre is back in Talkeetna Alaska after a third attempt to summit Denali WTIP’s Jay Andersen spoke with Lonnie Monday 4:30am Alaska time.
The Ely Timberwolves took both the boys and girls team titles in the Cook County Invitational Saturday at Pincushion Trails system in Grand Marais.
Ely’s boys beat the rest of the pack with 379 points. They edged Duluth East who finished second with 374.
Mesabi East junior Sam Johnson won the 10.9-kilometer boys pursuit raise in a split second over 34 minutes.
In the girls race, the Ely girls took the top spot with 383 again just edging top-ranked Duluth East’s 381.
Ely senior Amy Bianco won thte girls 10.9-ilombeter pursuit in 37 minutes and 44 seconds. Bianco’s eighth-grade sister Erin was second at 40 minutes and four seconds.
No information was available Monday morning on how Cook County and other teams finished.
The Cook County/Silver Bay boys Alpine Ski Team won the Duluth Denfeld invitational at Mont Du Lac on Friday. The Viking girls finished second.
CC/SB won the boys meet with 105 points while Virginia Area finished second at 99. Hibbing was third with 75.
Anders Zimmer and Luke Fenwick finished fourth and fifth for CC/SB. Zimmer finished with a time of 1:03:22 while Fenwick came in at 1:04:74.
In the girls event, Duluth East won with 134 points followed by Cook County/Silver Bay with 29 and Virginia Area in third at 88.5
Morgan Weyrens finished third for CC/SB in the meet with a time of 1:10:82.
In boys hockey, the North Shore Storm traveled to Kittson Central in Hallock and took home a 4-0 loss.
Zach Duresky was in goal for the Storm and had 37 saves. The loss dropped the Storm to 10-9-1 for the year. The Storm includs players from Cook and Lake counties.
The Silver Bay Area girls hockey team finished the regular season at 7-17-1 with a win and a loss in the final two games on the schedule.
Kieran Scannell of Grand Marais, a senior at Phillips Exeter Academy in Exeter, New Hampshire, has been named one of more than 3,000 candidates in the 2013 U.S. Presidential Scholars Program.
Kieran is the son of Lynn Swanson and Tim Scannell of Grand Marais. Scannell was also a Cook County Viking athlete before transferring to Phillips Exeter. This year, he was a co-captain of the cross country team and was selected as the "most valuable player" on the Phillips Exeter team.
The candidates for the Presidential Scholars Program have been selected from nearly 3.4 million students expected to graduate from U.S. high schools in the year 2013. Inclusion in the U.S. Presidential Scholars Program, now in its 49th year, is one of the highest honors bestowed upon graduating high school seniors. Scholars are selected on the basis of superior academic and artistic achievements, leadership qualities, strong character and involvement in community and school activities.
Over 3,000 candidates were selected for their exceptional performance on either the College Board SAT
or the ACT Assessment. In addition, each Chief State School Officer was invited to nominate
three male and three female candidates, based on their outstanding scholarship, residing in the CSSO’s
jurisdiction. Further consideration is based on students’ essays, self-assessments, descriptions of
activities, school recommendations, and school transcripts. A distinguished panel of educators will
review these submissions and select 500 semifinalists in early April.
Each weekend WTIP news produces a round up of the news stories they’ve been following this week. Lonnie Dupre is forced to abandon his assault on Denali, The DNR begins GPS collaring moose while one county resident mounts a petition to stop the fall hunt. The deer harvest was down and some post office windows will soon start shorter hours…all in this week’s news.