Around Cook County
At the March Tofte township meeting, citizens heard an interesting update from Birch Grove Foundation Director Patty Nordahl—about bread. Nordahl said the foundation was looking at installing an outside brick oven on the Birch Grove Community Center grounds.
Brick ovens are popular and are used by groups to make pizzas and bread (among other things) for large gatherings. The cost is estimated at $6,000, said Nordahl.
“There might even be a chance to sell bread to area restaurants,” said Nordahl, adding that she didn’t know if there were any commercial health code rules prohibiting or allowing such sales.
After some discussion the Tofte town board said it was behind the concept, and discussed ways to finance building an outdoor oven.
Tofte Supervisor Jim King asked Nordahl if she was familiar with the brick oven at North House Folk School, and Nordahl said yes, the one being proposed for Birch Grove was similar in size. King said North House has classes make brick ovens and one could possibly be purchased from the school cheaper than one being built at the center.
Nordahl will pursue that option and come back to the board with an update. The next Tofte Town Meeting is Thursday, April 12 at 6 p.m. at the Town Hall.
Cook County Viking Ashley Deschampe is one of five players named by the Duluth News Tribune to its 2012 All-Area Girls Basketball Team.
The senior Viking guard led her team in scoring every game this year. She averaged nearly 25 points per game and snared five and a half rebounds. She also averaged more than three assists per game and three steals.
Deschampe is the Vikes’ career scoring leader with more than 1,800 points scored. During her four-year starting role for Coach TJ Super, she had games of 44 and 34 points each in Section 7-A playoff games.
Deschampe was named this year as the most valuable player in the Polar League, She was also recognized as an honorable mention on both the Minneapolis StarTribune and St. Paul Pioneer Press All-State Teams.
Superior, Wisconsin sophomore forward Jessica Lindstrom was named All-Area Player of the Year by the News Tribune.
Also named to the Duluth paper’s All-Area First Team were senior guard Alex Freeman of Duluth East, senior guard Mariah McDonald of Ely and junior center Savanna Trapp of Esko.
On February 6, 2012, Minnesota Power (MP) filed a study with the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission (PUC) that explores future energy needs along with the potential impact of bringing three of Minnesota Power’s coal-fired plants into compliance with pending EPA regulations.
The study, called a Baseload Diversification Study, was ordered by the Minnesota PUC and required Minnesota Power to examine various scenarios including retrofitting the facilities to bring them into compliance with future regulations or shutting plants down completely.
In February 2012, Minnesota Power Regional Development Director Nancy Aronson Norr told the Cook County News-Herald, “We are being asked to look at the potential of closing Taconite Harbor.”
Fresh Energy, an environmental non-profit group, is hosting a free public forum from 7 to 9 p.m. April 11 at the University of Minnesota-Duluth’s Labovitz School of Business and Economics.
According to Fresh Energy, this forum will provide information about Minnesota Power’s report on the future of their oldest coal plants, and panelists will discuss plans for diversifying electricity supply to clean, efficient sources of energy that will create and sustain good paying jobs in northeastern Minnesota.
Speakers include Al Rudeck, vice president of strategy and planning, Minnesota Power; J. Drake Hamilton, science policy director, Fresh Energy; and Jill Doberstein, program manager, American Lung Association of Minnesota. The League of Women Voters of Duluth will moderate the panel discussion and question-and-answer period.
For more information, contact J. Drake Hamilton at Hamilton@fresh-energy.org.
Interested in the planning for a new Cook County community center? The Community Center Steering Committee is holding a Community Input Session tomorrow evening, Tuesday, April 10 in the Community Ed gym (the old gym) from 5 - 7 p.m.
Steering committee members and consultants have been discussing the possible attachment of the community center to the west end of I.S.D. #166 school, along with the feasibility of program and operational management through the YMCA organization, and are soliciting public input. Steering committee members encourage everyone to attend and ask questions.
School Board Member Jeanne Anderson was the only school representative at the last steering committee meeting and she said the issue of whether or not to support attaching the community center to the school had not been decided. She said it would be discussed at a school board work session at 4 p.m. on April 11 in the Jane Mianowski Conference Center at I.S.D. 166.
Anderson said the school board didn’t know yet what the costs would be to repair the community education gym floor, replace ceiling tiles, and make other repairs. She said it is hoped that School Maintenance Director Mike Groth would have that information at an April 11 school board work session.
However, Anderson added, “The reality is, we are going to be spending money no matter what. I see this as a great opportunity, but we do need some solid numbers to make that decision.”
Holiday greetings from all of us at the Cook County News-Herald --- may you have a wonderful spring day with friends and family!
Grand Marais city councilors have set April 11 as the day on
which a public hearing will be held to consider an annexation request
which, if approved, may pave the way for construction of a zip line at
the city’s west entrance.
The site in question is a 5-acre parcel at 1800 W. Highway 61 (near
the Grand Marais Inn, formerly Tomteboda) which is currently zoned
R-1. To accommodate the zip line, the owners are asking that the zone
district be changed to R/C (Recreation-Commercial). And because the
parcel lies outside of the city limits, it would have to be annexed in
order for the city to change the zoning.
City Administrator Mike Roth explained at council’s Feb. 29 meeting
that a public hearing regarding the annexation has to be held after
all adjacent owners and the county have been given 30 days notice.
Council then has to vote approval of the proposed annexation and
notify the state, which must grant final approval.
It was decided that council’s April 11 meeting was the soonest the
public hearing could be scheduled without holding a special meeting.
City Attorney Chris Hood said he saw no complications or problems with
gaining approval from the state once the city has said okay, as the
annexation petition is a relatively simple and straightforward one.
Past efforts at annexation in Grand Marais have been bogged down in
the legal process, and took extended periods of time to complete –
that should not be the case here, Hood said.
Upon completion of the annexation and rezoning, HRH Highway 61 and
Matt Geretschlaeger are proposing to construct two 1,000-foot-long