Around Cook County

News and other information from Cook County

County approves purchase of new crew cab truck for highway department

Wed, 04/02/2014 - 12:48pm

County Highway Department Supervisor Russell Klegstad asked the county board for approval to purchase a 2015 GMC Sierra 4WD crew cab truck for $36,476.81 to replace one that was totaled in a rollover accident last summer. The county received $16,313.75 from insurance for the totaled truck that will be used toward the purchase. The truck would be purchased from Nelson Auto Center in Fergus Falls, MN, which is the dealer for state bids. Commissioners approved the purchase unanimously at the March 25 board meeting.

Pinwheels symbolize hope for Child Abuse Prevention Month

Wed, 04/02/2014 - 12:46pm

The commissioners meeting on Tuesday, March 25, 2014 was brightened a bit by an offering of colorful pinwheels. A team of child abuse prevention advocates brought the pinwheels, explaining that the uplifting symbol of childhood represents the community’s efforts to ensure safe and healthy development of children.

Joni Kristenson of Cook County Public Health said it is important to work to prevent child abuse all year long, but noted that April is Child Abuse Prevention Month and extra effort is made to educate the public about the problem. She said pinwheels were chosen to serve as this year’s visual presentation.

Jodi Yuhasey of the Violence Prevention Center passed out the pinwheels and said, “Pinwheels make you smile. They symbolize what childhood should be, a time of hope, health and happiness.”

Kristenson said some communities “plant” pinwheel gardens, but noted that Cook County has too much rock.

Beth Faraone of Cook County Human Services quipped, “And snow!”

Kristenson asked the county board to pass a Child Abuse Prevention Month Proclamation. She shared a draft resolution and the county board agreed to issue the proclamation.

County Administrator Jay Kieft to read the announcement, first saying, “I’m privileged to read this proclamation.”

So, watch for Pinwheels to start popping up around the county in April.

Grand Portage election results are in

Wed, 04/02/2014 - 9:51am

Results are in from Tuesday’s Grand Portage Reservation primary election. For Secretary/Treasurer, incumbent April McCormick (Clearwater-Day) had 36.33 percent of the vote, with Dennis B. Morrison close behind with 35.97 percent.

For the position of Committeeperson-1, Rob Hull had the highest vote total at 38.85 percent, with Amber Porter behind him at 22.66 percent. The seat is currently held by Arvid Dahl, who did not run for reelection.

For Committeeperson-2, incumbent John Morrin drew 41.16 percent of the vote, William “Bill” Myers had 36.82 percent.



Local Rest Areas remain closed due to snow

Wed, 04/02/2014 - 5:42am

Six, seasonal rest areas in Northeastern Minnesota will remain closed until Monday, April 21 due to deep snow.  They include the Knife River rest area in Lake County on Hwy 61, Cut Face Creek in Cook County, on 61 west of Grand Marais and the Cross River rest area also on 61at Schroeder.

Elections in Grand Portage on Tuesday, April 1

Mon, 03/31/2014 - 11:47am

Elections will be held in Grand Portage on Tuesday, April 1, 2014 and members of the Grand Portage Band of Lake Superior have a full slate of candidates to choose from for the three seats on the ballot. Voters will be choosing who will serve as secretary/treasurer, committeeperson 1 and committeeperson II. All of the terms are for four years.

Running for the secretary/treasurer position is incumbent April Clearwater-Day McCormick. She is challenged by two citizens—Dana Logan and Dennis B. Morrison.

Seven people are running to fill the committeeperson 1 seat currently held by Arvid Dahl. Dahl is not running for reelection. On the ballot will be Amber Porter, Ricky Parent, Toby Stephens, Rob Hull, Mike Keyport, Orlando “Dedo” Swader, and Norma Hendrickson-Roth.

Incumbent John Morrin is running once again for committeeperson II and he is challenged by William “Bill” Myers and Bonnie Johnson.

The election is held in accordance with Minnesota Chippewa Tribe ordinances. Polls open at 8 a.m. at the Old Log Community Building on April 1 and close at 8 p.m.

The Grand Portage Reservation Tribal Council is the governing body of Grand Portage. The enrolled members of the band elect the tribal council officers. The council oversees health care, social services, education, jobs, housing, public safety, and more.

Currently serving on the Tribal Council are Chairman Norman W. Deschampe, Vice-chairman John Morrin, Secretary-Treasurer April McCormick, Councilman Arvid Dahl and Councilwoman Janice Marie Spry.

Local Energy Project successful in second request for county funding

Mon, 03/31/2014 - 11:45am

George Wilkes of the Cook County Local Energy Project (CCLEP) started the discussion at the county board meeting on Tuesday, March 25 by saying, “I hope you’re giving out points today for persistence this morning.” Wilkes was back to make a second appeal for funding to support a part-time coordinator for CCLEP.

At the March 11 county board meeting, Wilkes and Virginia Danfelt of CCLEP asked for $4,000, which the county contributed to CCLEP last year. That request was denied and Commissioner Sue Hakes made a motion to contribute $2,000 instead. That motion also failed. The board said the donation was not budgeted for and it wouldn’t be fair to other non-mandated organizations who have been instructed to plan for a 5 percent reduction.

At the latest meeting, Wilkes said CCLEP acknowledges its mistake in not following proper budget procedure. He said CCLEP is now on the county’s non-mandated funding request list for 2015 and he said the organization would now follow the proper procedure for the 2015 budgeting cycle. In light of that, Wilkes said CCLEP had modified its request from $4,000 to $3,000.

Wilkes noted that the Grand Marais City Council had approved a contribution of $2,000 toward funding the CCLEP coordinator on March 12.

Commissioner Heidi Doo-Kirk made a motion to deny the request for the same reasons as stated at the previous meeting and Commissioner Garry Gamble seconded.

After significant discussion, the motion to deny failed and Commissioner Sue Hakes, stating that CCLEP is most closely affiliated with biomass, but actually offers a “wealth of other activities.”

Hakes said she would actually like to contribute $3,000, but because the city contributed $2,000, she made a motion to do the same. That motion passed, with Martinson, Hall and Hakes voting in favor and Doo-Kirk and Gamble in opposition.