Around Cook County
The Elders at the Grand Portage Elderly Nutrition Program are staying busy. There continues to be strong participation in weekly water aerobics, chair exercise and Wisdom Steps programs. These programs are especially important as the weather makes it hard to get outdoors. ENP Director Patty Winchell-Dahl said, “When we keep moving, we have less pain from arthritis, stay strong and are less likely to fall. Keeping active makes us healthier and can contribute to a positive, happier outlook on life.”
Anyone interested in participating with Wisdom Steps, please call Carol Hackett at (218) 475-2655. All types of exercise count towards your goal for Wisdom Steps not just walking. The program is open to adults 50 years of age and older.
The ENP has many opportunities to volunteer. Currently ENP is in need of Elders to listen to the grade school children read twice a week. Anyone with some time, please call Patty at the ENP at 457-2655 or 475-2002.
A recently completed aerial survey of moose in northeastern Minnesota indicates the rate of population decline has accelerated dramatically.
The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources announced Wednesday that the northeast population declined 35 percent from last year. Since 2010, the moose population has declined 52 percent.
In response to the survey results, the DNR will not open a 2013 state moose hunting season or consider opening future seasons unless the population recovers.
“The state’s moose population has been in decline for years but never at the precipitous rate documented this winter,” said Tom Landwehr, DNR commissioner. “This is further and definitive evidence the population is not healthy. It reaffirms the conservation community’s need to better understand why this iconic species of the north is disappearing from our state.”
Landwehr stressed the state’s limited hunts are not the cause of the population decline. “Yet taking this action is reasonable and responsible in light of latest data and an uncertain future,” he said
Based on the aerial survey conducted in January, the new population estimate is 2,760 animals, down from 4,230 in 2012. The population estimate was as high as 8,840 as recently as 2006.
“It’s now prudent to control every source of mortality we can as we seek to understand causes of population decline,’’ said Landwehr.
Starting in January, wildlife researchers began fitting 100 moose in northeastern Minnesota with GPS tracking and data collection collars. This multi-year research project will investigate the causes of adult moose mortality, calf mortality, calf survival, moose use of existing habitat and habitat quality.
To date, 92 collars have been placed on moose in the Grand Marais, Ely and Two Harbors areas.
An encore presentation of the high school one-act comedy We're Not Making This Play Up As We Go - Honest by Bradley Walton will be given Feb. 7 at 7 p.m. at the Arrowhead Center for the Arts.
The cast includes Cy Fortunato, Luke Fenwick, Mikala Schliep, Sam Kern, Sam Deschampe, Seleine Morowitz, Emily Terrill, Melanie Stoddard and Michaela Peterson. Stage manager is Julia Larsen; director is Sue Hennessy.
Admission price? Bring two useable items for the food shelf or $3.
The local AARP tax aide volunteers have been training every Tuesday in January and February. They also attended a mandatory IRS “webinar” on Wednesday, January 23.
All of this training is necessary, explained Pam McDougall, one of the number crunchers at the webinar. “There are always a lot of changes—and we expect even more this year.”
At their Tuesday sessions, the volunteers review tax exercises, update tax prep computers and prepare for the 2012 tax law tests. It seems like a lot of hard work for volunteers, but another volunteer, Chuck Flickinger said, “We enjoy it. It is rewarding to help people through the process.”
The local AARP TaxAides will once again be helping members of the community with their federal and state income taxes, and property tax refunds—free of charge.
People are helped on a first-come first-serve basis. Once tax aides have gotten the information and tax documents, they can tell you when your tax return will be ready, so that you can leave and come back later if you wish.
A TaxAide will check your return for accuracy, after which you will receive a printed copy of your return, which will be e-filed to the government, with your refund arriving in one to four weeks depending upon your choice of direct deposit or mail.
The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources announced today the moose population in Northeastern Minnesota has dropped 35 percent from last year. The agency said it will not hold a season this fall or consider opening future seasons unless the population recovers.
District 3A Rep. David Dill said he fully supports the DNR action, and called the population drop “precipitous.” WTIP’s Jay Andersen spoke with Dill moments after the season announcement was made.
Six members of the Cook County/Silver Bay Boys Alpine Ski Team qualified for the State Meet after the team took second in the Section 7 Meet Tuesday at Giants Ridge in Biwabik.
The State Meet will be held Wednesday, February 13 at Giants Ridge.
Hermantown took first in the Section 7meet and CC/SB finished right behind them.
Anders Zimmer took the top spot for CC/SB by finishing eighth overall in 1:17.04. He was the only North Shore skier in the top 10.
Also qualifying for CC/SB were Will Lamb in 20th with a time of 1:19.47, Luke Fenwick in 22nd at 1:19.51, Logan Backstrom in 30th at 1:21.59, Kyle Martinson in 47th at 1:26.71. Collin Berglund did not finish the course.
The CC/SB girls team finished out of the running for the State Meet. Duluth East and Mounds View finished first and second in the Section 7 girls competition.