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Weekend News Roundup for July 27

Sat, 07/27/2013 - 10:02am

Each week the WTIP news staff puts together a roundup of the news over the past five days. A happy ending lost dog story, tall ships in Duluth, bear researcher sues DNR and Lake Superior shoreland is sold …all in this week’s news.


Attached file

Teen canoeists rescue lost dog in Minn.'s BWCAW

Fri, 07/26/2013 - 9:24am

TOFTE, Minn. (AP) — Some Minnetonka High School students have rescued a lost dog in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness.

The five teens were on a canoe trip this week when they saw a note scrawled on a rock at their island campsite, saying "Lost dog, call DNR."

The boys soon spotted Tomah, the lost Shetland sheepdog. The teens, all cross-country runners, tried chasing the dog, but Tomah was too fast.

The teens spotted the dog the next morning and grabbed him. With the dog in the canoe, they paddled to meet one of the boys' dads, who drove them to the U.S. Forest Service ranger station in Tofte, where there was a sign with Tomah's name and his owners' phone number.

The Star Tribune reports Tomah was reunited with his owners.

DRN sells Lake Superior shoreline for $1.2 million

Thu, 07/25/2013 - 11:06am

ST. PAUL (AP) — A chunk of state-owned land on the shores of Lake Superior has been sold for over $1 million and will benefit public schools.

The 65-acre property includes nearly 1,700 feet of lakeshore 10 miles north of Silver Bay. It was sold to two individuals during a public auction Wednesday. State lawmakers last year approved the sale of lake land to boost funding for schools. The sale had previously been prohibited unless approved by the legislators.

Not everyone is happy about the sale of the prime property, including the Parks & Trails Council of Minnesota. Executive director Brett Feldman called the sale disappointing.

Advocates had hoped a state trail would be built on the land. But the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources said it prefers a connection to the nearby Gitchi-Gami trail be built further inland.

Senior Center hosts Spaghetti Dinner Friday

Wed, 07/24/2013 - 8:00pm

On Friday, July 26 from 5 - 7 p.m. the Cook County Senior Center will be hosting a Spaghetti Dinner Fundraiser at the center on Broadway.
On the menu is all you can eat, homemade spaghetti, tossed salad, bread, lemonade and coffee. The cost is $10 at the door. Children 6 and under: $5. Cash and local checks accepted. And of course additional donations are always welcomed and much appreciated.
Bus transportation will be available by reservation within the near Grand Marais area.
For more information on Senior Center activities, stop in or call the Senior Center at (218) 387-2660.

Library Board budget approved by city of Grand Marais

Wed, 07/24/2013 - 7:58pm

Grand Marais Public Library Director Linda Chappell and Audrey Stattelman, president of the library board, presented the library’s 2014 budget proposal at the Wednesday, July 10, Grand Marais City Council meeting. The library budget first comes before council because both the city council and Cook County commissioners must approve it; under the terms of a joint operating agreement, each entity pays half of the library’s operating expenses.
As usual, said Stattelman, there are still a number of unknown factors that may influence the final budget, making projections a bit difficult. For example, the union contract, health insurance, public utilities costs and a propane contract are still awaiting finalization, she said. The 2014 budget also includes the cost of carpet cleaning, which should be done about every 18 months.
Chappell said the library has been seeing “hordes of people” who are enjoying the newly renovated building. There are some new services the library staff will concentrate on next year, said Chappell, such as an online magazine service, portable devices for public use, and an electronic book service offered through the Arrowhead Library System.
“People love the new services,” said Chappell. “But they don’t want to give up the old ones either.”
Despite the new offerings and plans for even more services, there is good news about the budget. Chappell said that, due mainly to a librarian’s retirement earlier this year, she anticipates a less than 1 percent increase in the 2014 budget. By comparison, the 2013 budget was an increase of 4.4 percent over the prior year.

Great Lakes Restoration funds slashed in House bill

Wed, 07/24/2013 - 7:17am

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. (AP) — A subcommittee in the U.S. House is proposing the steepest cut in spending on a far-reaching Great Lakes environmental cleanup program since it was established in 2009. The panel approved a bill yesterday that would spend just $60 million on the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, nearly 80 percent less than the $285 million in this year's budget.

The vote came from the interior and environment subcommittee of the House Appropriations Committee. The panel establishes federal spending limits and it voted on 2014 appropriations for departments including the Environmental Protection Agency.

The Cleveland Plain Dealer newspaper reports the current $285 million spending level is already below the amount envisioned by White House and congressional leaders for the multi-year restoration program.

The bill cuts more than 80 percent of a revolving state loan fund used to help communities upgrade old sewer systems, going from $1.03 billion today to $250 million for fiscal year 2014.

Also the bill would give the Environmental Protection Agency a 34 percent cut over the currently enacted level.

The National Endowments for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities would be cut by nearly 49 percent.

The bill also contains special provisions for certain industries. One provision would alter rules for mining companies that would ensure the availability of clean up funds.