Around Cook County
Help available at Sawtooth Mountain Clinic for navigating insurance options under Affordable Care ActTue, 11/19/2013 - 9:04am
People are used to shopping around for the best deal when they are buying a winter jacket or a new car. Comparing prices—choosing a brand name or generic—comes naturally at the grocery store. And there are numerous choices and rate options to sort through when buying car insurance. However, in the past, shopping for health insurance was not as easy. In fact, it was often downright impossible. Rachelle Christianson, recently hired to serve as the Outreach and Enrollment Specialist at Sawtooth Mountain Clinic, is hopeful that with the advent of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), finding health care coverage will be more affordable. And, she said, it is her job to make it less stressful.
Christianson is one of the thousands of “navigators” funded by the ACA across the country to help people find a health plan that works for them. She is working closely with Suzanne Davies, who has overseen the sliding-scale payment program at Sawtooth Mountain Clinic for years. The women share a small office off the clinic lobby and there, they will meet with people and go through the process of shopping the MNsure health insurance marketplace step by step. The News-Herald visited with them on October 31 to learn more about what they have to offer.
They are both very excited about the new options, especially because Minnesota is one of the 13 states that has set up its own state insurance marketplace.
A recent disciplinary action at Cook County High School (CCHS) has some community members upset. One Saturday night in October, several students and a recent graduate let themselves into the school so they could play basketball in the gymnasium. A parent who had previously been involved in the athletic program gave them the key, following a tradition of CCHS athletes practicing in the school gym outside of regular school hours.
When the young people were on their way out of the school, they were met by a police officer, who told them that they were not supposed to be in the school without proper supervision and that this would be reported to the school.
On the Monday following the event, the students were called into Principal Adam Nelson’s office and told them they had violated school rules and would be suspended from school the following day.
Isle Royale National Park is currently drafting a Cultural Resource Management Plan/Environmental Impact Statement (CRMP/EIS) that will determine, among other things, the status of commercial fishing families and others with historic ties to the island.
WTIP’s Ann Possis spoke with third generation Isle Royale family member Stuart Sivertson on North Shore Morning.
(Click on link to North Shore Morning below to hear the interview.)
Isle Royale National Park to hold public meeting in Duluth on cultural resources and Isle Royale wolvesMon, 11/18/2013 - 2:09pm
Isle Royale National Park has hosted three public meetings in Minnesota and Michigan to discuss the Cultural Resources Management Plan (CRMP) currently under development, as well as the status of wolf management on the island. A final meeting will be held in Duluth on November 20, 2013 at the Great Lakes Aquarium, 353 Harbor Drive.
During the meetings, the National Park planning team will present information about preliminary draft alternative concepts that provide a range of options for the management, treatment, and interpretation of cultural resources. The presentation will be followed by an opportunity for the public to discuss the alternative concepts, as well as other ideas about the plan and planning process with the planning team.
The county attorney’s office staff is very busy these days and a wage increase was requested at the Nov. 12 board meeting in recognition of increased responsibilities for Assistant County Attorney Molly Hicken and Victim-Witness Coordinator/Paralegal Jeanne Smith.
A November 7 memo from Assistant County Attorney Hicken to county board department liaison Heidi Doo-Kirk states, “On October 15, 2013, [County Attorney] Tim Scannell gave notice that he was leaving the office indefinitely on medical leave and that he would be passing responsibility for running the office on to myself with the assistance of Jeanne Smith. Tim stated he would support an increase in wage for both Jeanne and I because of the drastic increase in responsibility.”
Attorney Scannell left on medical leave just one week before a grand jury in St. Louis County indicted him on two felony counts of criminal sexual conduct related to his relationship with a 17-year-old Cook County girl.
The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources plans to hold a public hearing in Superior on Tuesday, November 26. The hearing will be an opportunity to discuss a permit which would allow Superior-based Elkhorn Industries to repair a dock on the bed of the St. Louis River for future use as an oil shipping terminal.
Elkorn Industries is working with the Calumet Superior Refinery to renovate the terminal, which will use it as a shipping base for moving crude oil from the Enbridge pipeline across the Great Lakes. Oil in the Enbridge pipeline is sourced from North Dakota and Alberta. If granted, the permit will be the first step toward making the project a reality.
Elkhorn submitted a water permit application for the project to the Wisconsin DNR in January of 2013, which will be open for public comment through December 6. The Wisconsin DNR will then have to make a decision as whether to grant the permit within 20 days.
The Calumet refinery is owned by Calumet Specialty Products Partners, L.P. and currently produces gasoline, diesel, asphalt and heavy fuel oils.
The hearing will be held from 12:30 pm until 4 p.m., at the Superior Public Library, and will include presentations by both Elkhorn Industries and the Wisconsin DNR. There will also be time at the end of the hearing for testimony from the public.