July 27, 2017


Another Great Day On The Lake for Guides and Kids!

by Robin Fisher

The NINTH annual Take-A-Kid Fishing on Lake Vermilion event was held Wednesday, July 19. This special event pairs children ages 10-15 with fishing guides and boat drivers willing to spend a day on the lake teaching the kids about fishing and boating and generally having a fun time in the boat! Most kids do not have the opportunity to have this kind of fun in the outdoors. This is a chance to set aside the video games, computers, and cell phones and try something new. Those who love and enjoy Lake Vermilion want to share the experience and inspire the next generation to do the same.
The event is offered free to the children, but they must apply ahead of time and only 100 can be accommodated. It takes a large amount of private donations from area businesses and local organizations plus a huge effort by the volunteers to make this event a success.
Sponsors include the Lake Vermilion Guides League, the Lake Vermilion Resort Association, and the Vermilion Lake Association. Members from these groups organize the event and guide the young fishermen.
Terry Grosshauser, president of the Vermilion Lake Association, wants to make sure that the younger generation uses and appreciates the lake.
Fishing guide Phil Bakken commented, "The event went really well this year. All nine years have been great events! We had over 90 kids spend time with 42 boat owners on our lake."
Volunteer Ed Tausk repeated the story of the first year of the event (2008). "Forty-one kids signed up and 14 of them had never been out fishing in a boat before. And just like this year, most of the kids are local too!"
Other sponsors include the Lions Club International, North Star Publishing, and Rick Pearson who donated his work on the event website.
Hard-working volunteers include Deb Wiehel and the Lescarbeau family. Deb and Rob Bryers, Lonnie and Kim Johnson also worked on this. Don and Laurie Potter with the Lake Vermilion Fire Brigade are always on hand to help.
This year's event was moved to Fortune Bay, which is 17 miles east of Cook. Brian Anderson, director of sales and PR with Fortune Bay, worked tirelessly to bring off this event. Not only did the roomy Marina host the event, the 5 p.m. fish fry was right there under the big white tents. Fortune Bay provided the food, tents, chairs, and staff!
Another sponsor is Sea Grant Minnesota. Their goal is to educate the boaters and kids about keeping invasive species out of our wonderful lakes. Doug spoke about the usual suspects: the spiny water flea, the zebra mussels, and the rusty crayfish. "But there is another scary new invader we must try to keep out of Lake Vermilion: Starry Stonewort. This root-like plant can form large mats that extend from the shore up to 10 feet out. All the normal herbicides don't kill it. A few lakes like Winnie already have it, but we need to keep it out. The big thing to remember for all boat trips: CLEAN, DRAIN, and DRY !"
Each boat with children that went out on Lake Vermilion had a unique experience. Fishing ranged from still-fishing with bobbers to trolling or casting. Most used leeches or nightcrawlers for bait. The day was gray and overcast, but still very hot and humid. Some boats used local resorts or cabins to enhance the trip. Some kids got to swim at McKinley Park between bouts of fishing! Even a couple of water slides got tested out!
Our Starcraft boat crew caught bluegills and crayfish. The two girls who were guests in the Fisher boat said, "We want to come back next year, go in the same boat, and do the same exact three stops we did this year!"
Alex Woitala of Tower said he caught a 21-inch bass.
The kids, guides, volunteers and sponsors all had a fantastic time. Folks who have boats should consider applying and taking kids out next year.

Vermilion Lake Association to hold Annual Meeting

The 49th annual meeting of the Vermilion Lake Association will be held Saturday, Aug. 12. This year's guest speaker is naturalist, wildlife photographer and writer Stan Tekiela. Tekiela will give a fun and informative talk on "Majestic Eagles," including hundreds of images of our national symbol and Lake Vermilion resident.
The event will be held at the Cook Community Center building at the Doug Johnson Recreation Area in Cook. The recreation area is located off Highway 53 on the Johnson Road.
The annual meeting begins with a social hour at 4:30 p.m., followed by a buffet dinner at 5:30. The dinner is being catered by Zup's and will include beef, meatballs, Polish delights, wild rice, baked beans, mashed potatoes, coleslaw, turkey and ham tray, veggie and cheese trays, rolls, coffee and milk. Beverages by Good Ol' Days will be available onsite.
A brief business meeting will begin at 6:15, followed by the evening program. The meeting will include reports from club officers, along with election of board members. Board members will be wearing name tags, so please take time during the evening to discuss with them your thoughts concerning the lake.
Cost to attend is as follows: $20 adults, $5 children 12 and under. This includes dinner and five raffle tickets, not to mention the great presentation on bald eagles and a chance to visit with friends and meet other association members.
Seating is limited to 180 persons. Please RSVP by Saturday, Aug. 5, to one of the following people. Please mention any dietary restrictions.
· Rhonda or Rob Joki, 218-666-6147
· Sheri or Lauren Sawatzky, 218-666-5512
· Ellen or Mel Hintz, 218-753-2401
· Georgia or Wayne Suoja, 218-753-2162
Please join us! Members and their out-of-town guests are welcome. Memberships are available at the door. Dress comfortably in your vacation attire.

North Woods' 9th-12th grades to get laptops


The St. Louis County Schools board knows they have to keep up with technology in order to give their students the best education possible, especially in a rural district. The St. Louis County Schools District is one of the largest in area in the United States. It is larger than many states. The five schools are spread around it with the schools usually separated by an hour to two-hour drive. Because of this, technology is their goal. At the regular board meeting held Monday at the District Office in Virginia, they were informed by Kristi Berlin, who is in charge of Technology Integration and Assessment, plus the Director of Curriculum, that all students in grades 9 through 12 will have laptop computers. In addition iPads will be given to the lower grades.
She reported that students didn't keep the batteries on their iPads charged, so they will now have the technology and ability to keep iPads in the classrooms for charging. There will be additional iPad carts available in math and science areas.
Berlin also reported that the district will be using all new math programs with K-5 Math using an upgraded version of Math Expressions, while grades 6-8 will be piloting a new math curriculum to meet the standards set.
Supt. Steve Sallee reported that he is putting together a study session in August to discuss the census study on enrollment and an overall update on capital projects. He added they will discuss a possible new addition to the Cherry School. Sallee told the board the negotiations committees for clerical and bus drivers had met and he feels they are close, but the negotiations with custodians aren't close. Sallee also reported he will be meeting with the County Board over the School Resource Officer Program (SRO). The district pays 25 percent and the count 75 percent. Sallee feels they have the votes to pass this highly successful program.
Sallee said he and Business Manager Kim Johnson are going to meet to go over the budget to look for items not necessary that they could cut.
After approving the Consent Agenda, the board approved an amended Prom Policy.
Business Manager Johnson presented the Long-Term Facilities Maintenance 10-year projection, which was approved. This can be changed in December.
Supt. Sallee will be teaching a seven- week course for St. Mary's University in International Falls. This is part of his contract and the board approved it.
With their fast increasing enrollment, Sallee requested the board approve hiring a 0.8 FTE Dean of Students for the Cherry School. Enrollment increased 46.6 percent from FY 2011 to FY 2017. This was also approved.
Metasys, the computer program that keeps things going in the schools, such as heating, etc., will be upgraded. Maintenance Director Tony Buccanero said they were falling behind on upgrades. The total cost is $24,526, which includes a three-year software upgrade that costs $9,986. The board said "yes."
Carl Clark, project manager for the Northeast Range Heating system change, had a change order that would replace existing countertops with laminate. The board had approved replacing some countertops with Corian at a cost of $84,200. Changing to laminate for all countertops will cost an additional $16,960, which was approved. The structural steel to support the rooftop has been enhanced and will cost an additional $31,810 according to a quote from General Contractor Lenci Enterprises.
Director of Grounds and Facilities Tony Buccanero will receive an additional $3,000 stipend for the project management duties he has with the NER project.
Teaching staff hired were Rachel Johnson, tenured 1.0 FTE elementary at North Woods, and probationary teachers Corrie Foster-Little 1.0 FTE Special Ed. at Cherry, Rachael Grotberg 0.2 FTE FACS at Cherry, Sondra Monson 1.0 FTE Special Ed. at North Woods, Jennifer Burnett 1.0 FTE Special Ed. at North Woods, Loreena Stage l.0 FTE Social Studies at North Woods, Peter Micholic, 1.0 Instrumental and Classroom Music at North Woods, Mark Faiman 1.0 FTE Language Arts, Health, Math and Social Studies at North Woods, Ethan Stachovich 1.0 Special Ed. at NER, and Wendy Jordan, 0.5 Special Ed. at Tower-Soudan.
Michael Mattson was hired as a part-time custodian at Tower-Soudan, and Jeffrey Anderson as a bus driver at North Woods.
Angel Dahl was hired as the assistant volleyball coach at Cherry.
Zachary Swart was hired as the 0.8 FTE Dean at Cherry, and Sheri Lee as the 0.2 FTE Success Coach at Cherry.
There being no other business, the meeting was adjourned.


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