October 8, 2015


Ecklund outduels three others to take District 3A primary


The election to fill the District 3A House spot vacated when Rep. David Dill's untimely death occurred is now set. The DFL primary was held Tuesday, Sept. 29, with four candidates: Rob Ecklund of International Falls, Eric Johnson of International Falls, Bill Hansen of Tofte and Heidi Omerza of Ely, vying for the chance to face Republican Roger Skraba and Independent Kelsey Johnson.
With all of the district's widespread 99 precincts reporting, Ecklund had 3,083 votes, with Hansen getting 2,637. Hansen, a well known environmentalist, hindered his run when he said the PolyMet Mine would bring in prostitutes, drugs and "man camps." Hansen lost to Dill in Dill's first two runs. He had accumulated a huge war chest of over $30,000 from environmentalists for this bid.
Ecklund had a very staunch backing in the western part of the District and up north. Hansen took votes from sparsely populated areas. Hansen came close in Morse Township, outpolling Ecklund by two votes at 149-147. Johnson had 678 votes while Omerza pulled in 655.
District 3A has been, traditionally, DFL, so it would appear that Ecklund has the inside track to replace Dill. Dill's wife, Tucky, and son, Drake, were big Ecklund supporters, which had to help him.
Hansen seemed to have given up on getting votes in Crane Lake, Orr, Cook and Internationals Falls as well as the Tower area.
The actual election to fill the District 3A job will take place Tuesday, Dec. 8. The winner will only hold the job until the November elections next year when the job will be up for grabs again.

New deputy clerk/treasurer hired

by A.J. Shuster

The business before the Cook Council at its Sept. 24 meeting was a report by JPJ engineer John Jamnick. Due to overbudgeting, the Lake Vermilion Fire Brigade's building project is tabled, bids rejected, and County grant declined. Further, the River Street bridge project is proceeding with demolition of a former residence, after an environmental check for asbestos.
The Library Committee recently adopted some new policies. A patron's choice of selections or requests for materials may not be shared with anyone else, except by court order. Items on hold for a patron may be released for pick-up by a family member who resides with that patron. A patron may request to not release the materials to anyone on their behalf. Besides these privacy issues, a detailed plan was established regarding criteria used in selection of materials purchased or accepted as part of the Library's collection. Other procedural issues (checking out materials, due dates, fines, etc.) were also clearly defined.
Tom Beaudry, Cook's representative to Iron Range Youth in Action, reported a trip by a number of young people to the Cities to clean the Ronald McDonald House, and to also help at a food shelf. He says that IRYA is "alive and well" at North Woods School. A request for donated furniture was made for the Range Transitional Housing.
Of those who applied, Stephanie Beaudry was approved and hired as the new Cook deputy clerk/treasurer.
The next Comprehensive Plan meeting will be held in City Hall on Friday, Oct. 23, at 10 a.m.

Local soldier competing in 2015 Army Best Warrior Competition

Staff Sergeant Andrew Fink, a Special Operations Combat Medic from Cook, will be competing in the upcoming U.S. Army Best Warrior Competition beginning Oct. 5, at Fort A.P. Hill, Virginia. Twenty-six of the Army's finest Warriors, representing 13 U.S. Army major commands, will test their skills and knowledge against Army standards and each other. SSG Fink, from Cook, is one of these elite soldiers selected to compete in this intense competition.
These soldiers have advanced ahead of their peers at multiple competitions over the last several months at their posts, camps, and stations. During the four-day competition, these elite competitors will test their Army aptitude by conquering urban warfare simulations, board interviews, physical fitness tests, written exams, and Warrior tasks and battle drills relevant to today's operating environment.


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