September 29, 2016

Cook City Council discusses water meters and Community Center Grand Opening event

by A.J. Shuster

At last Thursday's Cook Council meeting, city residents were reminded to schedule an appointment with Ferguson Waterworks (1-877-737-7174 or for a two-hour block of time to complete the installation of new water meters. There is no cost for this work, but it is a requirement to have water meters replaced. Installers will have an ID, wear uniforms, and have a completed background check. After the installation, no one needs to come to the residence to read or check the meter; the radio frequency will register at City Hall.
Through Minnesota Management and Budget Department, engineering and environmental consultants BARR will be working through a list of 25 cities to develop or estimate wastewater effluent limits. This will allow MMB to select 15 cities to develop an estimated cost of upgrading existing facilities to meet current and future standards. Cook is applying to participate.
The C.K. Blandin Foundation is seeking four rural Minnesota commu-nities to participate in their Community Broadband Program (BCBP). Selected through an application process, Blandin will then facilitate grant applications, assisting with identifying community needs. Cook is joining Orr and both Bois Forte locations to form a "rural community."
Recreation Committee secretary Tammy Palmer, along with board member Jeannie Taylor were on hand to share plans in the works for an Oct. 15 Grand Opening of the Cook Community Center. Some of the ideas being considered are running the event from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., with coloring and games for children outside, and pool table and foosball set up inside. Also, to have grilled brats and hot dogs with fruit and chips, door prize drawings, and a suggestion box for ideas on uses for this amazing facility. Other possibilities include an ambulance and fire truck on hand with free blood pressure checks, and a live band. Mark the date.
Sale of the "new" maintenance garage is final, to the satisfaction and gratitude of both sides.
The council and mayor agreed to a pledge to promote and take action to protect Monarch butterflies, which are seeing drastic declines in population (90 percent loss in 20 years). Signing the pledge includes receiving options of possible steps to take (i.e.: planting milkweed).
In closing comments, Kim Brunner praised the new sidewalk on Fifth Street South, and shared how it has improved the walking opportunities for those in the apartments.

Cook Hospital / Scenic Rivers Health Services to sponsor Women's Health Fair


Wednesday, Oct. 5, from 5 to 8 p.m., will be a special time for local women. Cook Hospital and Scenic Rivers Health Services are combining to hold a Women's Health Fair in the Cook Community Center located at the Doug Johnson Recreational Park. This is a great opportunity for the ladies of the area to hear the Kayak Lady, a motivational speaker. Her speech would be worth the time by itself.
Mary Shideler, the Kayak Lady, speaks from a varied and unique life. Her presentation is full of humor and insight. She may be short in stature, but she is long on spirit. She starts with her kayaking adventures in her own neck of the woods. She has broadened her adventures worldwide, traveling to all seven continents and bringing home lessons and insights that are not only educational, but entertaining and inspiring. She began globe trotting while in her 20s in Australia where she wrangled wild camels and worked at a sheep ranch. She also traveled with her then 86-year-old mother to China and Africa. Her recent adventures found mystery and enchantment in South America and Antarctica. Her speech is definitely a must.
Other speakers include Marjorie Johnson of the American Cancer Society, Dr. Josie Norberg Lopez on Women's Health, and Jana Bell, RN, CDE on Diabetic Health.
Chris Novak, IT manager at the Cook Hospital, and Scenic Rivers Nurse Supervisor Pam Rengo are heading up this unique event and invite all area women to attend. There will be hors d'oeuvres and sparkling beverage served and there will be registration for a grand door prize.
There will be booths on Flu Vaccines, Dental Health, Breast Care and Mammograms, Chiropractic Care, Facial Health, and Diabetic Health. A special part of the Health Fair is a Giant Walk-Through Colon.
The ladies can also have testings for Blood Pressure, Pulse Oximetry, Glucose Level, and Colon Cancer Screening for women over 50 free to the first 50 registered.

St. Louis County School Board sets preliminary maximum levy


The ISD 2142 St. Louis County School Board, at their regular meeting Monday at 5 p.m. in the South Ridge School, moved to set the preliminary levy for 2017 at the maximum amount. The actual levy will be set in December. It can be lowered, but can't be raised. The vote was six for it, with Orr board member Nancy Glowaski abstaining.
Supt. Steve Sallee asked Board Chair Chet Larson to name two board members to the HR Committee that deals with hiring. Cherry board member Lynette Zupetz and Northeast Range board member Gary Rantala were named to that new committee.
Sallee reported that the Mt. Iron/Buhl School District is interested in HR services from ISD 2142. He also reported the auditors were in to do their annual audit.
Sallee had attended a legal conference and brought back some interesting information. If a student is caught with a knife in school, to expel the student they have to show his "intent" on using it. This doesn't apply if the student has a gun. He also reported that "Cyber Bullying" is a rising problem.
Board member Glowaski asked if they were going to negotiate the superin-tendent's next contract. His present one is up June 30, 2017, and the new one will be for three years. Glowaski, who will be off the board after this year, apparently wanted to negotiate the contract now. The rest of the board wanted to wait until the new board is seated. Chairman Chet Larson noted that the contract wasn't up until next June. The negotiations will wait until the new board is seated.
South Ridge Principal Andy Bernard reported they have 244 students in 7-12 and 347 in K-6 for a total of 591. The school was built to hold 520. He also said the open house they had brought in 765 people and that was just those who signed in. He told the board he was impressed with the eight new teachers at the school. South Ridge will have an Early Childhood Family Education group. They didn't last year. Student Resource Officer Pat Olson has been making the rounds and getting ac-quainted with teachers and students. Carolyn Olson, the art teacher, has done it again for South Ridge. She has secured a $68,000 grant from the Minnesota Arts and is working on a $9,000 grant. She also received a $1,800 grant from the Duluth Rotary Club to help offset a trip to the Cities for the eighth grade. South Ridge will host the Minnesota State High School League Art Contest this spring.
Curriculum Director Kristi Berlin reported that sixth to eighth-grade math teachers are taking part in a regional math cohort to look at the MCA scores. She added that the district will be sending 18 teachers to a Leadership Training. She noted, "We are one of 23 school districts that will be represented."
With enrollment rising so fast, students in the North Woods School are short of lockers. The school was set for 520 students, but there are more. The board approved purchasing 27 new lockers at a cost of $8,700.
Since the Orr School Forest isn't being used, the board reconveyed it back to the State of Minnesota.
Scripps, that runs the National Spelling Bee, now wants schools to pay $145 per school to be part of the national spelling bee. If a district doesn't sign up until Oct. 16, the cost would go to $220. This would cost the district $1,305 if registered early or $1,980 for late registration. Supt. Sallee was not happy with this and recommended the district hold their own Spelling Bee at a cost of around $65. The board approved Sallee's proposal. It was pointed out that if other districts don't pay, the fee could be dropped by Scripps.
Transportation director Kay Cornelius recommended the conversion of the district's 2015 Chevrolet Suburban to propane as it would save money, and the board gave her their permission.
Supt. Sallee was given permission to attend the annual American Association of School Administrators National Conference in New Orleans next March.
At the study session held prior to the board meeting, the board heard a presentation on converting the Northeast Range heating system from steam to hot water. The cost is round $7 million. This was approved unanimously.
The Special Education teacher at Cherry, John Villebrun, had his unpaid leave of absence approved.
The resignation of South Ridge Social Studies teacher Kyle Chisholm at 0.4 FTE was approved.
Cherry paraprofessional Jacqueline Senarighi had her resignation approved.
Cherry Indian Education Program assistant Emily Cavanaugh was terminated.
The board next approved the hiring of substitutes for 2016-2017. See list below.
Probationary teachers Rachel Deibele, 1.0 FTE Secondary Spec. Ed. at SR, Allan White, 1.0 FTE Secondary Spec. Ed. at Cherry, and Bjornstjerne Anderson, 0.4 FTE Social Studies at SR were approved.
The following ECFE Teacher Aides and Preschool Teacher Assistants were hired for the 2016-2017 school year: ECFE Teacher Aides: Sandy Mancini, Janet Zganjar, Cindy Lindula, Kelly Taylor, Carrie Erickson, Kristy Corey, Alishia George, Mary Fleetwood, Kattie Ulshafer. Preschool Teacher Assistants: Katie Kopic, Jen McRae, Tammy Bennett, Alishia George, Sandy Mancini, Marlys Goerdt, Laura Hauta, Jean Pohto, Kristy Corey.
Cotton board member and Chairman Chet Larson reported that longtime coach, social studies teacher and athletic director Vince Mattei passed away.
The meeting adjourned at 6:08 p.m.


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