August 27, 2015


St. Louis County Schools (ISD 2142) starts new year with $8 million plus on hand

by GDA

The ISD 2142 board heard the good news at their regular meeting, Monday at 5 p.m. in the Central Office in Virginia, that the district started the new Fiscal Year in July with $8,244,680.91 total cash and investments. The district had $7,188,727.85 cash and investments on hand at the end of July. This amount includes $881,216.88 for the Cherry School remodeling. When the final bill comes in from Max Gray Construction, Business Manager Kim Johnson told the board they would have a substantial amount left and that could be used for paying down the bond for the restructuring of the district.
Supt. Steve Sallee told the board that board members Dan Manick of Cook, Chet Larson of Cotton and Bob Larson of AlBrook would be recognized at an upcoming Minnesota School Board Association (MSBA) event for completing a leadership course. Sallee also noted the need for licensed teachers.
Maintenance Director Tom Cundy gave the board the good news on the new well for Cherry. They drilled 51 feet from the previous drilling and found very good water. The Cherry well is now in and it came in under budget.
The Consent Agenda included a Memo Of Understanding over the Vermilion Head Start Program with Bois Forte.
The Long-Term (10-year) Mainte-nance Plan that had been presented to the board at a study session before the regular meeting was also approved.
The board approved guidelines for the use of chartered buses. The district will contribute $1 a mile for pre-approved trips when groups travel over 240 miles round trip. The district will not contribute towards the cost of a chartered bus for trips less than 240 miles round trip.
The disposal of bus No. 4 at South Ridge was approved for $300 to one of their drivers. A salvage company would have paid $470, but would charge $300 to tow it.
Spectator sports fees are now $5 per game for adults at the door, $3 per game for students at the door, free to seniors age 65 and above who obtain a season pass at the school office, and free to staff with staff ID badge.
If there are 50 or more students in a sporting activity, there will be a head coach and three assistants. Forty or more will have a head coach, two assistants and a half-stipend assistant. Thirty or more will have a head coach and two assistants. Less than 30 and three full teams will have a head coach, an assistant and a half-stipend assistant. Less than 30 and two full teams will have a head coach and an assistant.
Tenured teacher Mary Larson was hired for a 675 hours Title I at Tower-Soudan.
The board then approved the hiring of probationary teachers Lori Udovich for 0.4 ECFE Parent Educator at Cherry, Hope Christianson for 720 hours Title I at North Woods, Elizabeth Brophy as 0.4 FTE Vocal Music and 0.1 FTE Instrumental Music at South Ridge, Christina Benson as 1.0 FTE Elementary at North Woods, and Genevieve Wiitanen as 0.6 Vocal Music and 0.2 Special Education at North Woods. It was noted that North Woods, South Ridge and Cherry would have no choirs due to lack of students signing up.
Angela Byram was placed on Special Assignment as Counselor at Northeast Range.
The board accepted the resignations of Al Soxman as van driver at NE Range, Michael Solberg as Paraprofessional at NER, and Larry Barnes as teachers aide at North Woods.
Shelby Forneris was hired as cook aide at South Ridge, and Larry Barnes as ISS Monitor and teachers aide.
The resignations of Michael Solberg as co-assistant track coach at NER, and Justin Bakkethun as assistant basketball coach at Cherry were approved.
Daniel Nelson was hired as assistant football coach at South Ridge, and Savannah Kent as assistant cross-country coach at South Ridge.
The meeting adjourned at 5:43 p.m.

Three file for Dill's House Seat 3A

The first three of what could be a crowd of candidates have filed for the vacant House seat for District 3A that was held by David Dill, who passed away Aug. 8.
Ely City Councilor Heidi Omerza filed for the DFL side. She was joined by Koochiching County Commissioner Bob Ecklund, and Democrat Bill Hansen, who ran against Dill in 2004.
District 3A is the largest district in Minnesota in area. It includes most of St. Louis County, Koochiching County and Lake County. District 3A covers an area the size of the state of Maryland.
Gov. Mark Dayton has called for a special election to fill Dill's spot to be held Dec. 8. A primary, if needed, would be held Sept. 29, so candidates won't have a long time to campaign for a House seat that will be up for election a year from November.
Several others have spoken of running for the job. So far, no one has filed from the Cook/Orr/Crane Lake area, which was Dill's home. He had a house in Koochiching County, but it was on the edge of the county.
It is questionable whether that area would get another representative, though.

Depths of Lake Vermilion being surveyed by Garmin

A crew and equipment from Garmin, the Global Positioning System (GPS) firm, arrived this week and set up headquarters at Gruben's Marine and Village on Lake Vermilion. The crew will be updating Lake Vermilion data and enhancing the present lake depth information to a higher resolution and also taking pictures of the lake bottom and structure. A specialized watercraft being used for the procedure is at Gruben's harbor docks and has created a great deal of interest since its arrival.
The 26' craft, driven by two 115 h.p. outboards, is a modified pontoon craft that is equipped with a specialized sonar boom that lowers through the deck into the water. The captain pilots the vessel from an air-conditioned cabin, while a specialist monitors the computer and software systems.
Lake Vermilion has almost 40,000 acres of water surface area, and the crew, with its equipment, expects to be at Gruben's for several weeks to complete the survey.
Gruben's is hosting the survey crew in "White Pine," one of its newly redecorated cabins.


Pick up this week's paper for more stories and pictures...

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North Woods School opens Tuesday, September 8!

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