June 25, 2015


ISD 2142 board passes 2015-2016 budget of $34,908,043


The ISD 2142 board spent Monday afternoon in a study session going over a very conservative budget for 2015-2016. The budget calls for revenues of $27,121,188 and expenses of $27,159,389 which would leave a $38,201 deficit. Business Manager Kim Johnson pointed out several areas where more income should come in making the budget a surplus one. She estimated the district would lose 19-1/2 students due to the cuts in mining. That comes to over $6,000 per student. Early Child Family Education could receive more money when the results of the state's budget are figured out. She also noted that the budget for a new bus garage was $250,000 and the bids came in with a low one of $160,000 and that wasn't figured in. The fund balances would end the year with $4,565,508 compared to $5,103,626 for last year. She pointed out that the budget includes $558,710 left in the fund for the Cherry School expansion, but that expansion is all paid for, so she will be checking with the bonding people on what they should do. Health care was way up with an increase of $1,186,133.
After saying the Pledge of Allegiance to our Flag, Supt. Steve Sallee reported they are ahead of schedule in filling the staff for next year. He said he plans on giving his State of the District address to all five schools later this summer. The District has to submit a 10-year Facilities Plan to the State, thanks to the Legislature. The letter Sallee wrote to many newspapers and had printed in the District's Newspaper was brought up since Marshall Helmberger had apparently sent emails to board members and Sallee questioning his right to write the letter and hinting at another lawsuit. Sallee said he had shown the letter to the District's lawyer, John Colosimo, who said it was fine and the district should say "no comment." Nancy Glowaski from Orr was the only board member who questioned the letter.
The board, at their regular meeting which was called to order at around 5:09 p.m., approved the budget unanimously. All board members were in attendance except for Tower's Troy Swanson.
The financial report for May showed a total of cash and investments of $7,834,563.90.
The board had the first reading on a Public and Private Personnel Data policy and one on Mandated Reporting of Child Neglect or Physical or Sexual Abuse.
The district approved the purchasing of $53,880 worth of iPads and $69,000 for laptops. These costs will be offset by the $162,000 revenue allocation from Education Innovation Partners (EIP).
The next item on the agenda was the hiring of two School Resource Officers from the St. Louis County Sheriff's Department for four years. There would be one officer for the north and one for the south. The district would pay $126,410 for the four-year period. Glowaski said the people she talked to about this weren't in favor of it. Bob Larson from AlBrook wasn't sure of the four-year commitment and if there was a need. All other board members spoke in favor of it. Cherry board member Lynette Zupetz said they had a good response from students on this. North Woods board member Dan Manick thought this would give kids a chance to talk to the police. The board approved the officers by a 4-2 margin with Glowaski and Larson voting against it.
The Cooperative Sponsorship for boys and girls cross-country between South Ridge, Cherry and North Woods was dissolved and changed to South Ridge, North Woods and Northeast Range.
The board approved bids for insurance for the next year with State Farm getting the Workers Comp and EMC the rest.
Title I teachers Mary Nemec Wood at South Ridge, Amy Nelson at North Woods, and Kathleen Meier at Tower-Soudan were recalled.
Alyssa Whitesell was hired for 1.0 FTE Math at Cherry, Jack Zirkle for 0.5 FTE Social Studies at North Woods, Jordan Christianson for 1.0 FTE Phy. Ed. at Cherry, Amy Rosckes for 0.6 FTE Science at North Woods, Beth Denzer-Johnson for 1.0 FTE Elementary at NER, and Jeremy Digiovanni for 1.0 FTE Elementary at South Ridge.
Debra Neuman retired from her 0.5 FTE teaching position at South Ridge.
Diane Soxman resigned from her position as a Paraprofessional at NER.
South Ridge bus driver Robert Petke was terminated.
Carl Grussendorf, head boys basketball coach at South Ridge, Greg Goman, assistant boys basketball coach at South Ridge, and Jeremy Argir, assistant football coach at Cherry, gave notice of their resignations.
The board approved the hiring of the following coaches: at NER: Mark Fabish-Head Football Coach, Rose Spehar-Head Swimming Coach, Chelsea Blomberg - Assistant Swimming Coach, Jodi Rogers-Reichensperger - Head Volleyball Coach, Misty Roseth - Assistant Volleyball Coach, Ron Marinaro - Head Boys Basketball Coach and Taylor Skoglund - Assistant Boys Basketball Coach.

Gheen man arrested for burglary of Hideaway Bar

On June 16, at 7:50 a.m., St. Louis County Sheriff's deputies responded to a security alarm at the Hideaway Bar in Buhl. Upon arrival it was determined that forced entry had been made into the business and items had been stolen. A short time after the alarm call, 27-year-old Jason Raati was stopped and arrested by the Minnesota State Patrol for a driving violation. Raati was charged with the burglary of the Hideaway Bar after evidence of the burglary was located inside Raati's vehicle and at the residence where he had been staying, 3435 Highway 53, Gheen.

Highway 53 Virginia to Eveleth Final Environmental Impact Statement

The Minnesota Department of Transportation is seeking public input on the state Final Environmental Impact Statement for the Highway 53 relocation project from Virginia to Eveleth.
The Final EIS describes the impacts of constructing the preferred alternative (known as Alternative E-2 with the Interchange Option and Straight Option) for relocating the section of Highway 53 that currently crosses the United Taconite open-pit mine between Virginia and Eveleth. The document also describes impacts to recreational resources, including the Iron Range Off-Highway Vehicle Recreation Area which is protected under Section 4(f) of the 1966 Department of Transportation Act.
Interested parties have until July 6, 2015, to provide comments on the Final EIS to MnDOT. MnDOT will then consider comments received to determine whether the Final EIS is adequate under state environmental rules.
After the state environmental process is concluded in fall 2015, the Federal Highway Administration is expected to approve a combined federal Final EIS/Record of Decision (ROD) to comply with federal environmental rules. The ROD is expected to also include FHWA's final "de minimis" determination that the project will not adversely affect the features, attributes or activities of the Iron Range Off-Highway Vehicle Recreation Area.
The state Final EIS can be viewed at:
· MnDOT's website: www.dot.state.mn.us/d1/projects/hwy53relocation
· Eveleth Public Library, 614 Pierce Street, Eveleth, MN 55734
· Gilbert Public Library, 17 North Broadway, Gilbert, MN 55741
· Mountain Iron Public Library, 5742 Mountain Avenue, Mt. Iron, MN 55768
· Virginia Public Library, 215 5th Ave. South, Virginia, MN 55792
· Duluth Public Library, 520 West Superior Street, Duluth, MN 55802
· MnDOT ­ District 1 Duluth Office, 1123 Mesaba Avenue, Duluth, MN 55811
· Hennepin County Library ­ Minneapolis Central, 300 Nicollet Mall, Minneapolis, MN 55401
Comments on the adequacy of the Final EIS must be submitted by July 6, 2015. Comments can be submitted in writing by U.S. mail or email to:
U.S. mail:
Pat Huston, Project Manager
MnDOT District 1
1123 Mesaba Avenue
Duluth, MN 55811
Email: Patrick.Huston@state.mn.us

Orr's July 3rd Royalty candidates busy selling tickets

Contestants for Orr's July 3rd Royalty are busy selling tickets. Candidates include: Abby Koch running for Queen, Helen Koch running for Princess, Josh Long and Cash Rutchasky running for Prince, and Heather Fealy who is selling tickets for the Spectrum Carefree Living Activity Fund.
All candidates will receive 10 percent of their sales, plus an additional $100 for every thousand tickets sold.
The participant with the highest amount of ticket sales will receive an additional $100; second place will receive an additional $50; and third place will receive an additional $25.

Cash Rutchasky of Buyck is in the first grade at North Woods School. His interests/hobbies are: fishing and camping/houseboating. He enjoys playing with trucks outside and four-wheeling. His summer plans are: jump on the trampoline and swim. Abby Koch of Orr is a fifth-grader at North Woods School. Her interests/hobbies include: sports, piano, clarinet and fun. She enjoys playing softball and the clarinet. Her summer plans are softball, swimming and camping. Heather Fealy of Orr (no picture provided) is selling tickets for Spectrum Carefree Living of Orr to raise money for their Activity Fund. Helen Koch of Orr is a third-grader at North Woods School. Her interests/hobbies are: piano, softball, basketball and animals. Her activities include: softball, piano, and swimming. Summer plans are softball, camping, swimming and fun. Joshua Long of Orr is in Pre-K at North Woods School. His interests/hobbies are: fishing, four-wheeling, and watching the Packers. His activities include: T-ball and Sons of the American Legion. Summer plans are: swimming, fishing, and jumping on the trampoline.


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