October 19, 2017


ISD 2142 Proposed Pay 2018 Levy down $72,116.06 from Pay 2017 Levy


The ISD 2142, St. Louis County Schools District approved levying for the maximum in September. The levy can be lowered in December after the Truth-In-Taxation meeting.The board, at their regular meeting held in the Tower-Soudan K-6 School on Oct. 10 starting at 6 p.m., was given a report by Business Manager Kim Johnson that showed the total Pay 2018 Levy would bring in $6,906,076.20 compared to the Pay 2017 Levy of $6,978,192.26, a drop of 1.03 percent. The referendum Market Value Levy was $1,684,441.29 compared to the Pay 2017 Levy of $1,562,461.52.
Supt. Steve Sallee said he was going to try to put his State of the District report on video and have the principals show it and give other parts. He said that last year there were times when few showed up when he traveled to the schools. He did add that he would be happy to go to any group and give the report. Sallee also reported the good news that the NIHCA fee for using the South Ridge weight room, for insurance reimbursement, was waived.
Northeast Range and Tower-Soudan Principal Kelly Engman reported that enrollment was 74 for PreK-6 at T-S. She reported the MCA scores for Tower-Soudan showed math having 70 percent passing and reading 50 percent. She remarked that Kenny and staff had done a remarkable job with the school. Grade 6 went on a field trip to the Boreal Forest at Bearhead Lake State Park and will be going to Simek's Farm soon. She was proud of the students who ran the 26.2- mile Ely marathon over time. Penny Wars are going on now to benefit schools in Texas and Florida. There will be a student of the month each month for each grade.
Change orders for the Northeast Range heating project totaling $35,671, which included acoustic tile, fire suppression, air handling unit smoke detectors, etc. were approved.
Capital projects at the Tower-Soudan School, which include demolishing sinking sidewalks and filling in with black dirt and seed, a new sidewalk in front of the steps, demolishing existing tar on the east side of the school and cleaning up on the back side of the school, at a cost of $11,200, were approved.
A Memo of Understanding between Bois Forte Reservation Early Childhood Programs and ISD 2142 was approved.
A motion to approve the Proposal for Chemical Inventory and SDS Compilation that will cost between $16,000 and $19,000 was approved.
Probationary teachers hired were Katie Dye for 0.7 FTE pre-school and 0.3 FTE Title I at Cherry, and Anita Leander-Flores, 0.5 FTE Title I at North Woods.
Support staff hired were Kendra Mashuga, ECFE teacher aide and K-Readi teaching assistant at South Ridge; Tricia Flake, ECFE teacher aide at Northeast Range; Kasha Wollschlager, ECFE teacher aide at South Ridge; Stacey Olson, pre-school teaching assistant at Cherry; Rani Husmann, pre-school teaching assistant at Cherry; Kristine Bourassa-Benoit, parapro-fessional at North Woods; Susan Nelson, cook aide at South Ridge; Richard Roy, custodian at Tower-Soudan; Abby Ferrazzi, van driver at South Ridge; and Susan Nelson, bus driver at South Ridge.
The board then approved hiring the coaching staff for North Woods and South Ridge for 2017-2018: Will Kleppe, assistant football (half stipend) at North Woods; Justice Janke, assistant volleyball, and Terry White, head girls basketball, at South Ridge.
Coaching re-hires are:
Cherry - Timothy Sauter, head coach, girls basketball; Taylor Feth, assistant coach, girls basketball; Robert Asuma, head coach, boys basketball; and Jordan Christianson, assistant coach, boys basketball.
North Woods - Robbie Goggleye, head coach, girls basketball; Will Kleppe, head coach, boys basketball; Jerry Chiabotti, assistant coach, boys basketball; Dan Squires, assistant coach, boys basketball; and Gerald Goggleye, assistant coach half stipend, boys basketball.
Northeast Range - Paxton Goodsky, head coach, girls basketball; Melissa Schroeter, assistant coach, girls basketball; Ron Marinaro, head coach, boys basketball; Mark Fabish, assistant coach, boys basketball.
The resignations of Katie Dye as substitute teacher at Cherry, Riley Pecha as paraprofessional at NER, and Danni Grotberg as assistant boys basketball coach at Cherry were approved.
South Ridge board member Christine Taylor told of how the Grizzlies team donated to help her son and how it moved him.
Cotton board member Chet Larson remarked that the district had around 500 employees, making it one of the largest employers.
The meeting, which was also attended by former board members Andy Larson from Tower and Gary Rantala from Babbitt, adjourned at 6:25 p.m.

Cook Hospital $9 million Care Center addition holds Open House and it is a 'Wow'


The new $9 million Care Center to the Cook Hospital is almost completely finished, so the Cook-Orr Healthcare District Board and Administrator Teresa Debevec held an open house of the new construction last Thursday. The addition, which is actually two separate, connected additions, was definitely a hit. There were big crowds checking out the addition throughout the open house.
The new addition is 17,000 sq. ft, costing nearly $9 million, with 28 beds, the same as before. The difference is there is much more living space, all the beds are in separate rooms with a bathroom, and the entire addition is much roomier. There is a kitchen space in each of the two halves so families of the residents can bring in food to prepare. Residents will have a great life as they can get up when they want to and eat when they are ready. They will have much more privacy to meet with friends and family.
This is the first stage, but the Adult Day Center will be brought up from the basement along with a permanent room for the beauty shop, among others. The entrance is not quite complete, but it is something else, too.
The Cook Hospital, Care Center and the adjoining clinic are something you won't usually see in a city of under 600.
The new addition is brighter and more open. The sun will shine in as all of the rooms have big windows to let the outside in.
Care Centers are all changing to single occupancy rooms, so the Care Center in the Cook Hospital is definitely staying up with the times.
Administrator Debevec, her board of directors, the doctors, medical staff and the community are justifiably proud of this new addition. You have to see it to believe it in a town the size of Cook. The architectural firm DSGW and the construction firm Johnson-McGough, along with the board and administration are to be commended for the beautiful job. As Ryan Turner from DSGW said, this was to be his Taj Mahal, and if you go through it, you will agree.

Dedication held for the Jason Triska Hiking Trail

by Robin Fisher

A group of folks gathered last Wednesday to dedicate the hiking trail constructed by Jason Triska and finished in 2009 for his Eagle Scout project. The half-mile trail is now one of Minnesota's public state trails to be enjoyed by all. The site is part of the Kabetogama State Forest.
The new sign was presented by Terry Bergstrom and Dana Frame of the DNR. Terry spoke of Jason's hard work in creating the trail which features six stations with a self-guided interpretive brochure. The stations educate about forest type and management and the variety of trees and wildlife that may be seen on the hike. Jason placed two wooden benches along the route.
Jason Triska died in an ATV accident at age 24 on May 8, 2016. The trail will be a memorial to Jason's life as a dedicated Eagle Scout. He was described as a "quiet young man," but his mother, Jackie, said his leadership traits really came out while working on the trail project. His family lives nearby at Voyageur Cove Resort.
Memories were shared by people in the group. Friend Josh Gillson spoke about Jason and the special times they had at Scout camp. He told a story about using Jason as the measuring stick for footings holes in a pavilion building project when no tape measure was provided!
Jason will also be missed as a good helper at St. Mary's Church in Cook.
The friends and family attending the dedication then walked the trail to honor Jason's memory.
The trail is located on County Highway 78. The trailhead is across the road, but adjacent to the 22-campsite Wakemup Bay Campground on Lake Vermilion. It is also near to Pederson's Boat Landing.


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