April 19, 2018

Winter just won't go away, late snowstorm dumps 8 to 10 inches of snow on the area


The date is April 16 and this area should be enjoying some beautiful spring weather, but it isn't.
The areas north of the Laurentian Divide have been lucky this spring so far. The Twin Cities, all the way up through Duluth have been inundated with major snowfalls, but the Cook/Orr/Crane Lake area has missed much of it. That changed Sunday afternoon when a light dusting of snow gave a hint of what was to come. The snow kept falling and when area residents woke up Monday morning, April 16, they were greeted with 8 to 10 inches of snow and more. The snow-blowers that had been put away had to be brought out and started, plows had to be reattached to trucks, snow shovels were dug out and a lot of grumbling was heard.
The temperature was supposed to get up into the high 30s later in the day, but that didn't help in the morning.
This has been a weird winter with not a lot of snow, but cold temps. Ice on the lakes isn't going away. There were reports of four feet of ice on Crane Lake and nearly the same on Pelican and Vermilion. The fishing opener is less than four weeks away and it doesn't look like the ice will be gone.
Don't worry, the ice and snow will be gone soon and then you can enjoy another beautiful northeastern Minnesota summer, but this is enough snow

Greenwood finally recounts ballots - no changes made - winners stand

by Anthony Sikora

On Friday, April 6, Mike Couri, attorney for Greenwood Township, conducted a recount of ballots in the Greenwood Township supervisors Seat 3, and Seat 5 elections. Following Clerk Sue Drobac's failed attempts to recount the ballots the township chose to bring in its attorney to conduct the recount. 
No challenges were made on any ballot during the April 6 recount. No changes were made and the final election counts remain the same as was reported, following the election, at the annual Greenwood Town Meeting on March 13.
The town clerk originally scheduled a recount to be conducted on Tuesday March 20, but canceled it before it began, saying that she "inadvertently" did not inform some of the candidates about the recount. In fact she neglected to inform the winners that a recount was going to be conducted. A second recount was scheduled for April 3, but that too was abruptly stopped by the town clerk when she became upset when Jeff Peterson asked if she would be following the 2016 Minnesota Secretary of State recount guidelines. The clerk never answered Peterson and instead stopped the recount when prompted by Mark Drobac, her husband. Peterson has been representing Byron Beihoffer whose election win is being challenged by John Bassing. The recount was again rescheduled, this time for 1 p.m. on Friday, April 6.
Shortly before 1 o'clock, citizens began arriving at the town hall to watch the recount. Everyone was provided copies of the 2016 Secretary of State Recount Guidelines to assist them in following the procedures. At the onset of the recount, Couri explained that he had been involved with one previous recount and that his research of Minnesota Statutes confirmed that the procedures outlined in the 2016 Minnesota Secretary of State Recount Guide closely followed all state statutes on recounts and that it was the law in Minnesota. He told everyone in attendance that since it followed Minnesota law for all recounts, large or small, it is the guide which will be used for the two recounts currently before Greenwood Township.
The room was previously prepared with tables and seating as outlined in the 2016 Recount Guide. There were places for the judges, candidates and representatives so they could observe all of the proceedings, including the opening of all sealed envelopes containing the ballots and election documents for the election of Seat 3, occupied by Larry Tahija and challenged by John Bassing, and election for Seat 5, between Byron Beihoffer and Rick Stoehr.
The township attorney was careful to explain the procedures and outline the steps required by the 2016 Recount Guide. When Clerk Drobac began to open the ballot box, Byron Beihoffer asked, "Aren't we allowed to come up and watch the opening?" just as his representative Jeff Peterson inquired at the previous count before it was shut down.
"You are right," Couri said as he had the Clerk stop opening the ballot box and invited the candidates and representatives to join them at the table. Couri's presence, affable friendliness, professional and straight-forward procedure was reassuring following the tense weeks of uncertainty in Greenwood Township.
Couri acknowledged that his partner, Robert T. Ruppe, had cautioned the Greenwood Town Clerk against using Mary Richard as a recount judge because of her active public support of Bassing and Stoehr, the two candidates who lost the election and were requesting the recount. Because the ballots were reviewed in front of each candidate, their representatives, and the public, the recounts proceeded smoothly. Each recount proceeded in an organized fashion under Couri's guidance and direction with Clerk Drobac reviewing each ballot, in front of the judges, candidates and representatives. The judges piled ballots in piles of 25 ballots, according to the vote on the ballot, and a separate pile for the blanks, and thus the votes were tallied in accordance of state law. There were no challenges of voter intent on any ballot and in the end there were no changes to vote totals. The counts remained as presented at the Annual Greenwood Town Meeting.
Township Supervisor, Seat 3-
Three-year term 
Larry Tahija 158 (winner)
Dr. John Bassing 153
 Township Supervisor, Seat 5 - Three-year term 
Byron Beihoffer 154 (winner)
Rick Stoehr 148
Asked to comment following the recount, Jeff Peterson, representing Byron Beihoffer in the recount said, "On behalf of Byron Beihoffer and myself we would like to thank Greenwood's attorney, Mr. Couri, for the way he setup, explained, allowed everyone to express concerns, suggestions and his professionalism in overseeing the recount following Minnesota state law according to the 2016 Recount Guide prepared by the Minnesota Secretary of State.
"Our goal and only request at the recount canceled by Ms.Drobac was that the recount follow Minnesota law as set out in the 2016 Recount Guide prepared by the MInnesota Secretary of State. We would also like to commend the election judges who counted the votes on election night. Their hard work, diligence and professionalism has been proven because their vote totals were exactly the same as when recounted."

Nonagenarian recalls life during World War II

by Robin Fisher

Vida Dickson, born in 1925, grew up in rural Balkan as one of 10 children. Vida says, "I graduated from Chisholm High School in 1943. It was a very sad graduation. Four of the boys in my class had received draft notices."
But she was a young woman who now needed to find a job. Vida's unmarried older sister invited her to join her in Florida. Vida went there and applied for a job as a secretary. She heard nothing from that job application. Walking around she saw a sign that said "Mechanics Needed!" Vida had no mechanic skills, but decided to apply anyway. The plant accepted her and put her in for training. The place was a Navy plant that repaired damaged airplanes from battles. Damaged planes came back from the war to Florida and Vida and her crew fixed them by riveting patches over the holes in the wings and fuselages.
"I was Rosie the Riveter," Vida says.
During the wartime, labor was hard to find, and many women took whatever jobs needed to be done.
Living during the war was also a challenge. The American people accepted it and tried to be as supportive as possible.
Vida said, "No lights were left on after dark. There would be no lights to guide the enemy in."
This seems strange since Florida is so far from the battle fronts. But this saved on power and helped American folks to feel "well-protected" and part of the war effort.
"Gasoline and tires were rationed and hard to get," said Vida. "I needed coupons for coffee and shoes. You were only allowed to buy one pair of shoes per year! A soldier could ask for another pair of boots and he could get them - but not us!" Resources all went into the war effort.
Vida was writing to a soldier named Ray Anderson. She wrote to him in Sicily, France, and Germany. They married in October 1945. Eventually they came back to settle in Togo and then moved to Cook. Ray Anderson became a mail route carrier and an auto salesman. Vida often filled in on the mail route.
Vida and Ray had two sons, Ronald and Chuck. Vida became an active lifelong member of Trinity Lutheran Church in Cook. As a child, they never went to town to attend church, but her mother read the Bible to the family and Vida developed a lifelong faith in the Lord. Two years ago, Bailey Conger wrote Vida's story for the Trinity newsletter. Bailey called the story "A Faithful Servant."
Anderson's older son was called to the war in Vietnam. Doing the mail route gave Vida too much time to worry, so she took training to become a nurse's aide. She worked at the Cook Hospital for many years. Helping folks and her faith helped her get through those hard times when her son was overseas.
In her 50s, Vida and Ray took on the task of caring for the three neighbor boys when their parents died. George Francis died in 1973 and his wife passed away in 1976. Vida and Ray moved into the boys' home and raised a "second" family for nine years! Many in Cook will know the Francis boys: Georgie, Dane, and Blake.
Raymond Anderson died in 1979. Their son Chuck died from a drowning accident in 1982. Ronald died of cancer in 2001. In spite of her many losses, Vida remains positive. She knows God is at work in her life.
Vida has always been an avid reader - she enjoys those books!
She is legendary for her many years of volunteer work at the Cook Hospital Auxiliary Thrift Shop. She and Gerry Ruuska were there to help transition the old, falling-down thrift shop house into a nice, new building by the railroad tracks. It took a lot of work and many meetings to come up with a plan. The town of Cook was willing to donate property, but it had to be given to the hospital itself, which worked out fine. Vida spent countless hours cutting up rags to sell, and filling baby food jars full of buttons to sell. Many dollars were raised for hospital projects. The Thrift Shop has always given out two scholarships per year to help students who are going into the health field.
Vida, age 92, now resides at the Carefree Living facility in Cook. She is welcoming to visitors. Vida says, "Cook is a Lucky Little Town! A good hospital, a good drug store and good people!"

National Day of Prayer event announced
On Thursday, May 3, at noon, citizens will gather by the flagpole at Cook's City Hall to pray, asking the Creator of the Universe, God Almighty, the second Person of the Trinity, Jesus Christ of Nazareth, and his Holy Spirit, for guidance and blessing of our city, our region, our county, our state, and our country and all of its leaders. The Apostle Paul admonished Timothy to pray for everyone in authority over us, that we may live in peace.
Church leaders from local Cook churches will be in attendance to lead and create safe space for everyone to share a sentence prayer of their own as we share our concerns.


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

Greenwood pays bills; adjourns regular meeting, will wait until it can seat Beihoffer before conducting business again

North Woods Friends of the Arts 'Apron Show' has aprons galore

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