October 29, 2020

Cook City Council meeting has bills being approved, Last Chance Liquor reporting record sales

The regular meeting of the Cook City Council was held last Thursday at 6 p.m. in the Cook Community Center and dealt mainly with the paying of bills.
The first item on the agenda was from the HRA and manager Reed Erickson. He wants the City to go back to the 10 percent subsidy for the housing from the 5 percent they are at now. The City of Cook's and the HRA's attorneys will meet to negotiate and construct a "new" agreement between the parties for the PILT (Payment in Lieu of Taxes).
Next on the agenda was the paying of bills. The bill from JPJ Engr. for engineering services for July and August in the amount of $367.50 was approved, plus a bill of $10,158.98 for the Community Center parking lot. A bill of $993.58 from JPJ for the Highway 53 commercial corridor infrastructure was also approved, as well as a bill of $656.25 for the River Street bridge.
A bill of $13,745 from SEH Engr. for the airport beacon, crack sealing and an upgrade to the fueling system was also approved.
Last Chance Liquors reported sales for the month of September of $179,658.50 compared to $114,720.83 last year, raising sales to date of $1,405,211.60 compared to last year's year-to-date sales of $997,662.53. The pandemic has really raised sales.
The Ambulance Service report showed nine medical runs in September, five trauma runs, four transports and two fire standby. There were nine total transfer calls from Cook Hospital, including six to St. Mary's and three to St. Luke's. Township runs were three to Angora, one to Beatty, four for Cook, three to Field, two to Greenwood, and six to unorganized townships.
The Last Chance Liquor Store Assistant Manager's job description was also approved.
A canvass meeting will be held on Thursday, Nov. 12, at 3 p.m., at the Community Center. The City is responsible for canvassing their own municipal election results.

Pandemic has many hospitals flooded, Cook Hospital has no COVID patients


The COVID pandemic has caused many hospitals in this country and abroad to become overwhelmed with patients. Spain has declared a state of emergency, including an overnight curfew, hoping to not repeat the near collapse of its hospitals. Some reports have the virus surging, while some show it is slowing down. The effects on life in this country have been widely felt, but it appears that things are changing.
The Cook Hospital, according to Administrator Teresa Debevec, has no COVID patients. In addition to the hospital's 14 beds, they have five additional beds that can be used for COVID patients. Debevec said that a small number of staff have contracted the virus, but are not hospitalized. The hospital (not the care center) is allowed one visitor per patient per day.
Due to the COVID pandemic, many have put off going to the doctor with other medical problems. Because they have put off dealing with them, the result has been that when they do go to their doctor, the medical problems have become worse. This is the time of year when flu shots should be given, but many have held off getting their shots, which could cause a surge in those getting the flu later on.
Apparently, a serum of some type has been found which fights the coronavirus, according to Pres. Donald Trump who had contracted the disease along with his wife. Taking the new serum significantly cut his time of being down with the disease. There are reports that several pharmaceutical companies have found or come close to finding medicines to fight this disease.
It should be noted that with viruses like COVID-19 cures are not always found, such as for AIDS, the common cold, etc.
Meanwhile, the Cook Hospital is ready for this virus and has the room.

CBP Agriculture Specialists identify threats to the United States

PEMBINA, N.D. - U.S. Customs and Border Protection Agriculture Specialists (CBPAS) issued 194 emergency action notifications during the third quarter of 2020. Emergency Action Notifications (EAN) alerts trade entities of non-compliance with APHIS regulations. The EAN provides options for phyto-sanitary actions that must be taken to prevent the entry of plant pests, prohibited plant products, or animal products capable of introducing foreign animal diseases.
CBPAS in Portal found Imperata cylindrical, commonly known as cogon grass, within a shipment of screws from China. This federal noxious weed is an invasive species that takes over native plant species and is considered a fire hazard because of the oil produced within the plant. Also within the shipment, four types of insects were found. One of the insects was Diestrammena sp., commonly known as the camel or cave cricket. Due to the contamination, the container and contents were returned to China.
During an inspection of a rail container in International Falls, CBPAS intercepted wood boring insects identified as Curculionidae, also known as a bark beetle. The bark beetles are a timber pest that damages and kills host trees. Also found in the container of nails was a Cryptozona bistrialis (Ariophantidae), also known as the Asian land snail. The snails eat mostly carrots, cabbage, cucumbers, and other snails. This is the first time the Asian land snail has been identified in International Falls. This container was safeguarded until it could be returned to China.
CBPAS in Pembina encountered a driver operating a mini-van with shipments described as "human blood." During the inspection, a Styrofoam container with vials of blood was discovered. The shipment was labeled "COVID-19 samples." After consultation with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the shipment was returned to Canada due to lack of appropriate documentation accompanying the shipment.
"These agriculture seizures show the significant priority Customs and Border Protection places on our agriculture inspection program at our ports of entry," said Pembina Area Port Director Jason Schmelz. "Preventing harm to domestic crops and vegetation is an important role our Agriculture Specialists provide this country."
CBP Agriculture Specialists are the front line in the fight against the introduction of harmful insects and diseases into the U.S. They safeguard American agriculture by stopping plant pests and exotic foreign animal diseases that could harm vital agriculture resources at our nation's borders.


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