Knife River will be recipient of stream bank restoration grants
The Great Lakes Commission has awarded a $293,000 grant to the Lake County Soil & Water Conservation District and its partners for sediment reduction projects in Knife River.
The river has exceeded its turbidity goals, a measure of how muddy the water is, by 90% during flood events. The grant will help address this problem by restoring the stream bank, which will reduce loose soil entering the river and ultimately the flow of sediment into Lake Superior. According to the Great Lakes Commission, high levels of sediment can affect aquatic animal life and reduce water quality when man-made pollutants are carried into streams and lakes by loose soil.
The goal of this grant is to reduce sediment loads by 750 tons per year-- 21 percent of the
estimated total sediment load. This will complement other sediment reduction projects funded by the Board of Water and Soil Resources through the Clean Water Land & Legacy Amendment.
The SWCD will work with landowners to identify areas of concern. The bulk of construction will be completed in the summer of 2014.
Tettegouche visitor center construction continues through winter
Last summer at Tettegouche State Park, about four miles north of Silver Bay, officials broke ground for a new visitor center. Construction at the site will continue through the winter, according to Minnesota Department of Natural Resources officials.
The original structure was built in 1985 to serve as a visitor center for park visitors as well as a rest area for passing motorists.
The $7 million center is expected to open in the summer of 2013.
Parent support mentor offers assistance for parents of kids with disabilities
Parents of children with disabilities have a new source of support in the area.
Priscilla Heimbruch is a parent support mentor offering services in 12 area school districts. She is available to mentor and help parents by connecting them to services and resources, assisting them in understanding their child’s special education process, attending meetings with parents and lending a caring ear.
The program targets families living in 12 largely rural school districts, including Lake Superior School District, that are served by the Northern Lakes Special Education Cooperative and receives grant funding from the Van Gordon Fund of the Miller Dwan Foundation and the Northland Foundation, with additional support from Carlton County Public Health and Human Services, Cloquet Schools and the NLSEC. Heimbruch is the parent of a 17-year-old son with disabilities and a preschool teacher, in addition to her new position. She may be reached by phone at (218) 393-1200 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
CERT course will be offered in the new year
The Emergency Managers of Lake and Cook Counties and Grand Portage will offer free Community Emergency Response Team training in January and February. The 20-hour course provides community members with training to prepare for and respond to incidents in their homes, workplaces or communities.
According to BJ Kohlstedt, Lake County Emergency Manager, 95% of initial disaster response is usually done by untrained community members before emergency responders can arrive. The training helps community members be prepared for a range of different emergency situations.
Learn more about CERT at www.citizencorps.gov/cert. For more information or to register, contact Kohlstedt at 226-4444 or email@example.com.
DNR urges winter safety
The Minnesota DNR is reminding snowmobilers and ice fisherman to play it safe during the winter season.
Snowmobile accidents caused six deaths in the 2012 season. The usual causes are operator inexperience, driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs and high speeds. In a statement, the DNR reminded snowmobilers that the speed limit for all snowmobile trails is 50 miles per hour (even lower speeds are recommended at night) and Minnesota residents born after 1976 must take a safety training course before they can legally drive a snowmobile. To sign up for a safety course, visit www.mndnr.gov or call (800) 366-8917.
The Minnesota DNR also urges caution to any outdoor enthusiasts venturing onto frozen lakes this winter. The DNR maintains aeration systems in some Minnesota lakes to help prevent winterkill of fish, but the aeration systems often create unsafe ice conditions. The DNR says to watch for “Thin Ice” and “Warning” signs. In Lake County, the DNR plans to aerate Farm Lake and the marinas on Lake Superior.
Lake County Commissioners appoint Brad Jones to Regional Library Board
Brad Jones, a member of the Lake County Board, has been appointed to the Arrowhead Library System (ALS) Governing Board, effective Jan. 1, 2013.
The 13-member Board meets bi-monthly at the ALS system headquarters in Mountain Iron. The Arrowhead Library System provides library services to many area residents through the Mail-A-Book program and services offered via the Two Harbors Public Library. ALS provides support for and fostering cooperation among the 29 public libraries in the seven-county area. Additional information concerning ALS can be located at the system’s website: www.arrowhead.lib.mn.us