LaReesa Sandretsky is a Two Harbors High School graduate and Duluth native that began working at the News-Chronicle in 2012 as a reporter. She took over as editor in 2014. She covers County Board, including the Lake County broadband project.
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It all started when Two Harbors High School Principal Brett Archer applied for a $6,500 grant from NASA. The money was to help fund the school's robotics program. There was just one problem: THHS didn't have a robotics program. That didn't stop Archer. He recruited two staff members, Lauren Burton and Mark Schlangen, to head the team. Fifteen kids immediately showed interest in the program, and since then, all the pieces have been falling together. "The biggest thing is just saying 'yes,'" said Burton, a special education teacher at THHS.
The Lake County Board of Commissioners had many questions for county public health supervisor Michelle Backes-Fogelberg last week. The county received a grant from the state to participate in the 2013 Toward Zero Death initiative, a program to reduce driving deaths in the county. Backes-Fogelberg came to the board meeting last Thursday to answer questions about how the $19,000 grant would be spent. The Lake County Toward Zero Deaths Coalition proposed that the county subcontract with the Arrowhead Regional Development Commission to coordinate the county's TZD campaign.
Mariner boys' and girls' teams fall to Ely Timberwolves
Lake County property owners may notice a reduction in their next round of property taxes. Although many factors affect property taxes, the Lake Superior School District and Lake County both kept their budgets at or below last year's numbers--meaning they aren't asking for any more money from taxpayers. "Our departments have learned to keep their requests minimal," County Commissioner Brad Jones said at last week's Truth in Taxation meeting, a public meeting during which local government entities release their proposed budgets and take questions from taxpayers.
Last year, the Agates boys' basketball team defeated the Mariners in a December matchup but the Mariners came back to best the Agates in February. The year before, the Mariners overpowered the Agates in both games that season. The Agates took a step toward settling the score last week, defeating the Mariners 65-53. Two Harbors Head Coach Tom Nelson was pleased to tally a win for the boys, putting their record at 2-3. So far this season the Mariners haven't yet been able to pull out a win. "We played a really good first half and we did what we were hoping to do.
Last Thursday, fifth and sixth graders at North Shore Community School in Duluth Township dissected deer hearts as part of a unit on cardiovascular health. The dissection is an annual tradition and the students typically react well, according to their teacher Robbie Tietge.
When she arrived this fall, Lisa Sørum, 16, was surprised by how similar northeastern Minnesota is to her home in Norway. "It's not very different," she said last week during her presentation at the Sons of Norway dinner in Two Harbors. Then, Christmas rolled around. She was astounded by the holiday spirit displayed in her adopted home, particularly by the huge, belighted Christmas tree at the intersection of Superior Street and Lake Avenue in Duluth. For comparison, she showed a picture of the city Christmas tree in her hometown of Alta, Norway.
Jim Lind of Two Harbors remembers when he first got into birding. His dad used to feed birds at their cabin, and the little creatures sparked his interest. So he went to the Two Harbors Public Library and picked up a book on birds. The passion never waned, and now that he's an adult he's the director of the Christmas Bird Count in Duluth and Two Harbors. "It's a social event for a lot of birders, it's kind of a highlight of the year," Lind said. The Christmas Bird Count is a program of the National Audubon Society.
Two Harbors boys start with a win, now 1-2
What's at the top of local nonprofits' Christmas lists? "Money is the best thing," said Karen Rautio, volunteer coordinator for the Silver Bay Food Shelf. The shelf purchases food from the main branch of Second Harvest Heartland at discounted prices, thanks to surplus food and grocery donations through the Feeding America network. In other words, your dollar goes a lot further in the food shelf's hands than it does at a typical grocery store. However, Rautio noted, they are always accepting food donations since the need increases around the holidays.