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The Civilian Conservation Corps is most well known as Franklin D. Roosevelt's program that put young men to work conserving government-owned lands during the Great Depression. A modern version of the program still exists, with a branch active in northern Minnesota. Two local women completed the Minnesota Conservation Corps program this summer, working on improving sections of the Superior Hiking Trail.
The members of the Voyageur Snowmobile Club could think of no more appropriate tribute to John Brandt than a structure on one of the most beautiful overlooks along the Yukon Snowmobile Trail. Brandt, an avid snowmobiler and dedicated employee of Lake County, died in a snowmobile accident last March at the age of 41. "He was always talking about building a shelter on that part of the trail," Brandt's wife Sarah said of the location, a mile or so off Highway 2 just south of the Bailey Road. She is the administrator for the club.
The Agates football team has had a rough start this season. First, they lost 11 seniors to graduation last year, meaning this season started with a young, less experienced team. Second, their starting and second-string quarterbacks were layed-up with injuries before the official season started. Junior Kyle Omtvedt tore his ACL and sophomore Alex Lemke broke his collarbone in preseason practices. Finally, according to head coach Tom Nelson, this is the toughest conference the Agates have faced in years. "It's going to be a challenge this year," Nelson said.
There were so many things I wanted to write a column about this week. First, we're finally running an exchange student story that I've been slowly plugging along on for weeks. It gave me the perfect excuse to chat with Kate and Toon, both from Thailand, who were important parts of my high school ski team experience. Neither of them had ever seen snow and they joined the Nordic team instead of basketball. Now that's bravery (or just foolishness; one of the two). Last Friday night, I went to the Two Harbors football game.
Two Harbors and Silver Bay high schools certainly don't offer anything like the dramatic private school experience portrayed in the CW television series "Gossip Girl". Penny Juenemann, who has hosted three foreign exchange students, said that's the biggest misconception students have when arriving in the U.S. "A lot of kids expect the U.S. to be like New York City or the places you see in movies," she said.
Dana and Scott Hull have only been there for eight years, but you'd think they were native to Isabella by the way they fit into the fabric of the community. They bought the Knotted Pine Inn and Tavern in 2004 and moved from Minneapolis to Isabella to operate their new business. Between them they've got a lot of life experience, but owning cabins and a bar was a novelty to them. "It's a little different than we thought, but not much," Dana said. Like many, snowmobiling brought the two to Knotted Pine.
The Minnesota State Fair got a taste of Lake Superior this year. Knife River fisherman Steve Dahl and New Scenic Café chef Scott Graden made the trip to St. Paul to give a cooking demo at the Minnesota Cooks booth. The goal was to showcase local chefs preparing local foods. Graden made tacos from fresh herring caught by Dahl. "It's great to be a part of the local food network," Dahl said. Dahl is a commercial herring fisherman on Lake Superior. He has three nets just off-shore of the Knife River Marina, which he checks them each morning.
Standardized testing can be confusing. In Lake County, most students take multiple MCA and NWEA tests throughout their school years and college-bound kids take the ACT and the PSAT. Keeping all the acronyms straight is difficult enough, but after the tests are taken, administrators and instructors have to make sense of the results. These scores are intended to reveal areas of individual weakness and strength, but also prompt schools to develop strategies to address unmet academic need. In February Minnesota received a waiver from the U.S.
On Friday, the Agates girls' soccer team played the Academy of Holy Angels team on their home turf. The girls played well in the first half, keeping the game close. They started the second half losing only 0-1. However, the girls tired and fell apart in the second half, giving up nine goals to the hard-kicking Angels. Tuesday, the team played at Hermantown. They came away with another loss but scored their first goal of the season. Rather, they scored their first goal against an opposing team, clarified head coach Jeff Peterson with a laugh.
As a result of the special legislative session on Aug. 24 to grant flood aid to northeastern Minnesota communities affected by the June flood, the Lake County Soil and Water Conservation District has been awarded a $250,000 grant from the Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources. The grant is available for government, business owner and individual use and can be used as reimbursement for projects already completed. The projects must relate to water quality or erosion issues and the money must be used by Dec.