Wednesday, September 29, 2010

North St. Louis County Habitat for Humanity Annoucement

My name is Katie Tweten and I am the Volunteer Coordinator for North St. Louis County Habitat for Humanity. Currently we are partnering with Thrivent to build a home at 223 3rd St South in Virginia, MN with the Hendricks family. This home is near completion but there is still at least a month worth of work left to do involving painting, finish trim, cabinets, flooring and landscaping. Part of our agreement with Thrivent is to make sure that at least 50% of our total volunteers are Lutherans and 25% of our total volunteers are Thrivent members. Currently we are falling short of our Thrivent member volunteer goal with 22% of the total volunteers for the project being Thrivent members.

We would really like to bring these numbers up to at least the minimum requirement (if not more!). This is where you come in! We are asking that you look at your calendars and try to fit us in for the month of October.

Painting will start next week on or around Wednesday the 6th of October. We are happy to have individuals volunteer or groups. In the past we’ve had many Bible study groups and Men’s and Women’s groups join us and it has always been a wonderful time. We can schedule any day of the week for a group except for Sunday.  If you would like to come as an individual, our normally scheduled work days for this project have been Tuesday through Thursday.  Please give us a call to let us know you are coming and to get the latest update on the work being completed.  Work days start at 9am and go until 4pm. Half days are also an option.

Again, please consider volunteering with us in the month of October. This Thrivent Builds partnership enables us to build one extra home this year that otherwise would not have been possible.  Thrivent’s support in these full house sponsorships really helps us address the affordable housing need that is so evident in our community. Future partnerships with Thrivent Builds depend on your support as a Lutheran and Thrivent member!

So give me a call or send me an email and we’ll get the ball rolling!

Thanks for you all you do for Habitat for Humanity!


Katie Tweten
Volunteer Coordinator
Habitat for Humanity
AmeriCorps VISTA

Lutheran Social Service of Minnesota Adoption

Adoption Information Meeting:
Thursday, November 18, 2010
6:00 - 8:00 p.m.
Ordean Building, Room A, 424 West Superior Street, Duluth
Registration: Call Lynne Haggar at (612) 879-5230 or 1-888-205-3769 

Lutheran Social Service of Minnesota Adoption:  Join us to learn about
the exciting opportunities and recent changes in adoption.Discover the tools and support for families who would like a flexible, proactive adoption process, and learn how LSS can partner with you to grow your family.LSS can help families adopt children locally, and from countries around the world. 

Cliffs Foundation Grant To The Babbitt-Embarrass Community and surrounding areas swimming pool

Babbitt, MN: News Release Sept. 28, 2010Cliffs Foundation grants NECS request for $5,000 to support the Babbitt-Embarrass Area Community Pool. On behalf of the Cliffs Foundation, Northshore-Babbitt Mine Operations Manager Doug Halverson presents a $5000 check to #2142 School Board Member, Gary Rantala for the Babbitt-Embarrass pool. The grant application was completed by Mary & Jewell Herring, NECS members. 

See the Northeast Country Swim Boosters Website for more information and photos.

Friday, September 24, 2010

GOP JimmyTEA- Jim Tuomala HD6A. No Ticket No Laundry No Money No Spending

If you are on Facebook, have a look at the site of local candidate for Minnesota House, District 6A, Jim Tuomala. It has some thoughts and ideas there which are worth a read.
Here is his candidacy website which has more information :JimTuomalaForHD6A
Candidates this fall: 
Minnesota House, District 6A
Jim Tuomala (R-Babbitt)

David Dill (DFL-Crane Lake)

Friday, September 03, 2010

ISD #2142 School District News

Other News: Bois Forte Reservation Tribal Council held on August 4, 2010
Full Article Link Below:


Moved by Ray Toutloff; to adopt resolution #15-2011, expressing support for the creation of the Vermilion Country School as a charter school under Minnesota law.  Chairman Leecy calls for a second.  Chairman Leecy calls for a second again.  Motion dies for lack of a second. 

A letter was received from The Coalition for Community Schools.  They said the St. Louis County School District plans to close existing schools in Tower-Soudan, Cook, and Orr.  The Coalition for Community Schools was formed to seek alternatives to the school district’s plan. 

The coalition created a Joint Powers Board consisting of local units of government in the ISD 2142 Attendance Area which would jointly and cooperatively coordinate and facilitate future planning and leveraging monies for the purpose of maintaining community schools and improving educational opportunity and achievement for the residents.  They are inviting Bois Forte to join the Joint Powers Board.

Moved by Ray Toutloff; seconded by Brandon Benner; to decline the invitation from The Coalition for Community Schools that Bois Forte join their Joint Powers Board.   Carried 4-0-0.

Article Summary:
Article from the Cook News Herald:
Full Article Link Below:

Biomass grant use deadline approaches ISD 2142
---- Could affect potential jobs in our area.

2142 School Athletics being reorganized.

Permitting continues for 2142 school reorganization.

Culture Based Arts Integration Grant Liaison Services agreement approved.

School enrollments mixed: Tower area faces larger decline in students, some areas up, others down.

Orr City Council:

Joint Powers seeking liability insurance.

Cook & Orr looking into sharing agreements.
The $584,000 grant that ISD 2142 received for a biomass heating project has a deadline for this December. Superintendent Charles Rick, at the regular board meeting held in Cotton on Monday at 5 p.m., said that he will be meeting with the people who gave out the grant to tell them their plans in hopes of keeping the money. The district plans on putting biomass heating projects in the Tower-Soudan K-6 school and the Babbitt-Embarrass remodeled school.

The district athletic directors will be meeting with Rick to plan the status of teams for next year with the reorganization being done.

Construction manager John Henry said all permits were in for the South School and the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) had given their preliminary approval for the septic system for the new North School, which now has its own water. For Cherry, all permits are in and they are pouring foundations. Architectural Resources will be meeting with Tower-Soudan and Babbitt-Embarrass school people to work on plans for those two schools. No wetlands have been purchased for the north site and won't be until the permit is in. The wetlands are in the Fergus Falls area.

The board approved a Culture Based Arts Integration Grant Liaison Services agreement between ISD 2142 and ISD 94 of Cloquet. Lowana Greensky, Indian Education director, will provide consultation for the project.
A report by Business Manager Kim Johnson, which compared the enrollments of schools based on those who graduated and those in kindergarten, showed Cook actually had about a 14 student increase with Orr showing only a three student decrease. Babbitt-Embarrass was up nearly 10, AlBrook down nine, Cotton down 11, and Cherry up three. Tower-Soudan had a decline of nearly 25.

Orr City Council:

Then Redmond shared that the Joint Powers Agreement went from legal to the city's insurance company, back to the lawyer and finally sent to her. Their recommendation was for the organization to purchase its own liability insurance, to keep cities and townships from paying a liability claim against the group. She will bring this up at the next coalition meeting and report back their response.

Mayor Long recently met with leaders from the city of Cook to discuss the possibilities of sharing equipment or joining for a grant to co-buy a piece, share personnel when vacation schedules create a need, and cooperate in other areas.
Sept. 9th, 2010
MPCA gives preliminary approval for new 'North School' septic system.
Administration costs for ISD 2142 among lowest.
Many factors involved which need to be reported on an even handed basis by those who report the "news".
More than 500 participate in Aug. 31 groundbreaking festivities for ISD 2142's New South School
Orr Community Meeting Gets to the Facts
Mayor Long read an email he had received from the superintendent of Two Harbors schools. It clarified that comments Long had heard were incorrect. He said Johnson Controls Inc. (JCI) has no connection with problems they have had. JCI did the research survey and submitted a suggestion. Another engineering company came up with a design built on that information, and a separate contractor built the school. Their problems, two years after JCI's input, would have been avoided if the contractor had purchased a better heating system that Johnson Controls manufactures.

Cook possibly annexing Field Township to run sewer and water to the new school.

Contracts approved for the Cherry School remodel.

More bids approved for the new South School
Other News: Sept. 2, 2010

Article Summary:
Article from the Cook News Herald:
Full Article Link Below:

Council considers new school sewer line

The Thursday, Aug. 26, Cook City Council meeting opened with a request from Supt. Charles Rick for ISD 2142. From the county board meeting of Aug. 12, the district needs to present more information for an EIS, including the feasibility of sewer lines into the city system, and before the county's Oct. 14 meeting. His appeal was that the more government entities working together, the greater the chance of securing grants.

Mayor Hollanitsch said that land is in Field Township, which begs the question of leasing land for easement or annexing it into Cook. The final assessment is that the city is not opposed to the possibility, but the district must be forthcoming with more details.

Mayor of Orr invites Mayor of Cook  to informally discuss the school issue at a community meeting.

In closing comments, Dale Long, mayor of Orr, invited Mayor Hollanitsch to an informal meeting regarding the school issue, while inviting all to the community meeting at the American Legion in Orr on Thursday, Sept. 2.

Babbitt, Mn. blog editors note: Believe that the following (EIS) is actually EAW as that meeting is still coming up on the 14th of October.


Monday, September 20, 2010 @6:00 p.m. 

Topics of discussion: 1.) Design of Building. 2.) Feasibility of the Tower-Soudan Elementary School.

Thursday, September 02, 2010

ISD 2142 South School Groundbreaking Photos and Videos

This was day for everyone to smile and smile some more. Groundwork was happening while we were there, a celebration of new educational beginnings and opportunities and to top it all off a nature walk with Bob Dunsmore who explained many of the environmental learning possibilities for the new school and its immediately surrounding area. A great time was had by all!  

We can do great things working together!

Photos and Videos can be viewed at the following sites: