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Monthly Archives: January 2014

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On The Air on KOZY

School Funding 012714

Are we funding schools the right way? That is a question on our legislators minds and has been for a number of years and in an effort to equalize the use of property taxes to fund schools the 2013 legislature approved a levy for school districts that didn’t need voter approval and allocated about $200 per pupil to the districts. Representative Tom Anzelc explains the intent “Our goal was to bring about a more equitable funding stream to all schools in Minnesota and better balance the high wealth metropolitan and suburban districts with huge needs with rural greater Minnesota districts with dangerously low property wealth.” The move proved to be controversial across the state. Senator Tom Saxhaug says the inequity is very apparent “If there was something, an education piece that came out of that whole not going to the voters on that particular amount it’s that particularly people with properties on the lake, kind of found out that our non seasonal neighbors are not paying a thing for an operating levy.” He said finally taxpayers are understanding some of the problems with using property taxes to fund schools.

By |January 27th, 2014|Newsroom|Comments Off|

Local Crime Report 012714

In the local crime report from the Grand Rapids Police Department:

A student of the Grand Rapids High School reported her gym bag missing on Friday January 24th. The bag was found in a janitors storage room, missing a pair of shoes and some exercise clothing, valued at about $85.
A computer tablet was reported missing from the IRC on Saturday January 25th. The $300 to $350 item was located and returned a short time later. The suspected thief was not identified.
Also on Saturday a traffic stop at a convenience store on Highway 169 east resulted in an arrest. The driver had been canceled inimical to public safety. He also admitted to using spice and meth recently, even though he was on probation. A search warrant for his vehicle was obtained and executed, locating drug paraphernalia. He was charged with 1st degree sale of a controlled substance, 2nd degree possession of a controlled substance and 1st degree DWI. His vehicle was impounded.
An officer patrolling Golf Course Road on Saturday observed a vehicle use the center turn lane to pass a slower moving vehicle. The officer stopped the offender and warned them about the illegal passing.
On Sunday January 26th a guest at an innkeeper on Pokegama Avenue South reported a box of transducers was missing from his work truck. He had insured the vehicle had been locked except for a brief time while it was warming up. The missing items are valued at $3500. Video surveillance is being reviewed.
Also on Sunday a resident of 2nd Avenue SE reported some items were missing from her apartment. There were two rings, a game console and some other small stuff valued together at $1000. No suspects at this time.

By |January 27th, 2014|Newsroom|Comments Off|

Weather Related Closings 012714

Bug – O – Nay – Ge – Shig
Closed

Hill City ISD 2
Closed

Northland Community School ISD 118 (Remer)
Closed

Greenway ISD 316
Closed

Deer River ISD 317
Closed

Grand Rapids / Bigfork ISD 318
Closed

Nashwauk / Keewatin ISD 319
Closed

Floodwood ISD 698
Closed

Hibbing ISD 701
Closed

By |January 27th, 2014|Newsroom|Comments Off|

Anzelc on Minimum Wage 012414

Three area legislators presented their views for this legislative session during a “Legislative Eggs & Issues” provided by the Grand Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce. One of the questions asked during the ninety-four minute discussion was the minimum wage issue. Representative Tom Anzelc said during the last session the House and the Senate both passed a bill that became stalled in conference committee and he does not want that to happen this session. He said he has authored a bill that would place a constitutional amendment on the November ballot asking if the minimum wage should be increased and tied to an inflation index. He wants the people to decide if and how much the increase should be.

By |January 24th, 2014|Newsroom|Comments Off|

Thomas on ISD 318 School Board Meeting 012314

The safety of the school children is of utmost importance according to District 318 Superintendent Bruce Thomas “…but the threshold for the school district as far as closing is a wind chill factor of minus fifty… in fact it probably is best to have the child come to school, we know you have a warm environment, adult supervision and also then we have a breakfast program, we have a lunch program so kids are also then fed…” He said if parents believe it is not appropriate to send their children out, then keep the child at home; however he said without a doubt the district wants kids to be dressed warmly.

By |January 23rd, 2014|Newsroom|Comments Off|

Grand Rapids City Council Review 012214

During the Grand Rapids City Council meeting the official newspaper was designated to be the Grand Rapids Herald Review and the Mayor Pro-Tem to be Dale Christie. Mayor Dale Adams said even though he hasn’t missed a meeting there is need for a substitute. In other action the council accepted a grant from the IRRRB for the Itasca County YMCA active living center project and authorized the purchase of some equipment for the Pokegama Golf Course.

By |January 22nd, 2014|Newsroom|Comments Off|

ESSAR Slowdown 012114

Construction companies building the new $1.7 billion Essar Steel Minnesota taconite plant have slowed work again as Essar continues to search for money to complete the job. Essar said the number of construction workers on the job is about half of what it was in recent months. Essar officials have downplayed the slowdown saying it was a matter of working with its contractors to reduce construction activity to only critical tasks until Essar finds additional money. It was first reported in December that Essar was delaying its expected first production at the facility until 2015, not 2014 as had been predicted last summer. As of December, the company still hoped to begin testing late in 2014 with full-scale pellet production by the end of 2015.

By |January 21st, 2014|Newsroom|Comments Off|

Crime Report 012114

In the local crime report from the Grand Rapids Police Department:

A one vehicle accident occurred Friday January 17th on Highway 169 West at the Prairie River Bridge. The vehicle was westbound when it hit an icy patch and spun out striking the guardrail. The vehicle was towed and the driver transported to Grand Itasca with minor injuries.
A shoplifter was reported at a retail farm supply store on Pokegama Avenue South on Saturday, January 18th. The suspect stole an $8 pair of socks. When asked for a motive she said because her feet were cold.
A retail outlet on 29th Street SE reported a shoplifter on Saturday. The thief took over $100 in merchandise. In another incident another shoplifter took a $20 video game cartridge without paying. Both were cited and given a no trespassing order.
Also on Saturday an employee at a family restaurant on Pokegama Avenue South reported her vehicle had been stolen. When she parked it upon arrival for work she left it unlocked but she took the keys. When she got off her shift it was missing, along with her purse with her wallet containing identification cards, credit cards, debit cards and some cash. There is a suspect.
On Sunday January 19th a coin laundry on Itasca Street reported major property damage as a suspect pried the coin changer off the wall with a crowbar.  There is video surveillance of the crime being committed and the incident is under investigation.

 

By |January 21st, 2014|Newsroom|Comments Off|

Crime Report 011614

In the local crime report from the Grand Rapids Police Department:

A forced entry burglary was reported from a business on 5th Street NW on Monday January 13th. Entry was gained from a rear window, the screen was cut and some glass breakage occurred. Damage estimate is about $500, stolen was an undisclosed amount of cash.
Also on Monday a student at the RJE Middle School was observed to commit an act of vandalism. The suspect entered a boys bathroom and wrote on the wall with a pencil the phrase “Resurrect the Daleks”. The school imposed sanctions on the suspect.
A tablet computer was reported taken from a classroom at the Grand Rapids High School on Monday. The student was not authorized to take the tablet home but did. When confronted the student admitted to taking the $420 worth of equipment, Law enforcement located the missing property at the students home and returned it.
A vehicle parked at a retail outlet on 4th Street NW was broken into on Monday. Missing is $160 worth of fishing rods, $100 in cash and $25 in tobacco products. Entry was gained by cutting the cardboard used to block a broken window. Video surveillance was not available of the parking lot.
An ice fisherman reported a theft from McKinney Lake on Tuesday January 14th. His portable / collapsible clamshell type fish house, a portable space heater, a tackle box and other fishing equipment was taken. Total dollar amount for the stolen items was not reported.
On Wednesday January 15th law enforcement on patrol near the water tower on 9th Street NW observed a vehicle with two suspicious persons apparently working on some installed equipment at the water tower. Law enforcement questioned the individuals who […]

By |January 16th, 2014|Newsroom|Comments Off|

Itasca County Park Management Plan 011614

The Fairgrounds Park Management Plan (FPMP) Task Force is inviting public input on Tuesday January 21st from 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm in the Itasca County Board Room. The FPMP Task Force will use this information for the development of a management plan for the Itasca County Fairgrounds Park. A park management plan holds the vision for the future of the park and defines a long-range planning and management strategy. Each Itasca County park has a management plan. The Fairgrounds Park is the most recent addition to the county park system and this is the first plan to be developed for this park. To assist in the information gathering process we have contracted with John Powers of Applied Insights North. Mr. Powers will convene and facilitate the conversation. If you are unable to attend the meeting, you may offer written comments by mail or email. Send written correspondence to Itasca County Land Department, 1177 LaPrairie Ave., Grand Rapids, MN 55744 or email to roger.clark@co.itasca.mn.us.

By |January 16th, 2014|Newsroom|Comments Off|