Unless District 318 has to close schools again, either for extreme cold or snow, there should be enough student contact days left in this school year to meet state requirements. Superintendent Bruce Thomas said the cold has caused some other problems though, several of the superintendent search community meetings have had to be rescheduled. There are meetings tomorrow evening at 6:30 at the Murphy Elementary School and on Thursday at 7 PM in the Grand Rapids High School. He said even if you are not in those geographic area and haven’t been able to attend one of the superintendent search meetings please attend to express your opinions on what qualities and skills should be considered for District 318’s new superintendent.
The USDA Forest Service, North Central Research Station in Grand Rapids has released weather statistics for January 2014.
The average high for the month was 10.6 degrees and the average low was -11.9 with an overall average temperature of -0.7 degrees.
The 39 degree reading on the 12th was the months highest and the -32 degree reading on the 2nd was the months lowest.
The record high temperature for January was 51 degrees above zero recorded in 1942, 1973 & 1981 and the record low temperature was -51 recorded in 1927.
The warmest January on record was in 2006 with an average temperature of 24.5 degrees. The coldest was in 1929 with an average temperature of -8.0 degrees.
We received 10.9 inches of snow last month.
Although preventable mistakes decreased in Minnesota hospitals last year, deaths related to the mistakes remained steady. The findings are part of an annual report by the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) that tracks 28 types of serious events that should rarely or never happen in hospitals. Among the serious events are falls, medication errors, severe pressure ulcers and retention of objects after a surgery. In northern Minnesota, several facilities had instances that caused serious disabilities, and, in some cases, death. Essentia Health-Deer River had one fall that resulted in death at its facility. Grand Itasca Clinic and Hospital in Grand Rapids had a patient death related to a disappearance. Falls continued to be the most common cause of death in hospitals, and the MDH will continue to explore strategies to reduce their chances, according to the report.
Tonight marks the beginning of the most important process to every citizen of the United States, elections. Tonight in courthouses and school buildings all across the state political party members are congregating in precinct caucuses. The first step in selecting party candidates and choosing the party’s goals and values. Here in the Grand Rapids area the Republican party will hold their caucus at the Robert J. Elkington Middle School and the Democrat – Farmer – Labor party will meet in the Itasca County Court House. Both caucuses begin at 7 PM. Caucuses are open to the public but to be eligible to vote, offer resolutions or become a delegate you must be eligible to vote in the fall election, live in the precinct and be in general agreement with the principles of the political party. For more information on caucuses visit the Minnesota Secretary of State web site at www.sos.state.mn.us.
The Grand Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce is looking for an organization or business to take over their walleye tournament. Chamber President Bud Stone said they want to hand it off to another entity. He said after five years of running the tournament the Chamber thinks a fresh set of viewpoints could improve it immensely. For more information contact the Chamber by calling 326-6619.
The Northland Foundation recently awarded 66 grants totaling almost $500,000 to nonprofit and community groups serving northeastern Minnesota. Grants awarded in our area include: $7,000 to ElderCircle of Grand Rapids; $4,000 to Invest Early in Grand Rapids; $2,000 to the Northern Lights Community School in Warba for the purchase of books for the school library; $15,000 to Bridges Kinship Mentoring in Grand Rapids; $5,000 for Hill City KIDS PLUS; $20,000 for the Itasca County Family YMCA; $5,000 for Northland Counseling Center. For more information on Northland Foundation grants visit their website at www.northlandfdn.org.
In the local crime report from the Grand Rapids Police Department:
A shoplifter was reported from a retail merchant on 29th Street SE on Friday January 31st. The thief took about $12 in cosmetics.
Also on Friday a resident of 3rd Avenue reported their prescription medications had been stolen from their mailbox. Under investigation.
A resident of 1st Avenue SW reported a suspicious person walked up to her back door on Friday attempting to deliver a pizza. The resident thought it suspicious because the delivery person had to walk through the garage and back yard to get to the door. She contacted the pizza place and they had no record of any mis-delivered pizza’s in the area. The incident is under investigation.
A forced entry burglary was reported on Saturday February 1st from 7th Avenue NE. The home owner said she heard someone in the downstairs part of the house. When law enforcement arrived she tossed the keys to the door down to them but they were unable to open the front-door with them. They ended up breaking open the back door, checking the entire house to insure the burglar wasn’t still in the building. They were unable to locate a suspect.
Also on Saturday a patron at a coin operated laundry on Itasca Street reported her wallet had been stolen. She described the suspect and reported that there was $500 in the wallet. A little while after the initial report she contacted law enforcement again to report that she had found the wallet in a trash can, missing only $5. The bulk of her cash was hidden in a secret compartment in the wallet.
On Friday afternoon, Governor Mark Dayton and members of the state’s Executive Council voted unanimously to extend Emergency Executive Order 14-02 for another 30 days. The order establishes help to relieve the severe shortage of propane and other home heating fuel supplies statewide. The Executive Council was convened today because the Emergency Order I signed to deal with the propane crisis in Minnesota was set to expire after five days. The Executive Council needed to meet in order to extend that order for another 30 days, which we did unanimously this afternoon. We will continue doing everything necessary to help Minnesotans get through this crisis. He said the state will continue doing everything necessary to help Minnesotans get through this crisis.
The 2014 Car Show and Swap Meet will go on, according to Grand Rapids Chamber of Commerce President Bud Stone it is a natural fit for the Chamber. He said just like the other festivals and events in Grand Rapids there is a lot of work involved in making them happen. He said if anyone wants to volunteer their help to contact the Chamber at 326-6619.
The State Emergency Operations Center has established a public hotline for Minnesotans with propane issues or questions. The Hotline operates Monday to Friday 9 AM to 4:30 PM. Residents with questions about the current propane situation or who are in danger of running out of heating oil can call 800-657-3504. Consumers who need financial assistance to pay heating bills may find help through the Low Income Heating Energy Assistance Program. Money is available for households that have not already applied. To find out more on LIEAP visit the department of commerce website at www.mn.gov/commerce or call 800-657-3710.