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ISD 318 Explores Turf

One point three million. That’s the estimated cost of turfing Legion Field in Grand Rapids.
Independent School District 318’s school board held a workshop Monday to discuss two topics- Legion Field and Phy Ed.
A group, led by Tom Saxhaug, approached the board on Monday asking for a financial commitment. Some board members said they were hesitant to name a dollar amount. District Financial Officer Pat Goggin told the board that there is no big pot of money and that anything not raised by fundraising would have to be charged to taxpayers. The board approved a letter of support for the project, but no school monies.

By |June 13th, 2019|Blog, News|Comments Off on ISD 318 Explores Turf|

ISD 318 Superintendent Olson to Retire

ISD 318 Superintendent Joni Olson has announced her retirement effective June 30, 2019.
“I am so proud of all that we have accomplished together at ISD 318 in the past two years,” said Olson. “And, I will do my best to ensure a thorough, positive transition for future leadership.”
The School Board will hold a special meeting on Monday, June 17 at 12:00 pm to accept her retirement. At that meeting, the School Board will begin the process of filling the role on an interim basis. After an interim superintendent is appointed, the Board will begin work on the plan for the hiring of a permanent superintendent.
“There will be no interruption to district activities during the transition period,” said Board Chair Pat Medure.

By |June 13th, 2019|Blog, News|Comments Off on ISD 318 Superintendent Olson to Retire|

Five Students Injured in Car/Bus Accident

Yesterday morning, a school bus traveling south on Highway 169 collided with a car, sending five students to the hospital for minor injuries. According to the Minnesota State Patrol, a pick-up driven by 49 year old Shawn McDowell of Grand Rapids, was traveling south on Highway 169, loving to the turn lane to turn west onto County road 17. McDowell decided not to turn, returned to the highway and collided with a school bus. McDowell rear-ended a Dodge Ram, which was disabled on the right shoulder of 169. The Ram, driven by 49 year old Tammy Jo Rabey of Hill City, was stalled on the shoulder. Rabey was outside the vehicle at the time of the accident. None of the drivers were injured. the bus contained 32 children, two adults, and driver. Five students were taken to Grand Itasca Clinic and Hospital for minor injuries.

By |June 13th, 2019|Blog, News|Comments Off on Five Students Injured in Car/Bus Accident|

Drug Use and Loss of Children

Eighty five percent of children removed from a home in Itasca County are removed because of drug use by the parents. Becky Lauer, Division Manager for the Family and Children’s Service for Itasca County, briefed the Itasca County Board of Commissioners on Tuesday. During the first quarter of 2019, child protection opened 163 cases, affecting 282 children. Thirty-one kids were placed in out-of-home situations. April and May numbers are expected to be even higher. Lauer said drug use is spiking on the east boarder of the county, including Nashwauk and Keewatin. She asked for more focus on prevention.
Commissioners also approved a new roof for the IRC building, approved grant applications to be used for the funding of county septic systems, money for a study of proposed municipal solid waste landfill in the city of Keewatin, and the Firewise contrasts.

By |June 12th, 2019|Blog, News|Comments Off on Drug Use and Loss of Children|

Two Teens Killed in Car Accident

Two teenagers were killed in a two vehicle accident in Nashwauk Saturday. According to the Minnesota State Patrol, the teens were in a vehicle driven by A 17 year old driver. The teen was driving a 2005 Accord north on Highway 169 at the Highway 65 intersection when he attempted to turn north on Highway 65. A Chevy Cobra Camper, driven by 61 year old Daniel Alsaker of Chisholm collided with the Accord. Alsaker was not injured. A passenger in the Alsaker vehicle, 59 year old Terry Alsaker of Chisholm, was taken to UMCM in Hibbing. The teen driver and a 15 year old passenger in his vehicle were taken to UMCM with non-life-threatening injuries. Killed in the accident were 16 year old Aiden Patrick Hall and 13 year old Trent Casey Salminen.

By |June 10th, 2019|Blog, News|Comments Off on Two Teens Killed in Car Accident|

Former ICC Provost Named President St. Scholastica

Dr Barbera McDonald, former provost at Itasca Community College, was named the 13th President of the College of Saint Scholastica this morning. Dr. McDonald, recently president of North Hennepin Community College (NHCC) in Brooklyn Park. She has served as NHCC president since 2015.

By |May 30th, 2019|Blog, News|Comments Off on Former ICC Provost Named President St. Scholastica|

Mock Crash to be Conducted at GRHS Tuesday

Emergency vehicles will be called to the Grand Rapids High School Tuesday morning- as part of a mock crash. Personnel from the Grand Rapids Police Department, Itasca County Sheriff’s Office, Life Link 111, Search and Rescue, Toward Zero Deaths, and many other agencies will be at the high school Tuesday to demonstrate how important driving safely really is. Craig Hillier will speak to students about making good choices behind the wheel then students will experience the aftermath of a vehicle accident.
The mock crash incident is closed to the public. Northwest 14th Street will be closed beginning at 8:45am and for the duration of the event.

By |May 20th, 2019|Blog, News|Comments Off on Mock Crash to be Conducted at GRHS Tuesday|

Fraud Alert


The Grand Rapids Police Department would like to make you aware of a fraud call that Officer Bill Saw investigated yesterday, May 15th. A local restaurant received a telephone call just before closing for the day. The caller claimed to be with their corporate security department and told the manager that there was a problem with the restaurant’s security system, including the cash register. He directed her to remove the cash from the store’s register and take it to a bank, depositing it in the manager’s personal account, explaining this was necessary, “For security reasons.”

He then convinced the manager to provide him her cell phone number and then tried to convince her to download an app on her cell phone. She was instructed to punch her debit card number into the app, telling the manager that he was going to move the money into a secure location for the restaurant. Fortunately, the manager chose not to do so.

Of course, the restaurant’s legitimate security department knew nothing about this until contacted by the police department. We want you to know that this is a fraud. The caller’s intent is to steal money. Would you please make your employees aware of this fraud?

By |May 16th, 2019|Blog, News|Comments Off on Fraud Alert|

Undercover Heroin Bust in Rapids

Officers of the Grand Rapids Police Department arrested a 34 year old Grand Rapids man for selling heroin to an undercover officer as a result of an on-going investigation. On the afternoon of May 13th, the undercover officer arranged to meet this man on a walking trail off of 14th Street Southwest for the purpose of purchasing heroin. When the man showed up, money was exchanged and heroin provided. The man was promptly placed under arrest and is currently incarcerated in the Itasca County Jail awaiting criminal charges. The seller has a lengthy criminal record, including previous convictions for selling illegal drugs.
Later, police served a search warrant at the man’s residence. They confiscated illicit prescription pills and a large amount of cash. “If you are going to sell drugs, don’t do it in Grand Rapids” stated Grand Rapids Police Detective Brian Mattson.

By |May 14th, 2019|Blog, News|Comments Off on Undercover Heroin Bust in Rapids|

One Man Killed in ATV Accident

Itasca County Sheriff’s Office

On May 11th, 2019 at approximately 2:17am, Itasca County Sheriff’s Dispatch received a report of an ATV accident on County Road 459 in Cohasset. Emergency responders found two male individuals performing CPR on a third party. Statements taken at the scene indicate the three individuals were on a single ATV which hit a power pole when they swerved to miss a deer crossing the road.
Passenger, Dylan Robert Christy, age 21, of Grand Rapids, Minnesota sustained life-threatening injuries. Christy was airlifted to St. Mary’s Hospital of Duluth, Minnesota via Life Link Air Care where he died as a result of his injuries.
Passenger, Alexander Michael Rajala, age 21, of Grand Rapids was transported to Grand Itasca Medical Center with non-life threatening injuries.
ATV operator, Joseph Jeffrey Riley, age 21, of Cohasset sustained no injuries. Riley was arrested for Criminal Vehicular Operation which was upgraded to include Criminal Vehicle Homicide.
Alcohol was a contributing factor in this incident.
The Itasca County Sheriff’s Office was assisted by the Minnesota DNR, Grand Rapids Fire Department, MEDS-1 Ambulance Service, Life Link Air Care and Minnesota State Patrol.

By |May 13th, 2019|Blog, News|Comments Off on One Man Killed in ATV Accident|