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Joe Gigliotti

Joe Gigliotti

School Board Sets Levy

Last night, Independent School District 318 approved a $10 million dollar levy for fiscal year 2015.  According to Superintendent Doctor Bruce Thomas, the levy is consistent with this past year’s numbers.

The school board also thanked Maryann Olson for her 20 years of service.  Olson did not run for a school board seat in November and last night was her last meeting.

By |December 16th, 2014|Blog, News|Comments Off on School Board Sets Levy|

Grand Rapids Police Civil Service Commission Resigns

The entire Grand Rapids Police Civil Service Commission has submitted letters of resignation. Members of the commission, Wanda Bunes, Michael Marsh, and Jim Martinetto has submitted letters of resignation to the city council. The issue is on the agenda for Monday’s city council meeting.
According to Martinetto’s letter, his resignation follows the December 8th vote by the council to reinstate Brent Bradley to a Patrol Sergeant, effective the effective November 8th.
Among reasons Bradley was demoted, according to the council agreement published last month, not adequately investigate cases involving alleged domestic assaults and failed to meet the performance and conduct standards expected of City law enforcement officers as described in the above-discipline.
Last month, the city council agreed to remove a written Reprimand, 15-day Suspension without Pay, 5-day Suspension without Pay, Demotion from his personnel file.

By |December 12th, 2014|Blog, News|Comments Off on Grand Rapids Police Civil Service Commission Resigns|

Nutcracker Interview

The Nutcracker Ballet will be performed again at the Reif Center this Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Kathy Lynn talked with some of cast and here is the interview.


By |December 11th, 2014|Blog|Comments Off on Nutcracker Interview|

Invest Early Renewed for Another 10 years by the Blandin Foundation

Invest early has been awarded funding for another 10 years from the Blandin Foundation.  Invest early is currently in its 10th and final year of a previous funding agreement from the Blandin Foundation.  At last night’s Independent School District 318 Board Meeting, Invest Early Director Jan Reindl presented the Initiative.

Also at last night’s ISD 318 School Board meeting, Transportation Director Tony Lewis reported that ridership with students is up 15% this year, and last year the district’s busses traveled 813,394 total miles.  Brooke Sherman was also hired as the Girls Soccer Head Coach, and Joyce Sjostrand’s retirement was approved after 23 ½ years with the district.  The next ISD 318 School Board Meeting is December 15th at 7 o’clock

By |December 2nd, 2014|Blog, News|Comments Off on Invest Early Renewed for Another 10 years by the Blandin Foundation|

Polymet Hopes to be Mining in 2016

Polymet is still in the permitting phase, but company officials do expect to be mining copper, nickel, and cobalt by 2016.  Brad Moore, Executive Vice President of Environmental and Governmental Affairs, said the draft Environmental Impact Statement being processed now.  The permits will allow for 20 years of mining, but Moore said there’s more there.  Polymet is planning on reusing the former L-T-V concentrator, settling ponds, transportation infrastructure, and skilled local labor.  Polymet expects to mine 72 million pounds of copper, 15 million pounds of nickel, and 72 million pounds of cobalt annually.


By |December 2nd, 2014|Blog, News|Comments Off on Polymet Hopes to be Mining in 2016|

Essar Moving Forward

The Essar Project is moving forward.  On Tuesday, the Itasca County board of commissioners approved a number of contracts and agreements relating to Essar.  The first agreement allowed for the county to advance an additional $450 million dollars to the project- for a total of $1.163 billion dollars.  County Board Chair Leo Trunt said the board is excited to see the project moving forward.

The second approved a technical service contract with SEH Engineering regarding updating the county’s land use plan to reflect changes caused by recent new mining activities.  The update will include the concept of extending the Itasca county Regional Railroad to the Grand Rapids area.

By |November 28th, 2014|Blog, News|Comments Off on Essar Moving Forward|

Teens Feeling Safer

Over two thousand students from eleven area schools completed a survey about access to technology, feelings of confidence, and the presence of adults who are interested in their lives.  The survey, conducted by the Search Institute for the Itasca Area Initiative for Student Success, revealed some concerns and some victories.  Two percent of teens did not feel safe at home.  Sixty-four percent said they have families who give them love and support.

Fifty-five percent of students were members of a club, groups, or sporting activity.  Sixty-one percent said they had an adult in their life- who is not a parent- who cared about them.  Fifty percent of students surveyed thought they lived in a safe neighborhood.

The survey and detailed results can be found online at



By |November 25th, 2014|Blog, News|Comments Off on Teens Feeling Safer|

Gun Brought to Grand Rapids High School

Grand Rapids Police and the school liaison officer are investigating a report that a 15 year old girl brought a handgun to school three weeks ago.  The girl, who is not in custody at this time, admitted to bringing a gun to school.  She told investigators that the gun was her father’s and she took it without his knowledge.  No threats were made.

Authorities found out about the incident on Tuesday.

Throughout the course of the investigation, the Grand Rapids Police Department collaborated with school authorities and the Itasca County Attorney’s Office.  The girl is not in custody at this time.  The matter has been referred to the Itasca County Attorney’s Office for review.

By |November 19th, 2014|Blog, News|Comments Off on Gun Brought to Grand Rapids High School|

School District 318 Goes International

Grand Rapids High School has 13 foreign exchange students this year, which is a record number for Independent School District 318.  Students come from Norway, Italy, Uruguay, Georgia, Germany, Thailand, Spain, and Brazil. 
At last night’s ISD 318 School Board Meeting, retirement was approved for Dan Bredemus who has taught with the district for 31 years.  Assistant Superintendent Rochelle Van Den Heuvel updated the board on the 1:1 Technology Initiative and reminded parents of 9th graders to sign appropriate papers found on the districts website. The next ISD 318 School Board meeting is December 1st at 7 o’clock.

By |November 19th, 2014|Blog, News|Comments Off on School District 318 Goes International|

Grand Rapids Armed Stand-off Ends with Tear Gas

A 29 year old Grand Rapids man is facing charges of Felony Terroristic Threats and Felony False Imprisonment after an armed stand-off in Grand Rapids Wednesday night.

According to the Grand Rapids Police Department, Robert Williams threatened a woman and her children and she called 9-1-1.  The family escaped their Linda Lane home out a bedroom window.  The man, armed with a high-powered rifle, was taken into custody after a seven hour stand-off.  SWAT teams from Itasca and St. Louis Counties eventually fired tear gas into the residence.  The case is being forwarded to the Itasca County Attorney’s office.   Itasca County Sheriff Vic Williams and Grand Rapids Police Chief Scott Johnson agreed that is was fortunate the situation ended the way it did, with no injuries.

By |November 13th, 2014|Blog, News|Comments Off on Grand Rapids Armed Stand-off Ends with Tear Gas|