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Feeding America

Grand Rapids, MN  (August 27, 2015) – Second Harvest North Central Food Bank, a member of  the Feeding America®nationwide network of food banks, will observe Hunger Action MonthTM – a nationwide initiative designed to mobilize the public to take action on the issue of hunger and join the movement to help end hunger. Hunger advocates from north central Minnesota and across the country are working together this September to shine a light on the issue of hunger in America – including one of five children in Itasca County.

“There are over 5,100 food insure people, including almost 2,000 children in Itasca County struggling with hunger, and Second Harvest is eager to rally around Hunger Action Month as we continue our fight to solve this issue,” said Sue Estee , ED of Second Harvest. “Hunger is an issue that affects everyone – our child’s classmate, an office coworker or neighbor down the street. September is an opportunity for all hunger-relief advocates to take simple steps towards supporting those in need.”

Starting Tuesday, September 1, the trees at Old Central School in Grand Rapids will light up orange thanks to Minnesota Power, Lake Country Power, and the City of Grand Rapids. Second Harvest will commemorate Hunger Action Day®, which will be held Thursday, September 3.  Hunger Action Day is an opportunity for the country to learn more about how hunger affects their community. Second Harvest will hold its annual Donor Brunch and a Kids Pack Volunteer Day will take place on Monday, September 28th.

Every month, Second Harvest provides food for approximately 17,000 people in the seven county region served by the food bank. Over 2,200 commodity food boxes are distributed to low income seniors, over 2,000 school children […]

By |September 1st, 2015|Blog, News|Comments Off on Feeding America|

Grand Rapids Man Appears in Court

A Grand Rapids man pled not guilty to assault, terroristic threats, and possession of marijuana Monday in Itasca County District Court.

56 year old Robert Edward Schwirtz of Grand Rapids appeared before Judge Jon Maturi.  Schwirtz waived his right to an omnibus hearing and entered not guilty pleas to all charges.

Schwirtz allegedly threatened his neighbor with a firearm in a dispute over property lines.

Schwirtz has not posted bail and remains in the Itasca county Jail.  Bail was previously set at $100,000 without conditions, $50,000 with conditions.  His next court appearance is October 5th.

By |September 1st, 2015|Blog, News|Comments Off on Grand Rapids Man Appears in Court|

ISD 316 Approves Teacher Contract

Teachers at Independent School District 316 are starting the school year off with new pencils, new books, and a new contract.

Last night, the school board approved the contract with Education Minnesota- Greenway Local 1330 for the two year period covering 2015-2017.  In the first year of the contract (2015-2016) there will be a 2% raise on the salary schedule.  In the second year of the contract (2016-2017) there will be a 3% raise on the salary schedule.

The contract covers teacher pay, work schedules, number of school days, insurance, longevity pay, insurance, and retiree policies.

By |August 27th, 2015|Blog, News|Comments Off on ISD 316 Approves Teacher Contract|

Child Support Collections Up

Itasca County Child Support Services is predicted to collect Six Million dollars in child support payments in 2015. The past two years collections have come in just under than number.  That’s despite six of the nine employees in the department who either have or are ready to retire.  Anna Erickson- Itasca County Child Support Supervisor, briefed the Itasca County Board of Commissioners on Tuesday during the regularly scheduled county board meeting.  Itasca County is at- or near- state benchmarks in Child Support Collections, Paternity establishment, and Collecting arrears.

August is Child Support Awareness Month.

By |August 26th, 2015|Blog, News|Comments Off on Child Support Collections Up|

ISD 318 Registers for Referendum

8-18-15 ISD 318

The proposed two new elementary schools for I.S.D. 318 are another step closer with the submission of the referendum to the Minnesota Commissioner of Education on Friday. Prior to last night’s school board meeting, the board held a workshop to discuss goals for the 2015-16 school year, and the two new facilities are still on the forefront.
Also at last night’s meeting, the board approved the hiring and resignation of several staff members, and the hiring of the varsity head coach positions for the upcoming school year.
The first day of school is September 8th, and that same day is the next I.S.D. 318 School Board meeting at 7pm.

By |August 18th, 2015|Blog, News|Comments Off on ISD 318 Registers for Referendum|

Two Teens Charges with Assault and Threats

An 18 and 19 year old are facing threat and assault charges in Itasca County district Court after an incident at the Hotel Rapids Augusts 4th.
According to the complaint, 19 year old Dylan Michael Wise of Deer River allegedly threw a knife at a clerk of the Hotel Rapids and 18 year old Patrick Markell Johnson of Grand Rapids allegedly threatened the clerk. Wise also allegedly threatened a Grand Rapids police officer and his family, threatened “suicide by cop”, and broke a window in his jail cell.
Wise’ bail was set at $200,000 without condition and $100,000 with. Johnson was released on his own recognizance with conditions.
Johnson’s next court appearance is August 10th. Wise’s is August 24th.

By |August 6th, 2015|Blog, News|Comments Off on Two Teens Charges with Assault and Threats|

Wirz Sentenced in Group Home Assault

Ricky Leland Wirz was sentenced Tuesday in Itasca County District Court to 10 years probation and multiple conditions in an assault on a staff member of a group home. Wirz, 18, was transferred from Itasca County Juvenile Court to adult court for prosecution.
Wirz was sentenced to 103 months in prison, but the court stayed the sentence for 10 years and placed Wirz on probation for 10 years. The sentence also included 244 days in custody, no contact with the victim, and other stipulations.

By |August 5th, 2015|Blog, News|Comments Off on Wirz Sentenced in Group Home Assault|

Rapids Resident Injured in Car Accident

One person was in injured in a two vehicle accidents on Highway 2 and County road 63 Tuesday afternoon. According to the Minnesota State Patrol, a vehicle driven by 37 year old Crissa Grosland of Grand Rapids was stopped in the left hand lane to turn left when she was rear-ended by a vehicle driven by 42 year old Kerry Helmer of Grand Rapids. Helmer was transported to Grand Itasca Clinic and Hospital with what are believed to be non-life-threatening injuries. Grosland was not injured.

By |August 5th, 2015|Blog, News|Comments Off on Rapids Resident Injured in Car Accident|

Protecting Children

The Governor’s Task Force on Child Protection made recommendations for improved supervision of children under the state’s care. This year, that’s translated into money for counties to add staff. Tuesday, the Itasca County Board of Commissioners agreed to add one social worker and a case aid position.
The county may be allocated another $39,000 in February if it meets certain benchmarks. The board agreed to the request.

By |July 29th, 2015|Blog, News|Comments Off on Protecting Children|

Cohasset to Help Library

Tuesday night, the Cohasset City Council invested in “green” energy. Council members voted 5-0 to donate $22,000 to the Grand Rapids Area Library to complete the remaining two solar panels at the library which will be used to supplement the library’s electricity and teaching tool. Saying Cohasset residents use the library, the council made the contribution after a presentation from Library Director Marsha Anderson.

In other action, the council ordered 35 football helmets to replace the Pony League helmets that failed the safety inspection, approved placement of 6 new street lights, and agreed to distribute $11,000 in safety awards for no lost time due to Worker’s Comp.

By |July 29th, 2015|Blog, News|Comments Off on Cohasset to Help Library|