Long Term Care facilities slowly reopen to visitors, new state mask mandate in place

    Early in the pandemic long term care facilities closed their doors to visitors. Months later, more has been learned about the vulnerability of the elderly to COVID-19, explained Dr. Stacy Holl of Grand Itasca Clinic and Hospital and medical director of Grand Village. There are a number of reasons for this, including an overall decrease in the immune system, the presence of other medical problems, dependency on caregivers and a decreased ability to maintain good hygiene. 

    But separating the elderly from visitors also led to the unintended consequences of isolation and loneliness, said Kelly Chandler, manager of the Public Health Division in Itasca County.



Crash claims three lives

    Three people have died as the result of a one vehicle crash in rural Itasca County last weekend.

    According to the Itasca County Sheriff’s Department, on July 25, 2020 at 8:50 p.m., Itasca County Sheriff’s Dispatch received a report of a one vehicle crash on County Road 549 in rural Itasca County. A scene assessment indicated that the vehicle went off the gravel roadway, striking a tree while attempting to make a sharp curve.

    The driver, Mark Paul Haak, age 74 of Fond Du Lac, Wis. and Phillip Ladamire Gutter, age 11 of Milwaukee, Wis. were declared deceased at the scene. Megan Marie Elizabeth Haak, age 44 of Milwaukee, Wis. later died of injuries sustained in the accident. Evan Harrison Gutter, age 12 of Milwaukee, Wis. was transported to the Cook Hospital and treated for non-life-threatening injuries.

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Protesters buck regulations at Effie rodeo

    The North Star Stampede draws thousands of spectators to the town of Effie each year.

    However, after last-minute changes to the number of people who could attend, rodeo fans became frustrated last week.

    The owner of the North Star Stampede, Cimarron Pitzen, said even though he was told to limit the number of people at the rodeo, he wouldn’t stop anyone from entering. 

    In fact, he waived the admission fee.

    Pitzen said he worked with the Itasca County Sheriff’s office to hold the rodeo while taking precautions against COVID-19. 

    He planned for social distancing and cleaning. The stadium normally holds 3,000 people, but state COVID-19 guidelines say only 530 people can be inside.

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Bigfork Valley board hears 2019 audit report

    At its July meeting, the Bigfork Valley board heard the results of the 2019 audit and discussed the uncertainties in accounting and hospital operations for 2020 with the changing requirements during the pandemic.

    The hospital finished 2019 with a loss of about $465,000 after positive net audit adjustments of $393,000, according to the presentation by CliftonLarsonAllen, auditors. Although a loss, the auditors pointed out that the financials were trending in the right direction from the loss of $1.3 million in 2018, with net patient and service revenues up seven percent while expenses grew at five percent. The hospital has been the recipient of over $10 million in grants and loans as of July, some earmarked for specific purposes. 

United Way’s Days of Action to continue throughout the summer

Pet of the week

   Our adorable little Lady is about 9 months old, and unfortunately had spent some time on her own before finding her way to us. Lady is pleased to be an indoor only cat now! While she’s still learning to trust, she loves to play, and will meow to grab your attention for petting. She’s seeking a home where she will be treasured fur-ever!

    Precious Paws Humane Society, located at 101 First Avenue SW in Chisholm (across from Jubilee Foods), is a no-kill shelter staffed entirely by volunteers. We serve the communities of Chisholm, Nashwauk and Keewatin. We may reached via telephone at 218-254-3300, or email: preciouspaws2011@hotmail.com. Please call ahead for hours of operation. Check out current adoptees on the Facebook page.

Click the icon at left to read the Feb. 20 edition of the SRNF



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Public Meetings

>   LaPrairie City Council - Jan. 21

​>   Grand Rapids CC - Jan. 27

​>   Coleraine City Council - Jan. 28

​>   Bovey City Council - Jan. 15

​>   Taconite City Council - Jan. 13

​>   Marble City Council - Jan. 13

​>   Calumet City Council - Jan. 21

​>   Nashwauk City Council - Jan. 28

​>   Keewatin City Council - Jan. 22

​>   Itasca County Board - Jan. 28

​>   ISD 318 - Jan. 21

​>   ISD 316 - Jan. 29

​>   ISD 319 - Jan. 15

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