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Lake County Board Closes Out The Month Of February-

Lake County Health and Human Services Director, Lisa Hanson, spoke with the County Commissioners on February 27th about two initiatives aimed at improving health care in Lake County. Hanson outlined a collaboration between County Health and Human Services, Lake View Hospital and the Lake Superior School District that will enable the district to hire an additional FTE school counselor to ad­dress prevention in the areas of mental health, substance abuse and homelessness. The State of Minnesota has provid­ed an annual allocation of $40,000 to the school dis­trict for use in addressing these issues. Financial support will also come from COVID Recovery Funds in the amount of $10,000 and from Local Homeless Prevention Aid in the amount of $20,000. Moving beyond 2024 and in addition to the annu­al State allotment, the initiative will be fund­ed with money from the Opioid Settlement Funds and Local Homeless Prevention Aid. The County Board was unani­mous in its approval of this effort.

The Board also approved the purchase of an electronic data and case management system that will replace a system that HHS case work­ers have been using for years. The new system by Next Chapter Technology, Inc. will provide cost savings and better customer service and will allow Lake County HHS workers faster access to record keeping, case notes, and treatment planning. It will also allow for quicker coordina­tion with outside agencies.

Commissioner Rick Goutermont and Lake County Housing and Redevelopment Director, Matthew Johnson, were appointed to serve as members of the Northeast Minnesota HOME Consortium Advisory Committee. The HOME program was created by Congress as a part of the National Affordable Housing Act of 1990 and the Northeast Minnesota HOME Consor­tium was formed in 1992 through a Joint Pow­ers Agreement by the Cook, Lake, St. Louis, Itasca and Koochiching county boards. The Consortium works to access funds and plan for housing needs in the Arrowhead region.

The next Lake County Board meeting is scheduled for March 12th at 2:00.

Rick Evans
Rick Evans
My wife, Marsha Kinzer (a proud DEHS Greyhound, class of ‘77) introduced me to the North Shore on vacation in 2012. It became our regular escape when the stress of our careers in education became overwhelming, and it didn’t take me long to fall in love with the breathtaking scenery, the nice people, and “salad” containing Jell-o and marshmallows. So you can either blame or thank my loving wife for my being here, because when we needed to choose a retirement hometown, Marsha advocated hard for her beloved Duluth, and here we are, six months later. Yes, this will be my first northern Minnesota winter. Yes, I welcome thoughts and prayers. Government, public policy, and social justice weighed heavily in the curriculums I taught at the high school level over a thirty-eight year career. In addition, we were a laboratory school focused on critical thinking in conjunction with technical and scientific writing. So when I found myself adrift on the great ocean of retirement and spied a raft, I jumped at the chance to take up what I’d left behind…minus the bad teachers’ lounge coffee. My position at the NSJ allows me to combine my passions for government and writing, and it’s helping me to feel less out of touch in new surroundings. When I’m not being “Cubby” (Marsha’s favorite new nickname for this green reporter) I enjoy pointing at eagles and saying, “Look, honey. There’s an eagle.” I’ve had an active side hustle as a professional musician for almost as many years as Charlie Parr. As a guitarist/singer/songwriter, I graced the stages of clubs and festivals around southern Wisconsin, including an appearance on A Prairie Home Companion. Should I even mention A Prairie Home Companion, or am I the only one here old enough to remember what that is? Look! An eagle!
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