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Lake County TZD Stakeholders to Meet on Jan. 18th

Toward Zero Deaths (TZD) is an orga­nization of citizens and State officials who have been working “to create a culture in which traffic fatalities and serious injuries are no longer acceptable”. The Minnesota TZD is the state’s cornerstone traffic safety pro­gram. TZD was launched in 2003 with the hope of reducing traffic-related deaths and injuries through a comprehensive, interdis­ciplinary approach that involves education, engineering, traffic enforcement, and emer­gency medical and trauma services. The Northeastern Minnesota branch of TZD was formed in 2010 and is active in Atkin, Carl­ton, Cook, Itasca, Koochiching, Lake, Pine and Saint Louis Counties.

The leading cause of traffic deaths and in­juries are, not surprisingly, alcohol, distract­ed driving, lack of seatbelt use and speed. TZD has been building a coalition and work­ing with partners across the state in an effort to address these concerns. Key accomplish­ments include a 33% reduction in traffic deaths since 2003 and the passage of stron­ger traffic safety laws, including increased seatbelt use, graduated driver licenses, ignition interlocks and laws to discourage texting while driving. In addition, TZD has worked to establish a statewide trauma sys­tem enabling 98% of Minnesotans to reach a trauma hospital within 60 minutes.

The Northeastern Minnesota TZD pro­gram will be holding a Stakeholders meeting at the Lake County Highway Building (1513 Highway 2, Two Harbors MN) on January 18th at 10:00 AM. Interested residents are invited to attend. Further information can be obtained by calling 218-830-1477, by emailing Rahya Geisler (DOT) at rahya.geisler@state.mn.us or by visiting the TZD website at www.minnesotaTZD.org

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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