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Brief: Jan. 16

Beargrease will start in Two Harbors

This year, the John Beargrease Sled Dog Marathon headquarters were moved to Two Harbors. This week, it was announced that the race will have an even stronger Lake County flavor.

Race officials announced Sunday that the race will also start in Lake County, thanks to a lack of snow in the regular starting point of Duluth. The race will begin at 2 p.m. on Jan. 25 at what is normally the first checkpoint, a gravel pit off of Highway 2, about 8 miles from Two Harbors.

While the snow cover dissipates closer to Duluth, the finish line will remain at Billy's Bar on Jean Duluth Road.

At 374 miles from Duluth to the Gunflint Trail and back, the Beargrease is the longest sled dog race in the nation's contiguous states. This month's race will mark the 31st Beargrease. This year's course length will be 319 miles, which still allows mushers to use the 2015 marathon to qualify for the Iditarod.

All of the other race-related events are on as scheduled, including a gala, vet checks and an opening ceremony at sponsor Black Bear Resort and Casino on Friday and Saturday, Jan. 23-24. The Fitgers complex will host the "cutest puppy" contest Saturday, Jan. 24.

Volunteers are still needed for the race. Details can be found on the Beargrease website at beargrease.com.

Sex trafficking task force holds annual event

The Lake County Sex Trafficking Task Force will be holding their second annual event on Jan. 26.

This year's event is called Vulnerability and Sex Trafficking: Getting to the Root of it. The event will have five speakers that will talk about how the vulnerability of children can lead to them becoming a sex trafficking victim. The speakers include representatives from the Duluth Institute of psychological and sexual health, a Minneapolis police officer, an author and the Safe Harbor Navigator for Northeast Minnesota.

The event is scheduled to start at 5:30 p.m. at the Two Harbors Community Center with a pizza dinner. Speakers will begin presentations at 6:30 p.m. For parents with younger children and wish to attend the event, there will be free childcare available for those who reserve a spot. To reserve a spot call Sue Hillard at 834-4639. For more information on the event visit the Lake County Sex Trafficking Task Force Facebook page at www.facebook.com/LakeCountySexTraffickingTaskForce.

Pick up next week's News-Chronicle for a full preview of the event.

School board changes meeting day

The Lake Superior School District board approved its meeting calendar for 2015, changing the day of the week regular meetings will be held.

The LSSD board met the second Thursday of each month last year. At its organizational meeting on Jan. 8, the board decided to change the meetings from the second Thursday every month to the second Tuesday every month for 2015. The change came by a request made by the principals of the LSSD schools. Administration told the board that a majority of school activities as well as parent teacher conferences occur on Thursdays, making it difficult for the them to attend every board meeting.

Also at the meeting, the school board, accepted a grant from the Lloyd K. Johnson Foundation in the amount of $6,850 to William Killey High School for the support of the timberframe project. The board also approved raising the mileage rates for business purposes from 56 cents per mile to 57.5 cents per mile to match the federal rate and designated North Shore Journal as its legal newspaper for 2015. The next regular school board meeting is schedule for Feb. 10 at Two Harbors High School community room.

TH Council meeting wrapup

The Two Harbors City Council did some housekeeping during its regular meeting Monday.

The council approved Maki & Overom to provide legal services for civil matters for the city for 2015 and designate the Lake County News-Chronicle as the city's official newspaper for 2015. The council also declared the first reading of an ordinance decreasing the number of members on the Trees and Trails Commission from nine to seven due to difficulty in obtaining a quorum for meetings.

A public hearing regarding a proposal to grant a property tax abatement for certain properties in the city was deferred. City attorney Steve Overom suggested that the public hearing be held off until city administrator Dan Walker has time to get up to speed on the matter. A new date for the public hearing has not been set yet.

The next agenda/finance committee meeting is set for Jan. 26 at 5 p.m. with the regular council meeting to follow at 6:30 p.m.

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