Jamey Malcomb started as a reporter for the Lake County News-Chronicle in August 2015. Malcomb is a native of North Carolina and holds a bachelor's degree in English and history from the George Washington University and a master's degree in education from George Mason University in Fairfax, Va. Malcomb moved to Minnesota in July 2012 and previously worked as a sports clerk and news assistant at the Duluth News Tribune. He is the beat writer for the Lake County Board of Commissioners, Silver Bay City Council and high school sports in Lake County.
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Silver Bay was rocked last week with Cliffs Natural Resources' announcement it would idle its Northshore Mining operation there and in Babbitt, putting the vast majority of the 540 workers out of a job by Dec. 1 through at least the first quarter of 2016, though there is no confirmed date the plant will reopen. Some people are just glad they are among the 70 or so that will be kept on through the shutdown for maintenance and other tasks. Others are thankful they have a secondary income or lucky enough to have been able to put a little money away for a rainy day.
The Lake County Board of Commissioners formally approved a request to the Minnesota Department of Agriculture to lift the quarantine on wood products originating in the county during its meeting Tuesday. The quarantine is intended to stop the spread of gypsy moths to the rest of the state as Lake and Cook counties try to get the populations under control. Gypsy moths are a pest affecting most of the northeastern region of the U.S. with all of Michigan and most of Wisconsin also affected by quarantines. The moths are a defoliating insect, meaning the caterpillars eat foliage. One caterpillar, according to MDA, can eat its way through nine square feet of foliage. Multiplied by hundreds or even thousands of caterpillars and the damage can become severe quickly.
Everyone has their own favorite Thanksgiving Day leftovers. Two Harbors swimmer Allie Mayfield loves microwaved mashed potatoes. Her mom, coach Heather Mayfield, loves the turkey. Just the turkey. Her husband is allergic to turkey, so it's not served often at their house and she savors it as much as possible. Congressman Rick Nolan? Yeah. I asked him. His favorite is the homemade cranberry sauce that he makes himself. "It's pretty darn good," he said. "Its much better than canned stuff. It goes good with the sweet potatoes, with the stuffing, it goes good with the turkey sandwich.
When Two Harbors-Silver Bay senior swimmer Allie Mayfield stood on the starting block at the Minnesota Class A swim meet Friday, it was the culmination of years of hard work and dedication to her sport. "The most awesome part of that whole day was when I looked up at the scoreboard and I (saw a) video of me," Allie said. "I thought that was the most cool thing that ever happened to me." Unlike many of her competitors in the 500 yard freestyle race, however, Allie hasn't been swimming since she was a little girl, she only started swimming as an eighth-grader. In fact, she wasn't much of a swimmer at all when her mom, Heather Mayfield, started as an assistant coach for the Agates. Allie was in seventh grade at the time and her mother said Allie would come to all the practices and meets to cheer the team on, but politely refused when her mother asked her if she wanted to join the team.
Two Harbors senior Kari Haaversen took her place on the diving block for the 400 freestyle relay at the Section 7A meet Saturday in Hibbing, she had already qualified for state as a diver, but she still had some unfinished business. When most of the Two Harbors-Silver Bay swim team is climbing out of the pool after practice, they're thinking about what's for dinner, what they need to get done for school the next day or any of a hundred different things a modern high school student considers on the way home. Haaversen, however, is moving on to diving practice and spends even more of her evening perfecting dives.
Four years ago when Chris Lemke took over as head coach for the Two Harbors girls' basketball team, there was little in the way of an off-season workout program. This summer, the Agates played in two different summer leagues, had girls at various camps and many times have at least 10 girls playing in the gym before school in the morning. "The year before I came, there was nothing happening in the offseason," Chris Lemke said. "Last year, ninth through 12th (grade), maybe one or two girls were not consistently here four days a week." Through all of that work the girls have learned an aggressive style of basketball that works because of their team speed and centers around attacking the basket.
The Silver Bay girls' basketball team will need a lot of leadership from captains Erika Ernest and Jackie Hart. The pair are the only two seniors on a team that graduated four starters last season and won only one game. Odd as it may sound, that one-win team was an improvement over the year before, even though that team won a couple more games. In the 2013-14 season, the Mariners did grab more wins, but struggled to score sometimes logging 15 points or less during that season.
Several Two Harbors community and business leaders reacted to the Minnesota Department of Transportation's proposed plans to alleviate the congestion and traffic on Highway 61 between Fourth Street and Seventh Street in 2018. Most of the reaction expressed frustration revolving around MnDOT making the presentation to the Lake County Board of Commissioners and the potential loss of on-street parking between Sixth and Seventh Streets in Two Harbors.
The Lake County Board of Commissioners unanimously approved an extension of the county's policy to foot the bill for hooking county residents up to the county's broadband network, Lake Connections. The policy to add eligible residents to the network at no cost technically expired Oct. 31, but the county is still at work on a new policy that will expand the scope beyond the original project after the end of funding from the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Rural Utility Service over the summer.
Tanner Aho spent most of the fall racking up awards and honors. The Two Harbors senior was named the Northeast White District co-Defensive Player of the year as well as the Agates' offensive, defensive and overall MVP after racking up nearly 1,000 yards rushing in Two Harbors' run to the section semifinals. Monday, Aho collected another award. He received a $200 scholarship from the Amsoil Snocross team after team owner Steve Scheuring gave a presentation to teacher Mike Fitzpatrick's class. Scheuring touted the value of science, technology, engineering and math to working as well as the power of a positive attitude to motorsports.