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Lake County Past: Feb. 11

Feb. 11, 1943

Goal for '43 set at 102 million tons

Fairly authoritative sources reveal that the goal set for iron ore production from the Lake Superior area for 1943 is 102 million tons, or slightly less than 15 increase over the 1942 all-time record of 92 million tons. Based on the Two Harbors percentage of the total for 1942, this should indicate about a 20 million-ton season for the Two Harbors Docks in 1943.

With 10 of the largest locomotives in the world added to the Dakota, Missabe and Iron Range rolling stock, this goal should be much east of an accomplishment than was the record breaker of the past year.

Feb. 8, 1968

Board seeks to avert closing

The Lake County Board of Commissioners unanimously approved a resolution at a special meeting Thursday calling for federal officials to reconsider the decision to close the Job Corps Conservation Center at Isabella.

Robert D. Hanson, Silver Bay, chairman of the five-member board, said copies of the resolution were sent to President Lyndon B. Johnson, Vice President Hubert H. Humphrey, Office of Economic Opportunity Director Sargent Shriver, Secretary of Agriculture Orville E. Freeman, Sens. Walter F. Mondale and Eugene McCarthy, U.S. Rep. John A. Blatnik and Superior National Forest Supervisor John O. Wernham.

Hanson acknowledged that the chances of the decision being changed are not promising, but he pointed out that "at least we should be one of the first ones reopened if they actually close the Isabella center."

The Office of Economic Opportunity, which jointly administers the center with the U.S. Forest Service, announced the closing of the Isabella camp and 15 others in the nation early this week. The Isabella facility, established in December 1965 at a cost of $1.25 million and operated by the USFS, currently has 202 Job Corpsmen on its roster and a full time staff of 52 employees.

The resolution urges "the proper officers" to immediately reconsider the closing "because the continued operation of the camp will far exceed any temporary savings in the federal budget, particularly if the benefits resulting to future generations are continued."

Federal officials said the closing of the 16 centers is necessary to met federal budget cuts and also accommodate the transfer of funds to adult slum employment projects.

Hanson observed the entire northeastern Minnesota area has derived benefits from the center, referring particularly to Lake, St. Louis and Cook counties.

USFS officials in Duluth have estimated the annual payroll for staff members and Job Corpsmen at about $400,000.

The board listed several reasons why it feels the center should remain open, including the substantial benefits which have been realized by area businesses; the benefits realized by the Job Corpsmen themselves; improvements effected in the Superior National Forest area; and and additional area construction work, "which will result in larger and fuller use and employment (of the forest) by residents in the future."

The resolution points out that the federal government owns more than 50 percent of the land and that "the sudden closing will constitute a serious setback to present plans and development of the Superior National Forest."