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Resource officer proposed at ND school

IRON MOUNTAIN — A deputy from the Dickinson County Sheriff’s Office will serve as a school resource officer at North Dickinson County School in Felch Township under a plan that’s close to being adopted.

Undersheriff Aaron Rochon informed county board members of the idea Monday, saying a contract is being finalized that will be presented for approval. A combination of local and state funding, including a safety grant, will make an officer available roughly 20 hours per week.

Controller Brian Bousley said the distance of the school from police responders makes it important to improve security. The school on M-69 is about 19 miles from the county courthouse in Iron Mountain.

In other action, the county board:

— Learned from Commissioner John Degenaer Jr. that Pinecrest Medical Care Facility in Powers is dealing with an outbreak of COVID-19, reporting 18 cases among patients and nine among staff. Degenaer serves on the Pinecrest Board, which has postponed its regular meeting at the nursing facility as a result. Pinecrest is owned by Dickinson, Delta and Menominee counties and has a capacity for up to 140 residents.

— Heard Commissioner Ann Martin report the Northpointe Behavioral Healthcare System Board has formed a committee to address crisis services in Menominee County. The crux of the problem is that Northpointe social workers who are not licensed in Wisconsin are prevented by law from providing services at Aurora BayCare Medical Center in Marinette, Wis. The Menominee County Board in March demanded a corrective action plan. Northpointe, a tri-county mental health agency, is governed by a 12-member board, with five representatives each from Dickinson and Menominee counties and two from Iron County. Roughly 95% of the agency’s funding is federal.

— Reappointed Robert Doepker to a three-year term on the Fumee Lake Commission and named Sarah Rice to a partial term on the Dickinson County Planning Commission expiring Feb. 28, 2027.

— Heard Rochon report a Borderhounds LE/MC fundraiser for the county’s dive team at Lake Antoine on June 15 was “a good event,” raising more than $11,000 for the volunteer group. Bousley, meanwhile, said a new bathhouse at Lake Antoine Park should be ready to open as soon as today.

— Noted Rochon is scheduled to be sworn in as sheriff Friday, after the retirement of Sheriff Scott Rutter, who has served since 2017.

— Thanked Anda Tavonatti for her work in organizing Feeding America West Michigan Mobile Food Pantry events — most recently a June 12 distribution at Lodal Park in Kingsford. A total of 869 people benefited, Tavonatti reported, including 263 children, 247 seniors and 60 veterans. The next Lodal Park distributions will take place July 10 and Aug. 14. Beginning in September, the monthly pantry will return to the Tri-City Cinema 8 parking lot in Quinnesec.

— Heard Commissioner Joe Stevens compliment the Northwoods Garden Club, which annually plants the flower bed at the courthouse along with doing other beautification work in Iron Mountain and Kingsford.

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