West End News: March 27

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A couple of weeks ago, Cook County Higher Education met with businesses in the West End to explore training and education needs for people who work in the West End. Leadership training for managers and employees who want to move into management positions was identified as the number one priority.
 
Following up quickly, Higher Ed will be offering a certificate course through Lake Superior College called "Success Strategies for the Effective Leader." The course is tentatively scheduled to start May 20; the tuition is subsidized by the Duluth-Superior Area Community Foundation and the Cook County Chamber of Commerce. 
 
The plan is to have two groups with up to 16 students in each group. One group would be for entry-level employees and new managers. The other group would be for owner/operators and experienced managers.
 
Participants will gain skills in motivation, coaching, communication, team leadership, workforce diversity, employment law and much more. A certificate will be awarded upon successful completion. The course is open to all Cook County residents. If you are interested, talk to your employer or call Higher Ed at 387-3411.
 
Here is another cool thing that Higher Ed is doing, this time in cooperation with the Cook County Community Fund. They are organizing a series of brown bag lunches for all the nonprofit organizations in the county. 
 
The first discussion will revolve around issues that the county will face in the future, how can nonprofits be more effective, and how can the nonprofits work together?  This is something that should happen on a regular basis.  As best I can remember, Cook County has more than 70 nonprofits, including everything from sports clubs, to health care, to philanthropic groups, to churches.  It's valuable for all these groups to let each other know what they're doing, but even more valuable when they can move together in the same direction.
 
The first brown bag event is scheduled for Thursday, April 17 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.  RSVP to Higher Ed at 387-3411.
 
The international fascination with the disappearing Malaysian airliner reminds me of a couple of mysterious disappearances in the West End. Back in the late '60s a trout fisherman vanished while fishing on Plouff Creek in Tofte. His family searched for a day, then called in the sheriff, who searched for several days with larger and large numbers of volunteers. Tracking dogs were brought in with no success. There was no reason to suspect that the fisherman had run away, so the governor ordered in hundreds of National Guardsmen, who spent several days covering a huge swath of woods foot by foot. The fisherman was never found and his disappearance remains a mystery to this day.
 
A few years later, a young man disappeared while trout fishing on Six Mile Creek, also in Tofte. The search was pretty thorough, but there was a strong suspicion that the fisherman had run off to avoid military service. Quite a few years later, his skeleton was found by another fisherman. The best guess was that he succumbed to hypothermia.
 
It was some relief for his family to know that he had passed away, rather than living in a limbo of never-ending uncertainty. I know all West Enders join me in hoping the loved ones of the people on the Malaysian flight are able to find some peace and resolution.
 

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