Itasca County

Today on the Tuesday Morning Show KAXE/KBXE News Director Heidi Holtan talked with Itasca County Public Health Department Manager Kelly Chandler about the growing numbers of COVID-19 in Itasca County and the Free Drive Thru testing on Wednesday September 23rd.  It's part of the MN Department of Health's "No Barrier" testing in the state - you don't need to have symptoms or insurance to get this free test. 



"This project doesn't happen without our community support" says CoHaus co-founder Megan Kellin. 

CoHaus describes their project as:

CoHaus is a collective workspace where you can work independently alongside other creatives and professionals. It’s where work meets play. You focus on growing your business, we’ll handle the rest. Get furnished, move-in ready workspaces with the infrastructure you need and premier amenities. Be a part of an inspirational community and network with other members.

Listen, our lives have been turned upside down.  All people's lives - but what about the roles women take on?  How are they coping?  Are they coping?   We held a virtual listening session with some #itascastrong women and asked them how they were. 

Laura Connelly is our facilitator - let us know if you'd like to be a part of the next focus group! 

Tamara Lowney from the Itasca Economic Development Corporation talks with Heidi and John on the Thursday Morning Show.  Tamara talks about the new loan program available to local businesses in the Grand Rapids area during the COVID-19 pandemic.  She reveals that the IEDC survey responses of over 100 local businesses showed that about half of those businesses could not last four weeks without being open.

Heidi gives contact information on other organizations helping businesses in other areas of Northern Minnesota.

On the Morning Show we continue to bring you local voices and local stories related to COVID-19.  Today we talked with Dr. Dan Soular, Family Medicine Physician & Vice President of Medical Affairs and Dr. Stacy Holl, Internal Medicine Physician.  Grand Itasca Clinic and Hospitals.  Their website has clear information on the latest news concerning coronavirus and they are looking for donations.  Currently they accept:

If you need help dial 211

Cre Larson is the Executive Director of First Call For Help and is part of the crisis response team in the Itasca County area.  She talked with us this morning about how they have been inundated with phone calls during the COVID-19 pandemic and how we might help our loved ones who live with mental illness. 

During the COVID-19 pandemic KAXE/KBXE is taking it's role as a community resource seriously.  We've added an hour to our morning programming and are spotlighting local stories and assistance available.

Tamara Lowney is the president of Itasca Economic Development Corporation (IEDC) and they are now offering assistance to small businesses - including a daily conference call for anyone interested. 

From their website: 

Latest Updates on Business and Itasca County Regarding COVID-19

This week we put together a program to learn more about some of the recent rumors and controversy surrounding refugee resettlement in northern MN.  That got us thinking ahead to election 2020 and how we as citizens can spot false information designed to stir up communities.


Crosby, Duluth and other places around the world have all had success with "bikenomics" creating recreation trails that not only create a great, healthy exercise option but add to the economic success of the region. 

Here's the question:  Who is responsible for clean water?  The government?  the DNR?  Corporations? People who own lakeshore?  Or is it all of us?  It's a big question.

Laura Connelly joined us this morning to talk about water quality and community input.  Itasca Waters is conducting a county-wide process to generate community-driven solutions. 

Take the survey here.