• Lake Country Power celebrated a milestone with its Operation Round Up program. The member-driven charitable giving program surpassed $2 million in contributions after its Trust Board approved more than $46,000 in contributions to local community programs in December. Since its inception in 2004, $2,026,915.10 has been distributed to hundreds of community-based projects and programs. Representatives of the organizations that received donation dollars include: (front row, from left) Jim Tennison, Jamie Tennison Memorial Compass Program; Goldie Swalboski and Amanda Lamppa, Itasca County Habitat for Humanity; Pat Helmberger, Earth Circle; Jessyca Bardzel, Grace House of Itasca County; Viola Leff, former director on Operation Round-Up Board; and Sue Estee, Second Harvest North Central Food Bank; and (back row, from left) Daniel Kingsley, Lake Country Power director, District 6; Chris Fulton, Grand Rapids Area Community Foundation; Ryan Ackerman, Balsam Township Volunteer Fire Fighter's Relief; Kristian Myers and Ross Hogate, Remer Volunteer Fire Department; Myron Ekstrand, Aitkin County Triad; and Yvette Schultenover, Operation Round-Up director. December recipients included: Balsam Township Volunteer Firefighter's Relief; Jamie Tennison Memorial Compass Program; Grand Rapids Amateur Lacrosse Assoc.; Lutheran Social Service of Minnesota Senior Nutrition; Itasca County Agricultural Assoc.; city of Remer Soo Line Pavilion; Cherry High School band and Speech/One Act; Faith in Action for Cass County; Story Portage; Aitkin County Triad; True Friends; Veterans on the Lake Resort; city of Cromwell; Hope Lutheran Church; Earth Circle; Second Harvest North Central Food Bank; Patchwork Pals Plus; American Association of Women; Boundary Waters Choral Festival 2018; Itasca County Historical Society; Grace House of Itasca County; city of Meadowlands ambulance; Remer Volunteer Fire Department; Itasca County Habitat for Humanity; Cromwell-Wright seventh and eighth grade science; Cromwell-Wright Band; Twelfth Step House Inc.; Minnesota Folklore Theater; Project READ; Voyageurs Area Council; Remer Area Ambulance Service; ElderCircle Adult Day Service; ElderCircle dementia friends presentation; ElderCircle Guardianship Program; Ely Winter Festival; Salvation Army of Hibbing; Fairview Range Medical Center; Mesabi Symphony Orchestra; and Ely Folk School.
• Allete's employees and retirees pledged $305,910 to United Way during the company's annual fall payroll pledge drive. In addition to the pledges at Allete and its subsidiary companies, Minnesota Power; Superior Water, Light and Power; Allete Clean Energy; and BNI Energy, another $250,000 was contributed by Minnesota Power Foundation. The contributions plus other corporate gifts and special employee fundraising events brought the total Allete contributions to $580,975 for United Way.
• Duluth East hockey teams held a food and donation drive for CHUM food shelf during the Perkins Hockey Frenzy on Dec. 23. They collected approximately 268 pounds of food and raised $521. That is enough to provide food for two full months at the food shelf.
• Kiwanis Club of Friendly Duluth donated $300 to Duluth Library Foundation to be used toward the purchase of new furniture in the library's renovated youth space. They also donated $500 to Lakeview Christian Academy's Grandma's Garden by the Lake, which will be used toward the construction of a raised garden to teach youth about fresh produce and the importance of making healthy food choices.
• Superior Choice Credit Union donated more than $13,000 to area food programs. Donations included: $2,500 sponsorship of the Thanksgiving Day Buffet at the DECC; $7,750 to Northwest Wisconsin Community Services Agency Food Bank; $1,160 to Second Harvest Northern Lakes Food Bank; $1,550 to Brick Ministries food shelf in Ashland; and $650 to Brick Ministries food shelf in Mellen.
• University of Wisconsin-Superior was named among the 2018 Best Online Bachelor's Programs by U.S. News & World Report. They scored well in student engagement and student services and technology areas. UWS has been offering online bachelor's degree programs since 1997-98.
• Wisconsin Indianhead Technical College received a $3,000 scholarship from the Marine Retailers Association of the Americas Education Foundation to train students for careers in the marine industry. The scholarship funds will be awarded to one or more WITC-Ashland marine repair technicians students this spring.
• Ryan Oster of Mahtowa graduated with a doctor of chiropractic degree from Northwestern Health Sciences University. Oster earned Dean's List recognition for his academic achievements during nine terms at Northwestern and was the recipient of the McKiernan Scholarship. Oster plans to work at Anderson Family Chiropractic in Superior.