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News and other information from Cook County

Special committee forms to review administrator's comments regarding county staff

Tue, 11/22/2016 - 3:46pm
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A special committee was formed during a meeting of the Cook County Commissioners on Tuesday, Nov. 22, to determine if comments made during a public meeting by County Administrator Jeff Cadwell should result in disciplinary action.

The review committee will consist of Cook County Human Resources Director Judy Hill, County Attorney Molly Hicken and Commissioners Garry Gamble and Ginny Storlie.

The statements from Cadwell that are under question were made during a discussion between the board and representatives of the Cook County Employee Association in a regular commissioners' meeting on Tuesday, Nov. 15. Cadwell made additional comments about the CCEA and county policies during a break of the Nov. 15 meeting that were recorded and are now public on Youtube, Good Measure Media and the Cook County website.

A motion to form a review committee was made by Commissioner Frank Moe. It passed on a 3-2 vote, with Commissioners Heidi Doo-Kirk and Jan Sivertson voting against reviewing the comments Cadwell made in a public setting and meeting.

Commissioner Moe said the comments were necessary to be reviewed by a specially-formed committee. Likewise, Commissioner Garry Gamble said reviewing the comments from Cadwell could be a healthy process.

There is no exact timeline for when the committee will review Cadwell’s comments, though the board did state it would like to move quickly on the matter. The board did not state specifically what potential outcomes could unfold with regard to the county administrator’s position and Cadwell’s comments. 

Listen below to hear audio from the Nov. 15 and Nov. 22 meetings of the Cook County Commissioners.  
 

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Cougar or bobcat? DNR talks northern Minnesota sighting

Tue, 11/22/2016 - 8:46am
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A young Minnesota hunter reported his encounter with two mountain lions fighting earlier this month near the Iron Range. Though after some investigation on the scene using a cardboard cutout of a mountain lion, it turns out it might not have been a cougar sighting at all, according to state wildlife officials. WTIP's Joe Friedrichs spoke with the DNR to find out more. 
 

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Plans continue for off-road vehicle trail across northern Minnesota

Mon, 11/21/2016 - 11:48am
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If you like to ride on backcountry roads, a new off-road vehicle trail stretching across northern Minnesota could be of interest. WTIP’s Joe Friedrichs reports on the proposed trail. 
 

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Local kids attend National Native Youth Summit

Sun, 11/20/2016 - 1:19pm

By Andy Butter

Back Stage Buzz

Sun, 11/20/2016 - 1:14pm

 

Klett responds trespas notice

Sun, 11/20/2016 - 1:11pm

"I admit I made a terrible mistake," said David Klett to the County Board on November 15 at the board's regularly scheduled meeting.

Empty Bowls a big success

Sun, 11/20/2016 - 1:04pm

By any measure the 2016 Empty Bowls fundraiser was a huge success, said Beth Kennedy, one of the main organizers of the event held Thursday, November 10 at Bethlehem Lutheran Church in Grand Marais.

Weekend News Roundup for November 19

Sat, 11/19/2016 - 10:17am
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Each week the WTIP news staff compiles a review of news from the previous five days. School alert covers northern Minnesota, the PCA makes Minntac rulings and the Army Corps stops pipeline work…all this and more in the week’s news.

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Winter storm topples trees, motorists cautioned

Fri, 11/18/2016 - 7:09pm
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The National Weather Service predicted wind gusts of up to 50 mph Friday, Nov. 18 and apparently that was the case this afternoon.
 
WTIP received reports of several trees down this evening, the first on Highway 61 in Grand Marais, right next to the North House Folk School/North Shore Title building (sometimes called the old Forest Service building.) The large pine crushed the hood of a parked car belonging to Sheila Wieben of Grand Marais. Trees also blew down on the North House campus, causing damage to a parked pickup. Fortunately, no one was injured.
 
Cook County Sheriff’s Deputy Julie Collman told WTIP that MnDOT responded quickly and got the large pine cleared quickly. Large trees also fell on Highway 61 near Cascade State Park and in the Hovland area. They were also cleared by MnDOT.
 
The Cook County Highway Department responded to clear trees down on Old Ski Hill Road and at the east end of County Road 60. The tree down on County Road 60 completely blocked the roadway.  
 
Motorists are reminded to drive with caution during this winter storm, because of icy roads and sometimes white out conditions, but also because of the possibility of downed trees in the roadway.
 
Also a victim to the high winds was the large community Christmas tree at Harbor Park in Grand Marais. Grand Marais Parks Director Dave Tersteeg said city crews will get the tree back up before the holiday celebration Friday, Nov. 25. 

Photo by Terry Backlund

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Craig Horak is new Tofte supervisor

Fri, 11/18/2016 - 10:24am
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Longtime Tofte Supervisor Paul James resigned from the town board at the beginning of November. Craig Horak has been appointed to complete his term. Rhonda Silence checked in with the new supervisor. 
 

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First big weather and snow slated for this weekend

Thu, 11/17/2016 - 10:31am
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The first big storm and snowfall is expected this weekend. High winds and heavy wet snow could bring downed trees and powerlines inland from the shore. WTIP’s Jay Andersen spoke with National Weather Service Meteorologist Carol Christenson about what to expect from this storm.

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County staff expresses level of distrust toward county administrator

Wed, 11/16/2016 - 2:43pm
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During a meeting of the Cook County Commissioners on Tuesday, Nov. 15, County Administrator Jeff Cadwell and the president of the Cook County Employee’s Association disagreed on a variety of topics, including interpretations of  the county’s labor agreement. 
 
Representing the Cook County Employee’s Association was Bill Lane, who serves as the CCEA president. 

WTIP's Joe Friedrichs reports on this story. 
 

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Veterans Day events in the community

Wed, 11/16/2016 - 1:33pm
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Veterans Day 2016 was recognized in a variety of ways in Cook County on Friday, November 11, in Grand Portage and Grand Marais. Rhonda Silence provides this brief report. 

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LSProject: Stories of loss, love and remembrance from the Maple Hill Cemetery

Tue, 11/15/2016 - 10:25pm
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The Maple Hill Cemetery is a small cemetery outside of Grand Marais. It's a lovely place, located high on a hill overlooking Lake Superior.

In this edition of The Lake Superior Project, WTIP's Martha Marnocha takes a walk through the cemetery with two local residents, Sherrie and Jeannie, to reflect on stories of loss, love and remembrance.

(Photo courtesy of Michael Leland on Flickr)

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WTIP shares the latest law enforcement report

Tue, 11/15/2016 - 2:15pm
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November 7
  2:09 AM Grand Marais  Caller reported party came and entered caller’s house. Caller kicked party out and is now on front steps passed out. 
  3:27 AM Grand Marais  Caller is diabetic with vertigo. He has fallen and can't get up 
  7:34 AM High School  Safe routes to school 
  7:56 AM Grand Marais  Traffic stop, warning given
  8:05 AM Grand Marais  Traffic stop, warning given
  8:26 AM Law Enforcement Center  Callback for deputy 
  9:01 AM Grand Marais  70-year-old male is not breathing or conscious.
  9:25 AM Law Enforcement Center  Callback for deputy 
  9:26 AM East Bay Suites  Reporting false alarm - construction crew set off by accident 
  10:33 AM Law Enforcement Center  Callback for deputy
  10:36 AM Law Enforcement Center  Permit to purchase received 
  11:41 AM Law Enforcement Center  Inmate transport 
  11:44 AM Law Enforcement Center  Message to pass along to deputy 
  1:30 PM Hovland  Requesting residence checks by deputies 
  1:55 PM Colvill Calling to report that he and his sons were deer hunting on his property and hunters on land next to his were yelling and swearing about staying off the road, which they were not on 
  2:28 PM Hovland  Calling to report missing friend
  4:05 PM Lutsen  Reported that a car full of guys in orange were driving on their private road. Caller asked if they could help them and reported that they were acting very nervous 
  5:13 PM Grand Marais  Garage floor south corridor smoke detector 
  5:31 PM Grand Marais  Reporting white SUV swerving over the center line. No plate available. 
  6:03 PM Law Enforcement Center  Party in for urine analysis
  6:03 PM Law Enforcement Center  Party in for urine analysis 
  6:07 PM Lima Grade  Traffic stop, warning given
  7:42 PM Lutsen  Caller reports power is out 
  8:50 PM Hovland  Caller reports missing dog, white shepherd with blue tongue named Odie 
  10:32 PM Grand Marais  Caller states power is out 
  10:52 PM Tofte  Tree in the road
  11:33 PM North Shore Health  Sexual assault 
    November 8  
  6:21 AM Hovland Possible deer hunting in the dark. She heard a shot go off 
  7:37 AM High School Safe routes to school 
  9:20 AM Grand Marais  Called to say someone is in their house and will not leave. Phone was disconnected 
  10:54 AM Law Enforcement Center  Deputy assisted in fingerprinting
  1:05 PM Great Expectations School  D.A.R.E. class 
  2:58 PM Minnesota Power, Schroeder  Reporting party has a picture of trespassers on the east camera 
  4:55 PM Law Enforcement Center  Requesting a callback from deputy
  5:02 PM Lutsen  Calling to report female with blonde hair all dressed in black walking west bound on the lake side of West Highway 61 
  6:22 PM Gunflint Trail  Traffic stop, warning given
  6:31 PM Grand Marais  Refused service to individual. Person took out his own bottle and started drinking as he walked out 
  8:27 PM East Highway 61 Zone 1 side entry door alarm
  8:45 PM East Highway 61 Keeps hearing noises outside, believes it is neighbors messing with reporting party’s car 
    November 9  
  2:09 AM Law Enforcement Center  Received an application for permit to purchase 
  6:18 AM Law Enforcement Center  Transporting inmate to Fergus Falls 
  7:50 AM Grand Portage  School zone patrol 
  7:55 AM Grand Marais School zone patrol
  9:14 AM Grand Marais  Large moving van blocking one lane at this location 
  10:17 AM Law Enforcement Center  Received permit to carry application 
  10:18 AM Law Enforcement Center  Permit to carry application received 
  10:38 AM Grand Marais  Party calling to say that they have two daycare groups at the community center and a 2 year old is missing 
  10:53 AM High School  Escorting volleyball team out of town 
  12:26 PM East Highway 61 Traffic stop, warning given
  2:22 PM Law Enforcement Center  Please call party back 
  3:02 PM Colvill  Papers served
  3:37 PM Tofte  Compressor has flat tire in ditch, lake side near this location. Will fix tomorrow 
  4:03 PM Lutsen  Red mini van parked on the side of highway for 3-4 days, does not seem to have moved 
  5:01 PM East Highway 61  Traffic stop, warning given
  5:17 PM   Lutsen  Hit deer, no injuries. Minor damage to vehicle. Deer dead on highway 
  6:19 PM Law Enforcement Center  Employee dropped off phone found on their playground today. 
  6:31 PM Schroeder  Traffic stop, cancel
  7:38 PM Grand Portage  Traffic stop, citation issued
  8:06 PM Lutsen  Picked up a doe in this location - will come for possession permit tomorrow 
  8:51 PM North Shore Health  Body transport to Hibbing
  10:55 PM Grand Marais  Found large grey and black cat - can't have it at the motel and would like it picked up 
  11:00 PM Lutsen Missing golden retriever in this area - missing since 5 p.m. Female with blue collar with a tag but the phone number is wrong. "Cassie" 
    November 10  
  12:13 AM East Highway 61  Traffic stop, warning given
  12:39 AM Grand Marais  Foot patrol downtown. 
  12:45 AM Grand Marais   Business check at Blue Water Cafe
  6:41 AM Law Enforcement Center  Inmate transport 
  7:40 AM Grand Portage  School zone patrol 
  7:58 AM Grand Marais  School zone patrol
  10:28 AM   Grand Marais  Paper service
  11:34 AM U.S. Customs, Grand Portage  Searching vehicle and found morphine not prescribed to either member in the car. Party arrested.
  12:32 PM Law Enforcement Center  Permit to purchase app received 
  4:08 PM Lutsen Multiple shots heard on lake side of highway near this location for the past 15 minutes 
  4:23 PM Grand Marais  Found garbage off Trout Lake Road 
  4:26 PM Grand Marais  Tree in roadway 
  5:16 PM Law Enforcement Center  Cc probation performing urine analysis 
  5:21 PM West Highway 61  Traffic stop, warning given
  5:30 PM Law Enforcement Center  Performing urine analysis, no deputy needed 
  5:31 PM West Highway 61  Traffic stop, citation issued
  5:51 PM Law Enforcement Center  Performing urine analysis
  7:11 PM Lutsen  Traffic stop, warning given
  8:35 PM Grand Marais  Traffic stop, warning given
  8:59 PM Schroeder  Paper service
  9:20 PM North Shore Health  Reporting a female at emergency room who suffered multiple animal bites 
  9:29 PM Grand Marais  Someone came to the door and rang the doorbell and asked for someone who did not live there 
  9:50 PM Grand Mraais  Someone knocking over garbage cans outside on Wisconsin Street 
  9:53 PM Gunflint Trail  Called to report he broke down on Co Rd. 7, 4 to 5 miles out of town 
    November 11  
  7:01 AM Tofte  Hit a deer at this location. 
  8:04 AM East Highway 61  Traffic stop, warning given
  8:48 AM Grand Marais  Pulp truck parked on the sidewalk. 
  9:07 AM Grand Marais  Needs to speak with a deputy. Stated that party hasn't hurt or threatened reporting party but reporting party thinks they may. 
  11:54 AM   Law Enforcement Center  Call back message 
  12:59 PM Tofte  911 hang up. Called back. A guest was trying to use a phone card in the room and called by accident. 
  2:08 PM Schroeder  Paper service
  2:25 PM East Highway 61  Back up for state patrol on traffic stop 
  3:55 PM West Highway 61  Traffic stop, warning given
  4:37 PM Gunflint Trail  Caller states a tree is about to fall in the northbound lane near this address. 
  5:31 PM Law Enforcement Center  Party came in to state her neighbor cut down 2 bushes and a tree on her property. Neighbor also dug up two clothes line poles. Neighbor thinks these were on his property
  7:42 PM East Highway 61  Traffic stop, warning given
  8:03 PM Law Enforcement Center  Lost and found property
  8:59 PM Grand Marais  Business check at Harbor Light
  9:22 PM Lutsen  Traffic stop, warning given
  9:34 PM Lutsen  Traffic stop, warning given
  9:49 PM Grand Marais  Foot patrol, Grand Marais business district 
    November 12  
  2:38 AM Schroeder  Requested deputy for tow assist - green sedan in deep ditch 
  5:57 AM Lutsen  Just received auto alarm reporting power outage at her property in Lutsen 
  8:06 AM East Highway 61  Dog bite. 
  8:19 AM Grand Marais  Potential line collapse for sewer. 
  10:37 AM Lutsen  Theft -states her ex-husband picked up the wood burning stove. 
  10:49 AM Tofte  911 hang up. On callback, party stated they had dialed too many 1s. All is okay.
  12:01 PM Grand Marais Ball Club pit pile is on fire. No one around. 
  12:57 PM Tofte  911 hang up. Called back and got ahold of caller. Stated he hit the wrong button and all is okay. 
  2:00 PM Grand Marais  Stated her vehicle was hit and a note was left for her stating "a man w/ this lic plate backed into your veh.”
  6:05 PM Hovland  Hit a deer on highway 61, needed it reported for insurance purposes 
  6:59 PM Schroeder  Traffic stop, warning given
  7:30 PM Grand Marais  Traffic stop, warning given
  7:43 PM West Highway 61 Traffic stop, warning given
  7:48 PM West Highway 61 Traffic stop, warning given
  9:03 PM West Highway 61 Traffic stop, advised
  11:06 PM Grand Marais Foot patrol, Grand Marais business district 
    November 13  
  12:53 AM Hovland  Caller states some kind of alarm is going off on North Road. 
  8:33 AM Schroeder Paper service
  8:39 AM Schroeder  Traffic stop, warning given
  9:03 AM Schroeder  Traffic stop, warning given
  9:52 AM Grand Marais  Dark blue semi-truck idling since midnight across from Mangy Moose. 
  10:03 AM Schroeder  Traffic stop, warning given
  10:16 AM Tofte  Trying to catch a white dog that has been cutting into the highway. 
  10:54 AM Grand Portage  Traffic stop, warning given
  11:00 AM Lutsen  Traffic stop, warning given
  11:38 AM East Highway 61  Traffic stop, warning given
  11:51 AM Law Enforcement Center  Returning your calls, will be available all day 
  1:07 PM Putt & Pets Mini Golf Found credit card
  1:12 PM Hovland  Gave permission to some people to target shoot at the Shoe Lake pit. 
  2:51 PM East Highway 61  Traffic stop, warning given
  5:49 PM Grand Marais  Foot patrol, Grand Marais business district 
  6:49 PM Lutsen  Traffic stop, citation issued
  7:07 PM West Highway 61 Traffic stop, warning given
  7:26 PM West Highway 61 Traffic stop, warning given
  11:17 PM Gunflint Trail  Public assist