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County to form highway advisory committee

Wed, 10/07/2015 - 10:47am

Cook County Administrator Jeff Cadwell brought forth a request at the September 29 county board meeting to have the county establish a Highway Advisory committee. The committee, said Cadwell, would act as an advisory group similar to Septic Advisory Committee. Its goal would be to promote open discussion, gain public input and departmental knowledge into the planning and prioritization of highway department functions.

Commissioner Frank Moe asked that the committee have countywide representation.  The board unanimously passed a motion to form the committee, which will be made up of a commissioner, highway staff and public representation.


This local news is provided by Cook County News-Herald. Visit the community newspaper at

Public comments focus board attention on Indigenous People’s Day

Wed, 10/07/2015 - 6:25am

Most of the people filling the commissioner’s room for a special meeting of the Cook County board Tuesday were not there for either of the two items on the agenda.

Instead, they were there to register concern over the board’s failure to act on a resolution presented at the previous meeting which would have designated the second Tuesday of October as Indigenous People’s Day.

Six county residents each used their portion of the 15-minute public comment period to encourage the commissioners to reconsider their 3 to 2 rejection of the resolution offered by Commissioner Frank Moe and supported at last week’s meeting by a delegation of nine ISD166 students from Grand Portage.

David Liechty, (LIE-key) Social Science instructor at Cook County High School, was obviously hampered by the two-minute time limitation, but he did invite the commissioners to join his classes this week as the students consider the historically correct version of the 1492 event.

Reading a statement to the board, former county commissioner Sue Hakes said: “…Before you is an extraordinary opportunity to make a positive difference in the lives of all people in Cook County now and forever…  don’t miss it – don’t come down on the wrong side of history. Be courageous – do the right thing. Vote to pass the resolution brought forth by Commissioner Moe and the students of Grand Portage.”

While no action could be taken at this time, the commissioners further discussed the resolution during the “commissioner concerns” portion of their agenda.

Following the lead of the ISD166 School Board, the mayor of Grand Marais is introducing a proclamation for consideration at next Wednesday’s council meeting which will designate October 12 as Indigenous Peoples Day in Grand Marais.

Furthermore, the Grand Portage Tribal Council has adopted a similar resolution and is now asking that the county board do likewise. As Commissioner Moe sees it: “We have a very simple request before us by the Grand Portage Tribal Council to pass a very simple resolution. There’s two “where as”, one “therefore be it resolved” – not complicated. It’s simple. Either we support this or we don’t.”

The board agreed every effort would be made to reach a decision supported by all commissioners and Moe called for a special meeting to be held Monday, October 12, now set for 2 p.m. At that time he will ask for the resolution to be adopted. Failing that, he said, it would be on the agenda for the October 13 regular board meeting.

In the scheduled business on the special meeting agenda, the board did authorize budgetary expenditure and execution of an agreement for the temporary position of licensing worker within the department of Public Health and Human Services.

They also authorized County Attorney Molly Hicken to sign the 2016 Grant Agreement with the Office of Justice Programs, MN Department of Public Safety. The grant funds attached to this agreement for victim services constitute a 50% increase from the prior year’s funding.


Events offered by the Violence Prevention Center

Tue, 10/06/2015 - 3:52pm

 "Speak up, even when your voice shakes!" is the topic of tomorrow’s Brown Bag lunch sponsored by the Violence Prevention Center. WTIP volunteer Mary Manning talked with the Center’s Jodi Yuhassey on North Shore Morning.

Brown Bag Lunch on Wednesday, October 7, from 12-1 pm at East Bay Suites, Stone's Throw Room
Special Guest Speaker Sue Hakes, on leadership

October 8 in the Harbor Park at 7:00 pm

CONTACT: Violence Prevention Center
PHONE: (218) 387-1262



"Care Giver Coffee" sessions offered by Care Partners

Tue, 10/06/2015 - 3:52pm

Care Giver Coffee get-togethers and volunteer training are some of the offerings at Care Partners this fall. WTIP volunteer Yvonne Mills spoke with Kay Grindland of Care Partners on North Shore Morning. 

More information on Care Partners activities/event at 218-387-3788 or


Violence Prevention Center hosts "Day of Unity" cadlelight vigil October 8

Tue, 10/06/2015 - 3:43pm

The Violence Prevention Center  (VPC) is a visible force for good in the community. Volunteers and supporters can frequently be seen sporting the teal T-shirts with the two-toned message “Believe there is good in the world,” which has the almost-hidden message, “Be the good in the world.”

During Radio Waves Music Festival, on Saturday, September 12, many of those volunteers were seen in the big tent, dancing up a storm. They were dancing for more than just fun—they were taking part in the “Dance ‘Til There Is No More” fundraiser.

Twenty-three dancers took part and raised just over $3,000 in support of the Violence Prevention Center.

The VPC has been in existence in Cook County for nearly 30 years. The mission of the VPC is to eliminate domestic and sexual violence against women, men, children and families in Cook County, and until that time, to facilitate their recovery, growth and change.

VPC believes that everyone has the right to live free of domestic and sexual violence. Victims have free and confidential access to a 24/7-crisis line, advocacy, emergency housing, information and referral and support groups.

In addition to raising money, dancers participated to draw attention to the NO MORE campaign. According to Jodi Yuhasey of the VPC, NO MORE is a unifying symbol to raise public awareness and engage bystanders around ending domestic violence and sexual assault.

Other events will be held by VPC during October, which is domestic violence awareness month. A candlelight vigil to honor and remember those affected by domestic violence will be held on the Day of Unity, on Thursday, October 8, 7 p.m. at Harbor Park in Grand Marais.

Grand Marais wastewater treatment plant working with MPCA on mercury reduction

Tue, 10/06/2015 - 3:39pm

Due to new lower acceptable levels of mercury limits set by the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) the Grand Marais Wastewater Treatment Plant will have to come in compliance within the next five years or the city will be faced with fines, said Water/Sewer Plant Manager Tom Nelson to the Public Utilities Commission (PUC) on September 2.

The minute amounts of mercury found in the city’s wastewater treatment plant comes from what is termed “nonpoint sources” said Nelson, which means it could come from anywhere.

The first step, Nelson said, is to get a new permit from MPCA that will come with the new requirements and guidelines that must be met. Nelson told the board that he didn’t feel that adding more additives to the water would meet the new requirements to reduce mercury. He suggested that it is in the city’s best interest to find a firm that has dealt with mercury mitigation to help with the process and the board agreed. “We are still waiting to get a permit from the MPCA,” Nelson said to the Cook County News-Herald on September 16. “The first step is to complete a Pilot Study Plan for the MPCA and give it to them for their review and approval,” Nelson said.

Once a Pilot Study Plan has been reviewed the city will complete and submit a Facility Plan That plan will identify treatment options aimed at reducing mercury emissions from the plant. All of the work to correct the problem must be competed within five years, Nelson said.


This local news is provided by Cook County News-Herald. Visit the community newspaper at