Around Cook County

News and other information from Cook County

Short but severe storms sweep through Northland

Mon, 06/20/2016 - 10:18am
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Sunday’s storm brought destruction, injury and even death. Later in the week a similar system may come in the area again. WTIP’s Jay Andersen spoke with National Weather Service Meteorologist Dean Packingham.

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Violent storm injures campers in BWCAW, one death reported

Mon, 06/20/2016 - 9:42am
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On Sunday night, June 19, a number of intense storms moved through northeastern Minnesota. According to Cook County Sheriff Pat Eliasen, one person died and another was critically injured on Duncan Lake during Sunday night’s storm. Duncan Lake is a popular lake in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness located near West Bearskin Lake.

In a separate incident during Sunday night’s storms, another male camper in the BWCAW was injured on Clove Lake when a tree fell on his campsite. The male was evacuated from Clove Lake and transported to the Cook County Northshore Hospital by ambulance. Clove Lake is located near the Granite River and Gunflint Lake. 

Both calls for medical assistance came in to the Cook County Sheriff’s Department at approximately 10:30 p.m. Sunday night following the incidents on Duncan and Clove. Gunflint Trail Search and Rescue, Gunflint Fire Department, First Responders, Cook County Ambulance and Cook County Search and Rescue all responded to the scene. The rescue on Duncan was also aided by staff from YMCA Camp Menogyn.

From the Mid-Gunflint Trail area down to Seagull Lake at the end of the Trail, reports of downed trees and power outages were reported Sunday night. 

The names of those who were injured and the individual who died are being withheld until families are notified. 

Elections for Arrowhead Cooperative board at Annual Meeting

Sun, 06/19/2016 - 12:34pm

Arrowhead Electric Cooperative held its annual membership meeting on June 11 at the Arrowhead Center for the Arts. There was a pancake breakfast and the presentation of grants from the cooperative’s Operation RoundUp program. From funds donated by members who “round up” their electric bills, Arrowhead presented $27,000 in grants to community organizations. 

The meeting also included an election to the co-op board of directors. Three seats were open for election. Scott Harrison was reelected to represent District 6, the Lutsen area. William Huggins will replace District 7 representative Tom Spence who did not run for re-election. Huggins will serve the Tofte-Schroeder area. Rollie Adkins takes over for retiring Les Edinger to represent District 3, the Gunflint Trail area.

Co-op board seats run for three-year terms.

***********************************This local news is provided by the Cook County News-Herald. Visit the community newspaper at www.cookcountynews-herald.com.

 

WTIP Weekend News Roundup for June 18

Sat, 06/18/2016 - 10:32am
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Each week the WTIP news staff compiles a review of news from the previous five days. The Forest Service has concerns about Twin Metals mining near the Boundary Waters and the mining company disagrees. Also, news about plumbing and siding…all this and more in the week’s news.

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Norman Deschampe re-elected as tribal chairman

Fri, 06/17/2016 - 11:50am

The general election for the Grand Portage Band of Lake Superior Chippewa was held Tuesday, June 14, 2016. Band members went to the polls at the Old Log School to vote for one four-year position—Tribal Chairman. Running for the chairman seat was incumbent Norman W. Deschampe, opposed by Donovan Dahmen.

Deschampe held on to the Tribal Chairman seat with 74.77 percent of the vote.

Voter turnout was quite low, with only 214 enrolled band members casting ballots.

Norman Deschampe has held the Tribal Chairman position for about 26 years. He also currently serves as president of the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe, whose members are of the Grand Portage, Bois Forte, Fond Du Lac, Leech Lake, Mille Lacs and White Earth Bands.

Vice-chairman Janice Marie Spry was re-elected to her seat in the primary election on April 5, 2016. Because she earned more than 50 percent of the votes cast in the primary, she retained her seat without having to go on to the general election.

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

Minnesota swimmer shares story of recovery during visit to Gunflint Trail

Fri, 06/17/2016 - 11:49am
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Minnesota swimmer Jillian Blezien hopes to swim across the English Channel. She has been training up the Gunflint Trail recently, including several long swims on area lakes. In addition to physical challenge of swimming, this young athlete has other obstacles to overcome on a daily basis. 

WTIP's Joe Friedrichs shares this story. 

To learn more about Jillian's efforts to swim across the English Channel or to contribute to her efforts, click here. 
 

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Water contact advisory lifted for Durfee Creek beach area

Thu, 06/16/2016 - 2:05pm

The water contact advisory placed on a Cook County beach on June 14 has been lifted.  Water samples collected at the beach at Durfee Creek 5 miles east of Grand Marais on June 13 indicated possible fecal contamination. The water at the beach was tested on June 15 and today the Minnesota Department of Health has announced that fecal indicator bacteria levels and averages have returned to acceptable levels.

Still under water contact advisory are Agate Bay, Knife River Marina, and Flood Bay in Two Harbors.

Beach monitoring is conducted at the following beaches in Cook County:  Chicago Bay boat launch in Hovland; Paradise Beach, Kadunce Creek, Durfee Creek in Colvill; Old Shore Road, Harbor Park in Grand Marais, Recreation Park campground in Grand Marais, Cutface Creek Wayside Rest; Temperance River State Park, Schroeder Town Park and Sugarloaf Cove Beach in Schroeder. At press time, all had “water contact acceptable” ratings.

A number of factors, such as dog, geese and other wildlife feces, dirty diapers, failing septic systems and sewer line breaks and overflows, can contribute to higher levels of illness-causing bacteria.

The Minnesota Lake Superior Beach Monitoring Program offers the following tips to minimize risks associated with potential water contamination. Its website recommends waiting 24 hours before going swimming after a heavy rainfall and showering after swimming or recreating at the beach. It also advises that beach goers do not swallow water and that they try to keep face and head out of the water. If possible, the website says to wear earplugs and goggles. Finally, it advises people with weakened immune systems not to swim.

Anyone who becomes ill after contacting beach water is asked to contact the Minnesota Department of Health at (877) 366-3455.

To find the latest results of beach monitoring for North Shore beaches, visit www.MNBeaches.org.

Outdoor ping pong table comes to Grand Marais

Thu, 06/16/2016 - 12:31pm
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A new ping pong table is set up outside of the Grand Marais Public Library. The table is open to use for the public at no charge. The idea for the table came from Cook County resident Ann Possis. The table was funded through the Great Place Project., a project of the Cook County Chamber of Commerce and the Sawtooth Mountain Clinic Moving Matters program.

WTIP’s Joe Friedrichs has this report on the new ping pong table. 
 

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Summer finally comes to the North Shore

Thu, 06/16/2016 - 10:46am
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It promises to be a nice early summer weekend. There’ll be a little rain here and there, but plenty of sunshine. WTIP’s Jay Andersen spoke with National Weather Service Meteorologist Kevin Huyck.

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Preview the great summer productions at special Grand Marais Playhouse event tonight

Thu, 06/16/2016 - 10:41am

The Grand Marais Playhouse will hold a special preview of its summer events on June 16 at 7 p.m. at the Arrowhead Center for the Arts. Come see scenes from the cheerfully macabre, terribly pleasing Arsenic and Old Lace and The Addams Family, which will run in repertory weekends July 21 – Aug. 14/

There will also be a preview of Labor Day weekend events, back by popular demand! Mike and Julie Bateman will return as Ole and Lena in Ole and Lena’s 50th Wedding Anniversary and Renewal of Vows. Plus, a special video performance from Monroe Crossing.

Following the show, the Playhouse will tempt you with a vast assortment of killer desserts. Maybe even some “Death by Chocolate”

The preview event is open to all with a suggested donation of $10.

Tickets for all the summer performances will be on sale for a 10 percent discount. If you buy a ticket to both Summer Festival shows you save $5 too.

Check out all this and more at our new website grandmaraisplayhouse.com.

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

Public meeting on MidGunflint - Greenwood area vegetation project June 17

Thu, 06/16/2016 - 10:39am

The Gunflint Ranger District, Superior National Forest, is developing the ShokoShoe Vegetation Management Project and is seeking public participation.

The ShokoShoe Project Area encompasses the Mid-Gunflint Trail area and eastward including the Greenwood Lake area and extending to Grand Portage Reservation.

Nancy Larson, Gunflint District Ranger said, “There are numerous urgent needs in the area such as improving public safety by reducing hazardous fuels, improving moose habitat or increasing resiliency of the ecosystem. I am inviting members of the public to work with us to identify the most important needs and objectives for the area as well as how to accomplish those objectives.”

There will be three consecutive dates in June, July and August, when the interdisciplinary team will work with the public on this project and each meeting will build on the previous discussion.

“Our intention is to have an open, transparent process with interested people representing diverse interests,” said Larson. “We are looking for participants who want to discuss and engage with the interdisciplinary team and provide input to the District Ranger for consideration in development of the project. We want to use local knowledge and experience along with the best science to address the challenges facing the forests of the ShokoShoe Project Area.”

The first meeting will be at the A. Paul & Carol Schaap Community Center (Mid-Trail Fire Hall) June 17 from 1 to 4 p.m. The Community Center is located at 7401 Gunflint Trail.

Participants should contact Becky Bartol or Chris Beal in advance so the agency knows how many people to prepare for. For more information, go to the Superior National Forest website at www.fs.usda.gov/goto/superior/projects and click on the ShokoShoe Project or contact Becky Bartol, project leader at (218) 387-3207.

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Water contact advisory posted for Durfee Creek beach area

Tue, 06/14/2016 - 2:17pm

Now that summer has finally arrived, the Minnesota Department of Health beach monitoring program has begun. A Cook County beach has received a “no water contact” advisory. Water samples collected at the beach at Durfee Creek 5 miles east of Grand Marais on June 13 indicate possible fecal contamination. The water at the beach will be tested again tomorrow, June 15.

Also receiving advisories today were the Agate Bay, Knife River Marina, Flood Bay and Burlington Bay beaches in Two Harbors.

Beach monitoring is conducted at the following beaches in Cook County:  Chicago Bay boat launch in Hovland; Paradise Beach, Kadunce Creek, Durfee Creek in Colvill; Old Shore Road, Harbor Park in Grand Marais, Recreation Park campground in Grand Marais, Cutface Creek Wayside Rest; Temperance River State Park, Schroeder Town Park and Sugarloaf Cove Beach in Schroeder. At press time, all had “water contact acceptable” ratings.

A number of factors, such as dog, geese and other wildlife feces, dirty diapers, failing septic systems and sewer line breaks and overflows, can contribute to higher levels of illness-causing bacteria.

The Minnesota Lake Superior Beach Monitoring Program offers the following tips to minimize risks associated with potential water contamination. Its website recommends waiting 24 hours before going swimming after a heavy rainfall and showering after swimming or recreating at the beach. It also advises that beach goers do not swallow water and that they try to keep face and head out of the water. If possible, the website says to wear earplugs and goggles. Finally, it advises people with weakened immune systems not to swim.

Anyone who becomes ill after contacting beach water is asked to contact the Minnesota Department of Health at (877) 366-3455.

To find the latest results of beach monitoring for North Shore beaches, visit www.MNBeaches.org.

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Forest Service seeking comments on ShokoShoe Vegetation Management Project

Tue, 06/14/2016 - 10:47am

The Gunflint Ranger District, Superior National Forest, is developing the ShokoShoe Vegetation Management Project and is seeking public participation.

The ShokoShoe Project Area encompasses the Mid-Gunflint Trail area and eastward including the Greenwood Lake area and extending to Grand Portage Reservation.

Nancy Larson, Gunflint District Ranger said, “There are numerous urgent needs in the area such as improving public safety by reducing hazardous fuels, improving moose habitat or increasing resiliency of the ecosystem. I am inviting members of the public to work with us to identify the most important needs and objectives for the area as well as how to accomplish those objectives.”

There will be three consecutive dates in June, July and August, when the interdisciplinary team will work with the public on this project and each meeting will build on the previous discussion.

“Our intention is to have an open, transparent process with interested people representing diverse interests,” said Larson. “We are looking for participants who want to discuss and engage with the interdisciplinary team and provide input to the District Ranger for consideration in development of the project. We want to use local knowledge and experience along with the best science to address the challenges facing the forests of the ShokoShoe Project Area.”

The first meeting will be at the A. Paul & Carol Schaap Community Center (Mid-Trail Fire Hall) June 17 from 1 to 4 p.m. The Community Center is located at 7401 Gunflint Trail.

Participants should contact Becky Bartol or Chris Beal in advance so the agency knows how many people to prepare for. For more information, go to the Superior National Forest website at www.fs.usda.gov/goto/superior/projects and click on the ShokoShoe Project or contact Becky Bartol, project leader at (218) 387-3207.

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Drowning victim's body recovered from Temperance River

Mon, 06/13/2016 - 3:35pm

The Cook County Sheriffs Office has announced that the search for the young man who was presumed drowned in the Temperance River is over.  The body of Alec Paul Bertil Lawrenz, 18, of Wayzata, Minnesota was recovered from the waters of the Temperance River at approximately 1:42 p.m.  The matter is under investigation, but no foul play is suspected.

The Sheriffs Office had received a 9-1-1 call at 6:34 p.m. on June 11, reporting that “a kid fell into the gorge at Temperance River State Park.” On arrival, emergency responders learned that Lawrenz, who was camping with a group of friends, was swimming when he went through the strong current under a bridge and did not resurface.

Search efforts lasted until dark on June 11 and resumed on June 12 and again today. Cook County Sheriff Pat Eliasen said efforts to recover the body were hampered by the strong river current, limited visibility under the water and the presence of debris. Sheriff Eliasen said the river bottom in this area ranges from 3-10 feet in depth and there are trees, rocks and concrete containing remnant of re-bar making any dragging efforts problematic. Weather and the subsequent rising of water levels in the river have also impeded recovery efforts.

Agencies involved in the search efforts were Cook County Sheriff's Office, Minnesota State Patrol, U.S. Coast Guard, Minnesota State Park Rangers, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, U.S. Border Patrol, Tofte First Responders, and the Cook County Ambulance. Cook County Search and Rescue was assisted by Itasca County Search and Rescue, as well as St. Louis County Search and Rescue. Use of divers was not possible so far due to the dangerous conditions of current and debris.

Weather causes postponement of Tofte Ranger District prescribed burn

Mon, 06/13/2016 - 2:00pm

The prescribed Mitawan Prescribed Burn planned in the Tofte Ranger District this week was not ignited as anticipated on June 12, due to extremely wet weather conditions. Because of continued wet weather conditions it appears the burn will not take place at all this week.

The Tofte District is still looking for a “window of opportunity” to conduct the prescribed burn off Mitawan Lake Road, south of Grouse Lake. This fuels reduction project is a pine underburn to remove slash (downed trees and brush) from the forest understory.

No road closures are planned when the Mitawan prescribed burn takes place, but travel on the Mitawan Lake Rd (Lake County 702) could be delayed at times and visibility could be reduced due to smoke.  The U.S. Forest Service will announce when the burn is rescheduled.

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