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Youth ATV Safety training coming in May

Tue, 04/28/2015 - 8:21pm

The Cook County ATV Club reminds parents that an ATV Safety Training course is available in May for students, ages 11 - 15. Sign up now for a safe summer!

The course is part independent study and part field test. When students sign up, they receive a Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) CD to study for the written test and field test.

A review and the written test will Wednesday, May 13 at 3:45 p.m. at Cook County High School. After passing the test, students participate in a field test, Saturday, May 16 at the old Grand Marais airport site (by Devil Track Landing). Participants do not have to provide their own ATVs or helmets, those are provided by Steve’s Sports of Grand Marais and local ATV Club members.

There is a $10 fee, payable to Community Education. The Cook County ATV Club provides scholarships to any youths who cannot pay the fee.

All students who successfully complete the safety training are also treated to a pizza party with the DNR and volunteer instructors and receive a Cook County ATV club T-shirt.

Safety Instructor Chuck Silence encourages parents to have their kids take this course. “Statistics show that 47 percent of all persons involved in ATV accidents are in their teens, 10-19 years old. The major cause of accidents is rollovers and hitting fixed objects. Speed is frequently the cause,” said Silence. “That’s why it is so important to catch kids when they are young to teach them about safe and ethical riding.”

“Just because you don’t own an ATV doesn’t mean your kid doesn’t need the training,” said Silence. “There are more ATVs in the state than snowmobiles—you want them to be prepared to ride just in case they have the chance at a neighbor or friend’s house.”

Dayton to DNR: No more moose collaring -- experts disagree

Tue, 04/28/2015 - 11:35am

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Gov. Mark Dayton yesterday ordered the state Department of Natural Resources to stop the practice of radio-collaring moose as part of studying the animals. The governor's executive order cites reports that the collaring has caused the deaths of some adult moose and the abandonment of some calves.

Minnesota's moose population has been on the decline, and researchers have hoped the collaring would help them understand why. The DNR had planned to collar about 50 newborn moose next month in the third such effort. According to the St. Paul Pioneer Press, the Governor’s action was met with immediate criticism by scientists in the state and elsewhere, who accused Dayton of putting the interests of public relations before the needs of the larger moose population.

Two years ago, the Department of Natural Resources embarked on a pair of ambitious projects to determine what was killing Minnesota's moose. The $1.6 million effort involved adult moose and newborn calves.  Adult moose were affixed with GPS radio collars calves were affixed with radio collars immediately after being born.

But problems surfaced quickly. Of the 74 calves collared in the spring of 2013 and 2014, many were believed to have died of starvation after being abandoned by their mothers. Additionally, Dayton noted that some adult moose had died likely from being tranquilized and handled by researchers. DNR Commissioner Tom Landwehr said six adult moose died in that manner over the winter.

Two of the nation's pre-eminent wildlife researchers Tuesday said Dayton's decision suggests a misunderstanding of the value of research -- and the population dynamics of moose.

Commissioners continue to look at non-mandated funding policy

Mon, 04/27/2015 - 5:23pm

Cook County Commissioners held a second work session at the beginning of April in what is likely to be a series of meetings to develop a policy on how to fairly distribute funds to local organizations that provide non-mandated services to the community. After brief public comments before the April 7 work session began, commissioners quickly got down to business, setting parameters on how to proceed.

There was quite a bit of discussion over just how much the county should earmark for non-mandated services.

Commissioner Garry Gamble presented a possible matrix that could be used to evaluate non-mandated funding requests and distributed some sample applications from other entities that give grants.

Board members agreed to review the sample applications and criteria developed by Gamble and bring their own ideas to the next meeting for more discussion. Commissioner Frank Moe said board members also need to look at county finances and think about whether the funding levels for non-mandated services should be static or flexible.

The board will hold another work session on non-mandated services at 1 p.m. on April 28 in the commissioner’s room.


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

'Gala for the Grove' fundraiser for Birch Grove Community School on May 9

Mon, 04/27/2015 - 12:34pm

Gala for the Grove is an annual fundraising event for the Birch Grove Community School located in Tofte. WTIP host Jana Berka spoke with Judy Motschenbacher of Birch Grove Community School on North Shore Morning. 

For more information: Birch Grove Gala for the Grove or call 218-663-0170


Marketing begins for Tofte senior housing

Mon, 04/27/2015 - 11:59am

Tofte Supervisor Jeanne Larson introduced the newly-hired Tofte senior housing marketing director to the town board and public at hand at the board’s April 10, 2015 meeting.

Danielle Fortin will be paid $400 per month from April 1 to July 1, said Larson, subject to monthly review by the board of directors overseeing the project. Fortin will market the 12 two-bedroom, 1-bath duplex units that will soon be built by Design Homes behind the Birch Grove Community Center.

The homes will be leased/rented to adults 55 years old and older at a rate of $950 per month. Units include a patio and a detached garage and will be (mostly) maintenance free.

Fortin’s first action will be to hire a firm to design a logo. The logo will be used for advertising and on social media. A direct mailer will also be sent to every Cook County resident introducing them to this new development.

Fortin and her husband have been in the area for about a year and a half, recently moving from Grand Marais to Lutsen. “I’ve been told that by moving to the West End that I have moved to the best end of the county, said Fortin with a smile.

Fortin is also the sales and operating manager of the Kah-Nee-Gallery in Lutsen. When asked when she would start working on marketing of the senior homes she replied, “tomorrow.”


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

Lottery for bear hunting licenses open now

Mon, 04/27/2015 - 11:57am

Applications for Minnesota bear hunting licenses are being accepted now through May 1 at all Department of Natural Resources license agents, online at and by telephone at 888-665-4236. A total of 3,700 licenses are available in 11 permit areas.

Bear licenses cost $45 for residents and $231 for nonresidents, and there is a $5 application fee. The season opens Sept. 1 and runs through Oct. 18.

Notification to successful lottery winners will be made in mid- to late May. Any remaining unpurchased licenses will be available to those eligible starting at noon Aug. 5.

An unlimited number of bear licenses will be sold over-the-counter for no-quota areas in east-central and far northwestern Minnesota. No-quota licenses are valid only in a no-quota area. Hunters with a no-quota license can harvest one bear.

By offering the same number of licenses as last year, the DNR continues to work toward its goal of gradually increasing Minnesota’s bear population. The state’s bear population was estimated at 17,000 in 2008. Trends since then suggest that today’s population is 10,000 to 15,000. Reducing the number of bear licenses results in hunters harvesting fewer bears, allowing the population to gradually increase.


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