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News and other information from Cook County

School District 166 has full staff for coming school year

Wed, 08/03/2016 - 10:58am

The School District 166 school board meeting on Thursday, July 21 started off on a friendly note, with welcomes to new Superintendent William Crandall and Assistant Principal Bill Dewitt.

Principal Adam Nelson said Maintenance Supervisor Tom Nelson and his crews have been “working relentlessly” to get rooms cleaned and ready for the start of school. Nelson said he is still working to finalize scheduling for some elementary classes, but with the assistance of Assistant Principal Dewitt, Nelson said, “Things have been going smoothly.”

Nelson said interviews were conducted and all teacher positions have been filled for the 2016-17 school year.

The school board passed motions to approve several new hires:

* Jim Lundorff from Roseville, MN as a fifth-grade teacher

* Brianna Volbrecht, a recent graduate of Bethel College as K-12 music/band teacher

* Dave Hanson, who just retired from Lakeville North, as industrial arts instructor

* Work agreements were also approved for a number of current employees, including Principal Nelson; John Jacobsen, the technology coordinator and technology assistant Daniel Henry.

* An agreement was also approved for Jill Boen, the media center supervisor for the 2016-2017 school year.

The two positions that were not recommended for renewal by former Superintendent Beth Schwarz at the last school board meeting were presented—and approved. A unanimous motion passed to renew the agreement of School Nurse, RN Kay Borud and Food Service Specialist Linda Bockovich.

Leave campaign signs alone

Wed, 08/03/2016 - 10:56am

Nearly every political season there is some controversy related to campaign signs. Because there are no local races on the August 9 primary ballot the usual abundance of lawn signs has not yet appeared. However, as the presidential race moves to national convention phase, there have been complaints of damaged or stolen signs for presidential candidates. The Cook County News-Herald reminds citizens that it is illegal to tamper with political signs in other peoples’ yards.

Early in the morning on July 18, a Voyageurs Point resident reported that signs had been damaged and taken from their yard. The signs were promoting presidential candidate Donald Trump.

On July 19, a homeowner on 2nd Avenue West in Grand Marais caught four teenagers in the act of stealing his yard sign. The reporting party said he chased them off. The sign was in support of presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. The caller said his first sign was stolen and the current sign is a replacement.

Parties who enter yards to tamper with election signs could be charged with theft, damage to property and trespassing. Under Minnesota State law, if you intentionally cause damage to another person’s property without their consent you could be charged with 3rd degree criminal damage to property, a misdemeanor offense punishable by up to 90 days in jail and a $1,000 fine.



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

WTIP to broadcast live from MN State Fair August 31

Tue, 08/02/2016 - 3:33pm

It’s ‘radio on a stick’! For the second year in a row, WTIP North Shore Community Radio will broadcast live from the Minnesota State Fair, Wednesday, August 31, from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.
The opportunity to be a part of this popular summer event is possible thanks to WTIP’s membership with the Association of Minnesota Public Educational Radio Stations (Ampers). WTIP and 10 other independent community radio stations from across the state will be broadcasting on various days from the Ampers booth in the Education Building.
Listeners can tune in for a variety of special fair-related programming, information and entertainment. And thanks to a partnership with Visit Cook County, 500 tote bags will be given away from the booth at various times during the day. WTIP program director Matthew Brown and station manager Deb Benedict will be there, as well as a number of volunteer hosts. Visit Cook County director Linda Kratt and her team will also be on hand to meet and greet fairgoers with information about Cook County.
Business support for WTIP’s state fair broadcast has been provided by:
Betsy Bowen Studio & Gallery
Grand Marais Art Colony
North House Folk School
North Shore Winery & Sawtooth Mountain Cider House
Sivertson Gallery
Stone Harbor Wilderness Supply
Sven & Ole’s
Tuscarora Lodge & Canoe Outfitters
Visit Cook County
Voyageur Brewing Company
If you’re at the fair, please stop by the Education Building and see us! Or tune in – at 90.7 fm in Cook County, or stream online at from anywhere – and join us ‘on the radio at the fair’!

New DNR policy affects how deer carcasses can enter Minnesota

Tue, 08/02/2016 - 12:03pm

Starting this fall, hunters can no longer bring whole deer carcasses into Minnesota from anywhere in North America. This restriction includes all members of the deer family (deer, elk, moose and caribou).

Previously, the restriction only applied to animals harvested in areas of North America where chronic wasting disease (CWD) has been known to occur.

WTIP’s Joe Friedrichs spoke with staff from the DNR about the changes to how deer carcasses can enter Minnesota in 2016.


Birch Grove Community School director resigns

Tue, 08/02/2016 - 11:08am

Birch Grove Community School Director Caroline Wood submitted a letter of resignation at the Community School board meeting held July 26. Wood’s last day will be August 15.

Wood said, “I have enjoyed working with such a committed team and appreciate the support provided.”

She gave a number of recommendations for the Birch Grove Community School board to consider. One of the recommendations was for the school to find “an experienced and skilled school administrator.”

Wood noted that the school year ended in the black, albeit just barely, for the first time in long time. She said, “I am very pleased with everything that has occurred over the last nine months.  I believe you have a very sustainable and bright future.”

Wood said she was exploring job options in Washington state.



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


DNR to continue lake and stream surveys in August

Mon, 08/01/2016 - 5:08pm

Fisheries staff from the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources Grand Marais area office will conduct surveys and assessments on several Cook County lakes and streams during the next few months.

Survey results are reviewed and incorporated into individual lake and stream management plans. The plans identify goals for key species in the lake and outline specific management activities. They are typically revised every six to 10 years. All current lake and stream management plans for the Grand Marais area are available at the area office, and copies can be provided upon request. Public comments and suggestions for management of these waters are welcomed at any time.

August 1 - Continue Poplar, survey Crystal and Devilfish lakes, survey Mistletoe Creek and Onion River. 

August 8 - Survey White Pine, Iron, Little Iron lakes, survey Portage Brooke, and Elbow Creek.

August 15 - Survey Ray Lake.  Assess fish populations on the Flute Reed River, Cascade River, Kadunce Creek, Devil Track River and Irish Creek.

August 22 - Survey Devilfish and Two Island lakes. Assess fish populations on Kimball and Junco creeks.  

August 29 - Survey West Bearskin and Swamp lakes (near Poplar Lake).  Assess fish populations in Temperance River and Gauthier Creek.   

These survey plans are tentative. Lakes and streams may be added or dropped and timing may change. Questions and general information about area lakes and streams can be addressed to the DNR’s Grand Marais area fisheries office at 1356 Highway 61 E., Grand Marais, MN 55604. Questions also can be submitted by calling 218-387-6021 (note new number) or emailing


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


North Shore media company expands platform to include live broadcasts of local meetings

Mon, 08/01/2016 - 12:10pm

Local entrepreneur, cinematographer and technical engineer Patrick Knight continues to build his new company, Good Measure Media. Among the expansions of the business platform are recording and offering live streaming of Grand Marais City Council and Cook County Board of Commissioner meetings. 

WTIP’s Joe Friedrichs sat down recently with Patrick to talk about the new directions and progress of his local business. 

To learn more about Good Measure Media and to visit their Website, click here.



Alumni baseball game planned for Fisherman's Picnic

Mon, 08/01/2016 - 11:00am

The recent success of the alumni football game has spurred on another alumni game, this one pitting former Cook County High School baseball players against each other for some good-natured fun and to establish bragging rights.

Highly dedicated and much-loved Cook County High School Baseball Coach Arleigh Jorgenson, who seems to head up all things connected to baseball in the county, is in charge of this event.

 “Responding to enthusiastic requests from former players on the field following the exciting and successful alumni football game, we agreed to host an Alumni Baseball Game on Friday evening of Fisherman's Picnic, August 5,” Jorgenson said.  

The game will begin at 5 p.m. in order to take advantage of the remaining daylight, he added.

“As of now, we have 26 players on the ‘I will be there’ list, and it is growing.  We will mark this as a celebration of our upgraded field, which happened as a Community Fund Grant from the Minnesota Twins, an Infield Upgrade Fund that was gathered and saved from 2007, numerous significant financial contributions from families, our Athletic Booster Club, a generous and creative contractor, Rick Crawford, and hours and hours of volunteer labor!  

“Our alumni are going to be very proud of what they started when they take the field on August 5!  Spectators should bring lawn chairs as our seating area still leaves a lot to be desired,” said Jorgenson, adding, “ It is going to be a great reunion!”  


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

A little rain later in the week, otherwise, a pleasant Fisherman's Picnic forecast

Mon, 08/01/2016 - 10:25am

Nice summer weather ahead for Fisherman’s Picnic – but keep your umbrella handy on Thursday. WTIP’s Jay Andersen spoke with National Weather Service Meteorologist Mike Stewart.


Commissioner of Agriculture visits North Shore organic farm

Sun, 07/31/2016 - 6:27am

Dave Frederickson, the Commissioner of the Minnesota Department Agriculture, visited the Wolf Ridge Organic Farm near Finland, Minnesota on Wednesday, July 27. 

WTIP's Joe Friedrichs met up with the commissioner on the farm and has this report.


WTIP Weekend News Roundup for July 30

Sat, 07/30/2016 - 10:39am

Each week the WTIP news staff compiles a review of news from the previous five days. A dog kennel and outdoor adventure center proposed for the county. Driver’s license renewal won’t be as easy for Cook County drivers. Storm cleanup continues in the Northland…all this and more in the week’s news.


Dog survives roaring waterfall, 10 days alone near Boundary Waters

Fri, 07/29/2016 - 11:56am

A trip in the Boundary Waters and Quetico Provincial Park turned tragic on July 4, when a family’s dog slipped and fell into a raging waterfall. But that’s just where this story starts.

WTIP’s Joe Friedrichs has this report. 


Michael Monroe kicks off Two Harbors’ “Fridays in the Park”

Thu, 07/28/2016 - 1:47pm

Michael Monroe kicks off the 2016 concert series “Fridays in the Park” in Two Harbors at 7 p.m. July 29 in Thomas Owens Park on Waterfront Drive and Third Avenue.  This is a free, family-friendly event.

Monroe lives and records on the North Shore of Lake Superior in his solar powered log cabin studio. His unique creation of music blends rich vocals, guitar, bamboo and glass flutes that combine acoustic folk and jazzy reggae. 


In addition to performing at festivals, conferences, colleges, and clubs, Monroe performs his original music in school programs and residencies with the State Arts Board Performing Artist Roster as well as the Young Audiences. He has shared the stage with Michael McDonald, Paul Williams, Bernie Leadon, Kathy Mattea, John Gorka, Shawn Phillips, James Cotton, Michael Johnson.

Fridays in the Park’s 2016 series is funded by the Minnesota State Arts Board’s Cultural Heritage Fund; the Two Harbors Area Fund, an affiliate of the Duluth-Superior Foundation; Great River Energy; the City of Two Harbors; and Arts on Superior.


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


Water level in Lake Superior high in summer of 2016

Thu, 07/28/2016 - 1:13pm

The water level in Lake Superior has been notably high and grounds for discussion recently along the North Shore.

WTIP's Joe Friedrichs spoke with a hydrologist from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s office in Ann Arbor, Michigan about the water levels. 


July weekend going out with nice summer weather

Thu, 07/28/2016 - 12:03pm

Nice summer weather ahead for the weekend, but keep an umbrella handy and maybe a light jacket. WTIP’s Jay Andersen spoke with National Weather Service Meteorologist Gregg Frosig