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News and other information from Cook County

DNR plan to require trailer stickers in fight against aquatic invasives on hold

Fri, 01/30/2015 - 5:00pm

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, following a directive from the state legislature planned to implement a new aquatic invasive species training and trailer decal program in January. However, the numerous questions raised by anglers has led to postponement to determine the best way to educate watercraft users and to track whether boaters have taken the required training.

The DNR announced on January 28 that it would now wait while legislators consider changes to the program.

Under a law passed by the state legislature in 2012, anyone trailering a boat or water-related equipment such as docks and lifts in Minnesota is required to take aquatic invasive species training and display a decal on their trailer. The effective date is July 1, 2015.

“With the legislative interest in this educational program and ongoing discussions about possible changes, we are postponing the launch until we see if the legislature acts this session to modify the program,” said Bob Meier, DNR assistant commissioner.

The DNR—and most boaters—support the education that would be provided under this law, but recognizes there are some concerns with the way the law is currently written. For example, people transporting boats on trailers through Minnesota to another destination are required to take the course and display a decal even if they don’t put their boat in Minnesota waters.

Conscientious boaters logged on the DNR website on January 1 to take the training and were disappointed to find it was not yet available. The DNR announced that the training would be available at the end of January, frustrating boaters once again. However, since the training and decal are currently not required until July 1, the DNR reassures people that there will be time to see what happens legislatively and still take the course and receive decals.

Hospital Votes to Discontinue OB Services

Fri, 01/30/2015 - 11:24am

Grand Marais, MN – The Board of Directors of Cook County North Shore Hospital and Care Center held a special meeting on Friday, January 30, to discuss whether elective OB delivery services should continue to be offered at the hospital. At the close of the meeting they issued a formal statement.

In a unanimous decision, the board voted to discontinue elective OB delivery services at the hospital, effective July 1, 2015.

The board directed management to develop, in coordination with the Medical Staff, policies and procedures for the provision of emergency-only OB delivery services at the hospital, starting July 1.

Management was also directed to collaborate with Sawtooth Mountain Clinic physicians and staff to develop and enhance policies, procedures and programs to facilitate the availability and coordination of prenatal and postnatal care offered in Cook County by all health care providers.

Board chair Kay Olson stated, “It was not a question of whether we wanted to provide elective OB services, but one of whether we can provide elective OB services safely and in a manner that meets the standards of care. The board, in consultation with the medical staff, made the decision we believe is in the best interest of patients, the hospital and the community.”

Board member Tom Spence said, “This issue was reviewed and discussed with the nursing and medical staff using processes that are established for quality improvement/peer review issues. We appreciated and valued the community conversations through this process. We are committed to working with community members to ensure the best possible transition to this new model.”

Cook County Whole Foods Co-op invites shoppers to take part in MN FoodShare 2015

Thu, 01/29/2015 - 9:42am

Cook County Whole Foods Co-op is participating in the MN FoodShare 2015 campaign through March 31, and encourages local residents to take part in the following ways:

Monetary donation: The co-op matches your donation, dollar for dollar, if you make a monetary contribution by check. That donation will be used toward the purchase of healthy, organic foods. Checks made out directly to the Food Shelf are welcome, but the co-op is not able to match these funds.

Non-perishable food donation: The co-op provides a basket located at the far end of its seating area available for any donations. These items are transported to the Food Shelf on a monthly basis.

Round-Up: Cook County Whole Foods Co-op will offer customers an opportunity to “round up” their grocery purchases to the nearest dollar with the change automatically donated to the Cook County Food Shelf with distribution throughout Cook County.

For more information or to help in other ways, contact the co-op at (218) 387-2503.


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

DNR to host deer population goals meeting in Grand Marais Feb. 19

Thu, 01/29/2015 - 9:40am

Opportunities for the public to participate in deer population goal setting for large portions of northeastern, north-central and east-central Minnesota begin Feb. 2 in Monticello.

"Working with citizens to achieve conservation and management goals is integral to the mission of the Minnesota Department of Natural

Resources," said Leslie McInenly, DNR big game program leader. "To make sure that goals are based on the broad range of public interest in deer, we use a public process to help determine how many deer to manage for in

a given area."

Each meeting will begin at 6:30 p.m. and end at 8:30 p.m. After a short presentation on deer populations and management, meeting participants may comment verbally, ask DNR staff questions and complete a written questionnaire.

Deer population goals will be set for 40 of Minnesota's 128 deer permit areas in 2015. Local meetings are set for Feb. 11 at Two Harbors High School; and Feb. 19 at the Cook County Community Center in Grand Marais.

For a complete list of meetings, see


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


Beargrease Marathon finish line report from Jason Rice

Wed, 01/28/2015 - 11:25am

The 31st annual John Beargrease Sled Dog Marathon has a winner. Board president Jason Rice spoke with WTIP volunteer Mark Abrahamson on North Shore Morning to provide an update live from the finish line.

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'Snowarama' at Grand Portage benefits children with disabilities: February 7

Wed, 01/28/2015 - 8:30am

The Grand Portage Lodge and Casino Snowarama provides financial assistance for children with physical disabilities. WTIP volunteer Mary Manning spoke with Rhonda Harrison of Easter Seals Ontario on North Shore Morning. 

The Grand Portage Lodge & Casino will host the ‘Snowarama’ for Easter Seals Kids on Saturday, February 7th.

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