Around Cook County

News and other information from Cook County

County and Forest Service close in on land exchange

Wed, 07/13/2016 - 10:53am

The county and Forest Service are closing in on their land exchange. The courthouse needs some major repairs and the county has a new Public Health and Human Services Director. WTIP’s Jay Andersen spoke with County Board Chair Heidi Doo-Kirk.


Grand Marais Summer Theater Festival kicks off July 21

Wed, 07/13/2016 - 10:47am

Save the dates! The Grand Marais Summer Theater Festival opens July 21 with Arsenic and Old Lace at 7 p.m. The Addams Family opens July 22 at 7 p.m.

Playhouse Director Sue Hennessy says it was merely by chance that the Grand Marais Playhouse selected two summer shows for the summer that are slightly twisted. She said the process of play selection for our community theater is complicated and depends on a variety of factors.

The two upcoming productions will delight audiences with a bit of unusual panache. 

You can save $5 buy purchasing tickets to both shows. Tickets are $20 adults and $10 students. Performances are at the Arrowhead Center for the Arts, 51 West 5th Street (at the top of Broadway). All seating is general admission. Advance tickets are available on line at Box office open one hour before the show.  

Check out for more information.


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

New owners at Gunflint Lodge discuss future of business

Tue, 07/12/2016 - 1:55pm

Gunflint Lodge has been in the Kerfoot family since 1929, but on June 17 a new chapter started in the history of the iconic lodge. WTIP's Joe Friedrichs spoke recently with the new owners of Gunflint Lodge, John and Mindy Fredrickson. 


Office Outpost opens in Grand Marais

Mon, 07/11/2016 - 9:22am

A new co-working space is open in downtown Grand Marais. It features high speed internet connection, video conference space and 24/7 access.  WTIP’s Jay Andersen spoke with Broadband Commission member Bob Pranis about the Office Outpost.



Grand Marais City Council considers on-line council meetings

Mon, 07/11/2016 - 7:11am

The Grand Marais City Council received a proposal from Good Measure Media on June 29, asking if the council would be interested in having their bimonthly meetings video recorded and live streamed. The council is currently taking voice recordings of their meetings. However, the new system would enable people to watch the meeting online as it is happening, or, if they miss it, go back and watch the video on Youtube.

The council seemed interested in the idea. Councilor Tim Kennedy noted that city council meetings used to be videoed and put on the local cable channel, allowing those who watched it to have access to a lot of information that they would not otherwise have had. “I think there’s some real value to it,” he said.

Although also sounding interested in the idea, Arrowsmith DeCoux said he would like to see how city residents feel about having city money spent on this service. According to Roth, the cost would be about $3,000 per year. No decisions were made at this meeting, though Roth said he would put it on the agenda for a future meeting.

The City Council meets again on Wednesday, July 13 at 6:30 p.m. at Grand Marais City Hall. 


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


Mailboxes vandalized in Grand Marais

Sun, 07/10/2016 - 9:20am

Cook County Law Enforcement received a call on Saturday, June 2, reporting damage to mailboxes at the intersection of County Road 6 and Brandon Lane in the early morning hours. The mailboxes had been vandalized, smashed with some sort of bat or club or hit by a car.

The mail carrier was able to deliver all the mail, despite the damage. Some pieces were hand-carried to residents that were home. Cook County Law Enforcement deputies retrieved some mail that had been scattered in the ditch during the incident.

By July 5, homeowners had been able to pound out the dents and replace posts on most mailboxes. One plastic mailbox was shattered beyond repair.

The Cook County Sheriff’s Office asks anyone with information about the incident or anyone that witnesses a Ford pick-up with passenger side damage and a passenger side mirror missing to call Cook County Law Enforcement at 218-387-3040.


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

WTIP Weekend News Roundup for July 9

Sat, 07/09/2016 - 10:46am

Each week the WTIP news staff compiles a review of news from the previous five days. A second public comment meeting is scheduled for the Range. Cornelia ship owners are fined. Severe storms hit the Northland…all this and more in the week’s news.


Roots of local art festival date to 1960s

Fri, 07/08/2016 - 7:23am

The second weekend in July has a longstanding tradition for art festivals along the North Shore. The 26th Annual Grand Marais Arts Festival will take place July 9th and 10th in downtown Grand Marais.

Long before the Grand Marais Arts Festival ever took place, a similar event was held annually in Lutsen.

WTIP’s Joe Friedrichs reports on this story. 


SplinterTones to perform on Grand Marais Library lawn on July 9

Thu, 07/07/2016 - 1:40pm

SplinterTones, a six-piece band based in Grand Marais, can be seen at a variety of venues—outdoors at Harbor Park, at town halls, at the Radio Waves Music Festival and more. The energetic and eclectic band has now collected 16 of its favorite songs—a mix of covers and original tunes—on a CD so fans can take the Splintertones sound home with them. The CD will be available at a release party on the Grand Marais Public Library lawn on Saturday, July 9 from 3 – 6 p.m.

The members of the Splintertones include Max Bichel, fiddle/vocals; Liz Sivertson, saxophone/vocals; Leah Thomas, accordion/vocals; John Gruber, guitar/vocals; Jeff DeShaw, bass; and Rick Brandenburg, drums.

Samples—enticing little teasers of the Splintertones dance grooves—can be heard online at


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

Nice weather predicted for Arts Festival weekend

Thu, 07/07/2016 - 10:25am

Rain on and off until Saturday and then great weather for an arts festival Saturday and Sunday. WTIP’s Jay Andersen spoke with National Weather Service Meteorologist Carol Christenson.


Jack Williams in concert at Arrowhead Center for the Arts July 9

Thu, 07/07/2016 - 12:18am

The North Shore Music Association will present renowned musician Jack Williams in concert at 7:30 p.m. July 9 at the Arrowhead Center for the Arts.

The music of Jack Williams, rooted in his native South Carolina, has been shaped by a 54-year career of playing folk, rock, jazz, R&B, classical, and the popular music of the ’30s, ’40s and ’50s. He is counted among the most dynamic performers on today's folk circuit.

Williams is considered a "musician's musician,” an uncommonly unique guitarist, a writer of vivid songs with a strong sense of place, and a storyteller in an old southern tradition who further illustrates each tale with his guitar.

Avoiding the compromises of the commercial music industry during his half-century professional career, Williams prefers touring under the radar, playing concerts, large and small, week in and week out, for the sheer love of music and performing. Playing for more than 50 house concerts each year, Williams enjoys the intimacy of that venue most of all, with a more personal connection to his listeners.

Williams has nine CDs of original music on the Wind River (Folk Era) label, the newest being Four Good Days, plus his DVD High Cotton, a video collection of on-stage performances. An additional CD, Don’t Let Go, is a collection of cover songs reflecting major influences on his musical development. Jack has produced all of his own recordings, plus CDs by Mickey Newbury, Ronny Cox, Eric Schwartz, and others.

For more information contact the Music Association at (218) 387-1272.

Streamwalkers wanted for North Shore Trout Stream Refuge Project

Tue, 07/05/2016 - 10:23am

Cold groundwater is essential for North Shore trout streams, keeping stream temperatures below the thermal limit for trout and steelhead survival and providing base flow during summer. Yet groundwater is not abundant in this region and is particularly important for sustaining these prized coldwater fisheries.

The DNR and organizations such as Minnesota Trout Unlimited are focusing habitat restoration and protection efforts on a subset of North Shore watersheds most likely to sustain coldwater fisheries and quality angling into the next century. They need detailed information on the locations of groundwater discharge areas in priority watersheds to most effectively target habitat restoration and watershed protection efforts.

Volunteers are now needed to assist with collecting temperature data and mapping information for the North Shore Trout Stream Refuge Project. Volunteers will be in the stream with quick-reacting thermometers (thermocouples) to find and GPS areas of cool water that could serve as thermal refuges for cool water fish. Volunteer efforts will be coordinated by Trout Unlimited, with training and equipment provided. Volunteers are needed during July, August, and early September 2016.

Stream walking will only be effective when average stream temperatures are warmer than potential groundwater inputs and under summer low flow conditions (thus, large rainstorms will delay or shift volunteer efforts).  

Examples of locations include Elbow Creek, Cascade River, E. Colvill Creek, Devil Track River, Little Devil Track River and Junco Creek.

 If interested in this opportunity or for more information contact You may also call 612-670-1629 for more information.


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

Chamber director talks 'hypothetical' Tim Hortons in Grand Marais

Tue, 07/05/2016 - 6:34am

In early June it was announced Tim Hortons, a popular sandwich, coffee and donut shop based in Canada, was expanding its Minnesota market.

WTIP’s Joe Friedrichs speaks with Cook County Chamber of Commerce Director Jim Boyd about a possible fit for Tim Hortons along the North Shore.  


Happy 240th birthday, America!

Mon, 07/04/2016 - 10:18am

The Cook County News-Herald wishes everyone a safe and happy July 4th celebration! 


Watch "the Tortoise and the Hare" at the Grand Marais Public Library

Mon, 07/04/2016 - 10:01am

Stop by the Grand Marais Public Library at 10:30 a.m. July 5 to enjoy Climb Theater’s presentation of The Tortoise and the Hare, a free program designed for folks and families of all ages.

Visitors will see Speedy the Hare as he keeps teasing Sal the Tortoise because Sal is slower than Speedy. So Sal decides there’s only one solution: to beat Speedy in a race. But how?

Sal discovers that instead of worrying about what he isn’t, he can build on what he is. Sal is steady. Sal is focused and determined. Sal can train hard. And in the end, Sal discovers that being a winner is about much more than who crosses the finish line first.

Climb Theater’s mission is to create and perform plays, classes, and other creative works that inspire and propel people – especially young people. This mini-play is about 30 minutes with a 10-15 minute activity session that is sure to engage children and families.

This program, sponsored by Arrowhead Library System, was funded in part or in whole with money from Minnesota's Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund. For more information, contact the library at (218) 387-1140.


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