Around Cook County

News and other information from Cook County

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


Two Harbors becomes nearest location to renew driver's license for Cook County residents

Thu, 07/28/2016 - 10:18am

Cook County residents looking to renew or be issued a Minnesota driver’s license need to do so in Two Harbors for the time being. The closing of Buck's Radio Shack in Grand Marais means there is no longer a driver’s license issuing station in Grand Marais or Cook County.

There are talks of possibly opening a driver’s license issuing station inside the already existing Minnesota Department of Motor Vehicle Registration center located in the Grand Marais Pharmacy. The Grand Marais station’s services currently include title registrations, renewals and transfers, but not the ability to renew or issue driver’s licenses. No timetable or decision has been made on if, or when driver’s licenses will again be accessible for issue in Cook County or Grand Marais. 

The Two Harbors Deputy Registrar and Driver’s License Agent is open Monday through Friday from 8 to 4:30, but are closed from 12:30 to 1 each weekday.
To find the DMV in Two Harbors, click here. 

Mentor North Shore seeks adult role models

Wed, 07/27/2016 - 10:54am

Mentor North Shore is in search of caring adult role models who are looking to be a support, guide, resource and friend to a child in the Cook County area.

Mentor North Shore is a collaboration of Mentor Duluth. The program evolved from the “Fatherless Boys Association” formed in 1938 through the Duluth YMCA. In 1996 other agencies serving youth joined together with the common goal of finding caring adults to become positive role models to children. After 75 years of successful programming, Mentor Duluth has finally extended up the North Shore.

Mentors must be 18 years or older and able to commit 8-12 hours a month over the course of one year to their mentoring relationship.

Mentoring can look different depending on the match; some matches like to play outside, go on hikes and build forts. Others like to play board games, cook and put together crafts. Whatever your interests are, there’s a child in the community who would love to share those experiences with you.

To learn more, contact Brianne Benson, Mentor North Shore coordinator, at (218) 722-4745 ext. 120.


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


AIS control just got easier

Wed, 07/27/2016 - 9:15am

Washing off your boat and trailer to get rid of aquatic invasive species just got easier. WTIP’s Jay Andersen spoke with AIS Coordinator Amanda Weberg about car wash convenience.



County approves mushing camp, youth facility near Pike Lake

Wed, 07/27/2016 - 9:15am

A large dog kennel, mushing operation and outdoor recreation business is coming to Cook County near Pike Lake.

WTIP’s Joe Friedrichs has this report. 


Grand Marais State Bank celebrates 100 year anniversary

Wed, 07/27/2016 - 6:55am

The Grand Marais State Bank is celebrating 100 years of service and operation in Cook County this year. WTIP’s Joe Friedrichs has this feature on the history, present and future of the local bank. 


Election filing period for city, hospital and school board opening August 2

Tue, 07/26/2016 - 12:41pm

It is almost election filing time again. Citizens interested in running for office in the City of Grand Marais, for School District 166 or the North Shore Health board of directors will be able to file as a candidates from August 2 to August 16.

The North Shore Hospital Board will be seeking candidates in District 2 and 4, currently held by Justin Mueller and Kay Olson respectively. Both candidates told the News-Herald that they will be running for re-election.

In the city of Grand Marais, the mayor and two council seats will be on the ballot. Incumbents are Mayor Jay Arrowsmith DeCoux and councilors Tim Kennedy and Tracy Benson. Reached by phone, Tracy Benson told the News-Herald she has not yet decided if she will run for re-election.

Mayor Arrowsmith DeCoux has not yet responded to the News-Herald, but Councilor Tim Kennedy did and he said he is likely to run again. He said there is “a lot of interesting stuff happening.”

“We’re working on the public works garage and updating the city comprehensive plan. I would kind of like to see things through. There is some value in having some continuity,” said Kennedy, adding, “I’m pretty likely to run again, but until filing day happens you never know.”

School District 166 board seats to be on the next ballot are currently held by Terry Collins and Sissy Lunde.

Collins represents District 2, which is the Croftville and Grand Marais East area. Collins was appointed to the school board when Rod Wannebo resigned in March 2011. At that time, Collins said he would likely not seek reelection to the position when it is on the ballot in 2016.

Reached by phone on July 20, Collins said he is not running for re-election.

Help keep the Kiddie Rides going at Fisherman’s Picnic

Mon, 07/25/2016 - 9:36pm

Have you ever wanted to drive a train? Fly an airplane? The Grand Marais Lions Club is offering the opportunity to do just that during the 2016 Fisherman’s Picnic—at the Lions’ Kiddie Rides.

The Lions Club is looking for individuals to operate the rides that make Fisherman’s Picnic so fun for little ones. There is a stipend so nonprofit and youth organizations are encouraged to sign up. So far Cook County High School members of the National Honor Society and the Cook County Community YMCA have signed up to help. There must be an adult on hand to help youth operators.

Lion Harry Peterson said a Lion will be there to explain how to operate the rides and take tickets. “It’s really easy,” he said, “And it’s fun!”

The Kiddie Rides run from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Thursday – Sunday. Peterson added that there is a desperate need for operators on Saturday.

If you’d like to become a train engineer or a pilot for the day while making the Fisherman Picnic fun for kids, give Peterson a call to sign up at (218) 387-1478.


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


Pokémon Go trend arrives to North Shore

Mon, 07/25/2016 - 12:24pm

If you’ve walked along the streets or sidewalks of Grand Marais recently, there’s a good chance you’ve seen or heard a Pokémon Go player. So just what is Pokémon Go, and is the worldwide trend popular along the North Shore?

WTIP’s Audrey Summers has this story in search of the answers.


Nice summer week's weather ahead

Mon, 07/25/2016 - 11:49am

Brief and to the point – nice summer weather with a little rain tossed in for good measure. WTIP’s Jay Andersen spoke with National Weather Service Meteorologist Carol Christenson.


"The Echoes" perform country and gospel music at North Shore Care Center Monday

Sun, 07/24/2016 - 8:53am

A special musical performance will take place at the North Shore Care Center on Monday, July 25 at 2:30 p.m. “The Echos,” a four piece group from Moose Lake, will play their country and gospel music at the Care Center.

Community members are always welcome!

For more information about volunteer opportunities at North Shore Health Care Center or to check out the July calendar of events, visit our website: or  call the Activity Department at 387-3518.


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

Local PUC joins fight to save the monarch butterfly

Sun, 07/24/2016 - 8:51am

Grand Marais Public Utilities Commission joined with Southern Minnesota Municipal Power Agency (SMMPA) to help create habitat for monarch butterflies and other pollinators.

Loss of habitat has resulted in an estimated 90 percent reduction in the eastern U.S. population of the iconic butterfly.

Locally, SMMPA Member Representative and Line Superintendent/Power Plant Operations Manager Mike Taylor led an effort to establish a small pollinator plot in the Grand Marais Recreation Park.  

“The assistant park manager really took this project on and did most of the work with help from some of the park employees,” Taylor said.

Grand Marais PUC members can take part in the program if they want to, said Taylor. “SMMPA gave us seed packets that can be picked up for free at Grand Marais City Hall.”

With SMMPA’s help, Grand Marais and several of its other member municipalities established 26 pollinator sites in 12 different communities this year. Sites are generally in the 200-400 square-foot range and consist of milkweed plants and a variety of flowering nectar plants. Milkweed is the main food for monarch caterpillars, and nectar plants such as flowers provide nourishment for adult butterflies.

SMMPA purchased the seeds and plants from Prairie Restorations of Princeton, Minnesota. Prairie Restorations “Sowing it Back Together” program uses native Minnesota plant species to help create habitat for pollinators like the monarch butterfly.


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

Canoe races and Gunflint Trail offer new experiences for duo from Turkey

Sun, 07/24/2016 - 7:50am

The Gunflint Canoe Races took place on Wednesday, July 20. There were some familiar faces from around Cook County in attendance during this year’s event. But also on hand were two international students who are spending their summer working along the North Shore.

WTIP’s Joe Friedrichs has this feature on the first trip up the Gunflint Trail for two young people from Turkey. 


WTIP Weekend News Roundup for July 23

Sat, 07/23/2016 - 10:52am

Each week the WTIP news staff compiles a review of news from the previous five days. A mining meeting in Ely, Tofte and Birch Grove School work on disagreements, primary ballot confusion, death and destruction from violent storms…all this and more in the week’s news.


Boundary Waters canoeist shares details of powerful storm

Fri, 07/22/2016 - 12:09pm

Near hurricane force winds pushed by one of the most powerful storms to hit northeastern Minnesota in decades moved through the region early Thursday morning, flattening trees and causing damage from Duluth to Ontario.

Winds may have gusted as high as 90 mph as the storms moved across the region, including large sections of the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness.

WTIP's Joe Friedrichs spoke with Kevin Kramer, a canoeist who was camped at a campsite on Brant Lake near the Gunflint Trail during the storm.