Around Cook County

News and other information from Cook County

"Light snow" is the phrase of the week

Mon, 04/04/2016 - 9:30am

This week’s weather mantra is “light snow.” Almost every day we’ll see some snow and cooler temperatures. WTIP’s Jay Andersen spoke with National Weather Service meteorologist Carol Christernson.


Pike Lake Road raises number of questions concerning local roadways

Mon, 04/04/2016 - 8:55am

Pike Lake Road is frequently prone to potholes and frost boils as the seasons come and go. But many local residents who frequent the gravel road are claiming it is in very bad shape this year. WTIP’s Joe Friedrichs has this report. 


Be aware of bears this spring

Mon, 04/04/2016 - 12:02am

Anyone living near bear habitat is reminded to be aware of bears this spring and check their property for food sources that could attract them, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources said.

As bears emerge from hibernation, their metabolism gradually ramps up and they will begin looking for food at a time when berries and green vegetation can be scarce. Bears may be tempted by dog food, livestock feed, birdseed, compost or garbage.

Only black bears live in the wild in Minnesota. They normally are shy and usually flee when encountered. Never approach or try to pet a bear. Injury to people is rare, but bears are potentially dangerous because of their size, strength and speed.
The DNR does not relocate problem bears. Relocated bears seldom remain where they are released. They may return to where they were caught or become a problem somewhere else.

The DNR offers some tips for avoiding bear conflicts:

* Do not leave food from barbecues and picnics outdoors, especially overnight. Coolers are not bear-proof.

* Replace hummingbird feeders with hanging flower baskets, which are also attractive to hummingbirds.

* Eliminate birdfeeders or hang them 10 feet up and 4 feet out from the nearest trees.

* Use a rope and pulley system to refill bird feeders, and clean up seeds that spill onto the ground. Where bears are a nuisance, birdfeeders should be taken down between now and Dec. 1.

* Store pet food inside and feed pets inside. If pets must be fed outdoors, feed them only as much as they will eat.

* Clean and store barbecue grills after each use. Store them in a secure shed or garage away from windows and doors.

* Pick fruit from trees as soon as it’s ripe, and collect fallen fruit immediately.

* Limit compost piles to grass, leaves and garden clippings, and turn piles regularly. Do not add food scraps.

North Shore Hospital approves contract with payraises for some staff

Sat, 04/02/2016 - 1:53pm

Most workers at the Cook County North Shore Hospital and Care Center will receive a 2.25 percent raise this year—retroactive to January 1, 2016—and a 2 percent raise in 2017, Cook County Hospital/Care Center Administrator Kimber Wraalstad told the hospital board at its March 23 meeting.

Some office and management employees and RNs are not covered under the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) contract, said Wraalstad, working instead under other negotiated agreements.

The contract provides employment raises as well as an increase for call pay from $4.75 to $5 per-hour.

Workers covered include cooks and dietary staff; radiology; lab; maintenance, housekeeping and laundry, physical therapy, business office, licensed practical nurses, and nursing assistants.

Board Member Tom Spence asked if this is in line with what other hospitals offer. Wraalstad said, “Yes, this compares very well with what the other hospitals offer their employees”

The hospital board voted 5-0 to approve the two-year contract.


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

WTIP Weekend News Roundup for April 2

Sat, 04/02/2016 - 10:54am

Each week the WTIP news staff compiles a review of news from the previous five days. Relief for Iron Range workers has finally materialized. IRRRB to offer incentives to senior employees and PolyMet financial assurances to be monitored…all this and more in the week’s news.



Pinwheels will again represent Child Abuse Prevention month

Fri, 04/01/2016 - 12:44pm


April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month, and this month and throughout the year, the School Community Action Team encourages all individuals and organizations to play a role in making communities a better place for children and families.

By ensuring that parents have the knowledge, skills, and resources they need to care for their children, they help promote children’s social and emotional well-being and prevent child maltreatment within families and communities. Research shows that when parents possess six protective factors, the risk of neglect and abuse diminishes and optimal outcomes for children, youth, and families are promoted.

The six protective factors are: nurturing and attachment, knowledge of parenting and of child and youth development, parental resilience, social connections, concrete supports for parents, social and emotional developmental well-being.

April is a time to acknowledge the important role that communities play in protecting children. Everyone’s participation is critical. Focusing on ways to build and promote the protective factors, in every interaction with children and families, is the best thing our community can do to prevent child maltreatment and promote optimal child development.

“Pinwheels for Prevention” campaign will occur throughout April. The pinwheel was introduced as the national symbol for child abuse prevention in 2008. Pinwheels will be passed out to children in school and displayed at local businesses to help remind kids and adults about the important issues of child safety and child abuse prevention. When seen, the pinwheels will serve as a call to action and an opportunity for community members to recognize that we all play a role in children’s lives.


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