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Moratorium on Cook County Chevron Signs

Wed, 02/18/2015 - 12:15pm

The Cook County Highway Department had been planning to erect as many as 100 reflective chevron signs along curves on the Gunflint Trail. The move did not sit well with many Trail residents, especially those on the Gunflint Trail Scenic Byway Committee. It also didn’t sit well with the county commissioners.

After an appearance at the public comment period prior to Tuesday’s board meeting by representatives of the byway committee, commissioners added the item to their agenda. After quizzing County Engineer David Betts, the board voted to postpone the project, for lack of public input. Commissioner Frank Moe made the motion for moratorium.

 “I would ask the board, and I would make the motion that Cook County put a moratorium on chevron signs installed on our county roads until the time we have the opportunity to have a public input session so that we can actually listen to and take into account the broader range of views on this issue. I would not feel comfortable proceeding with this until we actually have heard from m ore people in our districts.”

Betts countered by saying it was his personal and professional responsibility to provide for the public’s safety on county roads, and while he respected the board’s position and would modify the sign plan, he disagreed with the moratorium.

 “I can’t tell you how much I disagree with this if we are valuing aesthetics over people’s lives.”

Chevrons are individual yellow reflective squares with a heavy black arrowhead, mounted on individual posts that are lined up typically in multiples of three to six along sharp highway curves. There are already sets of chevrons installed on the last mile of the Gunflint Trail. The highway department planed to install at least another dozen sets from Grand Marais to trail’s end.

Fat tire bikes hit the trail in "The Frostbiter" in Grand Portage Feb. 21

Tue, 02/17/2015 - 2:56pm

Grand Portage Lodge & Casino is preparing for its first ever fat tire bike event on Saturday, February 21. The lodge is sponsoring “The Frostbiter,” offering a 20- or 40-mile bike race to benefit Easter Seals.

The 40-mile race starts at 8 a.m. at the Mineral Center Trailhead and the 20-mile race starts at 9 a.m.

Visit the Facebook page at “The Frostbiter,” for more information or to sign-up for the race. The $50 entry fee goes to the Easter Seals of Ontario. The entry fee includes a great ride on Grand Portage’s groomed snowmobile trails as well as lunch at the lodge. There are prizes for the rider who collects the most pledges for Easter Seals.

There is a bit of cross border rivalry already under way. Fat bike enthusiast Adam Harju of Grand Marais invited his Canadian counterpart, Frostbiter organizer Keith Ailey to a “Can Am” challenge. Harju and Ailey are encouraging riders to take part to see who gets the most participants, Canada or the United States.

For information on Grand Portage Lodge & Casino, visit or call (800) 543-1384.


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

Small Business Development Center representative updates county commissioners

Tue, 02/17/2015 - 2:46pm

Pat Campanaro came before the Cook County Commissioners on Tuesday, February 10 with a report from the Small Business Development Center (SBDC).

In July of 2014, the Cook County/Grand Marais Economic Development Authority (EDA) agreed to sponsor the SBDC, and Campanaro, the SBDC consultant, moved from her office at Cook County Higher Education to the EDA’s office space in Grand Marais City Hall.

Campanaro said over the last 18 months she has worked with a variety of people to help create nine new businesses, she said. These businesses have added nine full time positions and four part time positions. This has resulted in $72,950 in new economic dollars invested in those businesses, said Campanaro.

During the last year and half Campanaro has spent 1,095.5 hours working with 72 different clients in a variety of consulting areas.

Besides helping new business owners and entrepreneurs, Campanaro works with existing owners of businesses to help secure capital funding and loan packaging, cash flow management, market research, social media/ecommerce consulting, human resource management, training services, and turn around assistance, to name a few of the ways she can assist people.

As Campanaro has said in the past, she doesn’t have all of the answers to questions that need answering, but because she partners with the University of Minnesota Center for Economic Development, she has access to a huge amount of information and expertise that can help most business owners or entrepreneurs find the help that they need. 

Workshop on 'Wetlands in Watersheds' offered February 26

Tue, 02/17/2015 - 2:42pm

All are invited to an informational workshop discussing the science of wetlands and their role in watersheds. WTIP host Yvonne Mills spoke with Wetland Specialist and Geologist Dave Demmer on North Shore Morning. 


The ‘Wetlands in Watersheds’ presentation will be held at 7 pm on Thursday, February 26th, in the Cook County Community Center.  The focus of the presentation will be on the science of wetlands, their occurrence in the watersheds of the North Shore, and their crucial role in maintaining the high water quality that we depend upon.  Participants will also begin to explore the technicalities of what defines a wetland, the function and public value of wetlands, and how they are managed.

The presentation will be given by David Demmer, Cook County Wetland Specialist and Geologist.

(Photo courtesy of Sharon Mollerus on Flickr)

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Grand Marais Lioness Club Pancake Breakfast - February 21

Tue, 02/17/2015 - 2:42pm

Offering all-you-can-eat blueberry pancakes as part of the menu, the Grand Marais Lioness Club pancake breakfast is coming up this Saturday. WTIP volunteer Yvonne Mills spoke with Judy Siegle of the Grand Marais Lioness Club on North Shore Morning.

This Saturday’s pancake breakfast runs from 8 to 11 am at Sven and Ole’s in Grand Marais.  More information about Lioness efforts and programming from Judy Siegle at 387-9423.

(Photo courtesy of Janine on Flickr)

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Local art galleries collaborating on spring "gallery hop"

Mon, 02/16/2015 - 2:50pm

A number of Cook County art galleries are cooperating on two key projects on the North Shore for this spring—a gallery guide and a Memorial Day weekend event, a “gallery hop.”

Organizers are looking for any galleries who would like to participate in one or both of these projects. The criterion for participation is that a gallery offer 80 percent original hand-made art (not manufactured) and has regular hours. Gallery owners must also have a willingness to help with either gallery guide distribution or help marketing the art event. Participating galleries need to submit information and images by February 23.  

Galleries that are currently taking part are the Last Chance Studio and Gallery  and Kah Nee Tah Gallery in Lutsen and Betsy Bowen’s Studio, Sivertson’s Gallery and the Grand Marais Art Colony in Grand Marais.

If you would like to participate or have any questions about whether you qualify, please contact Marcia Hyatt, 218-387-9239 or


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