Around Cook County

News and other information from Cook County

WTIP's "Cabin Fever" Membership Drive: Amount raised and drawing results

Mon, 02/22/2016 - 4:56pm

WTIP's "Cabin Fever" membership drive wrapped up at noon, February 22.  Our overall goal for the drive was $18,500, and over the course of four and a half days we heard from 29 new members and 193 renewing members, raising $17,848.  It was a great drive, and we appreciate the support of everyone who pledged, as well as all of the volunteers, community members and local businesses and organizations that helped in some way! 
If you didn't get the chance to pledge, you can still show your support and help us reach the $18,500 needed to get a strong start on our membership budget for the year.  It’s quick and easy to make a pledge online, or – during normal business hours – you can give us a call at 387-1070 or stop by the station at 1712 West Highway 61.  
And just a reminder, if you did make a pledge during the drive, you can see the complete list of winners on our website from our end-of-drive drawing.  Prizes can be picked up at the station (during normal business hours), or winners can call the station to make other arrangements.

WTIP would like to thank everyone that shared their time and talent or provided a donation of some sort during the drive, including:

Moose health influences DNR's deer management strategy

Mon, 02/22/2016 - 4:21pm

Aligning deer permit area boundaries to the known moose range is part of the DNR’s strategy to promote the health of moose populations in northeastern Minnesota. WTIP's Joe Friedrichs reports on this story. 


Snow, but not too much, throughout the week

Mon, 02/22/2016 - 11:06am

The front part of the week will have warmer temps with snow and later in the week, colder (below zero lows) temps with snow. WTIP’s Jay Andersen spoke with National Weather Service meteorologist Carol Christenson about…snow.


Painting demonstration at North Shore Care Center

Sun, 02/21/2016 - 8:26pm

On February 23, Tim Young will share his artistic talent with a painting demonstration at the North Shore Care Center. He will bring his canvas and oils to create a painting while interacting with the residents. Care Center Activities Director Belinda Hudler said, “We look forward to the fun.”

For more information about volunteering or about any of the activities going on, please contact the Activity Department at 218-387-3518 or visit the website: There are volunteer opportunities for all ages at the North Shore Care Center. 

WTIP Weekend News Roundup for February 20

Sat, 02/20/2016 - 11:56am

Each week the WTIP news staff compiles a review of news from the previous five days. The Governor wants states to help lobby Washington in favor of American steel. Enbridge delays Sandpiper. Great Lakes states want their money back. Moose number remain unstable and the county board meets…all this and more in the week’s news.



Donkey Basketball at CCHS tonight!

Thu, 02/18/2016 - 1:14pm

Donkey Basketball is coming to Grand Marais tonight! As participants learned last year, you can’t make a donkey do what it doesn’t want to do. That makes for hilarious competition and everyone is invited to watch the action in the Cook County High School gym on Thursday, February 18. Come for dinner in the cafeteria at 6:30 p.m. and stay for the challenging matches at 7 p.m. between teachers and CCHS seniors and county workers and elected officials versus a firefighter/law enforcement team.

Intermission events will once again include donkey rides for kids with the friendly donkeys of Dairyland Donkey Ball.

You don’t want to miss the return of the donkeys. Proceeds of the event benefit the Cook County High School Band.


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

Voyageur Brewing Company hosts "Rendezbrew 2016" Feb. 19-20

Thu, 02/18/2016 - 12:48pm

Voyageur Brewing Company is celebrating one year of brewing adventurous craft beers with a North Shore anniversary party complete with great beer, food, art, music and fun during “Rendezbrew 2016.”  The anniversary event at the taproom in Grand Marais on February 19 – 20, will also include the debut of Hivernant, Voyageur Brewing Company’s new Imperial Stout.

Hivernant, which is French for "winterer,” is a signature brew created by Head Brewer Jason Baumgarth to celebrate Voyageur’s anniversary and the local influence of Voyageur beer. This small batch release will be bottled in 750ml wax dipped bottles featuring special artwork from artist Jeff Niesen.

Collaborating on the artwork for the new craft beer was an adventure, said Baumgarth, noting the challenge Niesen faced to create something that would stand out on a brown growler bottle.

Creating Hivernant with Assistant Brewer Drew Price was also an adventure. “Craft beer is our way of expressing ourselves,” Baumgarth said. “We’re excited to share this signature beer with our customers and to invite new customers to experience our bold and adventurous craft beer at the anniversary party.

“We’re not just celebrating Voyageur Brewing, but all of the adventurers and voyageurs out there who love craft beer, the North Shore, and we’re excited to celebrate with the local community,” said Baumgarth.

Hivernant will be a taproom exclusive. Voyageur Brewing Company plans to brew an artistic Imperial Stout annually featuring labels by different artists.

Expect rain, sleet and icy conditions with weekend

Thu, 02/18/2016 - 11:34am

This weekend’s weather is slated to be fair to partly awful. Warmer temps could bring rain, resulting in ice, resulting in crusty snow and slippery roads. WTIP’s Jay Andersen spoke with National Weather Service meteorologist Joe Moore.


2016 moose count indicates decline will continue

Tue, 02/16/2016 - 4:29pm

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources said the state's moose population remains low despite a slowing population decline during the past five years.

Results from the 2016 aerial moose survey indicate that the population change from an estimated 3,450 in 2015 to 4,020 in 2016 is not statistically significant. Northeastern Minnesota’s current moose population could be as high as 5,180 or as low as 3,230.

“Moose are not recovering in northeastern Minnesota,” said Glenn DelGiudice, moose project leader for the DNR. “It’s encouraging to see that the decline in the population since 2012 has not been as steep, but longer term projections continue to indicate that our moose population decline will continue.”

Annual population comparisons are made to 2006 because northeastern Minnesota’s highest moose population estimate of 8,840 occurred that year. Since then, the moose population has declined 55 percent.

Studies have shown that adult moose survival has the greatest long-term impact on moose populations. Northeastern Minnesota’s collective moose population may be reflecting the annual survival rate of moose collared as part of the DNR’s moose mortality research project, which shows that survival of adult moose increased from 81 percent in 2013 to 88 percent in 2014 and 85 percent in 2015.

DelGiudice said more calves surviving beyond their first year also may be slowing the short-term population decline. Data collected in fall and early winter 2015 document the number of calves that remained with their mothers. These data reflect the 2016 population survey estimate that 17 percent of Minnesota moose are calves, up from 13 percent in 2015 and 15 percent in 2014.

This year’s survey involved flying 52 survey plots distributed across northeastern Minnesota from Jan. 4-15. The Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa and 1854 Treaty Authority contributed funding and provided personnel to assist Minnesota DNR with the annual moose survey.

A copy of the aerial survey report and more information about Minnesota moose are available on the DNR website at

Contract okayed for tennis court repairs

Tue, 02/16/2016 - 10:57am

While there is plenty of snow on the ground and icicles hanging from buildings and trees on February 9, tennis was one of the main topics of discussion at the Cook County commissioners' meeting.

After months of finding ways to pay for the more than $170,000 in repairs, the county board agreed to sign a contract with Dermco-LaVine Construction Company to repair (and in some cases reconstruct) the Cook County Community Tennis courts this summer.

Dermco-LaVine will repair and reconstruct the tennis courts located adjacent to the Cook County YMCA. Two courts will be entirely reconstructed and a Probounce surface will be put on them.

Cracks 1 inch wide and greater will be cleaned, primed, and filled with dry silica sand up to the bottom of concrete or asphalt slab and the remaining void area filled with hydraulic cement until even with the surface. A rigid thin film tape, PB-Bond ll will then be laid over the repair cracks ¾ inches and larger to prevent shadowing after the area has been surfaced. Smaller cracks will be repaired in a similar fashion.

The goal will be to have the work done by the end of July for the Fisherman’s Picnic tennis tournament.


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



Arkansas town finds balance with local shops, corporate America

Mon, 02/15/2016 - 8:26am

Eureka Springs, a small community of 2,000 people in northern Arkansas, has found success in promoting tourism through local, small businesses. The city also is home to many stores aligned with corporate America, including a Dollar General store. 


County agrees to seek Legacy grant funding for 80 acres of land

Sun, 02/14/2016 - 2:23pm

On Tuesday, February 9, Cook County Commissioners voted to apply for a Conservation Legacy Grant that if awarded could be used to purchase a parcel of land-locked property located near the end of the Old Ski Hill Road in Grand Marais.

The land is owned by John Scheef, who has made a number of requests to the county to help him reach and develop this 80-acre property. He purchased the land in 2005 for $240,000.

The Cook County Assessor’s office estimates the current value of the land at $176,000.

A Minnesota Department of Natural Resources Minnesota Biological Survey designated this area as “high” in biodiversity significance. There are many county residents who want to see the land preserved.

The conflict over access to the land between Scheef and the county has been going on longer than the county has employed current Assessor Betty Schulz.

Schultz said, “Earlier requests by Mr. Scheef to gain access for development of this parcel resulted in considerable feedback by the public as well as county commissioners against development of this property, and the consensus to keep this parcel undeveloped, pristine and available for continued public use,”

Schulz made the request for the county to support the application for the Legacy grant to purchase the land and end the dispute.

Commissioner Gamble said in most cases he was against taking private property off of the tax rolls, but this was one instance where this seemed to be best option for the county. Gamble said if the county didn’t settle, Scheef could insist the county build a road to his property that would be very expensive to construct, and all attempts to trade this piece of land for state or federal land failed.

Snowarama for Easter Seals in Grand Portage next Saturday

Sun, 02/14/2016 - 2:20pm

Thirteen may be an unlucky number for some, but for participants in the 2016 Snowarama for Easter Seals on February 20, it could become the luckiest of numbers. To celebrate the 13th year at Grand Portage Lodge & Casino, with every $100 in pledges earned by participants, riders have a chance at one of 13 prizes—with the grand prize a 2016 Polaris 550 Indy snowmobile!

There are a number of other great prizes for Snowarama participants, such as overnight stays at the Valhalla Inn in Thunder Bay, an Edgewater Water Park package in Duluth, overnight stays at Grand Portage Lodge and at Hollow Rock; and much more.

In addition to great prizes the event includes a day of great riding on Grand Portage trails, there is a bonfire at the Mineral Center trailhead, a complimentary dinner at the Grand Portage Community Center, and Saturday night entertainment.

And it is all for a great cause, support of Easter Seals, Ontario and the children and families it serves. Over the past 13 years, the Grand Portage Lodge and Casino Snowarama has raised over $333,000 for children and youth with physical disabilities. Funds raised at the event help provide financial assistance for essential mobility and communication equipment and fully accessible summer camping opportunities.

Zachary Pylychuk, 12, of Thunder Bay, is returning to the Snowarama Easter Seals ambassador for the event for the ninth year. Zachary’s condition—spinal muscular atrophy (SMA), sometimes referred to as children’s Lou Gehrig’s disease—confines him to a wheelchair. Despite his challenges, Zachary is a cheerful pre-teen and he is looking forward to see all the riders at the event. Zach likes to help out at the registration and raffle tables.

WTIP Weekend News Roundup for February 13

Sat, 02/13/2016 - 11:35am

Each week the WTIP news staff compiles a review of news from the previous five days. Local burglaries solved, Zipline back in the news and much ado about Dollar General…all this and more in the week’s news.


32nd Pincushion Mountain Winter Festival this weekend

Fri, 02/12/2016 - 5:24pm

Chris Hegg, race director of the 32nd Pincushion Mountain Winter Festival is hoping a lot of Cook County old timers come out and ski. Not necessarily race, but participate in this fun-filled event.

“We are going to have a 32K race and a 10K race. If you want to ski the longer race, we will have plenty of time and patience for you to finish. I expect a good turnout from Thunder Bay, but we really need a lot of the old timers from around here to come out and have fun and support the kids’ programs. It doesn’t matter how fast you ski, just come out and have a good time.”

The races are hosted by the North Shore Ski and Run Club on the Pincushion Mountain Trails, which are well groomed and in good condition, said Hegg. The events will be held Sunday, February 14, Valentines Day.

“The first 20 couples who enter will receive free truffles from the Gunflint Mercantile,” said Hegg.

A Saturday night spaghetti feed at the Cook County Community Center at 6 p.m. will kick off the festival. Hegg said suggested donations are $10 for adults and $5 for children.

The 32 kilometer (18.6 miles) classic ski race will start at 10 a.m.; the 10-K classic ski race (6.2 miles) will start at 10:05; the ½ K kid’s classic ski race will start at 2 p.m. and will be followed by 7-K and 3-K skijoring dog races (dogs pulling skiers) at 3 p.m.

For those who are racers, said Hegg, “In conjunction with Lappe Nordic and Kamview Nordic of Thunder Bay, we will also be one of the events in the North Shore Points Series.”

All proceeds will be used to support North Shore Ski and Run Programs, which include the Y-Ski program and the Cook County High School cross country ski team, said Hegg.

To register online, please go to