Around Cook County

News and other information from Cook County

LSProject: Water levels tell a story in Lake Superior

Tue, 04/19/2016 - 8:55am

Lake Superior is up two inches in April from where it was in 2015. What does this mean on bigger scope and why are water levels important in Lake Superior? WTIP’s Joe Friedrichs finds out in this segment of the Lake Superior Project. 


Open House on Lake Superior trout management plan in Grand Marais April 19

Mon, 04/18/2016 - 12:18pm

A healthy recovery staged by wild lake trout in Lake Superior means these fish no longer need to be stocked in the lake, according to an updated management plan that covers the Minnesota waters of Lake Superior. The public can now comment on the plan until May 8.

“The successful lake trout recovery is a highlight of the plan,” said Cory Goldsworthy, Lake Superior fisheries supervisor with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. “Extensive public input informs this plan. It covers the years 2016 to 2025 and outlines management goals for sportfish populations, as well as steps to reach these goals.”

Three public open houses to gather input and answer questions are scheduled, including an April 19 session at the Cook County Community Center in Grand Marais from 6 to 8 p.m.

Comments may be submitted at or by contacting Goldsworthy at 218-302-3268 or

Management actions recommended include:

* Discontinue lake trout stocking in Lake Superior waters near Duluth because wild fish populations have reached rehabilitation criteria recommended in the Lake Trout Restoration Plan for Lake Superior.

* Expand the zone where steelhead are maintained solely through natural reproduction and evaluate catch rates in the absence of supplemental stocking.

* Reconfigure kamloops stocking methods to employ direct stocking upstream in the Lester River.

* Increase commercial fishing opportunities for lake trout.

“The plan combines fisheries science with extensive public input from the 26-member Lake Superior Citizen’s Advisory Group,” Goldsworthy said. “The people who served on the group should be commended for their commitment to this project.”

Superior National at Lutsen preparing for opening

Mon, 04/18/2016 - 12:15pm

In a recent update on conditions at Superior National at Lutsen (SNL) Grounds Superintendent Mike Davies quipped, “The good news is it’s almost spring.”

Davies said he has seen signs of some good grass, including on the new River 9 holes.

At the Tuesday, April 12 Cook County/Grand Marais Economic Development Authority (EDA), he gave the EDA board a projected opening date of May 5, but cautioned that the date had been moved several times already. He said the first week of May is typical for SNL.

The EDA owns the golf course.

EDA bookkeeper Paul Goettl went over the draft budget that was presented to the EDA board by Treasurer Scott Harrison at the last meeting.

Goettl said the budget is based on 11,000 rounds of golf, up from what was budgeted in 2015 (10,500), but slightly down from the 2015 actual (unaudited) of 11,032. Goettl said now that River 9 is open, it is hoped more rounds will be played. But weather is always a factor.

Mark Sandbo asked Mike Davies if enough had been budgeted for maintenance of the new holes. Davies said yes, it is a modest budget but is sufficient for now. He pointed out that the line item for fertilizer and chemicals was up quite a bit because of the need to get the new holes growing. Likewise, Goettl said the cost of electricity will be higher because of the need for more irrigation of the new grass.

The proposed budget had a projected net income at the end of 2016 of  $57,273. A unanimous motion passed to approve the budget as presented.


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



Bent Paddle beer ban continues to stir issues in Silver Bay

Mon, 04/18/2016 - 10:47am

The issue of Bent Paddle Beer being removed from the city-owned liquor store in Silver Bay continues to stir controversy. This time, it comes in the form of a new fire truck. WTIP's Joe Friedrichs reports on this issue.


Nominate your mom for a Mother's Day day of pampering

Sun, 04/17/2016 - 11:31am

Is your Mom a hardworking woman who always puts others first? Does she make you feel special with the little things she does? Would you like to show her how much you care? Enter the Northern Hi-Lites Salon and Essential Touch Massage Mother’s Day Essay Contest and you could win an amazing pampering package for your mom!

Write down why your mom deserves to be spoiled in 200 words or less—typed or handwritten on a sheet of paper—and bring your entry to Northern Hi-Lites or to the Cook County News-Herald office by Friday, April 29.  

The News-Herald will publish the winning essay on May 7. The lucky mom selected by the judges will receive a relaxing massage from Laura at Essential Touch, have her hair done by Lisa at Northern Hi-Lites and will receive a basket filled with delightful gifts and gift certificates good for breakfast, dinner, and a shopping spree.

The contest is sponsored by Northern Hi-Lites Salon and Essential Touch Massage with support from Java Moose, Gunflint Mercantile, the Cook County Whole Foods Coop, Joynes Ben Franklin, Lake Superior Trading Post, Joy & Company, Stone Harbor Wilderness Supply, Cook County News-Herald, Blue Water Café, and more!

Get your creative juices going and let us know why your mom is the best!


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


DNR hosts public meeting on NorthMet mining application in Aurora April 19

Sun, 04/17/2016 - 11:29am

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources will host a public information meeting on Tuesday, April 19, about PolyMet Mining's potential permit to mine application for its proposed NorthMet project.

The meeting will be at Mesabi East High School, 601 North 1st St. W., Aurora, from 6 to 8:30 p.m.

The purpose of the meeting is to inform the public that PolyMet might submit a permit to mine application and to provide an overview of the permitting process. Under state rules, the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, Environmental Quality Board, St. Louis County and the cities of Babbitt, Aurora and Hoyt Lakes, which are near the proposed mine, have been invited to participate. The meeting is in Aurora to enable local government participation.

The meeting will include a formal presentation and an open house. The formal presentation, which begins at 6:30 p.m., will provide an overview of the proposed mining project and the permit to mine process. It will also include a brief summary of the other state permits that may be required for the project. State agency staff and PolyMet representatives will be available during the open house to answer questions about the permit to mine process and other permit processes, such as tailings dam safety, water quality, air quality, wetlands and others.

Project permit applications have not yet been submitted. Formal public comment on permits will not be taken at this point. However, if applications are received, there will be future opportunities to both obtain information about the applications and review and comment on draft permit decisions.

WTIP Weekend News Roundup for April 16

Sat, 04/16/2016 - 10:25am

Each week the WTIP news staff compiles a review of news from the previous five days. The Governor threatens Essar Steel, a county commissioner raised a flap over mining and a speed limit change on the Gunflint is proposed…all this and more in the week’s news.


Grand Marais Playhouse debuts "Little Red Robin Hood" tonight

Fri, 04/15/2016 - 4:43pm

The Grand Marais Playhouse is busy working on the community youth production of Little Red Robin Hood by Flip Kobler and Cindy Marcus. Performances are April 15-17 and 22-24. Friday and Saturday performances are at 7 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m. Special treats in the lobby on Opening Weekend by Alyce’s!

Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for students 18 and under. Friday, April 15 is “Food Shelf Friday”—bring $10 of food or cash and get one ticket free with the purchase of another. Sunday, April 17 is donation day, pay any amount for your ticket.

This is a hilarious show you will not want to miss!

The cast of Little Red Robin Hood includes:

Jaymie Kirk

Amy Carpenter

Malin Anderson

Aurora Schelmeske

Sam Kern

Elsa Garry

Greta Roth

Grace Blomberg

Karl Olson

Dominic Wilson

Abbey Stoddard

Louise Ramberg

Robin Henrikson

Shaelynn Hingos

Charlet Waver

Ella Hedstrom

Izzy Sparks

Lori Hommerding

Linda Garrity

Beth Benson

Jan Healy

Luke Johnson

Liv Hedstrom

Sammie Garrity

Wren Ferry

Grace Ritchey

Bryn Fitzgerald-Wells

Shelby Sjogren

Saira Smith

Olivia Nesgoda

Nevaeh Sifferath

Iylla Christiansen

Tina Krauz

Katie Carpenter

Amos Falter

Grace Nonnemacher

Kylie Viren


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

Commissioners discuss lowering speed limit on Gunflint Trail

Thu, 04/14/2016 - 11:49am

Several of the Cook County Commissioners asked a representative from the Minnesota Department of Transportation on Tuesday, April 12, if the Gunflint Trail could have lower speed limits than are presently posted. 


It'll take some time, but spring is around the corner

Thu, 04/14/2016 - 10:39am

Slow but sure. Spring is coming this weekend.  WTIP’s Jay Andersen spoke with National Weather Service meteorologist Dan Miller


North Shore book among awards finalists

Thu, 04/14/2016 - 10:35am

The Friends of the St. Paul Public Library has announced the finalists in all eight categories for the 28th Annual Minnesota Book Awards, and a local author is on the list.

North Shore: A Natural History of Minnesota’s Superior Coast by Chel Anderson and Adelheid Fischer (University of Minnesota Press) is among the four titles chosen as finalists in the “Minnesota” category.

Award winners will be announced at the 28th Annual Minnesota Book Awards Ceremony on Saturday, April 16, at St. Paul’s historic Union Depot, 214 Fourth Street East.

For more information, call the Library Friends at (651) 222-3242.


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

Community invited to enjoy music with the Care Center residents

Thu, 04/14/2016 - 10:33am

The North Shore Care Center has some fun music events scheduled in April. Members of the group Lake Effect will hold a concert at the Care Center on April 15 at 5:30, and the Flute Reed Ramblers will be back on April 19 at 3:00 p.m. with their old time country and gospel classics.

At the end of the month, the band Portage will play their classic country music on April 30 at 6:30 p.m. Families, friends, and community members are always welcome to join in the fun.

Additional live music in April features Myron Bursheim on Sundays, Al Fuller on Mondays and Susan Scherer on Wednesdays.

There are volunteer opportunities for all ages at the North Shore Care Center. For more information about our volunteer program, please contact the Activity Department at 218-387-3518.


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

Gunflint Tavern remodel nears completion

Thu, 04/14/2016 - 7:44am

An extensive remodeling project is nearly complete at the Gunflint Tavern in downtown Grand Marais. We spoke with the owners of the Tavern, Jeff and Susan Gecas from inside their bar and restaurant.


Potluck and public meeting on Hovland and Colvill history on April 16

Wed, 04/13/2016 - 8:20pm

Hovland and Colvill are rich in history. History that needs to be documented and preserved, but who should undertake this task?

That was the central theme of the Friday, March 18, 2016 town hall meeting attended by about 27 people.

Hovland and Colvill are quiet places with little hustle or bustle, and that’s how a lot of folks living there want to keep it.  However, they also don’t want to lose their link to the past, so residents gathered at the Hovland Town Hall to discuss the area’s historical assets and to begin planning for their preservation and, in some cases, possible access to the public.

County Commissioner Frank Moe, who represents the Colvill and Hovland communities and Cook County Historical Society Director Carrie McHugh, both residents of the area, called the meeting, but Mary Petz moderated.

Petz asked residents to come up with a list of historical places and talk briefly about each. She led a discussion and review of Hovland and Colvill organizations, with much discussion centered on the Hovland Community Club, which was disbanded in the 1990s. There was discussion of reviving the Hovland community club; of maintenance of the town hall buildings, of historical trails and signage; of preservation of the Chicago Bay dock; and more.

A follow-up meeting has been scheduled at the Hovland Town Hall on Saturday, April 16 from 6 – 8 p.m. Everyone is asked to bring a dish to share, his or her own beverage, plate and utensils.


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


Mining resolution draws strong comments during meeting of the commissioners

Wed, 04/13/2016 - 12:31pm

A resolution brought forth during Tuesday’s meeting of the Cook County Commissioners by Commissioner Frank Moe regarding copper-nickel mining in northern Minnesota will not be discussed as an action item during the board’s next meeting. Listen to comments made and a wrap-up of the topic as it was discussed during Tuesday's meeting.


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