Around Cook County

News and other information from Cook County

MnDOT plans to quiet more rumble strips

Mon, 06/09/2014 - 11:39am

A concerned property owner brought his concerns about the continued presence of rumble strips on Highway 61 east of Judge Magney State Park to Cook County Commissioners on Tuesday, May 27, 2014. John Gorski expressed alarm that the mitigation or removal of the rumble strips appears to have stopped. The Cook County News-Herald contacted Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) Engineer James Miles who said there are plans to continue mitigation efforts this summer.

In a phone conversation, Miles said when MnDOT stopped filling in the rumble strips east of Grand Marais last fall because of weather, he told people that MnDOT had completed what it had planned last year.

“After we stopped our operation last year because of the weather, we heard from quite a few more people. My reply then was that we’d heard those concerns and would be looking at it,” said Miles.

Those concerns were heard, said Miles who said a public statement about this summer’s plans for mitigation of rumble strips is being prepared. “We’ll be filling in a significant number of rumbles. I’m not at liberty to say where at this time, but I think people will be pleased.”

There are some citizens who want the rumble strips removed entirely. Property owners near Highway 61 say that the mitigation only reduces the sound, it does not eliminate it. And, one property owner told the News-Herald that the mitigation—an asphalt patch—is not permanent.

Derek Fredrickson, the Highway 61 corridor manager, said research is under way regarding rumble strips and there are no plans for any new rumble strips. “Right now we put a moratorium on putting in anymore rumble strips until we do some research on different ways of grinding them in.

Minnesota Deer Hunters Association sending kids to Forkhorn Camp

Sun, 06/08/2014 - 1:47pm

The Minnesota Deer Hunters Association (MDHA), Arrowhead Chapter held its 9th annual banquet at the American Legion in Grand Marais on June 3. The banquet serves as the chapter’s primary fundraiser, but it is also a lot of fun for attendees.

Funds raised are used in the community to educate youth about hunting, to improve wildlife habitat and more. The MDHA proudly hosts Forkhorn Camps at seven different environmental learning centers throughout Minnesota. In 2013 alone, 864 youths attended MDHA Forkhorn Camps. This year the Arrowhead Chapter provided scholarships for six local kids—Seth Kemp, Jordan Porter, Lucas Sheils, Tate Crawford, Cody Higgins and Kevin Viren.

Three levels of camp experience are offered. Forkhorn I camps for ages 11-15 are designed for beginning hunters; Forkhorn II camps for ages 12-16 are advanced camps with an emphasis on bow hunting; Forkhorn III camps for ages 14-17 are designed for youth with hunting experience who wish to expand their knowledge of big and small game hunting tips and techniques.

The banquet includes a number of games and raffles—most with rifles as prizes, which adds to the night’s friendly competition.

The evening was put together by members of the Arrowhead Chapter banquet committee and chapter officers: Pete Harris, Donna Lunke, Lisa Furlong, Jill Hill, Laura LaFavor, Jean Spry, Rich Furlong, Melvin Gagnon, Orvis Lunke, Randy Spry, Neil Hanson, Malin Aseby-Gesch, Stephanie Radloff.

Anyone interested in becoming involved in MDHA is encouraged to talk to one of the board or committee members.

Grand Marais ordinance revision will allow brewer taprooms in city limits

Sun, 06/08/2014 - 1:45pm

Grand Marais city councilors approved the first reading of an ordinance May 28 designed to allow brewer taprooms within the city limits.

City Administrator Mike Roth said the amendment is similar to provisions on the books in other cities, and is in response to requests to allow taprooms and off-sale of beer in “growlers.” The changes will allow licensing of and permit a brewery to serve their products on premises, and also for consumption off premises directly from the brewery.

To date, one brewery is under construction in the downtown business district, with another possible in the near future. Council has already made provisions for the new businesses by approving earlier this year an amendment to the downtown zoning ordinance. That amendment added a definition for retail uses to allow light manufacturing in combination with retail, specifically for such enterprises as a winery, brewery or coffee roaster. Those changes were necessary because of requests to the city for such types of businesses that didn’t mesh with the downtown zoning regulations, but rather best fit into the “light industrial manufacturing and processing” category in the Commercial-Industrial zone (or with a conditional use permit in the business park).

The current changes add language to chapter 6 of the City Code, “Alcoholic beverages.” Among other provisions, the amendment states that a brewer may hold only one brewer taproom license; the only alcoholic beverages sold or consumed on the premises of the taproom will be malt liquor produced by the brewer upon the brewery premises; and no taproom shall be located across a public right of way (such as a street or alley) from the brewery location.

Honoring Choices Health Care Directive Workshop, June 14

Sat, 06/07/2014 - 2:13pm

On Saturday, June 14, The North Shore Health Care Foundation will host a workshop to assist people with completing their health care directives. WTIP talked to NSHCF board members Jerry Lilja and Katie Anderson about what the Honoring Choices Health Care Directive is, and why it's important to complete.

Honoring Choices:  Completing your health care directive
Saturday June 14, 2014 , 9:30am to noon –  at the Arrowhead Center in Grand Marais
A program of the North Shore Healthcare Foundation designed to help you get started on your Health Care Directive.
The morning include a panel discussion featuring medical, legal, family and spiritual resource people from our community;
followed by  small focused groups for additional information and assistance. 
No registration is necessary.
More information from the North Shore Health Care Foundation at 387-9076.


Listen to the Story

Cook County has many who inspire others to "Move It!"

Sat, 06/07/2014 - 2:02pm

During the month of May, nominations were sought for the Move It! award. The Sawtooth Mountain Clinic, the Cook County Senior Center and the Cook County News-Herald joined forces to get community members thinking about the people that inspire others to move. The response was great, with some very motivating stories shared.

The nominees selected as winners received a $40 gift certificate to a local business. The person who nominated them is also a winner, receiving a $20 gift certificate.

Selected from the entries to receive prizes in the youth category was Rusty Day, nominated by his friend Ben Hackett. Ben’s nomination explained that he nominated Rusty because “He is very active and runs a lot and plays other sports. And he is very nice and is my best friend.”

In the adult category, the winner was Yvonne Mills, who received kudos from Deb Benedict. In the senior’s category, Gene Glader was nominated by Frankie Jarchow. The Cook County News-Herald will will share more about those Move It! nominations in upcoming issues.

The Move It! award judges were incredibly impressed by the number of determined people in our community and the enthusiastic nominations submitted. There were 21 nominations—some individuals, some couples and some families! All of them were so touching or funny or inspiring, the judges decided we should share the names of everyone who was nominated along with a little bit of information from the nomination form.

Congratulations to all of the nominees for making all of us want to get moving!

First Congregational Church - United Church of Christ to hold Installation service for Reverend Beth Benson

Sat, 06/07/2014 - 1:59pm

In December 2013, the congregation of the First Congregational Church - United Church of Christ voted overwhelmingly to accept Reverend Beth Benson as its pastor. A covenant was signed and Reverend Benson, or “Pastor Beth” as she has become known, began her pastoral duties on January 20, 2014. On Sunday, June 8, the congregation finalizes the process of accepting Pastor Beth as its called pastor with an installation service. 

Before coming to Grand Marais, Reverend Benson served as the senior pastor for Zion United Church of Christ in Le Sueur, MN, as pastor at Prescott United Church of Christ in Prescott, WI and pastor at Peace United Church of Christ in St. Paul. Before becoming ordained, she worked as a social worker.

The community is invited to the service and a light luncheon will follow the service.

The First Congregational Church, which meets weekly at 10:30 a.m. at the church at 300 West 2nd Street in Grand Marais, is a Just Peace Church. The church declares, “No matter who you are, or where you are on life’s journey, you’re welcome here.”