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News and other information from Cook County

Blood donors wanted in March

Sun, 03/01/2015 - 9:53am

Memorial Blood Centers invites all eligible blood donors to roll up their sleeve and give blood at one of three Cook County locations in March.

 Every 2 seconds someone needs blood–from heart transplant and cancer patients to accident victims. The need for blood is constant, but the supply is not. Only volunteer blood donors can make a life-saving difference to someone in need.

Patients in local hospitals depend on Memorial Blood Centers to be there with the right blood type they need to survive. All types are needed—especially O negative (O-) and O positive (O+).

Step up to give blood at a blood drive in your neighborhood and help save lives. Donating blood is convenient and safe when you are healthy and well.

While walk-in donors are always welcome, we encourage appointments to be made in advance. To register for a blood drive, go online to or contact the sponsoring organization directly.

The first blood drive will be March 2 at Zoar Lutheran Church (next to Mike’s Holiday) from 2:30 - 6 p.m. To sign up, call Carla at (218) 663-0179.

Another blood drive will be March 3 at the Cook County Senior Center, sponsored by St. John’s Catholic Church, 10 North Broadway in Grand Marais from 8 a.m. - 4 p.m. To schedule an appointment to donate blood on that date, contact Kay Sivets at (218) 387-2262.

And finally on March 4, Memorial Blood Center will be at Cook County High School, 101 West 5th Street, in Grand Marais from 8:30 a.m. – 12 p.m. 
To donate, contact Pam at (218) 387-2273 ext. 604.


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


Hospital update on expansion includes increased costs

Sun, 03/01/2015 - 9:51am

With plans coming together to expand and renovate the Cook County North Shore Hospital and Care Center, the hospital board has been holding long board meetings, and the one it held from 9 a.m. until 2:30 p.m. on Thursday, February 19 was no exception.

One of the things the board learned was that the cost of the project is going to be higher than anticipated. For the past year the board has been working with a $20.5 million estimate, but the new projection is that when everything is completed it will cost more in the range of $22.5 million

There are several reasons for the increase, but the biggest expense will be buying a new generator that can supply all of the power to the hospital and care center in case the power goes out, said Mark Walch of Boldt Construction, who was on hand to explain the build out process and costs to the board.

Rebecca Lewis of DSGW architects was also there, and she reminded the board that they had recently added several new items to the list that exceeded the estimated $20,890,367 price tag.

Those items include spending $75,000 for lift supports in the care center remodel; $60,000 for a drive up canopy; $30,000 to increase hospital room sizes; $248,724 to build a two-stall ambulance garage, and $450,000 for new boilers.

There were other reasons the estimate has risen, said Walch.  Higher costs than first projected are expected in demolition work, concrete and masonry, interior finishes, millwork and earthwork.

There was a great deal of discussion of the financing of the project, with many questions by hospital board members and reassurances by financial advisors that funding would be available.

If financial details are worked out project bidding will be in May with an expected ground breaking in late May or early June for the two-year project.


Weekend News Roundup for February 28

Sat, 02/28/2015 - 10:39am

Each week the WTIP news department puts together a roundup of the weeks top    news stories. Ice caves, moose calves, wild rice water quality and a train derails…all this and more in the week’s news.

Listen to the Story

Minnesota Horticultural Society sponsors youth scholarship

Fri, 02/27/2015 - 4:47pm

The Minnesota State Horticultural Society (MSHS) 8th District is offering two $500 and one $250 scholarship to youth graduating from a high school (or equivalent) in the 8th District area (Itasca, St. Louis, Koochiching, Cook, Lake, Carlton counties) who will be attending a college or technical school after graduation.

The Minnesota State Horticultural Society 8th District recognizes “gardening/ horticulture” as a healthy lifetime activity. By offering this scholarship to youth who have shown an interest in gardening/horticulture, they hope to encourage youth to continue their gardening/horticultural activities throughout their life, as a hobby or vocation.

Applications are due March 1, 2015. The scholarship applicant must exhibit an interest in horticulture/gardening by writing a short essay about their horticultural/gardening experiences. 

To receive an application, contact your local high school, University of Minnesota Extension County Office, a local garden club, or Alice Haglund at 218-749-3316.

More questions about ARMER towers in the county

Fri, 02/27/2015 - 4:11pm

When Cook County Information System (IS) Director Rena Rogers came before the county commissioners in January to tell them about a Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) proposal to build two 330-foot Allied Radio Matrix Emergency Response (ARMER) towers on county land in Hovland and Tofte, commissioners asked that MnDOT come explain why the two towers are needed. 

On Tuesday, February 24, 2015, two MnDOT officials were on hand to talk to the board. They answered questions on the towers on county land but left unanswered questions on towers to be installed on state land.

Several citizens spoke during the public comment period, making their case against the 330-foot towers that would not be in compliance with the county’s tower ordinance.

Commissioner Garry Gamble noted that the county’s tower ordinance was formed through citizen participation, the county should not grant a variance to go against that.

Commissioner Frank Moe said he had heard from many of his constituents that are opposed to taller, lighted towers.

Moe also said he didn’t like that MnDOT was “abdicating the responsibility” to the county. If the county authorized construction of a 330-foot tower and a lawsuit was brought similar to the one in Ely in opposition to a cell phone tower, the county would incur those legal fees, said Moe.

Moe made a motion to approve construction of towers up to 200 feet on the county-owned sites and the motion carried unanimously.

However, one question raised went unanswered and that was: what would be the height of other towers, such as two new sites proposed on state land off Lima Mountain Road and the Cascade River?

Auditions for "I Love You, You're Perfect--Now Change!" will be March 3

Fri, 02/27/2015 - 4:10pm

The musical for the Grand Marais Playhouse summer repertory will be I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change! Book and Lyrics are by Joe DiPeitro and music is by Jimmy Roberts. Auditions will be March 3 at 7 p.m.

The cast includes two men and two women. People wishing to audition should prepare a piece that demonstrates their vocal ability. They should also demonstrate a character singing voice.

Performance dates are July 17, 19, 23,25, 31 Aug. 2 (at 3 p.m., not 2), 6, and 8.

The comedy to be performed in repertory is still being selected but auditions will be in early March as well. The dates for the comedy are July 16, 18, 23, 25, 30, Aug.1, 7 and 9. Rehearsals will begin this winter as cast availability works out and then move to stage in July.

Contact the Playhouse at (218) 387-1284 to be notified of auditions.


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