Around Cook County

News and other information from Cook County

Moose calf collaring begins

Fri, 05/17/2013 - 9:02am

Biologists have begun collaring moose calves in the second phase of a study to determine why Minnesota's moose population is declining so rapidly.

This past winter, researchers attached high-tech GPS collars to more than 100 adult moose. The DNR started putting collars on baby moose last week and are about halfway to their goal of 50.

Department of Natural Resources biologist Glenn DelGiudice said the calves are just a few days old, and researchers can walk up to them.

Three collared calves have already died, one shortly after being collared; two after being abandoned by their mothers. In the adult study, four moose died after being tranquilized and collared. DelGiudice says the risks are necessary to try to prevent the disappearance of moose from northeastern Minnesota.

Grand Marais Playhouse honors graduates

Thu, 05/16/2013 - 12:45pm

The Grand Marais Playhouse held its annual award ceremony last Saturday honoring the high school seniors who have made significant contributions to the local theater community.
Every year the Playhouse awards deserving high school seniors with “Commitment To Excellence in Theater Arts.” Each senior receives an award, name on the plaque in the Arrowhead Center for the Arts lobby and $100. The 2013 award recipients are Adrianna Berglund, Cailin Carpenter, Jordyn Kirk, Sarah Larsen, Mara MacDonell and Michaela Peterson.
Grand Marais Playhouse Director Sue Hennessy said, “We will miss these talented thespians on our stage but wish them all the best on their journey forward.”

Midwest Living magazine declares Grand Marais Campground a "supercampground"

Thu, 05/16/2013 - 12:41pm

The Grand Marais Campground and Marina was named one of five “supercampgrounds” in the June 2013 edition of Midwest Living magazine.
“If you’re looking to blend fine dining, great shopping and a quiet Lake Superior shore, you‘ll find it here along the famed North Shore,” the article states.  “With 300 total sites, this city campground has pull-through spots with water, electric and sewer hookups, while quaint tent sites snuggle up to the cobblestone Lake Superior shoreline.  What we love:  Campers can walk three blocks into downtown for some of the best cuisine on the North Shore, then return to campsites that—at $33—cost less than dinner for two.”

Wisconsin wildfire cause investigated

Thu, 05/16/2013 - 8:16am

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Department of Natural Resources officials say there could be air quality problems downwind of the wildfire. The DNR issued an Air Quality Special Notice yesterday. The blaze has destroyed nearly 50 structures and forced dozens from their homes. Firefighters had stopped most of the fire from spreading as of yesterday afternoon.

Residents and owners of vacation properties potentially affected by the northwestern Wisconsin wildfire now have a hotline to call to check on their properties. The wildfire that started Tuesday afternoon has consumed about 8,700 acres in Douglas and Bayfield County. The number is 715-376-4185.

The fire started in an area where workers were doing logging operations. Department of Natural Resources spokesman Ed Culhane says officials are investigating whether a spark from a piece of logging equipment started the fire around 2:30 p.m. Tuesday in Douglas County. No injuries have been reported.

"The Pie Place Cookbook" celebrated at The Pie Place May 16

Wed, 05/15/2013 - 4:26pm

In celebration of the release of "The Pie Place Cookbook," a launch party will be held from 5 to 7 p.m. May 16 at the Pie Place Café in downtown Grand Marais.
The cookbook, billed as “food and stories seasoned by the North Shore” and written by Kathy Rice, is published by Lake Superior Magazine. It is a unique collection, compiled over years of perfecting recipes and making connections with the Grand Marais community and its regular visitors.

"Junk Jam" program at Arrowhead Center for the Arts Saturday

Wed, 05/15/2013 - 4:23pm

On Friday, May 17, Mark Powers will work with the students of Great Expectations School in classroom “Junk Jam” workshops, leading a hands-on experience in how everyday objects can become musical instruments.
Students will find that rhythm exists everywhere and that by working together they can discover music in their own environment, their own bodies, and even in the vocalization of their own names. The “Junk Jam” program is designed with the goals of promoting teamwork, nurturing creativity, and boosting self-esteem among youth.
The following evening, May 18, the community will be invited to the Arrowhead Center for the Arts to attend a free 7 p.m. concert (donations accepted), featuring Mark presenting “Junk Jam” with GES students, as well as a solo percussion performance.
Mark Powers is a percussion artist/educator and world traveler who has performed and studied percussion in the U.S., Canada, Cuba, Puerto Rico, China, Thailand, and Ghana, West Africa. As an instructor, Mark teaches private percussion lessons and group hand-drumming classes. He works as an Artist-in-Residence at elementary, middle, and high schools —conducting “Junk Jam” workshops, teaching West African drumming styles, and directing percussion ensembles. He also facilitates “Rhythms at Work,” a corporate teambuilding workshop, and presents percussion-based Correctional Education programs in adult and juvenile facilities.
Powers’ performing and recording credits cover the gamut of styles, including appearances with Rick Nielsen (Cheap Trick), Devon Evans (Bob Marley and the Wailers), The Afrodisiacs, The Spazmatics, and Tim Ries (saxophonist for The Rolling Stones). He has opened for The Radiators, Buckwheat Zydeco, Junior Brown, Brave Combo, Pat Benatar, and many others.

Red Flag Warning posted for Cook County

Wed, 05/15/2013 - 11:17am

Red Flag Warning is in effect from noon today to 9 p.m. this evening for Lake and Cook counties.

The National Weather Service in Duluth has issued the warning due to low relative humidity and gusty winds.
Northwest winds will clock at 15 to 20 mph with gusts to 30 mph. Erratic winds with higher gusts will be possible in the late afternoon.

No rainfall is expected and any that might happen will evaporate before reaching the ground.

Relative humidity will dip as low as 18 percent. Temperatures will be 65 degrees along the higher terrain inland to 75 along the shore of Lake Superior.

The Minnesota Incident Command System reports and wildfire that ignites could become fast moving in a short time.

No burning permits are being issued at this time in Northern Minnesota.

A Red Flag Warning means that critical fire weather conditions are forecast to occur. A combination of strong winds, low relative humidity and warm temperatures can contribute to extreme fire behavior.



Cook County added to state’s burning restrictions list

Tue, 05/14/2013 - 1:24pm

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is placing burning restrictions on four additional counties, including Cook County, in northern Minnesota because receding snow cover has created conditions conducive to wildfire.
The restrictions took effect at 8 a.m., Monday, May 13, for Cook, Koochiching, Lake, and St. Louis counties.
Here are the counties now under burning restrictions: Aitkin, Anoka, Becker, Beltrami, Benton, Carlton, Cass, Chisago, Clearwater, Cook, Crow Wing, Dakota, Douglas, Hennepin, Hubbard, Isanti, Itasca, Kanabec, Kittson, Koochiching, Lake, Lake of the Woods, Mahnomen, Marshall, Mille Lacs, Morrison, Otter Tail, Pennington, Pine, Pope, Ramsey, Roseau, Sherburne, Stearns, St. Louis, Todd, Wadena, Washington, Wright  and the part of Polk County that is south and east of County Road 6 from the Manhomen County line to state Highway 92 east to the Clearwater County line.
Minnesota has had numerous wildfires so far this spring, but most have been small.
While debris burning will be curtailed, the use of campfires, if smaller than 3 feet in diameter and 3 feet in height, are allowed.
Fire conditions may change quickly. If conditions warrant, DNR foresters may restrict local burning on short notice. For more information and maps, and to check fire conditions, see

Care Partners training begins May 21

Tue, 05/14/2013 - 1:21pm

The gift of friendship can mean a lot for those on the journey of aging or serious illness—just someone to hear their stories, be with them or remind them of their significance.
Care Partners volunteers provide companionship in the client’s home, at the Care Center, or the hospital. Volunteers provide ongoing friendly visits, a compassionate presence at end-of-life, phone check-ins, or caregiver respite—each volunteer finds his own niche.
The 2013 Spring Care Partners volunteer training will be held for three Tuesdays, May 21, 28, and June 4 from 1-4 p.m. Contact Kay Grindland at 387-3788 for more information. Pre-registration is required.

DNR adds burning restrictions for 4 additional counties

Tue, 05/14/2013 - 8:22am

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources is placing burning restrictions on four additional counties in northern Minnesota because receding snow cover has created conditions conducive to wildfire.

The restrictions took effect at 8 a.m., Monday, for Cook, Koochiching, Lake, and St. Louis counties.

Minnesota has had numerous wildfires so far this spring, but most have been small.  While debris burning will be curtailed, the use of campfires, if smaller than 3 feet in diameter and 3 feet in height, are allowed.


Spring creeps in slowly

Mon, 05/13/2013 - 11:02am

Looks like the snow squalls may be over and warmer weather is on the way. WTIP’s Jay Andersen spoke with meteorologist Carol Christenson about spring creeping into the Northland.

Attached file

"Growing the Arts" panel set for May 13 discussion

Sun, 05/12/2013 - 9:52am

Cook County is awash in artists, artisans and crafts people, joyfully so. It's a good bet we have more creative folk of assorted varieties than any other county in Minnesota.

While most celebrate this fact of North Woods life, few stop to think about what it means in economic terms – households sustained, careers fashioned and jobs created directly and indirectly by the application of art and craft skills. Fewer still have any reason to think deeply about what it could mean for county life if this sector of the economy were further developed.

Four people with extended, first-hand experience in arts and crafts economics will offer their views and visions on “Growing the Cook County Arts and Crafts Economy” at a gathering May 13 from 4-6 p.m. at Cook County Higher Ed. All are welcome, and there is no charge.

Come hear Greg Wright of North House Folk School, Amy Demmer of the Grand Marais Art Colony, Jan Sivertson of Sivertson Gallery and Jay Andersen of WTIP share their perspectives on what arts and crafts mean to the county – and what they could mean if the community united behind a program to grow and sustain them further.

Given Cook County's need for new economic vitality, there are all sorts of good reasons why the arts and crafts sector should be further developed: It builds on what we already do well; it enhances the existing character and culture of Cook County; and it adds another economic arrow to the county quiver, one that is related to tourism but has its own independent center of economic energy.

This is the first in a number of presentations on the projects and plans growing out of work by the Cook County Go Team and supported by the newly formed Cook County Chamber of Commerce.


EDA offers informational meeting for building contractors

Sun, 05/12/2013 - 9:46am

The Cook County - Grand Marais Economic Development Authority (EDA) housing program has been working on residential rehab projects for several years now, improving the living conditions of low income homeowners and giving building contractors the opportunity for repair and renovation work. For contractors who would like to learn more about working with the EDA, there is a Building Contractors Informational Meeting at Grand Marais City Hall on Tuesday, May 14 at 6:30 – 7:30 p.m.

If you would like to learn more but are unable to attend the meeting, contact Steve Grabko at (218) 398-2473 or e-mail

Award-winning Cook County High School Band to perform in concert May 13

Sat, 05/11/2013 - 2:48pm

The Cook County High School Band earned high praises from the judges at the Section 7A State-Section Band Festival in March for their performance of Gustav Holst’s First Suite in Eb. The band’s Jazz Ensemble also performed at the festival, playing Adele’s Skyfall.
The next Cook County High School band performance is Monday, May 13 at 7 p.m. and will feature the music of The Beatles. The community is invited.

Community Center Steering Committee considers name of Cook County YMCA

Sat, 05/11/2013 - 2:46pm

The Cook County Community Center Steering Committee met on Monday, May 6, 2013 with Cook County Family YMCA Project Manager Wade Cole of ORB and architect Dan Miller of JLG Architects. After considerable discussion about elements of the design, there was consideration of the name of the facility.
Steering Committee member and County Commissioner Sue Hakes stated that the facility would still be a community center despite the fact that it is being called the Cook County Family YMCA.  Current Community Center Director Diane Booth said that if the new facility will be a community center, then the current Community Center building would need to be renamed.
Newly hired YMCA Branch Executive Director Emily Marshall said that the YMCA has some facilities that are called Ys and others that are called community centers.
City Councilor Jan Sivertson wondered if the new facility could be called the Cook County Community YMCA.  Some non-traditional families might prefer that the word “family” not be used, she said.
Diane Booth said having the Cook County Community Center, Cook County Community Education, and a Cook County Community YMCA would be hard for people to keep straight.
Executive Director Marshall said she would find out if the name could be changed at this point. There will be discussion of the facility name at the Tuesday, May 14 County Board meeting at 11:35 a.m.

A tour of the construction site was held Friday, May 10 for elected officials and some community members. Future tours are planned for the public and will be announced.