Around Cook County

News and other information from Cook County

Dupre plans to move further up Denali Thursday

Thu, 01/24/2013 - 5:42am
Dupre Map_012413.jpg

If the weather permits Thursday, Grand Marais explorer Lonnie Dupre plans to begin moving his supplies another 2,000 feet up Denali.

Dupre is on his solo third attempt to reach the summit of Alaska’s Denali. He would be the first person to do so. The peak is North America’s highest.

His crew at One World Endeavors reports that Wednesday was “a rest day for Lonnie at the 14,200 foot camp. He must acclimate (to the altitude) before continuing on.”

Dupre spent Wednesday charging electronic gear and organizing for when he begins ferrying his gear up to 16,200 feet. The plan would be for him to move supplies today and return to his camp at 14,200 feet to sleep.

The route from 14,200 to 16,200 feet surmounts the mountain’s West Buttress. The Duluth News Tribune reports the route presents the steepest climbing along West Buttress route — an 800-foot, 40-to-55 degree snow and ice face known as the Headwall. From 16,200 to the 17,200-foot camp, the route follows just below a ridge line and includes several steep and exposed sections.

The News Tribune says Dupre hopes to move to his high camp at 17,200 feet on Friday. That would be his last camp before reaching the summit.

In addition to the grueling climb, Dupre also is working on a 20-minute documentary film called “Cold Love.” The film will call attention to climate change.

Dupre's expedition may be followed at


Flu is still with us, but the vaccine is here

Wed, 01/23/2013 - 12:02pm

The respiratory flu is still around, but the vaccines are all available. WTIP’s Jay Andersen spoke with nurse Teresa Borak about what’s available for which patients.

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EPA’s 2011 Toxics Release Inventory shows increase in Great Lakes Basin pollution

Wed, 01/23/2013 - 12:02pm

Toxic releases into surface waters in the Great Lakes Basin increased by 12 percent from 2010 to 2011, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s annual Toxics Release Inventory report published this month. Nationwide, toxic surface water discharges decreased by 3 percent.

“This is a significant increase in toxic releases to our waters – and an indication that the Great Lakes region is lagging behind other parts of the country,” said Susan Hedman, EPA Region 5 Administrator and Great Lakes National Program Manager. “EPA’s Toxic Release Inventory is a valuable tool to help target areas for improvement and we will use this new information to work with municipalities, agricultural producers and manufacturers in the Great Lakes Basin to improve water quality.”

Nitrates and pesticides from municipal wastewater treatment plants and agriculture account for most of the toxic surface water discharges to the Great Lakes Basin. Nitrates were also discharged by primary metals facilities, such as iron and steel mills and smelters, and food and beverage manufacturers.

Grand Marais woman to take part in Polar Plunge

Wed, 01/23/2013 - 12:00pm

Last year when Bryann Bockovich of Grand Marais got a call from her friend Linda McClellan, asking her to take part in a fundraiser event to benefit the Special Olympics Minnesota, she said yes. When her friend told her the event was a Polar Bear Plunge in the Duluth harbor on February 2012, Bockovich still said yes. She not only dived into frigid Lake Superior, she and several other Cook County women raised $1,500 to take part in the event.
Bockovich is taking the plunge once again on February 16, 2013. Bockovich said, “I have committed to grin and ‘bear’ it for the athletes of Special Olympics Minnesota by participating in the St. Cloud Polar Bear Plunge.”
Although she is pleased to fundraise for Special Olympics Minnesota, which serves 7,000 athletes with intellectual disabilities, Bockovich has a particular young lady in mind, Linda McClellan’s daughter Holli. Holli is a medal-winning member of a Special Olympic bowling team.
After diving into the freezing water last year, Bockovich was asked if she would do it again. She replied,  “Yes! I did it for Holli and yes, we are going to do it again. We love to have more people come join us!”
If you would like to join Bockovich in the plunge, contact her at (218) 370-9551. If you don’t want to brave the icy water, you can support her on-line at
To learn more about the Polar Plunge, visit to find out all the chilly details.

Lonnie Dupre reaches 14,200 feet on Denali

Wed, 01/23/2013 - 6:47am

Grand Marais explorer Lonnie Dupre’s website reported Wednesday morning that after “another wonderful day on Denali,” he arrived at his camp at 14,200 feet  early Tuesdayevening.

Dupre is attempting to become the first solo climber to scale Denali in the winter.

One World Endeavors reported Dupre had a good rest after Monday’s long day of climbing. After arriving at the new camp, he immediately got to work on building his “deluxe” snow cave. The cave is large enough to hold most of his gear.

Tuesday night’s menu for today’s dinner included potatoes and peas.

Dupre’s adventure can be followed at

Nominees sought for business awards

Tue, 01/22/2013 - 1:11pm

 Celebrate entrepreneurial leadership and successes in the Twin Ports and Minnesota's Northeast Region by recognizing entrepreneurs who have followed their dreams and taken on inordinate risks to forge ahead meeting the challenges of today's economic reality.
In its 21st year of celebrating entrepreneurial excellence, the UMD Center for Economic Development has issued the call for nominations. A business may be nominated for an award by a customer, client, employee, vendor or a private citizen who wants to recognize a business owner. Business people and organizations from throughout the region are encouraged to participate in the nomination process by completing the online nomination form. Nominations are due by March 1.
"Take the time to nominate a deserving business. This is an opportunity to celebrate the accomplishments and recognize those individuals who have taken risks that have created an economic impact and employment opportunities in our region," said Elaine Hansen, director of the UMD Center for Economic Development.
Award recipients will be announced at the 21st Annual Joel Labovitz Entrepreneurial Success Awards Luncheon, the regional celebration of The U.S. Small Business Administration's (SBA) Small Business Week. The luncheon will be April 24 at the DECC.
Previous Cook County businesses to receive awards are Trail Center Lodge, owned by Sarah Hamilton, receiving the award in the “gazelle/enterprise” category in 2003, and Dockside Fish Market, owned by Harley and Shele Toftey, receiving the award in the “established entrepreneur” category in 2010.
To nominate a business/entrepreneur visit

Sign-up now for Winter Arts Festival Retreat

Tue, 01/22/2013 - 1:07pm

The Grand Marais Art Colony invites photographers and painters to the Winter Arts Festival
Retreat - Jan. 26 - Feb 1, 2013. The festival includes an exhibit at the Art Colony from Feb. 1 - 24.
Art Colony Executive Director Amy Demmer issued the invitation. She said, “Join other photographers and painters on a northern retreat to capture the glory of winter in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area. Get your creative juices flowing as you are inspired by the serene winter landscape and community of artists.”
Participants in the winter retreat will stay at Camp Menogyn ($40/night which includes three hot meals each day as well as unlimited coffee and tea) for as many days as fits your schedule.
Activities are up to the participant—skiing, snowshoeing, dog sledding, sauna, ping-pong, art critique are all optional. Days are generally spent taking pictures or painting; evenings around the wood stove playing games and connecting with other artists.
The retreat culminates in an exhibit of artwork at the Grand Marais Art Colony in February.
For more information, contact the Art Colony at (218) 387-2737 or e-mail:
Another component of the festival is a snow carving symposium, contact the Art Colony for information about that as well.

American Legion gets reprieve

Mon, 01/21/2013 - 9:26pm

At the beginning of January, it looked as if American Legion Post 413 might be shutting the doors of its lounge in downtown Grand Marais after 28 years of operation. A letter from the Post House Committee, which oversees legion operations, went out to the Sons of the American Legion and the Legion Auxiliary on January 1, announcing that the committee had decided to list the building and its contents for sale. However, contacted this week, Post Commander Don Wilson said the lounge had received a reprieve.
 In the January 1 letter, the committee said the legion was no longer financially able to sustain continued operations.
 In a phone conversation this week, Commander Wilson said since the letter was issued, the committee has been “exploring possibilities” to keep the lounge open. Wilson said, the committee will continue operations while enacting some cost-cutting measures. “This is kind of our fiscal cliff,” said Commander Wilson.
 Wilson noted that like many other local businesses, winter is the most difficult time to stay afloat. The legion, which used to be open on Sunday and Monday, began closing on those days last fall.

Hospital board discusses care center and future plans

Mon, 01/21/2013 - 1:17pm

The hospital board met last week in special session. They’ve decided to look ahead to changes in their facility and program improvements. WTIP’s Jay Andersen spoke with hospital administrator Kimber Wraalstad about keeping the care center viable..

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Artist Initiative Grants go to Michael Monroe, Jo Wood

Sun, 01/20/2013 - 10:23pm

For decades, musician Michael Monroe has performed on  stages large and small; on the North Shore, the East Coast and beyond. But one of his favorite venues is right here in Cook County  at the home he shares with his life and business partner, Deb Mueller.
 For several years, Monroe and Mueller have opened their home on Pike Lake Road in Grand Marais for log cabin concerts. Thanks to an Artist Initiative Grant announced last week, those intimate evenings 
 of music will be showcased in a new DVD, Michael Monroe Live at the Log Cabin Concert.
 Michael Monroe is one of 171 Minnesota artists to receive the grant funding which is intended to support artists working in the discipline of dance, media arts, music, photography, poetry, prose,  theater and visual arts. Monroe will receive $10,000 to produce a  log cabin concert DVD, weaving together the music and memories of 
 five live concerts.
 More information about the log cabin concert series and about Michael Monroe’s music may be found at, by e-mailing or by calling (218) 387-2919.

Vikings' boys, girls lose two games; Storm loses one

Sun, 01/20/2013 - 6:15pm

The Cook County Vikings had a rough weekend, dropping boys' and girls' games to Ely and Moose Lake-Willow River.

The North Shore Storm boys' hockey team also lost Saturday night in Two Harbors.

The  Vikings travelled to Ely for a pair of games on Saturday afternoon after hosting Moose Lake-Willow River on Friday night.

The girls dropped to 5-11 for the season as the Ely Timberwolves took a 47-38 win. That followed a 59-42 loss at home Friday night against the Rebels.

The boys lost to Ely 47-31 Saturday afternoon. On Friday night, Moose Lake-Willow  River took a 57-47 win from Cook County. The Vikings are now 7-4 for the season.

The Vikings host Northeast Range on Thursday night for both boys' and girls' games. On Friday night, both crews travel to Carlton where they face the Bulldogs. The Friday night games will be broadcast on WTIP starting at 4:45.

In boys' hockey, the North Shore Storm fell to 10-7 for the season as Greenway-Nashwauk-Keewatin won 5-3 on the Storm's ice in Two Harbors.

The Storm, made up of players from Cook and Lake counties, travel to Eveleth-Gilbert on Tuesday night.

Forest Service introducing North Shore Restoration Project

Sat, 01/19/2013 - 12:57pm

The Gunflint and Tofte Ranger Districts have developed a  proposal to restore the forest along the North Shore of Lake Superior. The public is invited to comment on the proposal and become involved in the project. Comments are needed by Monday, Jan.  21, 2013.
  Anyone who has driven Highway 61 knows the birch trees along the
  North Shore are dying. It is not just the birch trees along the
  highway that are dying; almost 80 percent of the birch forest on
  National Forest System land along the ridgeline by the shore is old
  and declining. According to the U.S. Forest Service, typically we
  would expect to see conifer trees (balsam fir, spruce, cedar and
  white pine) filling in the understory through succession.
  While succession is happening in some areas, in many areas
  regeneration is not occurring. The lack of regeneration is a result 

Weekend News Roundup for January 19

Sat, 01/19/2013 - 11:32am

Each weekend WTIP news produces a round up of the news stories they’ve been following this week. The Beargrease is postponed, Lonnie keeps climbing, new cubs in the den and much more…all in this week’s news.

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Dupre ferries supplies to new camp on Denali

Sat, 01/19/2013 - 9:50am

In the latest report from Friday night, Grand Marais explorer Lonnie Dupre was fed and bedded down in his “luxurious” snow cave at 11, 200  Feet.

According to his website, the cave consists of kitchen and bedroom, and is outfitted with LED lighting.

Dupre is on his third attempt to successfully reach the summit of Denali as the first winter solo climber

Friday was "another picture perfect day "in which Dupre took three quarters of his supplies up Motorcycle Hill to the base of Squirrel Hill at about 12,000 feet.

Dupre also collected rock samples Friday for Adventurers and Scientists for Conservation . And, he spent some time taking photos during this beautiful day.

In line with the motto, “Climb high, sleep low,” Dupre returned to 11,200 feet. He will continue ferrying supplies to Squirrell  Hill on Saturday.

Dupre's progress can be followed at

Friday Night North Shore Basketball Round-up

Sat, 01/19/2013 - 9:37am

The Cook County Vikings were scheduled to travel to Ely Saturday afternoon for boys and girls basketball games with the Timberwolves.

The boys were defeated at home Friday night 57-47 by the  Moose  Lake-Willow River Rebels. The  loss dropped Cook County  to 7-3 heading into Satuday's game at Ely.

No report was available  on the Viking-Rebel girls' game.

Meanwhile, Silver Bay dropped a couple of games to Carlton Friday night.

The Mariner boys lost 64-37. The loss dropped them to 0-10 for the season.

The Silver Bay girls lost 75-37 to Carlton. The  loss puts the Mariners at 1-10 for the seson.

Silver Bay travels to South Ridge on Monday for boys and girls games.