Around Cook County

News and other information from Cook County

ISD 166 sets hours for after-school activities

Mon, 12/02/2013 - 1:17pm

The ISD 166 school board took action on November 7, 2013 on the issue of whether to impose an end time to after-school activities on Wednesday nights, but they did not do so unanimously.  Some students have church activities on Wednesdays and have reportedly been penalized by not being able to play in games because they have left practice early on those days.  Superintendent Schwarz said students sometimes need extra time during the middle of the week to catch up on sleep or to be with their families as well.

At the September 19 school board meeting, Superintendent Schwarz said both the religious community and families have told coaches they should be able to remove a student from practice without penalty.  School board member Sissy Lunde said she talked to one of the coaches about it, and the coach said removing a student from practice once a week would affect how much that student would be allowed to participate in competitions. 

Schwarz said coaches have been told students should be allowed to leave early Wednesday for church without penalty.  She said coaches do not want athletes to leave early to get their hair cut, go to Duluth, or get out of a practice.  School board member Ed Bolstad said it is not acceptable for a coach to tell a kid or a family that there may be consequences if a kid leaves early on Wednesday.

“To me, athletics is the tail wagging the dog,” Superintendent Schwarz said.  “It’s a huge cultural thing.” 

Weekend News Roundup for November 30

Sat, 11/30/2013 - 11:17am

Each week the WTIP news staff puts together a roundup of the news over the past five days. Cook County IT director named to head new state broadband agency. Enbridge finds new pipeline partner. Downtown Duluth rebounds from synthetic drugs and the city’s mayor turns down a raise …all in this week’s news.


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Care Partners hosts "Light up a Life" tree lighting ceremony December 5

Sat, 11/30/2013 - 11:00am

The 5th Annual “Light up a Life” Event offers community members the opportunity to celebrate the life of a loved one during the holiday season. Each donation lights one bulb in memory of one person on our memory tree.  Donation forms are available at area churches, businesses and on the web at  

A Tree Lighting Ceremony will be held at the main clinic/hospital entrance on Thursday, December 5th at 6 p.m.  Father Seamus Walsh will assist with a short ceremony of reflection and connection. Music will also be provided. Refreshments will follow. The event funds palliative care and end of life services in Cook County.

County considers audits for entities receiving non-mandated funds

Sat, 11/30/2013 - 10:58am

The Cook County Board of Commissioners discussed the possibility of enacting a policy that would require entities receiving more than $50,000 in non-mandated funds from the county in a year to be audited.  The decision was prompted by concerns brought to the board regarding financial decisions made by the Cook County Senior Center.

The board discussed whether they could require audits from some grant recipients and not others.  “It if is selective, then it might be perceived as being unfair,” Commissioner Garry Gamble said.  Auditor-Treasurer Braidy Powers said the county could legally require audits on a case-by-case basis.

Commissioner Gamble said the Senior Center was concerned about the cost of an audit.  Commissioner Bruce Martinson said numerous agencies receiving less than $50,000 from the county do an audit already.

Commissioner Sue Hakes said being fair and consistent is important, but so is holding agencies they fund accountable.  She indicated that transparency is vital.

Auditor-Treasurer Powers and Assistant County Attorney Molly Hicken will draft a motion regarding requiring audits that the board will consider at a future meeting.  The board has yet to decide when the policy would go into effect.

Annual Holiday Craft & Consultant Sale at Cook County Community Center Saturday --- Shop local!

Fri, 11/29/2013 - 10:25am

Don’t forget to stop and shop at the Annual Holiday Craft Sale and Consultants Open House at the Cook County Community Center and 4H Log Cabin at 317 W 5th Street in Grand Marais on Saturday, Nov. 30, 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.

The Girl Scouts will be selling poinsettias. Many new local crafters will have beautiful items for sale. Representatives from AVON, Mary Kay, Pampered Chef, Tastefully Simple and Tupperware will have their latest products available.

Red Kettle campaign starts in Cook County

Fri, 11/29/2013 - 10:24am

A local holiday tradition begins on the Friday after Thanksgiving—the annual (and only) effort to raise funds for meeting needs in Cook County by the Salvation Army.  This effort can only succeed with the help of many bell-ringers (or music providers) who attend the Red Kettles in the main grocery stores of Grand Marais and Tofte weekdays and Saturdays until Christmas Eve day.  Thanks to those Red Kettle attendees, generous donors gave more than $9,000 during the 2012 campaign.

Locally the Salvation Army is represented by a service unit of community members who follow the Army’s mission “. . . to meet human needs . . . without discrimination.”  A large portion of the local budget is allocated to emergency needs as food, heating, and shelter.  Other important but non-emergency needs like clothing items, school supplies, and toiletries are also provided.
If you feel you can join in this endeavor, contact Red Kettle campaign coordinator Mary Sanders by phone (387-1729 or 370-1303) or email her (  Either she or her assistant Tina Krauz will gladly answer any of your questions and schedule you for a kettle shift—an hour of your choice or more time if you are able.  The importance of your role attending a kettle can’t be overestimated—donations are directly proportional to the number of attendant hours.  We will need several attendees to fill the void left by highly valued attendant, Richard Buch who “entered God’s Kingdom on August 28, 2013.”