Around Cook County

News and other information from Cook County

Community joins forces to stock "The Cupboard" to help local youth

Tue, 09/30/2014 - 10:41am

What would it be like to be a middle school or high school kid whose family couldn’t afford to buy your basic hygiene items?  The Cupboard (based on a national movement called Cody’s Closet) functions there in Cook County to meet this need.  

Members of the outreach team at Spirit of the Wilderness Episcopal Church brought the idea to Principal Adam Nelson at School 166, and it was decided that a hygiene presentation for middle and high school students would be helpful.

A group of Spirit of the Wilderness folks (ably led by Kathy Sullivan and Beth Kennedy) packed 300 bags of hygiene items to be given to all students at the presentation. 

For these bags, Arrowhead Pharmacy donated over $600 worth of combs, toothbrushes, toothpaste, and deodorant, Solbakken Resort  donated soap, lotion, and shampoo.  North Shore Health Care Foundation gave a grant of $500 and Grand Marais Family Dentistry donated toothpaste and dental floss picks at cost.

The Cupboard will continue to have hygiene items and healthy snacks for students to pick up when they need them.  The Cupboard will  be in the office of School District 166 Student Success Coordinator Anna Sandstrom. Actual cupboards to store the hygiene supplies were donated by Tim Kennedy and Gunflint Realty.

If you have hygiene items to donate, please contact Kathy Sullivan or Beth Kennedy or bring to worship at Spirit of the Wilderness at Maple Hill Church on County Road 54 on Sunday morning at 10:30 a.m.

October is "College Knowledge Month" at Cook County Higher Ed

Tue, 09/30/2014 - 10:40am

Have you thought about going to college, but don’t know where to start?  College Knowledge Month is a great opportunity to learn more about your options for education and training.

Throughout October you can attend free workshops on how to choose a college, how to pay for college and how to prepare for college. There are informational sessions on Monday - Thursday throughout the month, with some gatherings in the evening

Additional workshops include Starting Your Own Business and Landing the Perfect Job.  All events are free of charge and will be held at Cook County Higher Education’s North Shore Campus in Grand Marais:

College Knowledge Month is sponsored by Cook County Higher Education, Cook County High School and the Grand Portage Department of Education.

Visit upcoming events for a complete schedule.

County agrees to authorize tax abatement bonds for Superior National at Lutsen

Mon, 09/29/2014 - 3:52pm

About 10 people attended the 10 a.m. public hearing in the Cook County Commissioner’s room to hear the discussion about the proposed issuance of tax abatement bonds by the county to fund $2.2 million of improvements at the Superior National at Lutsen (SNL) golf course, which is owned by the Cook County/Grand Marais Economic Development Authority (EDA).

Advising the county board over the phone was Attorney Steve Overom who referred to the pre-sale report prepared by Ehlers Investment Partners. Overom reviewed the sources to be used to make the bond payments—first revenue from SNL operations; second a portion of the lodging taxes collected on the West End of the county; and finally county taxes that would be abated. Overom said lodging taxes collected would be in excess of what is needed to pay the debt, so “it is unlikely that taxpayers would be impacted.”

Overom, who has worked with other communities on golf course development, said that having an advisory committee in place is a good idea. “It doesn’t prevent problems, but it allows for a faster response time if issues do surface,” he said.

Overom also said the county is protected by the clause that allows the county to hire a management consultant, turf consultant or food and beverage consultant (at the expense of the EDA) if the county receives “serious or consistent complaints from users of the golf course.”

Commissioner Sue Hakes asked about the status of township agreements pledging the use of lodging tax funds to make bond payments, if necessary. Overom said that is a crucial piece that must be in place before the bonds could be issued. 

September's National Preparedness Month tips good for all year

Mon, 09/29/2014 - 3:51pm

Emergencies happen every day, and the more prepared we are with plans, practice and materials, the better we can handle them.

The National Ready Campaign lists four steps for emergency preparedness: Be informed; make a plan; build a kit; and get involved.

During National Preparedness Month (September), Cook County residents should visit the Cook County website at It has a CodeRED widget on the homepage. Residents are encouraged to sign up for CodeRED, which will send severe weather and other emergency messages to your landline phone (by voice), or cell phone or mobile device by text and email. The CodeRED number 866-419-5000 will appear on your caller ID. If you miss the message, dial the toll-free number to hear the message repeated as often as needed.

The process is the same for Lake County residents. They should visit and look for the CodeRED symbol.

You must register to receive CodeRED messages, but it is free and easy to do. Call the Sheriff’s Office at (218) 387-3030 for more information.



This local news is provided by the Cook County News-Herald

Exhibit at Johnson Heritage Post features 'Five Generations of Art'

Mon, 09/29/2014 - 2:26pm

The Johnson Heritage Post in Grand Marais will be featuring “Five Generations of Art” in a new exhibit that runs through November 2. WTIP host Janna Berka spoke with artists Nancy Daley and Jody Ouradnik on North Shore Morning.
An exhibit highlighting the work of five generations of the Smith-Daley-Ouradnik family opens Friday, October 3, and runs through November 2 at the Johnson Heritage Post in Grand Marais.  More information at 387-2314 or google ‘five generations of art grand marais’ and you’ll find their facebook page.
The following is just a short list of what each artist will be exhibiting in the gallery:
•Ralph W. Smith (posthumous display) - Sketches, pastels, & oil paintings
•Glenn S. Smith (Ralph's son, posthumous display) - "Wearable geology" - rock & semi-precious stones as jewelry
•Nancy Smith Ouradnik Daley (Glenn's daughter) - Art objects incorporating encaustic (pigmented wax) painting and handmade paper
•Jody Ouradnik (Nancy's daughter) - Fiber art, functional and fantastical
•Amy Ouradnik (Nancy's daughter) - Acrylic paintings and verre eglomise (reverse painting on glass panels backed with metal leaf)
•Madeline Burton (Amy's daughter) - Multiple mediums including alternative processes in photography, watercolor, and collage. Her work ranges in size from 5x8 in to 3x8 ft
​Johnson Heritage Post Art Gallery is open Wednesdays-Saturdays, 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., Sundays and Mondays 1:00 -4:00 p.m.  We are closed Tuesdays and between exhibits.

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North Shore Music Association features silent auction and concert by John Mark Nelson: October 4

Mon, 09/29/2014 - 1:52pm

The North Shore Music Association will be featuring a silent auction in addition to a concert by John Mark Nelson and his 4-piece band at the Arrowhead Center for the Arts. WTIP volunteer Mark Abrahamson spoke with Kate Fitzgerald of NSMA about this event on North Shore Morning. 


John Mark Nelson & NSMA's Silent Auction
Arrowhead Center for the Arts, 51 W. 5th St. Grand Marais
Saturday, October 4, 2014 – Silent Auction 6 PM, Concert 7:30 PM
Tickets for sale at door, or in advance at
Beginning at 6 PM, NSMA's Annual Silent Auction will feature an array of
unique high-quality items all generously donated by local organizations
and businesses. Proceeds from the auction will benefit NSMA's 2015
season. The auction will begin at 6 PM in the ACA lobby. Bidding will
continue at intermission, and winning bids will be announced following
the concert.
At 7:30 PM, NSMA is excited to present John Mark Nelson and his 4-piece
band at the ACA auditorium.
Minnesota Public Radio's The Current remarks, "Only 20 years old, John
Mark Nelson sings with a slow-smoked croon that belies his age, and he
fills his lyrics with sharp, detailed observations of life and love in
the Midwest. This folk-pop songwriter has racked up an impressive list
of accolades, too."
To read more about John Mark Nelson, watch videos, and listen to his
music, go to For more about his Oct. 5 ACA
performance and NSMA’s silent auction, go to

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