Around Cook County

News and other information from Cook County

Comedian brothers to appear at Harbor Light in Grand Marais Feb. 15 - 16

Thu, 02/14/2013 - 1:45pm

The Thompson Brothers comedy tour will be making a stop February 15-16 at the Harbor Light in Grand Marais,.  Shannon and Tommy Thompson are brothers, comedians and anyone who has seen them on tour agrees, hiliarious. 
Shannon is the older brother, and started in comedy shortly before Tommy.  His humor is dark, real and extremely funny.  Tommy’s act is personal, playful and down right hysterical. 
The brothers will be performing two shows, Friday and Saturday night.  Showtime is 9:00 p.m. both nights.
Call the Harbor Light for reservations (218) 387-1142.

Candlelight Ski and Snowshoe Hike on Sugarbush trails

Thu, 02/14/2013 - 10:31am

If you are looking for something special to do on the weekend following Valentine’s Day, consider joining the Sugarbush Trail Association for its Candlelight Ski and Snowshoe Hike on Saturday, February 16, 2013 from 6 – 8 p.m.
Meet at the Oberg Mountain trailhead and ski or hike on candle-lit trails through the beautiful Superior National Forest. Join the fun around the bonfire with hot chocolate and treats provided by area resorts.
Organizers say, “With the fresh, recent snowfall, we should have great skiing.”
For more information, visit www.sugarbushtrail.org.

Cook County/Silver Bay takes fifth in State Alpine Meet

Thu, 02/14/2013 - 4:08am
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Cook County/Silver Bay took fifth in the Minnesota State Alpine Ski Meet yesterday at Giants Ridge in Biwabik.
 

Anders Zimmer led the way for Cook County/Silver Bay, finishing 17th in a total time of 1:19.49.
 

Also finishing for the North Shore team were Luke Fenwick in 38th and Will Lamb in 43rd. Logan Backstrom came in 51st, Colin Berglund finished in 65th and Kyle Martinson was 78th.
 

The Blake School from Minneapolis won the boys meet with 169 points with Stillwater Area in second, Orono in third and Eden Prairie in fourth. Cook County/Silver Bay’s fifth place came on a 124-point performance.
 

The other team results show Edina finishing sixth, East Ridge of Woodbury in seventh and Hermantown in eighth.

The girls meet was won by Minnetonka followed by The Blake School, Minneapolis Southwest, Mankato West, Mounds View, Stillwater Area, Duluth East and Bloomington Jefferson.
 

Gene's Food promotes family game night with prize drawing

Wed, 02/13/2013 - 8:58pm

There is nothing more fun on a cold winter night than gathering the family together to play some games. Gene’s Foods in Grand Marais is promoting family game nights with a series of drawings each Saturday for the next three weeks, starting February 16.
Two winners each week in each category—ages 3-5, 6-8 and 9 – up—will win a brand new board game.  There are new games like Blockers, Scribblish, Hoopla, and Cranium and old favorites like Candy Land, Monopoly, Scrabble, Life and many more.
In addition to the game, they will win pop and popcorn—an instant family game night!
Stop by the store and enter the drawing today to see if you will be a lucky winner!

Muntean leaves electric cooperative

Wed, 02/13/2013 - 12:04pm

Arrowhead Electric Cooperative, General Manager Jeanne Muntean has resigned after over 31 years with the organization.

Muntean started at Arrowhead as a receptionist in 1981 and became General Manager in 2010.

The Board of Directors has not named a successor or interim manager at this time.

County Chamber of Commerce gathering draws crowd

Wed, 02/13/2013 - 10:17am
Charles Skinner, one of the founding members of the new Chamber, addresses the audience.
More than 50 local business people and managers turned out for the launch of the new Cook County Chamber of Commerce  Tuesday, Feb. 12th at Sivertson Gallery in Grand Marais.
 
The Greater Grand Marais Chamber is handing the reins to leaders of the new countywide Chamber, which is in the late stages of organizing. Grand Marais Chamber President Kim Linnell and Director Bev Wolke wrote in the newsletter that, “A great new beginning is in effect for the Chamber of Commerce. After much discussion and hard work by many, we are pleased to inform you that there is a new and better Chamber awaiting you.
 
“This new Chamber will be the one voice that this county has so long been in need of. We believe this will help strengthen the county’s economic growth and development to help for a brighter future for all of us,” Linnell and Wolke wrote.
 
At the Feb. 12 Sivertson Gallery party, prospective members were briefed on new Chamber's countywide organizational efforts and its plans for future programming. Those plans include a “Cook County Day” at the Legislature this March at which Chamber members will seek to impress on legislators the importance of issues that matter greatly to Cook County businesses.
 
Speaking at the event was Jennifer Byers of the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce.  She spoke briefly about how the new county Chamber and the state Chamber will work together for the benefit of county businesses.
 
Also on hand were Chamber organizers Mark Sandbo, Jan Sivertson, Mike Prom, Bruce Kerfoot, Charles Skinner and Scott Harrison. 

Animal welfare groups launch wolf hunt lawsuit

Wed, 02/13/2013 - 7:17am
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MINNEAPOLIS — The Humane Society of the United States and other animal welfare groups filed a lawsuit Tuesday to restore federal protections for gray wolves in the western Great Lakes region that were lifted last year.

The lawsuit was filed in federal court in the District of Columbia against the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and its parent agency, the U.S. Department of the Interior. It says the decision to take wolves in Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan off the endangered list threatens the animals’ recovery throughout most of their historic range.

Hunters and trappers in Minnesota and Wisconsin killed 530 wolves combined during those states’ recently concluded seasons — 413 in Minnesota and 117 in Wisconsin. The Michigan Legislature voted in December to authorize wolf hunting, which could resume as early as this fall.

A U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service spokeswoman said she couldn’t comment on the lawsuit, but the agency took the wolves off the endangered list because the population had recovered and followed the law in doing so.

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources issued a statement saying that putting wolves back on the list would not be in the best interest of the animals or state residents.

Michigan is expected to make a decision on wolf hunting this spring. Officials say if a hunt is approved, it probably will be limited to parts of the sparsely populated Upper Peninsula where wolves have preyed on livestock and pets.

A spokesman for the Minnesota DNR declined to comment until officials could review the lawsuit.

Music group "Portage" honored for volunteerism

Tue, 02/12/2013 - 12:02pm
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St. Paul, Minn. (February 11, 2013) – Portage, a musical group from Grand Portage has been named the Aging Services of Minnesota 2013 District B Volunteer of the Year for their years of entertaining the residents at Cook County North Shore Hospital and Care Center. This special award is the highest honor recognizing the dedication and service of volunteers who support Minnesota seniors.
 
Portage was honored in February by Aging Services of Minnesota, a trade association for older adult services organizations in Minnesota.
 
Portage is a classic country music band that has been performing for the residents in and around Cook County for over 10 years. They have had a long standing gig at the care center the last Saturday of every month for 8 years – and they fill the dance floor every time.
 
“They play my favorite song, Heartache by the Number every time, just for me,” said resident Gert Scott
 
“The members of Portage are an inspiring example of what volunteers can accomplish in the lives of older adults,” said Gayle Kvenvold, president and CEO of Aging Services of Minnesota. “Their dedication and talent have made a difference in the lives of so many.”
 
Volunteers like the members of Portage are the unsung heroes in Minnesota’s health care system. Their deep commitment, talent and contributions make it possible for older adult services organizations to extend the level of care and services to their residents, clients and communities.
 
For more information about the 2013 Aging Services of Minnesota Stars Among Us awards, visit our YouTube channel: http://www.youtube.com/user/AgingServicesMN?feature=watch

Knowledge Bowl team heads to competition

Tue, 02/12/2013 - 11:14am

On Wednesday, Jan 10, the Cook County senior high Knowledge Bowl team had its first meet, facing powerful competition from a number of teams who went to the State Knowledge Bowl meet last year—International Falls, Marshall, Duluth East, Hermantown, Denfeld and Proctor.
Cook County fielded two teams and both finished quite well, said Knowledge Bowl Coach April Wahlstrom.
Team 1 was Mara MacDonell, Ben Seaton, and Sarah Larsen, who came in first in points with 110.5 points.  The Cook County team was followed by IFalls with 108, Hermantown 105.
Team 2 was right behind with 104.5 in 4th place.  Team 2 includes Will Seaton, Sean MacDonell and Sterling Anderson. 
Coach Wahlstrom said the high-ranking finishes were all the more impressive because teams can have four individuals on a team. Cook County was missing its 11th grade students who were taking a final, so the students who competed were at a disadvantage. They still pulled off a top five finish.
“Things are on the up and up for Cook County,” said Coach Wahlstrom, “State is a goal again.”
Upcoming meets are Feb. 13 and March 6.  The tournament to determine State contenders is on March 20.

Grand Marais moves ahead with planning of public works facility

Tue, 02/12/2013 - 11:12am

Grand Marais city councilors voted Jan. 30 to go ahead with the first step of a planned public works facility by approving a pre-design proposal from LHB, an engineering firm from Duluth. Under the terms of the $10,844 agreement, LHB will look at the city’s needs, such as function, size and furnishings. LHB will then provide a planning documents, a site recommendation, a preliminary project budget and schedule.
The city council is pursuing this because they feel another site is needed to allow the city to move its vehicles and equipment from the existing garages in the Rec Park along the shore of Lake Superior.
The city has already done some of its own investigation regarding a site for the facility, and there are three locations under consideration: a lot in the Cedar Grove Business Park; a city-owned site adjacent to the hospital on Fifth Avenue West; and the city’s defunct brush site on County Road 12 (the Gunflint Trail). Each site has yet to be evaluated and compared to determine the advantages and disadvantages of each. Some of the criteria to be used in the evaluation include capacity, future expansion opportunities, topography, accessibility, wetlands, visibility, neighborhood compatibility and land acquisition cost (if any).
City Administrator Mike Roth said the LHB proposal is the same one discussed by the city council last fall, and it has been reviewed with the appropriate department heads and met with their approval.

Minn. lawmakers push bill to hire more veterans

Tue, 02/12/2013 - 5:50am

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — State lawmakers want to give Minnesota businesses tax credits for hiring veterans.

Apple Valley Republican Rep. Anna Wills and Sen. Chuck Wiger, a Maplewood Democrat, unveiled a bill Monday they say would lower the unemployment rate for veterans and boost Minnesota's economy.

Wills says 23 percent of veterans in Minnesota are unemployed — the third-highest rate in the nation.

Businesses would receive a $3,000 credit for hiring a disabled veteran, $1,500 for an unemployed veteran and $500 for hiring any veteran. The lawmakers hope that hiring more veterans would increase income tax revenues enough to cover the cost of the credits.

Gov. Mark Dayton floated a similar proposal last year. It was included in a large package of tax cuts that Dayton vetoed for other reasons.

 

EDA approves housing services contract for 2013

Mon, 02/11/2013 - 2:47pm

At the January 8 meeting of the Cook County-Grand Marais Economic Development Authority, a decision was made on the contract for the upcoming year for the EDA’s housing program. The EDA board reviewed a request from Community Fundraising Solutions (CFS), which has been providing housing services for the EDA for five years, offering its services for January 1 – December 31, 2013.

In exchange for delivering “a successful and comprehensive Housing and Redevelopment program,” CFS requested a “lump sum fee of $73,800, excluding mileageoutside of the service area.” In the proposed agreement, travel outside the service area would be billed at federal mileage rates and expenses for lodging, meals, etc. would be reimbursed only with prior approval of the EDA. The fees for the CFS contract would be invoiced in the monthly amount of $6,150.

Grand Marais Fire Department to list 1984 fire truck on e-Bay

Mon, 02/11/2013 - 2:36pm

The Grand Marais City Council voted to list the city fire department’s 1984 General pumper for sale on e-Bay. The fire truck is considered surplus equipment, and the city needs to sell it in order to make room for a new tanker slated for delivery at the end of February.
City Administrator Mike Roth told councilors at the January 30 council meeting that the process to sell the fire truck began about 18 months ago with listings in various publications and websites, and there has been some interest shown, but no buyers have come forward. The first asking price was $10,000, which was then cut in half. “Make us an offer,” said Roth.

Another successful Snowarama for Easter Seals

Sun, 02/10/2013 - 12:40pm

The 10th annual Snowarama for Easter Seals was once again a great success, with 77 riders hitting the Grand Portage trails and perhaps more importantly, raising $24,575 to help Easter Seals of Ontario.

The weather was bitter cold as riders set out from Grand Portage Trail Center. But the intrepid riders just bundled up and not only endured the minus 13 degree temperature, they enjoyed it. About half of the riders traveled the long route, heading from Grand Portage to Trail Center or Hungry Jack Lodge on the Gunflint Trail. The rest of the riders stayed closer to the comforts of Grand Portage Lodge and Casino, traveling the beautiful trails right in Grand Portage.

But the real reason for the ride was brought home by the current and former Easter Seal Ambassadors at the event. Terry Douglas of Thunder Bay, mom of Easter Seal Ambassador Kendall Douglas was the evening’s emcee. She thanked everyone for taking part, noting that it is impossible to express enough appreciation to Easter Seals for its work with children with physical disabilities.

Business owners invited to Cook County Chamber gathering at Sivertson Gallery

Sat, 02/09/2013 - 7:07pm

The new Cook County Chamber of Commerce invites all county business owners and managers to a “We Love Cook County” pre-Valentine celebration from 5-7 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 12, at Sivertson Gallery in Grand Marais.

“Everyone is welcome,” said host Jan Sivertson. “We'd love to see members of the Greater Grand Marais Chamber and also business folk from other parts of the county who have not previously been active in chamber affairs.”