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News and other information from Cook County

Bethlehem Lutheran Church hosts Julefest Saturday

Fri, 12/12/2014 - 11:00am

The 40th annual Julefest will be held at Bethlehem Lutheran Church on Saturday, December 13, starting with a bake sale of traditional Scandinavian goodies. Julefest guests may arrive earlier to enjoy conversation and coffee as well as the bountiful assortment of treats in the fellowship hall upstairs, but the bake sale will not be open for purchase of Scandinavian goodies until precisely 1 p.m.

A wonderful program is planned and guests will be treated to a truly Swedish St. Lucia, accompanied by several attendants, singing in Swedish and English. Craig Peterson and Jim Ringquist will serve as the emcees and additional music will be offered by Philis and Kent Anderson.

Come to Bethlehem Lutheran on Saturday, December 13 to sample Romme grot, rice pudding, Krumkake, Sandbakkels, Norwegian wedding cake, cardamom toast and more; to enjoy some lovely music and to celebrate a little lightness in the dark of winter.


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




Sawtoooth Mountain Clinic to receive recognition, funding, as health center "quality leader"

Fri, 12/12/2014 - 10:51am

U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia M. Burwell recently announced that Affordable Care Act funding would be awarded to 16 health centers in Minnesota to recognize health center quality improvement achievements. Sawtooth Mountain Clinic in Grand Marais is one of the facilities being recognized.

The Clinic was recognized as a “health center quality leader” because it was among the top 30 percent of all health centers that achieved the best overall clinical outcomes. Seven Minnesota health centers received funding in this category. Sawtooth Mountain Clinic will receive $22,350.

Sawtooth Mountain Clinic received an additional award of $7,350 for its use of electronic health record (EHR) reporting, one of only four Minnesota health centers which received funding in the EHR category.

Clinic Director Rita Plourde said, “The clinical service team works extremely hard to identify and better serve the individual needs of our patients, most importantly those with chronic diseases.  This funding award will assist in facilitating access to increased services such as support for care coordination for our patients.


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

The Sivertones perform at North Shore Care Center at 5:30 tonight

Thu, 12/11/2014 - 2:06pm

The Sivertones jazz ensemble will perform at the North Shore Care Center, today, Thursday, December 11 at 5:30 p.m. Everyone is welcome to come enjoy the music with residents.

Additional music during the month will feature Myron Bursheim on Sundays, Irene Thompson on Mondays, Al Fuller on Tuesdays, Susan Scherer on Wednesdays, and sing-a-longs with Tina Kraus on Fridays.

For more information about upcoming activities or volunteer opportunities at Cook County North Shore Hospital & Care Center, please contact the Activity Department at 218.387.3518 or the website


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

Sunday Funday December 14 at Birch Grove Community Center

Thu, 12/11/2014 - 2:04pm

Each month on the second Sunday, there is a fun day with card making, scrapbooking/stamping, social and open gym at the Birch Grove Community Center. On December 14, participants can use the fitness center, KidZone, library, Wi-Fi computer lab, and other amenities during these times. 

Birch Grove Foundation Director Caroline Woods said RSVPs are always appreciated and recommended.  General admission donations of $5 are also appreciated. 

Call Caroline at (218) 663-7977 for more information.

Everyone is invited to the Birch Grove W.E. Cook event on Sunday, Dec 14 from 3 - 5 p.m with award-winning chef Tracy Jacobson.  He will lead participants in Winter Sweet Treats Baking.  The cost is $25 but Birch Grove Sunday Funday guests will have a

Program Director Caroline Wood said, “As always there are many things W.E. Connect for in the West End.  I hope you will join us or share your ideas today!”

Call Caroline at 663-7977 for more information about Birch Grove Foundation and Community Center.


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


Don't miss "We Happy Few" at the Arrowhead Center for the Arts

Thu, 12/11/2014 - 12:16am

We Happy Few, an uplifting and touching play set in World War II Britain opened at the Arrowhead Center for the Arts on Friday, December 5. The community was invited to join the Grand Marais Playhouse cast and crew in an opening night celebration with an after show reception in the lobby. The play has received rave reviews from all who attended.

The Imogen Stubbs play continues at the Arts Center on December 11-14, Thursday. - Saturday at 7 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m.

Tickets are $10 adults and $5 students Advance tickets are available at or at the door one hour before the show.

We Happy Few shares the story of a group of women who travel across Britain during World War II performing Shakespeare and other plays to children and people in remote areas. Inspired by the true wartime history of the Osiris Players, this dramatic comedy tells the stories of these women as they live and work and produce up to four plays a day with little money but a lot of heart.

The play is directed by Sue Hennessy.


We Happy Few cast:

Brandon Bockovich

Lucy Calendar

Lollie Cooper

Beth Faraone

Finn Garry

Brenna Hay

Jan Healy

Linnea Henrikson

Wellesley Howard Larsen

Kevin Kager

Aliya Marxen

Erica Marxen

Santina McMillan

Louise Reavis

Melanie Stoddard

Kathy Ann Travis


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

Dragon Boat Festival future is uncertain

Wed, 12/10/2014 - 10:10am

The future of the North Shore Dragon Boat Festival is uncertain. For eleven years, three of Cook County’s nonprofits – WTIP Community Radio, North Shore Health Care Foundation and North House Folk School – have collaborated leading the event forward. Together they have insured the event’s overall success and managed details ranging from on-water safety to on-shore parades, team training to community engagement.  

“We’re proud of the joy and excitement that the Dragon Boat Festival creates every year and appreciative of the many volunteers, invested business sponsors and talented staff who have made it possible,” noted WTIP’s Debbie Benedict. ”The three partners have worked well together, but now we have other commitments to the community that need to come first. New dragon boat leadership is needed.”

There is little doubt that the words “joy and excitement” accurately capture the dragon boat festival’s decade-plus on the water. Photo finishes, shouts of “Paddles Up,” water-drenched yet smiling paddlers, a harbor filled-to-overflowing with community members & visitors – the festival’s unique character is satisfying for many reasons.

Karl Hansen with NSHCF agrees: “We know the Dragon Boat Festival is an important part of the summer here in Cook County. Given this, we want to work hard to find a great new organization to lead the dragon boat festival forward.” Many of the key event puzzle pieces are already in place - colorful web site, safety protocols, clearly defined monthly tasks, etc - “Our years of working together have created an event with systems and plans that truly work,” Hansen said.  

Formally speaking, the North Shore Dragon Boat Festival is a 501-c-3 nonprofit with a mission to Paddle for Community. Like most dragon boat festivals around the world, the festival aspires to at once celebrate, build and support communities. “Dragon boat festivals around the world engage projects ranging from breast cancer to youth projects,” said North House’s Greg Wright. “We know the North Shore Dragon Boat Festival is great for our community in many ways. The event has and can continue to make an impact on important local cause. Our goal is to keep the event paddling into the future, and we want to work with the community to find a strong and positive new plan to keep it going.”

New leadership for the dragon boat festival needs to be in place by January 15th or the 2015 event may need to be cancelled. Jim Boyd with Cook County Chamber of Commerce has been active engaging potential partners.  Business leaders and community members are welcome to contact any of the current dragon boat staff or board - Benedict, Hansen, Wright, Dave Tersteeg, Julie Carlson and Matthew Brown - for more information.