Around Cook County

News and other information from Cook County

Lodging tax revenues for January up over 2012

Fri, 03/01/2013 - 11:47am
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Lodging tax revenues for the first month of 2013 were up compared to January of last year county-wide. According to the latest report from the Cook County Auditor-Treasurer’s office, the year-to-date totals were up 5.4 percent across the board for reporting tourism organizations.

Lutsen-Tofte revenues were up 12.7 percent from last January and it was the best January since 2009. Grand Marais revenues were up 20.5 percent from this time last year. The Gunflint Trail revenues for January were up 6.5 percent.

The Auditor’s office emphasizes that not all businesses report taxes at the same time each year and revenues are an “apples-to-apples comparison.” That means only businesses which reported lodging tax revenues both in January of this year and last year are included in the monthly accounting.

Vikes top Polar Bears in overtime

Fri, 03/01/2013 - 5:52am

In a barn burner at Hermantown, the Cook County girls basketball team rose to the occasion and beat the Floodwood Polar Bears 56 to 50 in overtime.

At the top of her game, Theresa Morrin sunk 24 buckets including a 3-pointer. Breana Peterson had 15 and Leah Utities scored 7 including a 3-pointer.

Lily Gruber-Schulz and Kaitlyn Linnell each scored 5.

In the second game, Silver Bay went down to McGregor 77 to 23. Alicia Nopola led the Mariners with 16 points.

The Viking girls now move into the quarterfinals on Saturday at Hibbing for an 8pm match-up against McGregor. WTIP will be there for the broadcast.

Leaders sought for Cook County Republican Party

Wed, 02/27/2013 - 11:21am

Only 11 people battled the sub zero weather and wind to attend the 2013 Republican Party’s Cook County Convention held February 19 at 7 p.m. at the Cook County Senior Center, but they were a determined lot, dedicated to bringing their party’s principles back to prominence in the county.
Garry Gamble chaired the event, but said this would his last time leading the party. He also said his co-chair, Mark Breitsprecher, wasn’t interested in continuing his position, either.
“I don’t want a perception of a conflict of interest,” said Gamble, who was elected to the county board as a county commissioner last fall.
“Our culture is so polarized that I would be more unencumbered by giving up my role as co-chair. But stepping down doesn’t mean stepping away from what I believe in,” Gamble said.
As for Breitsprecher, he is busy with his ancient coin business and looking to move from Cook County if the opportunity presents itself.
Just who will serve in the role as chair or will co-chair the party is up for grabs, because no one at the meeting was ready to assume that mantle of leadership. Gamble said he would investigate party rules to see how long the local BPOU (Basic Political Operating Unit) had before calling a special meeting and electing someone to chair the party.
As for the other positions, Mary Petz was reelected secretary and Jim Hall treasurer. Hall has worked for the party since the mid 1950s and he was commended for his service.
With the party somewhat in tatters due to the recent presidential election, Gamble said its members must remain true to their roots.

Barbara Jean and Chastity Brown in concert at ACA Saturday

Wed, 02/27/2013 - 11:20am

Join the North Shore Music Association March 2 for a shared bill of two exceptionally talented Minnesota musicians, Barbara Jean and Chastity Brown.
Calling the North Shore home until recently, Barbara Jean has developed her craft through constant live performance and has recently struck out on her own to take her debut record, The Great Escape to fans all across the Midwest. Classically trained on the viola at the U of M, and self-taught at the banjo, her voice and songs transcend tradition with a mix of Americana, Appalachia, and an insightful vulnerability in lyric and delivery. Performing solo, as a duo, or in larger ensembles, she brings a grace and comfort to the stage at once disarming and captivating, gaining her a burgeoning audience and high praise from her peers.
Throw all the genres and hyphenates together you want to describe Chastity Brown— gospel, roots and soul, jazz, blues and country – they are all right, and also not enough to describe this talented musician. She channels songs that are borne deep in the American bone, the hunger, desperation and confidence that runs through our times.  Coming from Tennessee to Minnesota, she now tours the country and has recently released her fourth full-length record, Back-Road Highways.
Tickets for the 7:30 p.m. concert  at the Arrowhead Center for the Arts are $10 adults, $5 ages 18 and under. Tickets are available in advance at www.tix.com, or night of performance at the door.  General seating.  Lobby opens at 6:30 pm.

MPCA hosting wild rice standards study open house

Wed, 02/27/2013 - 8:15am

WEST ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — The Minnesota Pollution Control agency will host an open house Thursday to provide an update on its long-term study on whether the state should revise its water quality standard for protecting wild rice beds.

The MPCA says the open house will include an overview of the study followed by a poster session. Posters will focus on current and future research projects, the standards setting process and study timeline, and about the current sulfate limits to protect wild rice.

Mining interests and wastewater treatment plant operators have sought to loosen the sulfate standard.
Those attending the session will have an opportunity to provide input on the work.

"Seen Through Native Eyes: A Celebration of Native Art" film screening Thursday

Tue, 02/26/2013 - 11:24am

“Seen Through Native Eyes: A Celebration of Native Art” is being brought to the community by a collaboration between the Art Colony and Spirit of the Wilderness Episcopal Church. Mary Ellen Ashcroft, vicar of Spirit of the Wilderness explains the purpose of the exhibit. She said, “We hope to delve deeply and begin to see (at least realize what we can’t see) through native eyes, both to broaden our artistic vision, but also to deepen our understanding. In this year of the 150th anniversary of the massacre of 38 Dakota warriors, we felt it appropriate to stop and consider from a different perspective.”
In addition to a Friday night reception for featured artists Robert Two Bulls and Johnson Loud, the event now includes a screening of the movie 38+2, which commemorates the anniversary of the 38 Dakota people hanged 150 years ago—and the story of the modern day recreation of their tragic journey. The film will be shown at Cook County Higher Education at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, February 28. There will be discussion with Two Bulls and Loud afterwards and refreshments will be served.
In addition to the film and exhibit at the Art Colony, Two Bulls (Pine Ridge Oglala Lakota) and Loud (Red Lake, Chippewa) will conduct workshops on March 2, from 9 – 4 p.m. at the Grand Marais Art Colony. The workshops are open to ages 10 and up. From 9 a.m. – 12 p.m. there will be a presentation and discussion of Native Art. From 12   4 p.m. the artists will demonstrate their art form. Two Bulls will give an interactive presentation on oil painting. Loud will demonstrate the creation of his pottery.
The cost of the workshops is $50, with an additional $15 for supplies for the Robert Two Bulls class. Scholarships are available. For more information or to register, contact the Grand Marais Art Colony at (218) 387-2737.

City council considers community connection for Rec. Park

Tue, 02/26/2013 - 11:06am
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At the Grand Marais city council meeting on Wednesday, Feb. 13, councilor and park board member Bill Lenz presented two drawings of proposed footbridges for the new trail to the lake in the Rec Park. One is a covered bridge, while the other is of the more traditional uncovered variety. The cost of each is about the same ($10,000) despite the addition of a roof. City Clerk Mike Roth explained the reason for that: One requires more materials that cost less; the other requires fewer materials that cost more.
Lenz said he and the park board would like to hear comments from the public about which design they prefer, and encouraged input to the park office before the park board makes its decision next month. (More detailed artist’s renderings of the designs are available at the Rec Park—and we’ll have one configuration in the News-Herald this week.
The bridge is part of the Community Connections project that will lead pedestrians from the highway into the northeast section of the park next to North House Folk School.

Come check out the fun of Zumba at Birch Grove Feb. 27

Mon, 02/25/2013 - 1:15pm

Zumba comes to the West End! To help everyone get moving during the cold month of February, there will be a Zumba Gold demonstration with Chris Angelo at 10:30 a.m. on February 27.
Everyone is invited to join the fun!

Career Readiness Community Forum is Feb. 28

Mon, 02/25/2013 - 11:47am

On the 28th there will be a community forum to explore career readiness for students when they leave Cook County High School. WTIP’s Jay Andersen spoke with the forum organizers.

Attached file

Nice winter weather to continue in the Northland

Mon, 02/25/2013 - 11:47am

The weather has been very nice and it looks like it will continue mild. WTIP’s Jay Andersen spoke with National Weather Service meteorologist Mike Stewart in Duluth about March lambs and lions.

Attached file

Weekend News Roundup for February 23

Sat, 02/23/2013 - 10:33am

Each weekend WTIP news produces a round up of the news stories they’ve been following this week. Lake Superior School District is reapplying to keep its 4-day week schedule, the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency had good news for the Poplar River and long-time county personnel director and board clerk Janet Simonen is retiring…all in this week’s news.

Attached file

Paddlers to speak at Stone Harbor Saturday

Fri, 02/22/2013 - 12:18pm

Two St. Olaf graduates (both with ties to Cook County) who 
became the first women to paddle 2,000 miles from Minneapolis to 
Hudson Bay in 2011 are returning to speak about their three-month
paddle. They will be at Stone Harbor Wilderness Supply on Saturday, 
February 23 at 4:30 p.m.
Ann Raiho and Natalie Warren will tell their story about following the 
path Eric Sevareid chronicled in his book Canoeing with the Cree.
Since their trip ended Raiho has attended graduate school while Warren 
spent a year speaking about their adventure and then started Wild 
River Academy in Washington DC in 2012. Wild River Academy hosts three-
day river trips designed to connect high school girls with successful 
women. It also seeks to inspire women to grow through wilderness 
adventures. Early this year Warren moved the business to the Twin 
Cities with her friend and business partner Nick Ryan.
Warren, from Miami, Florida, and Raiho, from Inver Grove Heights, 
Minnesota met at Camp Menogyn in 2007, getting to know each other on a 
50-day canoe trip into the Canadian wilderness.
The goal of their presentation is to encourage people to pursue their 
passions, resulting in greater opportunities for themselves and their 
communities.
 

Ice fishing shelter removal dates approaching

Fri, 02/22/2013 - 4:59am

Minnesota’s ice fishing shelter removal dates are approaching.

The DNR says dark houses, fish houses and portables must be off the ice of inland waters no later than midnight March 18 in the northern third of the state. Enforcement action will be taken if shelters are left after the deadlines.

For Minnesota-Canada border waters, the shelter removal deadline is March 31.

After removal dates, shelters may remain on the ice between midnight and one hour before sunrise only when occupied or attended.

Thunder Bay man wins $330,336.65 at Grand Portage Lodge & Casino

Thu, 02/21/2013 - 12:21pm

It’s said the house always wins. But as a Thunder Bay man can confirm, there is an exception to every rule.
On Tuesday, February 12, during a visit to Grand Portage Lodge and Casino, a Thunder Bay resident won a staggering $330,336.65 (U.S. funds) jackpot from one of the casino’s popular new progressive slot machines.
According to casino spokesperson and Marketing Manager Frank Vecchio, the slot machine is a “wide-area progressive linked to a number of Native American casinos.”
The jackpot win is reported to be the second largest single payout in the casino’s 24-year history.
The lucky winner, a Portage Players Club member, is a regular player at Grand Portage Lodge and Casino who wishes to remain anonymous. He had traveled to Grand Portage to participate in “Fat Tuesday”—one of the casino’s most popular annual promotions.
Asked about his win, the man said, “I’m still in shock. I haven’t made any solid plans about what to do with the money. All I can say is that it’s going to make life a whole lot easier.”
Marketing Manager Vecchio said, “All the staff and owners of Grand Portage Lodge and Casino are thrilled that one of our loyal Portage Players Club members has hit it so lucky. It makes us happy at Grand Portage Lodge and Casino when our players win and we hope this big jackpot will carry through a winning streak for our players throughout 2013.”

"Portage" recognized as Volunteer of the Year

Thu, 02/21/2013 - 10:46am

For the last eight years, on the last Saturday of every month, the classic country band Portage has performed at the Cook County North Shore Care Center to the delight of care center residents, family members and friends and care center staff. This wonderful musical tradition has been recognized by Aging Services in Minnesota. Portage was presented with the Stars Among Us 2013 Volunteer of the Year Award at the annual Aging Services in Minnesota Institute at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Minneapolis on February 6, 2013.
Portage was nominated for the award by Care Center Activities Director Kay Rosenthal, who explained that Portage has been performing for elders in Cook County and beyond for more than 10 years. “They have had a long standing gig at our Care Center the last Saturday of every month for the past eight years,” wrote Rosenthal, adding, “And they know how to fill the dance floor—our dining room—every time!”
Members of Portage are Jim Spry, Butch Deschampe, Arvid Dahl, Tom Hoy and Joe Peterson. Sue Maijala was a former drummer in previous years.
Portage will be back at the Care Center on February 23—the last Saturday of the month—once again to share their talents. Rosenthal said a special celebration is planned at 6:30 p.m. that day to congratulate Portage for being the 2013 Volunteers of the Year. They truly are “Stars Among Us!”