Around Cook County

News and other information from Cook County

Cook County Community Fund celebrates 10 years

Tue, 10/15/2013 - 10:03pm

Against a backdrop of artwork from the Frozen Photographers’ show at the Johnson Heritage Post gallery in Grand Marais, the Cook County Community Fund celebrated its 10th anniversary on Tuesday, October 8. Community members gathered at the gallery to enjoy music by talented local guitarist Pete Kavanaugh and to enjoy the art exhibit featuring the beauty of our area. At 6 p.m. a short program was offered, highlighting another beautiful aspect of the community—its generosity.

Howard Hedstrom, chair of the Cook County Community Fund, welcomed everyone and gave a brief history of the community fund and its affiliation with the Duluth-Superior Community Foundation. Hedstrom introduced and thanked current and past members of the Cook County board. He expressed great appreciation to Leigh Mathison of Lutsen who was one of the driving forces behind creating the Cook County Community Fund.

He asked Mathison to speak and she explained why, as an attorney specializing in estate planning, she felt so strongly that Cook County needed a mechanism to accept and manage large estate gifts. She noted that Cook County is a very giving community and people want to be able to leave a legacy gift to non-profits or to the community in general. It would have been too difficult for one of the area’s small nonprofits to set up an endowment, said Mathison, which is why the Cook County group is so grateful to have its affiliation with the Duluth Superior Area Community Foundation. Mathison said that organization made it possible for the Cook County Community Fund to be successful.

HIgher Ed reminds students of deadlines for scholarships

Mon, 10/14/2013 - 1:05pm

Cook County Higher Education reminds local students that the deadlines for three scholarship opportunities are fast approaching. In fact, the deadline for one is tomorrow, Oct. 15.
That scholarship is offered by the North Shore Health Care Foundation. It was created in 2013 thanks to a grant from the North Shore Health Care Foundation. Students enrolled in a health-related field may apply. This scholarship is a resource that can be used for full or partial tuition assistance, and can be applied toward fall 2013 semester or 2014 coursework.  Students must be full-time year-around Cook County residents enrolled in an accredited distance certificate, diploma or degree program.  Awards are up to $1,000.  Scholarship application deadline is Oct. 15.
The Wes Hedstrom Scholarship Fund was created in honor of longtime resident Wes Hedstrom for Cook County residents who are enrolled or in the process of enrolling in a distance degree program.  This scholarship is a resource that can be used for full or partial tuition assistance, and can be applied toward 2014 coursework.  Awards are up to $250.  Scholarship application deadline is Nov. 15.
The Lloyd K. Johnson scholarship was created in 2013 thanks to a grant from the Lloyd K. Johnson Foundation.  This scholarship is a resource that may be used for full or partial tuition assistance, and can be applied to 2014 coursework.  All full-time year-around Cook County resident students enrolled in an accredited distance certificate, diploma or degree program are eligible to apply.  Awards are up to $2,000.  Scholarship application deadline is Nov. 15.

Candlelight vigil shines light on domestic violence

Mon, 10/14/2013 - 1:02pm

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. To call attention to the heartbreaking statistics surrounding domestic violence, the Violence Prevention Center invited community members to a candlelight vigil in Grand Marais Harbor Park on Tuesday, October 8, 2013. About 30 people gathered to remember the people who perished in domestic violence incidents this year.
Violence Prevention Center Director Jodi Yuhasey thanked everyone for taking time out of his or her busy life to spend some time in remembrance. She shared the sad statistic that the number of people who have died rose drastically this year. She said to date 23 people in the state of Minnesota have been killed by a spouse or intimate acquaintance.
Yuhasey passed around a basket filled with slips of paper. On each paper was written the name of someone killed in a domestic violence incident, along with his or her age, date of death, cause of death and the relationship of the perpetrator. By candlelight, participants read the information, painfully picturing the violence these people had suffered—often at the hand of those they loved.
There were thoughtful readings of survival and music lending peace to the event. In the beautiful, deepening twilight, those gathered remembered those lost and expressed hope that someday such gatherings will not be needed.
The Violence Prevention Center has been serving Cook County for over 25 years, working with individuals and families impacted by domestic and sexual violence. The candlelight vigil is just one of its many efforts to shine a light on domestic violence and to encourage healthy relationships.
If you would like to volunteer with the Violence Prevention Center of if you need help, visit the Violence Prevention Center at 21 West Second Street (the Norshor Building), call (218) 387-1262, or email

High speed internet buildout continues

Mon, 10/14/2013 - 11:02am

High speed internet is up and running at the Arrowhead Cooperative offices and that means the West end hook up can’t be far behind. WTIPs  Jay Andersen spoke with Arrowhead’s Joe Buttweiler about special events this week at Arrowhead.

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Planning meeting for "Save the Mural" group Tuesday, Oct. 15

Sun, 10/13/2013 - 10:08am

About this time last year, there was an effort to “Save the Mural,” the four-season mosaic on the exterior wall of the Cook County Whole Foods Co-op.  The mural was set for demolition with the reconstruction of the co-op. The expense of saving the entire mural proved to be too much, despite valiant last-ditch efforts by an active group of citizens. However, pieces of this student-created outdoor art were carefully collected and stored in hopes that the mural could be resurrected in some way. “Save the Mural” organizers are happy to report that work will begin soon on another mural project that will incorporate some of the old one.

Ann Mershon, one of the members of the Save the Mural group sent out a message to supporters reporting that organizers have about  $4,000 that will be used for a school-community collaboration to create a new mural. Robin and Mark Johnson of Johnson’s Foods have offered the west wall of their store for the project.

Sawtooth Mountain Elementary School fourth-grade teacher Jana Larson and art teacher Mary MacDonald have agreed to work with their students and local artists to design and produce a new mural.

Save the Mural representatives will be meeting with community members in coming weeks to organize fundraising and mural planning efforts. Anyone interested in helping is encouraged to attend a planning meeting Tuesday, October 15. If you are unable to attend, but would like to help in some way is encouraged to contact Mershon at

County board approves conditional use permit for cell phone tower in Tofte

Sun, 10/13/2013 - 10:05am


Before too long cell phone users should see an improvement in signal reception when in Tofte. The county board approved a conditional use permit for a cell phone tower in Tofte at its October 8 meeting.  Some of the neighboring homeowners objected to locating the tower behind the Tofte Cemetery, but Tofte Township Supervisor Jim King told the county board he estimated that 65-70 community members had voiced their support for locating the tower there.  Planning & Zoning Administrator Bill Lane said 40 of 55 comments submitted to the county were in support of the tower.  Its location will allow continuous coverage with towers to the northeast and southwest. 

According to Shane Begley of Minnesota Tower, it will be the color of galvanized metal to blend in with the gray skies that are predominant in this area