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Weekend News Roundup for May 31

Sat, 05/31/2014 - 9:13am

Each week the WTIP news team puts together a roundup of the week's news. County elections filing continued this week. A water resources bill promises more money for the Great Lakes. New rules established for the Keystone XL pipeline, and bear researcher Lynn Rodgers loses out to the DNR…all this and more in this week’s news.


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Another candidate files for Commissioner District 5

Fri, 05/30/2014 - 2:24pm

The period to file as a candidate for county offices in 2014 is open for a few more days, until Tuesday, June 3. Nearly every space on the ballot has at least one candidate and today, May 30, another citizen filed to run for Commissioner District 5, Ginny Storlie.

In Commissioner District 5, incumbent Bruce Martinson was the only candidate that had filed until  May 27, when Tim Goettl of Lutsen filed to run against Martinson. Goettl is a Lutsen township supervisor. Ginny Storlie is also a Lutsen township supervisor.

Because there are now three candidates for the West End commissioner district, that race will go to voters in the August 12 primary election.

Another hotly contested race is County Commissioner District 1, in which five candidates have filed—John W. Bockovich, Steve Fleace, and Harry Drabik, all of Hovland and Frank Moe and Jerry Hiniker of Colvill. There will be a primary election on August 12 for that district to narrow the race to two candidates for the November 4 general election.

At the county board meeting on May 27, incumbent District 1 Commissioner Janice Hall confirmed rumors that she would not be filing for reelection.  Hall told the Cook County News-Herald that she has decided not to run for reelection, “with a heavy heart.”

The incumbent commissioner in District 3, Sue Hakes, has announced that she is not running for reelection.  Jan Sivertson of Grand Marais has filed for that office and as of May 28 is still unopposed.

The Cook County Sheriff race has two candidates, both who declared their candidacy before the filing period opened, Deputies Patrick S. Eliasen and Leif Lunde. Incumbent Sheriff Mark Falk announced that he would be retiring on June 30, 2014.

Be aware of weather and wind before burning

Fri, 05/30/2014 - 11:28am

Although the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) lifted burning restrictions across the state on May 23, including in Cook County, residents and visitors should still be aware of weather and wind conditions before having a campfire or burning brush. The DNR lifted the restrictions due to decreased fire danger because of wet conditions and green up moving northward. However, the public is reminded that conditions can change quickly.   

As of May 30, DNR fire danger for the Arrowhead region was “high.” High danger fire condition means that fires start easily and spread at a fast rate.

The DNR advises people to follow open burning laws and regulations. Those seeking to burn brush or vegetative debris need to obtain a burning permit available through state and federal forestry offices or from local fire wardens. These officials can tell you if burning is—or is not—permitted.

The DNR advises anyone doing burning to keep burn piles small, have a water supply nearby, and stay with the fire until it is completely out. If the fire escapes, the homeowner is responsible for the damage and suppression costs.

No permit is required for campfires, but caution must also be used. It is best to burn only after 6 p.m. and to make sure the fire is "dead out" and doused with water before leaving it.

Officials reiterate that fire conditions may change quickly. As of May 28, DNR fire danger for the Arrowhead region was “moderate.” Moderate fire condition means that fires start easily and spread at a moderate rate.

Grand Marais reviews comments on parkside public access project

Fri, 05/30/2014 - 11:25am

Grand Marais Parks Department Manager Dave Tersteeg told the Park Board that he received 44 written comments about the proposal to improve the small rubble mound break wall, boat ramp and parking area in the southwest corner of the park. Only three of the comments were negative, he said.

“If the recommendation is to proceed with further planning, research and design, it would be helpful to offer the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) a prioritized list of amenities and attributes to consider and potentially include in the final design,” Tersteeg said.

The board reviewed and prioritized a list of ideas that Tersteeg had made from the written comments at their last meeting. This is what will be submitted to the Grand Marais City Council and to the Minnesota DNR, who will help fund the project should it go forward.

Provisions to maintain security and access to the city’s municipal water treatment plant are necessary.
Provisions to allow access out onto the bay—possibly a paved, accessible break wall, but also consideration for utilizing floating, accessible wave attenuators.
Suitable sized basin within the break wall to allow for staging, haul-out and launch of average sized, Lake Superior cruising boats: 30-40 feet in length.
Launch ramp designed to hydraulic standards for slope (12%), width and depth (6’-8’).
Future break wall improvements do not exceed the height above water of existing break wall.
Space reserved for public art; space reserved for fireworks display staging.

The next park board meeting will be June 3.

Registration Ends Friday for Small-Scale Gardening Class!

Thu, 05/29/2014 - 2:42pm

Gardening has changed over the years. Growing food used to be our main objective, but there's been a resurgence of gardening on a smaller scale. Fairy gardens, shell gardens, Bonsai, tabletop fountains, terrariums and train gardens are becoming more popular across Minnesota.
The U of M Extension Master Gardeners are offering the following programs on Saturday, June 7, for both adults and children 10 years and older.  Please register by Friday, May 30 by calling the Cook County Extension office at 218-387-3015.

YMCA Summer Sports Programs

Wed, 05/28/2014 - 2:49pm

Summer is almost here, so WTIP talked with Colette Mueller, the Associate Executive Director of the Cook County YMCA, about the summer sports programs that Y will be offering. Included in the interview are the different options and how to sign up.


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