Around Cook County

News and other information from Cook County

Weekend News Roundup for October 5

Sat, 10/05/2013 - 10:18am

Each week the WTIP news staff puts together a roundup of the news over the past five days. A group of Native Americans protest the proposed tar sands pipeline, wolves and bears are back in the news, state officials visit a closed Wisconsin copper mine, and more …all in this week’s news.


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Cook County Community Fund celebrates 10 years

Sat, 10/05/2013 - 9:49am

Ten years since its formation, the Cook County Community Fund has become a major resource for non-profits and donors in the area. Each May, non-profits can apply for grants from a variety of funds that have been established through estate or other gifts. To date, this equals 58 grants totaling $63,897, with 32 non-profits receiving grants.

In addition, donors have the option of establishing a variety of different funds to best meet their long-term charitable giving goals. Or, they can support the unrestricted fund, which is an endowed fund that is focused on supporting the changing needs of the region in the areas of: arts, community development, education, environment, human services and youth.

This individual fund sits at over $200,000 and is just one of many success stories within a community committed to supporting itself.

If you are interested in learning more about how you can get involved with the Cook County Community Fund, join organizers for the 10th Anniversary Celebration on October 8, 5-7p.m. at the Johnson Heritage Post. If you are interested in making a donation tto the fund, call (218) 726-0232 or visit:

Grand Marais Art Colony Tour d'Art a success

Sat, 10/05/2013 - 9:40am

The Grand Marais Art Colony’s first Tour d’Art, held September 28, 2013, was a grand success.  The event featured four homes from Schroeder to Grand Marais whose owners, according to Executive Director Amy Demmer, designed their dwellings around their art collections rather than placing art as an afterthought.

Fifty-seven art enthusiasts traveled in Arrowhead Transit buses from home to home.

Back at the Art Colony, a wine and cheese reception was followed by a presentation by local artist and Minneapolis College of Art and Design Professor Emeritus Hazel Belvo, who talked about the artwork of local artists she had curated for the exhibit surrounding them in the main hall. 

“Artists come here because they’re inspired by nature,” Belvo said.  She talked about how the artists whose work she had chosen demonstrated natural themes in their work, from Bonnie Cutts’ paintings of brain cells to Nancy Seaton’s glass totems – “a perfect example of inspiration from nature” – to plein air paintings by Neil Sherman, whose work she called “very poetic.”  One of her own paintings, a vibrant red tree trunk inspired by the Little Cedar Spirit Tree in Grand Portage, is called “The Matriarch” and exhibits her interpretation of the tree as a personage.

Ken Bloom, director of the Tweed Museum at the University of Minnesota-Duluth, concluded the event with a discussion on collecting art.  “I do have some experience collecting art,” he said.  “Fortunately, I’m spending other people’s money!”

Make your reservations for the Cook County Historical Society Annual Dinner now

Fri, 10/04/2013 - 2:15pm

Cook County Historical Society's Annual Dinner will be held Oct. 15 at the Landing. The featured guest speaker will be journeyman blacksmith/archaeologist Tom Sanders. Sanders is the site director at Jeffers Petroglyphs Historic Site.
Social hour begins at 5:30 p.m., followed by dinner at 6 p.m. Reservations are required by Oct. 8, by calling (218) 387-2883.

Gated driveways creating fire risk for Schroeder property owners

Fri, 10/04/2013 - 1:38pm

People with gates at the end of their driveways or private roads are not accessible to the local fire department if their houses catch on fire.  This was a concern raised by Fire Chief Phil Bonin at the Schroeder Township Board meeting September 10, 2013.  Bonin said he would not use a department truck to break a steel gate.
Numerous Schroeder properties are known to be blocked off by gates.  Bonin said he gets requests from insurance companies regarding things such as how far a property is from the nearest fire hall and response time in case of fire.
Board Treasurer Alicia Kangas wondered if a property owner who had installed a gate at the end of a private road could be held liable for damage to other properties that are accessed from that road through an easement.
The board decided to try to send letters out to all property owners known to have gates on their properties, telling them that they are not protected by the fire department because their properties are inaccessible.  One issue was that they were not sure how to contact some owners, particularly those who live outside the county most of the time.
Another danger the fire chief mentioned was water.  Bonin said the department had conducted several water rescues lately.  People continue to get into trouble in the Temperance River.  “I now keep a water kit in the truck,” he said.  It consists of a throw rope and a life preserver.
Fire Chief Bonin reported that the fire department’s pancake breakfast fundraiser on Father Baraga Day brought in 80 people.

CCLEP hosts a hands-on homeowner workshop on October 10

Fri, 10/04/2013 - 1:36pm

Cook County Local Energy Project kicks off the second-year pilot of the Residential Energy Efficiency Program (REEP) on Thursday evening Oct. 10 with a hands-on homeowner workshop – a new approach to home energy efficiency.
Energy Auditor Chris Norman of Boreal Craft and CCLEP Coordinator Virginia Danfelt will present fundamentals of home energy efficiency and techniques handy homeowners can learn to do on their own.  There will be demonstrations, discussions and an opportunity to try different techniques.
Contact Danfelt ( by Oct. 5 to suggest ideas or projects that can be incorporated into the workshop.
The workshop will be held at the Community Center from 6:30 to 8 p.m., and there is a $5 fee. It is sponsored by the Cook County Community Fund and supported by CCLEP partners Cook County Higher Education and Cook County Extension.