Around Cook County

News and other information from Cook County

Firefighters fight coal bunker fire at Taconite Harbor Energy Center

Mon, 10/22/2012 - 1:55pm

As Schroeder and Tofte Fire Departments work to completely extinguish a fire at the Minnesota Power (MP) Taconite Harbor Energy Center, the community waits for details. MP Communications Manager Amy Rutledge said there is not a great deal of information available at this time. Rutledge confirmed what area resident have already heard—emergency responders were called to the Taconite Harbor facility in Schroeder at approximately 9 a.m. this morning following a fuel system explosion.
Rutledge said a long-time employee, a 41-year-old fuels technician, was in the coal bunker room at the time and was injured. The man was taken by ambulance to the Cook County North Shore Hospital in Grand Marais and later transferred to a Duluth hospital. Rutledge said the extent of the employee’s injuries is not known at this time, but the employee was "conscious and communicative."
Rutledge said MP could not release the employee’s name at this time and added, “Our thoughts and concern are with that employee right now. Our attention is directed at making sure he gets the appropriate medical attention.”
Rutledge said s the fire is confined to the plant’s coal-storage bunkers.  As a precaution, the power plant was evacuated.

The fire was believed to be out, however the Schroeder and Tofte Fire Departments were paged back at about 12:45 p.m. At 1:39 p.m., assistance was requested from the Lutsen Fire Department, which has a thermal-imaging camera to detect hotspots.

CCLEP and Higher Ed offer energy workshop for contractors

Mon, 10/22/2012 - 1:17pm
Cook County Higher Education (CCHE) and Cook County Local Energy Project (CCLEP) will host a Residential Energy Workshop for area contractors, builders and anyone interested in residential energy issues. 

The workshop will take place Saturday, October 27th at the Higher Ed North Shore Campus in Grand Marais. Sign-in and registration is from 7:30 – 8:00 with the workshop from 8:00 – 4:30.  Lunch will be served.  To register, call Higher Ed at 387-3411.

(Click on WTIP link below to hear an interview about the workshop with CCLEP coordinator Virginia Danfelt.)  

New Gunflint Trail business sign going up in Grand Marais

Mon, 10/22/2012 - 10:42am

City councilors granted approval for construction of a new sign on city property at their Oct. 10 meeting. The request was submitted by Sarah Hamilton of Trail Center Lodge. Speaking for a group of Gunflint Trail businesses, Hamilton asked if they could put up a ladder sign listing winter business hours on a city lot at the corner of Fifth Avenue West and the new Gunflint Trail.
The 10-foot by 5-foot sign would be on the lot, about 15-20 feet behind the curb, and is in compliance with the city’s sign ordinance. It is similar to existing signs posted along the Gunflint Trail. The sign would be temporary, going up Nov. 1 and coming down by early May.
In her letter to council, Hamilton explained that the restaurants on the Trail limit their hours during the winter months, which often creates frustration with visitors who don’t know when the businesses are open. There is no good way to advertise each business and its winter hours, said Hamilton.
The seasonal sign would include Trail Center, Hungry Jack Lodge, Windigo Lodge, Big Bear Lodge and Gunflint Lodge.
Council supported the sign plan and agreed it’s a great idea. “It’s a good thing to have,” said Mayor Larry “Bear” Carlson. “How many people have driven up there only to find things closed?”

Viking sports playoff schedule

Mon, 10/22/2012 - 9:10am

Section 7-A playoff action begins tomorrow night at Lyle Anderson Field in Grand Marais for the Cook County Vikings football team.

The volleyball team drew a first-round bye and will start their Sub-Section 7-A playoffs on Wednesday at the high school.

The number two-seeded team will open the quarterfinals at 6 o’clock tomorrow night against seventh seed Cass Lake-Bena.  The Vikings come into the game with a 6 and 1 record while Cass Lake-Bena is 1 and 7. The game will be broadcast on WTIP with Norman Moe and Dick Dorr providing the play-by-play starting with the pre-game discussion around 5:45. The kickoff is scheduled for 6 o'clock.

The winner of the Cook County Cass Lake-Bena game will play at 2 p.m., Saturday, October 27 against the winner of the Blackduck-Mesabi East quarterfinal.

The volleyball team will open its action in the CCHS gym on Wednesday, at 7 p.m. The number four seeded Vikings will play the winner of the first-round game between Lakeview Christian Academy and Cromwell. Cook County goes into the playoffs at 14 and 6. This game will also be broadcast on WTIP starting around 6:45 with the pre-game talk between broadcasters Bob Carter and Kelly Roberts. The first ball will be volleyed at 7.

Weekend News Roundup for October 20

Sat, 10/20/2012 - 10:32am

Each weekend WTIP news produces a round up of the news stories they’ve been following this week. The wolf season will go forward, drownings on Alton Lake, hot 8th Congressional District contest and steel strike averted…all in this week’s news.


Attached file

City Council gives go ahead for "community connection" at Grand Marais Rec. Park

Sat, 10/20/2012 - 10:31am

Dave Tersteeg, the city’s parks manager, presented a request to the Grand Marais City Council at its Wednesday, October 17 meeting. On the recommendation of the park board, Tersteeg said 
he wanted the council to approve a list of firm quotes from 
contractors that will allow work on the community connection to begin 
this fall.
The list totals $41,884 and includes quotes of $9,664 from Skadberg 
Masonry for concrete sidewalk and steps, and Edwin E. Thoreson for the 
remainder – retaining walls, aggregate, channel stabilization, 
grading and stabilization, and bituminous trail (8 feet wide by 2 feet 
Based on contractor schedules, said Tersteeg, the timeline for project 
build-out has two phases: concrete and stormwater work with grading 
and creation of a compacted aggregate trail this fall; and spring 
completion which involves trail paving, bridge installation and 
Tersteeg said pending council approval, he expects work to begin soon 
and to be performed by the same crews who worked so well on the 
neighboring North House Folk School’s project. “We hope we can keep 
some of that good synergy going,” Tersteeg said before council voted 
unanimously to approve the quotes and get the project rolling.