Around Cook County
Grand Portage Elder Nutrition Program Director Patty Winchell-
Dahl received special recognition at the Wisdom Steps Conference at
the Grand Casino in Hinckley in June. Winchell-Dahl was presented the
“Dr. Allan Allery Award” which is given to an individual involved in
the Wisdom Steps program for “exemplary support and dedication to
The award is named after the man who founded Wisdom Steps, a
preventative health program, to address the troubling fact that
American Indian elders had a higher mortality rate than the rest of
the population. Dr. Allery wanted to do something about it and he
created the program, which focuses on the importance of health
screenings—and movement, especially walking.
The program began in the Twin Cities and Bemidji area. Wisdom Steps
has grown to be a non-profit serving all of the tribes in Minnesota.
Anyone involved in the program can nominate someone that they think
has made a difference in his or her community.
Betty Hoffman of Grand Portage nominated winchell-Dahl.
Reached by the News-Herald after the presentation, Winchell-Dahl said
she wanted to express appreciation to the community and her staff, as
she was so surprised at the award that she didn’t properly thank them.
“The fellow who received the award last year asked, ‘Patty, don’t you
want to say something?’ I couldn’t. I was so flabbergasted. Those who
know me, know I am never at a loss for words, but I was.”
Winchell-Dahl was presented with a beautiful plaque and an honor song
was played for her at the awards banquet.
On Wednesday, June 27, Matt Geretschlaeger appeared before
council to ask that the city apply to the IRRRB for a $300,000 Public
Works Grant to pay for infrastructure to the Gunflint Trail site of
his proposed Superior Zip Line project.
The request triggered some haggling over wording of a draft letter and
resolution Geretschlaeger presented and the propriety of the city
becoming further involved with the project.
Geretschlaeger explained that the grant application is actually a two-
step process, and further details such as price breakdowns will be
provided in the final request, which will be presented to council at a
future meeting. All he wanted now, Geretschlaeger said, was permission
to be the recipient of a grant based on information to be presented in
Furthermore, he said, the grant has a limit of $300,000. “It’s very
simple…you prove the cost, and that’s all you get.” Geretschlaeger
went on to explain that the IRRRB grant under discussion was designed
“just for this purpose,” and is “extremely common to run
infrastructure.” He also pointed out that the zip line is a $1 million-
plus project that will bring jobs and an additional recreational
attraction to the city, and one in which he has personally made a
large financial investment. “I’m not here to say I’m gonna do this
with smoke and mirrors. That’s not the case here…I’m all in.”
City Administrator Mike Roth assured council that the grant, if
approved, was only pass-through money, and none of the city’s money
would be involved. He agreed with Geretschlaeger that public works
It was the end of an era on June 7, 2012, when Masonic Lodge
No. 322 of Grand Marais gathered at the Grand Marais Masonic Hall one
last time to affirm its merger with Taconite Lodge No. 342 in Silver
Bay. Taconite Lodge will complete the agreement at its next stated
Present at the final ceremony for Masonic Lodge No. 322 were Senior
Warden Neil Hansen, Treasurer Paul Coe, Master Marland Hansen,
Secretary Tom Westby and Junior Warden Al Barry. The Blue Lodge has
been in Grand Marais since 1925.
Master Marland Hansen said he and several other Masons had fought to
keep the Grand Marais Lodge open, but he said it came to the point
where there just weren’t enough members to keep it going. He said the
Grand Marais Masons would now travel to the Taconite Lodge in Silver
Bay twice a month for meetings.
The Grand Marais Masonic Hall, the blue building just north of North
Shore Hospital, is being purchased by the hospital for $95,000. Hansen
said the money from the sale of the building would go to the new
lodge. It will be allocated to a fund managed by two Masons from Cook
County and one from Lake County. That money will continue to be used
for scholarships for graduates and the other good works the Masons
have done in Cook County.
Such efforts will continue. Hansen said Masons have been involved in
the Child Find Program, have granted scholarships to local graduates
and have helped the Boy Scouts. Boy Scouts were derived from the
Masons, said Hansen, adding, “Masons is still one of the finest
To learn more about the organization and becoming a member, speak to
Each weekend WTIP news produces a round up of the news stories they’ve been following this week. Severe storms in our area, Jay Cooke Park is closed, the big lake’s water level is up, UP mining project is scrapped, two fishing reports are released by the Army Corps and they’re being sued to speed up carp control. Also, there will be a special flood damage legislative session…all in this week’s news.
Minnesota’s absentee voting period for the State Primary Election has begun. Absentee voting ends August 13.
Secretary of State Mark Ritchie reminds voters that they can use the Office of the Minnesota Secretary of State’s online tool to check the status of their absentee ballots.
“We anticipate that almost 300,000 Minnesotans will vote by absentee ballot this election,” said Secretary Ritchie. “Having the option of casting an absentee ballot is important—especially for our military personnel who are serving overseas.”
Minnesota’s voters may only vote absentee for one of the following reasons: absence from the precinct; observance of religious discipline or holiday; illness or disability; serving as an election judge in another precinct; or when an emergency is declared by the governor or a quarantine is declared by the federal or state government.
In Cook County, voters may visit the county auditor’s office to vote in-person absentee. To get absentee voting forms or additional information visit: www.mnvotes.org. The absentee ballot lookup allows a voter to track where his or her ballot is in the process and when it has been successfully counted. The absentee ballot lookup can be accessed at www.mnvotes.org. Information for military and overseas voters is available on the Overseas Vote Foundation website at: https://minnesota.overseasvotefoundation.org
In 2011, more than 50 groups and communities participated in some way, including special events such as dragon boat races, beach clean ups, musical concerts, library displays and church services.
The Lake Superior Binational Forum encourages residents of the Lake Superior basin and beyond to celebrate their connection to the world's largest freshwater lake.
What is Lake Superior Day? Lake Superior Day was started in the early 1990s to highlight the importance of this great water body to the basin's environment and economy. The Lake Superior Binational Forum promotes this basin-wide event to highlight the special connections people have to this unique world treasure.
The Lake Superior Binational Program represents a partnership of federal, state, provincial, and First Nations/tribal governments working together with citizens to ensure the protection of the Lake Superior basin ecosystem. The Lake Superior Binational Forum is a citizen stakeholder group of Americans and Canadians who work together to provide input to governments about these efforts and to educate basin residents about ways to protect and restore the lake basin's natural resources.