Around Cook County

News and other information from Cook County

MPCA postpones releasing wild rice recommendation

Mon, 03/03/2014 - 12:52pm

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency has postponed its recommendation on whether changes are needed to the state's water quality standards for protecting wild rice from sulfates.

The agency gave no explanation for canceling last Thursday's scheduled release except to say it wasn't ready. MPCA spokesman Dave Verhasselt said the agency will provide an update when it can in the coming weeks.

The Chamber of Commerce has criticized the study on which the MPCA is basing its recommendations. The Chamber's analysis concludes that based on the MPCA's study, a sulfate standard is unnecessary.

But John Pastor, a University of Minnesota Duluth researcher who's one of the lead researchers, says the current 10 milligrams-per-liter standard or something close is about right. Pastor has been growing wild rice in stock tanks for several years. He says it’s not the sulfate itself that harms the plants. Rather, bacteria living in the oxygen-poor muck convert sulfate into sulfide, which scientists have long known interferes with plants’ respiration and nutrient uptake.

“We found there really is no threshold at which sulfide becomes toxic,” Pastor said.  “As soon as you add any, you get a decline in growth rate.”


Weekend News Roundup for February 28

Sat, 03/01/2014 - 11:09am

Each week the WTIP news team puts together a roundup of the week's news. Taconite pellets spill near Two Harbors, the EPA has invasive species money and the gypsy moth quarantine gets bad reviews from the county board. His and much more…all in this week’s news.


Attached file

Care Partners offers volunteer training in March

Thu, 02/27/2014 - 12:42pm

The gift of friendship can mean a lot for those on the journey of aging or serious illness—just someone to hear their stories, be with them or remind them of their significance.

Care Partners volunteers provide companionship in the client’s home, at the Care Center, or the hospital. Volunteers provide ongoing friendly visits, a compassionate presence at end-of-life, phone check-ins, or caregiver respite—each volunteer finds his own niche.

 Care Partners Companion Volunteer Training will be held March 3, 4 and 11 from 4:30 to 8 p.m. for those who want to provide friendly visits, respite care, or presence at end of life. Contact Care Partners at 387-3788,

Nominees sought for 11th Annual Environmental Stewardship Award

Thu, 02/27/2014 - 12:41pm

The Lake Superior Binational Forum is seeking nominations for its 11th Annual Environmental Stewardship Awards Program. This award honors extraordinary achievements in six categories in the U.S. and Canada.

Nominations can be made on behalf of a person, group, governmental agency or tribe. The deadline for all nominations is April 11, 2014.

The six categories for nominations include Youth, Adult Individual, Business, Industry, Municipality/Governmental Agency or Tribe/First Nations, and Organization. Members of the Lake Superior Binational Program review each nomination and select a winner in each of the six categories. Judges may also make Honorable Mention awards to suitable nominees.

A nomination form, awards guidelines, and past recipients can be found on the Binational Forum's web site at Awards will be presented to winners at a ceremony on Lake Superior Day on July 20.

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 Forum is funded by the Environmental Protection Agency's Great Lakes Restoration Initiative. The U.S. Forum office is located at the Sigurd Olson Environmental Institute at Northland College in Ashland, Wis.

For more information call (715) 682-1489.

Lutsen monthly meeting rescheduled

Wed, 02/26/2014 - 12:34pm

Grand Marais Library hosts Sean Emery, the "Jugglin' Guy"

Wed, 02/26/2014 - 9:28am

Visit the Grand Marais Public Library at 4 p.m. Feb. 28 for an unforgettable performance with one of the region’s funniest and most sought-after entertainers, Sean Emery.

With his talent and uncanny ability to read people, Sean will scoop up members of the audience and embrace them with his circus skills, comedy, and showmanship.  Professionally trained with the Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey, Emery truly is one of the most in-demand entertainers from county fairs to Radio City Music Hall, festivals, theaters, cabarets and even the White House!  His act includes amazing juggling, unicycling and physical comedy, and he is a master of improv.

This event is sponsored by the Grand Marais Public Library, the Arrowhead Library System and funded by money from Minnesota’s Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund.

For more information contact the library at  (218) 387-1140 .