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Weekend News Roundup for September 27

Sat, 09/27/2014 - 10:25am

Each week the WTIP news department puts together a roundup of the weeks top news stories. Vandalism, lakes rehabilitation for trout, bears, invasive species and wolves…all figured in this week’s news.

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Scannell to serve some jail time, probation and community service

Fri, 09/26/2014 - 4:38pm

Former Cook County Attorney Tim Scannell will serve time behind bars for his improper relationship with a teenage girl.

WDIO-TV reports that Judge Shaun Floerke today sentenced Scannell to 30 days jail time, ten years probation, and 300 hours of community service for two felony counts of fourth-degree criminal sexual conduct.  He will also have to register with the sex offender list for ten years.

Following the July trial, defense attorney Joe Tamburino had said Scannell would likely get probation and not time behind bars.

Prosecuting attorney Tom Heffelfinger said Scannell abused a position of authority when he kissed and allegedly sexually touched the then 17-year-old victim in 2012. During the trial, Scannell testified he didn't realize his actions hurt the girl until he saw her testimony.

Scannell was already on medical leave from his position as county attorney when the trial started, and the Cook County Board replaced him following the conviction.

Scannell became a statewide public figure after he was shot multiple times at the Grand Marais courthouse in December 2011 by a man he'd successfully prosecuted.

Community invited to hear "Portage" at North Shore Care Center on September 27

Fri, 09/26/2014 - 3:11pm

As usual, the classic country band Portage will perform for a dance at the North Shore Care Center on the last Saturday of the month on September 27 at 6:30 p.m.

Families, friends, and community members are welcome to attend Care Center music events.

For more information about activity programs or volunteer opportunities at the North Shore Care Center, please contact the Activity Department at (218)387-3518 or visit the website:

Starting today - Crossing Borders Tour includes 21 artists and galleries

Fri, 09/26/2014 - 3:09pm

Betsy Bowen of Grand Marais is just one of the several renowned artists showing in this year’s Crossing Borders Studio Tour from Two Harbors to Grand Portage Sept. 26 through Oct. 5.

The 18th annual event includes 21 participants. The free self-guided tour spans 120 miles along Minnesota’s Scenic Highway 61 and offers a wonderful opportunity to meet artists, and to learn how and why they create their work. It is also an opportunity to acquire work directly from their creators.

Featured in the 2014 Crossing Borders Studio Tour is stone sculpture, Ojibwe artwork, pottery, weaving, glass, print making, wood turning, metal works, jewelry, and leather. Download the schedule and map at or call (218) 663-7008 for more information.

Former county attorney due to be sentenced

Fri, 09/26/2014 - 11:06am

DULUTH, Minn. (AP) — A former northern Minnesota county attorney is due to be sentenced for criminal sexual conduct.

Tim Scannell's sentencing is scheduled today in Duluth. Scannell was replaced as a Cook County prosecutor following his conviction last summer in a case involving a 17-year-old girl.

Jurors decided Scannell abused a position of authority when he kissed and allegedly touched the girl during drives they took in 2012. He was convicted of two counts of fourth-degree criminal sexual conduct.

The girl's family sought a restraining order against Scannell in 2012. The parents said in their petition that Scannell was a longtime family friend.

Attorneys for both sides said earlier they expect Scannell will get probation and that he also will have to register as a sex offender.

DNR seeking public input at Saturday meeting on experimental walleye regulations for Saganaga, Sea Gull and Gull Lakes

Thu, 09/25/2014 - 3:05pm

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is seeking public input on experimental walleye regulations being considered for Saganaga, Sea Gull, and Gull lakes, and the Sea Gull River. All are located in Cook County, on or near the Minnesota-Ontario border. Regulations may include a 17-inch minimum size requirement and a limit of three fish, with only one fish over 20 inches allowed.

The regulations are being considered in response to concerns from anglers over a lack of smaller walleye in these waters, coupled with DNR assessment data showing declines in the number of walleye of all sizes present.

The minimum size limit is intended to protect younger fish from harvest, to maximize returns from natural reproduction and stocking. The lower bag limit is intended to prevent harvest of too many fish. The restriction on the number of fish over 20 inches has been included to be consistent with statewide walleye regulations, and to prevent overharvest of the largest walleye in these waters.

A public meeting will be held at the Cook County Community Center,
 317 W. Fifth St., Grand Marais, on Sept. 27 from 6 to 8 p.m. Grand Marais area fisheries staff will be on hand at that meeting to take comments on this proposal only.

The DNR will also continue to take input on the proposal for the remainder of the summer; comments will be accepted through Oct. 7.

Questions and comments can be directed to the DNR fisheries office in Grand Marais at
 (218) 387-3056, by email to Grand Marais area fisheries supervisor Steve Persons at, or by mail to DNR Fisheries, 1356 E. Highway 61, Grand Marais, MN 55604.