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News and other information from Cook County

West End July 4 celebration includes Tofte Trek, music, parade and more

Wed, 07/03/2013 - 11:24am

Tofte will be abuzz with activity July 4 and 5, with many old and a few new activities.

On Thursday, July 4, Birch Grove Community Center will serve breakfast pizzas (made in the new oven) beginning at 8 a.m. The Tofte Trek begins at 9 a.m., and at 11:30 a.m. there will be bouncy house fun and a balloon toss.
At the Tofte Town Hall/Park, festivities begin at 11 a.m. with live music, dunk tank, art & craft show, fabulous food and a beer garden. The parade steps out at 2 p.m., followed by the naming of the Citizen of the Year at 3 p.m. A spaghetti dinner wraps things up at 5 p.m. at Zoar Lutheran Church until 7 p.m.
Live music will spotlight the Cook County High School Band at noon; Cook County’s Most Wanted from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.; and D’Merritt from 2 to 5 p.m.
The dunk tank, sponsored by Lutsen Mountains and Grand Marais State Bank, will feature Michael McHugh for the WTIP Youth Radio Project at 11 a.m.; Jim King for the Birch Grove Foundation at 11:30 a.m.; Ashley Green for Arrowhead Animal Rescue at 12:30 p.m.; Bruce Martinson for the West End fire departments; Tom Rider for the Junior Alpine Club at 3:30 p.m.; and Diane Blanchette for Birch Grove School at 4 p.m.
And that’s not all!
Visitors are invited to come back the next night, Friday, July 5, for fireworks at the Tofte Town Park. The show starts at 10 p.m. – it’s sure to be a blast!

When hiking: Be Prepared!

Wed, 07/03/2013 - 10:48am

Pre-planning your hiking trip whether for a day or several days, is that important first step of the journey. WTIP’s Jay Andersen spoke with Gunflint District Ranger Nancy Larson about hiking preparedness.

(Click here to hear the interview.)

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North Shore artists ready for Hovland Arts Festival Saturday, July 6

Tue, 07/02/2013 - 3:26pm

The remote North Shore community of Hovland has an abundance of amazing artists. Their work will be on display at the Hovland Arts Festival over the weekend of the 4th of July. 
On display will be beautiful rag rugs and wool scarves, exquisite paintings and photographic prints, eclectic jewelry, wood creations of all kinds, beeswax candles and beads and much more.
Look for Mary Jo Flack’s newest creation, Hypertufa Earth Vessels. Consider getting a henna tattoo from Marla Huber. See watercolorist David Hahn at work. Visit with the artists and hear the stories behind their art.
There will also be an offering of music throughout the weekend thanks to many talented musicians donating their time. And next to the town hall, Trinity Lutheran Church will be cooking up a storm to feed Arts Festival attendees.
The Hovland Arts Festival will be Saturday, July 6 from 10 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. and Sunday, July 7 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Hovland Town Hall. Admission is free! For more information about the event, visit www.HovlandArtsFestival.com.

Grand Marais Golf 'n Stuff to become Putt and Pets

Tue, 07/02/2013 - 3:25pm

The city of Grand Marais is going to become a little more fun.  Randy Sjogren, the new owner of the mini golf course on Highway 61 on the west side of town, is going to have Nigerian dwarf goats, chickens, turkeys, and pheasants for people to see while they golf.  The new business is called Putt n Pets.
On June 25, 2013, the county board approved a conditional use permit (CUP) allowing the animals on the 1.89-acre parcel.
In order to avoid liability risks, this will not be a petting zoo.  Customers will be separated from the animals by physical barriers. 
The CUP was first approved by the Cook County Planning Commission after a hearing on June 12.  A report of the meeting by Planning & Zoning Administrator Bill Lane stated that Mr. Sjogren “indicated the intent of the business was to ‘keep it mini,’ feeling that ‘animals are a good way to bring people together.’”  In the application, Sjogren stated that Nigerian dwarf goats “are very small [and] friendly, and their playful antics are a delight to all.”  He is planning to construct a goat bridge to give the goats the opportunity “to climb and show off their antics.”
Forty-four letters of notification were sent to adjacent property owners in regard to the CUP request.  Several neighbors including former owner Tom Crosby expressed support and none objected. 
Healthy living conditions for the animals in a natural setting of trees and shrubs will be provided in accordance with USDA regulations, and in the wintertime they will live either at Randy and Carolyn Sjogren’s home in Farmington, where they have kept animals for many years, or at the home of son and daughter-in-law Aaron and Terri Sjogren outside of Grand Marais.

Arrowhead Transit: all aboard!

Mon, 07/01/2013 - 3:33pm
Arrowhead Transit serves Grand Marais and Cook County with scheduled bus services, Dial-a-Ride service, work routes to Grand Portage, and routes to Duluth.  Arrowhead Transit personnel recently hosted a meet & greet in downtown Grand Marais.  WTIP's Veronica Weadock has this report.

Click here to listen.

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Civil War researcher/author to speak at Cross River Heritage Center July 6

Mon, 07/01/2013 - 12:48pm

Civil War researcher, Wayne Jorgenson, will discuss his book Every Man Did His Duty: Pictures and Stories of the Men of the First Minnesota at the Cross River Heritage Center, Saturday, July 6 at 1:30.
Just 5 days after the 150th Anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg, Mr. Jorgenson will show pictures of the men of the First Minnesota and tell stories of their lives.  The First Minnesota Volunteer Infantry was the first volunteer regiment to offer service to President Lincoln after the fall of Ft. Sumter. Their sacrifice at the Battle of Gettysburg helped save the union from defeat. This battle was the turning point in the Civil War.
Two Cook County locations are named after men in the First Minnesota. Col. William Colville, who commanded the First Minnesota at the Battle of Gettysburg, later homesteaded north of Grand Marais. The creek adjacent to Colville's homestead was named Durfee Creek after Judge George Durfee who had served under Colville at Gettysburg.