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News and other information from Cook County

International Day of Peace to be celebrated locally Sept. 21

Mon, 09/17/2012 - 12:56pm

The International Day of Peace is September 21. A unique observance will be held in Grand Marais on this special day. Community members are invited to gather at Drury Lane books at 2 p.m. on September 21 for Scarves of Peace—an event that will include fibres, food, music, fun—and peace.
At the event, scarves will be created by braiding fibres brought by participants. Why scarves? Organizer Karen Lohn, author of Peace Fibres: Stitching a Soulful World, explains, “Perhaps nothing demonstrates respectful relationships better than a scarf that is created by the hands of one, then draped and worn for warmth and adornment by another.”
Participants in this International Day of Peace can take part by sending fibres in 5-yard lengths (yarn, ribbons, strips of fabric—anything appropriate for braiding) that have been “blessed with your wishes for peace.” The fibres can be mailed to Karen Lohn, PO Box 1181, Grand Marais, MN 55604.
Donors of the fibres—and other community members—are then invited to come to the Scarves of Peace event to braid the fibres—together. Lohn reassures anyone thinking of attending that all are welcome. “Anyone can do this,” Lohn said. “No talent, experience, or expertise in anything is required.”
Finished scarves will be sent to world leaders with the message to “remember the human longing for respectful relationships at all levels.” Scarves will also be sent to places of turmoil and conflict, natural disaster or poverty to bring comfort and to stand in solidarity with the people there.

EDA seeks applicants for commercial rehab project assistance

Mon, 09/17/2012 - 12:35pm

The Cook County/Grand Marais Economic Development Authority’s housing and redevelopment program obtained funding to help two local businesses in 2012—The Garage and the Cook County Senior Center. The EDA, through the Grand Marais Downtown Redevelopment Program, continues to seek funding for similar projects. Their work has been successful and some funding is available for business rehab projects in 2013. The Grand Marais Downtown Redevelopment Program is now accepting applications for future projects.
The EDA’s commercial rehab coordinator Steve Grabko of Community Fundraising Solutions (CFS) said, “Because of high business owner interest in the program, additional grant funding has been secured for four more projects, or up to 70 percent or $38,500 per project,” said Grabko.
Nancy Grabko of CFS explained, “Our Grand Marais Downtown Redevelopment Program financial partners include the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Developments Small City Development Program, the Iron Range Resource Agencies Commercial Rehabilitation Program, the City of Grand Marais Storefront Loan Program and the Cook County Revolving Loan Fund Program. As a result of this partnership, grants and low interest loans will be made available to business owners wishing to reinvest in the physical assets of their business property.”
Grabko encouraged business owners to contact the EDA housing office for information at (218) 398-2473 or Nancy Grabko at (218) 398-7626.
Funds are limited. Applications are available at City Hall. All applications are due by Monday October 1.

Small fire near Grand Marais extinguished

Mon, 09/17/2012 - 8:32am
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The one-tenth acre Little Devil Fire near Grand Marais and outside the BWCAW was spotted on Saturday and quickly extinguished. The Forest Service says it remains on patrol status. Other small fires were also reported, including one northeast of Isabella near Lake Polly and Windy Lake.

Various closures are in effect due to the Parley and Hoist Bay fires, as well as the Canadian Emerald Lake Fire near Knife Lake. Fire restrictions remain in effect in the Boundary Waters. Campfires are allowed only between 7 p.m. and midnight.

Wind direction is expected to be from northwest today, pushing smoke from these fires toward populated areas and increasing the potential for noticeable smell of smoke, especially on the upper Gunflint Trail. Until the recent rainfall, conditions remained dry and fire danger is very high across the Forest. Assessment of the rain impact will be made today.

The Fort Francis 59/Emerald Lake Fire between Knife Lake and Emerald Lake is estimated at 525 acres and continues to be active. The fire remains on the Quetico side and a Canadian fire crew is on the scene. Forest Service Crews are monitoring this fire and are prepared to actively support Canadian fire crew as needed.

The Minnesota Incident Command Center is asking civilian pilots to voluntarily stay 5 miles and 5,000 feet from fires so airborne firefighting craft have clear air space.

USFS reports on fire fighting, conditions, closures; small fire near Grand Marais spotted, extinguished

Sun, 09/16/2012 - 1:49pm

The Superior National Forest, Kawishiwi Ranger District issued the following mid-day report, Sunday, September 16 on wildfires in the Superior National Forest, including Cook and Lake counties.

Locally, the one-tenth  acre Little  Devil Fire near Grand Marais and outside the Boundary Water Canoe Area Wilderness was spotted on Saturday and quickly extinguished. The USFS says it remains on patrol status.

Special Notifications:  Various closures are in effect due to the Parley Fire, the Hoist Bay Fire, and the Canadian Emerald Lake Fire near Knife Lake. Please see the details below.  Public Safety crews are posting these areas.  Also, fire restrictions remain in effect in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. Campfires are allowed only between 7 p.m. and midnight.

NOTE:  Conditions are very dry and fire danger is very high across the Forest.   There have been several small fire starts over the past few days which fire crews have quickly suppressed.  Public safety crews are notifying people in the Wilderness about closures and restrictions.  Wind direction is expected to shift to northwest today and push smoke from these fires towards populated areas increasing the potential for a noticeable smell of smoke.  Temperatures will be cooler with some change of precipitation but conditions are expected to remain dry.

Current Fire Activity: 

USFS issues Saturday evening update on Superior National Forest fires

Sat, 09/15/2012 - 8:13pm

The following report was issued on Saturday evening, September 15, from the Kawishiwi Ranger District in the Superior National Forest. The US Forest Service Report also includes information about fires in the Gunflint-Tofte Range District.
 

Special Notifications:  Various closures are in effect due to the Parley Fire, the Hoist Bay Fire, and the Canadian Emerald Fire near Knife Lake. Please see the details below.  Public Safety crews are posting these areas.  Also, fire restrictions remain in effect in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. Campfires are allowed only between 7 p.m. and midnight.
 

NOTE:  There was very little change, overall, with the small wildfires on the Superior National Forest.  Public safety crews are notifying people in the Wilderness.  Wind direction is expected to shift to northwest Sunday and push smoke from these fires towards populated areas, including the Gunflint Trail and other parts of Cook County.
 

Current Fire Activity: 
 

Parley Lake Fire, Currently 35 acres, within the BWCAW, T66 R12 S18, east of the Beartrap River, north of Sunday Lake, west of Sunday Bay of Crooked Lake, discovered Sept 12. Aircraft are continuing water drops. Ground crews are on scene. Containment – 40%.    Closures:  Campsites on Sunday and Saturday Bays of Crooked Lake, the Beartrap River, and Zones 1, 2, and 5 of the Sundial Primitive Management Area are closed. Travel through Sunday and Saturday Bays is still being allowed.
 

USFS updates fire report; smoke may reach Gunflint Trail area Sunday from Quetico fire

Sat, 09/15/2012 - 12:47pm
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The  Tofte Ranger Disrrict of the US Forest Service issued a fire update at 11 AM, Saturday, September 15.

The USFS notes that on Sunday, predictions of winds from the northwest could carry smoke from the Emerald Lake fire in Ontario's Quetico region to areas along the Gunflint Trail.

Here are the updates:
 
Emerald Lake-
The fire was pretty quiet yesterday not much activity and is still contained within Canada, on the northern side of Knife Lake.  On Saturday, the winds will be out of the south driving the smoke north.

Public Safety crews are still on the ground in this area.  The USFS is in close contact with Canadian Fire Management Officers.  The USFS will continue to monitor the status and activity of this fire by their aircraft as well.

On Sunday, the winds are predicted to be out of the northwest.  Areas along the Gunflint Trail will likely experience smoke.
 

Windy Lake-

Afternoon detection and monitoring patrols discovered a small fire on the East side of Windy Lake Friday late afternoon at 4:30 pm.  This fire is approximately one tenth of an acre in size.  Crews are in there at this time and is expected to be 100% contained by later on Saturday afternoon.
 

Peterson Lake-

This fire is 100% contained and a ground crew is in there at this time.  Monitoring will continue by aircraft.
 

Mora Lake-

This fire is 100% contained and will continue to be monitored by aircraft.