Around Cook County

News and other information from Cook County

Clearwater Lodge to dedicate totem pole June 13

Wed, 06/12/2013 - 1:00pm

In 1948 Billy Needham presented Laverne Schliep, then-owner of Clearwater Lodge, with a hand-carved totem pole featuring Paul Bunyan, Babe the Blue Ox, and other characters.  For six plus decades, thousands of people have admired the totem pole and many posed next to it for photos.  In 2011 it was discovered that the pole was deteriorating and its eagle’s wings fell off. Noticing the sad state of the once proud totem pole, Bob Olson, long time resident of Clearwater Lake and a friend of the historic lodge, decided to apply his talents as a craftsman to the totem pole's situation.  This spring, Olson presented Clearwater Lodge with a new, hand-carved totem pole to replace the aged original.  Current owners of the lodge, Kasey and Adam Van Tassell are happy to report that the new pole has been installed. “Hopefully many more thousands of people will enjoy gazing up at a wonderful piece of art for many more decades,” said Kasey.
An official unveiling of the new totem will be held on Thursday June 13 at 7 p.m. The community is invited.

Phyllis Parker named outstanding senior volunteer

Wed, 06/12/2013 - 10:05am

Phyllis Parker of Grand Marais has been chosen as Minnesota's 2013 outstanding senior volunteer.

Parker, 69, is the state's winner of Home Instead Senior Care's Salute to Senior Service Award. She is being recognized for her dedicated community service, including her work at the North Shore Care Center.

Through Care Partners she's formed deep relationships with patients and their families. She reads on a weekly basis to several seniors, including a 104-year-old lady whose family lives out of state. You can hear an interview with Phyllis Parker on WTIP’s Third Thursday Community Conversation program, airing June 20 at 7 p.m.

Parker is also the volunteer secretary of the Grand Marais Maple Hill Fire Department and is in charge of registration for the annual Mush for a Cure fundraiser. A $500 donation will be made to the non profit of her choice and she is in the running for national recognition.


AMPERS Annual Meeting in Grand Marais this week

Wed, 06/12/2013 - 10:02am

WTIP Community Radio will host the annual meeting of AMPERS (Association of Minnesota Public Educational Radio Stations) Thursday and Friday, June 11 & 12 in Grand Marais. Station Managers of 15 radio stations from around the state will meet over the 2-day period to discuss programming, station & financial management, governance and multimedia platforms.
Stations represented are Minneapolis stations KBEM, KMOJ & KFAI, University of Minnesota stations KUOM – Minneapolis, KQAL -Winona, KUMM – Morris, KUMD - Duluth, KVSC - St. Cloud & KMSU - Mankato,  community stations KAXE – Grand Rapids, KSRQ - Thief River Falls, & WTIP - Grand Marais and tribal stations  KBFT – Nett Lake, KOJB - Cass Lake and KKWE – White Earth.
AMPERS is an organization of 15 independent community radio stations across Minnesota who work together to share programming, business underwriting and management acumen to increase their value to their communities.

Progress on the Gitchi-Gami State Trail

Tue, 06/11/2013 - 4:17pm

Construction in progress, but plenty of miles open on the Gitchi Gami State Trail.  WTIP volunteerRandy Eastlund learns more in this interview with Kevin Johnson of DNR Parks and Trails.

{click above to listen}

photo courtesy of the Gitchi-Gami Trail Association

Attached file

Temperance River State Park to host camping basics program on June 22

Tue, 06/11/2013 - 2:37pm

Families will learn all the skills they need to camp outdoors at a one-night “I Can Camp!” program on Saturday, June 22, at Temperance River State Park on the north shore of Lake Superior near Schroeder, Minn.

Experienced instructors from Conservation Corps Minnesota will teach participants basic camping and outdoor skills, including how to set up a tent, start a campfire and prepare simple and delicious meals. All camping equipment is provided (including tents, air mattresses and cook stoves). Participants just bring their own food and bedding (sleeping bags or blankets and pillows).

The “I Can Camp!” program fee is $40 for a tent that accommodates up to six people. A one-day vehicle pass will be included as part of the program fee or participants may buy a year-round Minnesota state parks permit for an additional $20.
Advance registration is required. To register, call 866-857-2757 (toll free) daily between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. For more information, visit or call the DNR Information Center at 651-296-6157 (or 888-646-6367 toll free) between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.
This program is part of an ongoing effort by the DNR Parks and Trails Division to connect people with the outdoors. The division also offers skill-building programs that introduce fishing, paddling, climbing and archery to beginners.

Funding for this I Can Camp! program is from the Parks and Trails Fund, created after voters approved the Clean Water, Land and Legacy Amendment in November 2008. The Parks and Trails Fund receives 14.25 percent of the three-eighths percent sales tax revenue that may only be spent to support parks and trails of regional or statewide significance.

Why did the turtle cross the road?

Tue, 06/11/2013 - 12:35pm

Turtles are now crossing roads to reach nests, and the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is asking people to leave turtles alone as they cross roads to reach nesting areas.

Each year at this time, many female turtles move from lakes, ponds, wetlands, rivers and streams to nesting areas, where they deposit their eggs in self-excavated nests. 
Unfortunately, many nesting areas are separated from the turtles’ wintering areas by roads they cross as they make their way to nests.  

“Many turtles and other species are killed on Minnesota roads each year, especially during the nesting season,” said Carol Hall, DNR herpetologist. 

People can help reduce turtle road death in these ways:
• Allow unassisted road crossings. When turtles can safely cross roads unaided due to a lack of oncoming traffic, allow them to do so. Observe from a distance and avoid rapid movements. Doing otherwise may cause turtles to change direction, stop, or seek shelter within their shells.
• Avoid excessive handling. Excessive handling can disrupt normal behavior. Prolonged examination of turtles should be limited to only one or two turtles of each species.
• Maintain travel direction.  Always move turtles in the same direction they were traveling when encountered. Turtles should always be moved across roadways in as direct a line as possible.
• People who see a turtle or other animal on the road should slow down and safely drive around it. Many people want to help turtles cross the road but the best approach is to let the turtle cross on its own. There are nine turtle species in the state, some of which are protected.