Around Cook County

News and other information from Cook County

The cooking comedy "The Kitchen Witches" debuts August 23

Wed, 08/22/2012 - 11:08am

The final show of the Grand Marais Playhouse summer season is the delightful comedy The Kitchen Witches by Caroline Smith. The first performance is August 23.
Isobel Lomax (played by Grace Bushard) and Dolly Biddle (played by Marcia Hyatt) are two "mature" cable-access cooking show hostesses who have hated each other for 30 years, ever since Larry Biddle dated one and married the other.
When circumstances put them together on a TV show called The Kitchen Witches, the insults are flung harder than the food!
Dolly's long-suffering TV producer son Stephen (played by Kevin Kager) tries to keep them on track, but as long as Dolly's dressing room is one inch closer to the set than Isobel's, it's a losing battle, and the show becomes a rating smash as Dolly and Isobel top both Martha Stewart and Jerry Springer!
Michael Peterson also has a role in this production and he even has a line in this one!
Performance dates are August 23 - 26 and Aug. 30 – Sept. 3. Thursday – Saturdays 7 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m. Tickets are $17 adults and $7 Students (no additional fees). Friday, August 24 is Food Shelf First Friday. Bring five or more items or a $10 plus donation to the Cook County Food Shelf and receive a buy one-get one free offer for that evening’s performance. Sunday, Aug. 26 is donation at the door day. Pay any amount for your ticket to that performance.

Public invited to Energy Plan presentation August 23

Wed, 08/22/2012 - 11:06am

The Cook County and Grand Marais Energy Conservation and Renewable Energy Plan has been adopted by both the Grand Marais City Council and the Cook County Board of Commissioners, and representatives of the Cook County Local Energy Project (CCLEP) report that implementation is about to begin.
The energy plan took about 18 months to develop and it is a detailed document that includes results of a county-wide energy survey, energy usage profiles for the county and city, an energy toolbox and 10 goals with associated implementation strategies and action items.
Implementation of the voluntary plan will be facilitated by the Cook County Local Energy Project (CCLEP), a citizen advisory committee. CCLEP board members are George Wilkes (chair), David Demmer, Dave Danz, Rick Schubert, Chel Anderson, Hyla Napadensky, Jeremy Lopez, Don Grant, Paul Nelson, Gary Atwood. Virginia Danfelt is the CCLEP coordinator.
Projects and programs will be financed using a combination of grants, government funding and donations. Any projects using government funding will require approval from the appropriate local governing body.
A meeting will be held at the Cook County Community Center on Thursday, August 23 from 7:00 -8:30 p.m. in which the plan will be presented and discussed, and citizens will be invited to participate in plan implementation. Everyone is encouraged to attend. Lola’s Sweet Life Bakery is providing refreshments
The entire plan can be viewed online at the CCLEP website
Questions about the plan can be addressed by contacting Committee Chair George Wilkes at; Energy Plan Coordinator Don Grant at or CCLEP Coordinator Virginia Danfelt at or by calling (218) 475-2274.

State Supreme Court won't hear BWCAW cell phone tower case

Wed, 08/22/2012 - 6:43am

     ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) - A 450-foot cellphone tower with flashing
lights that would be seen from parts of the Boundary Water Canoe
Area Wilderness will be allowed to go forward, after the Supreme
Court denied a request to hear the case.
     The high court's decision means a June ruling by the Minnesota
Court of Appeals - which allows the tower - will stand.
     The Friends of the Boundary Waters Wilderness had wanted to
block the tower proposed by AT&T Mobility, saying its location atop
a ridge near Ely would make it visible from 10 lakes within the
protected area. The group had argued that a smaller tower without
lights would provide sufficient coverage.
     The BWCA covers more than 1 million acres in northeastern

Energy Plan adopted for county

Tue, 08/21/2012 - 2:47pm

Last month, a comprehensive energy plan was approved by both the Grand Marais City Council and the Cook County Board of Commissioners.  According to George Wilkes of the Cook County Local Energy Project (C-CLEP), the energy plan “is a framework for collaborative work on energy issues.” 


Cook County and Grand Marais Energy Conservation and Renewable Energy Plan

Executive Summary

In the summer of 2010, the Cook County Board, the City of Grand Marais, and the CookCounty Local Energy Project (CCLEP) formed a partnership to develop a voluntary Energy Conservation and Renewable Energy Plan (Energy Plan) pertaining to both the City and the County. The purpose of this project is to better prepare our community for the challenges,and opportunities, of a rapidly changing energy environment. More specifically, implementation of this Energy Plan should benefit our community by:

• Retaining energy dollars in our local economy.

• Creating jobs.

• Improving quality of life for Cook County citizens through more comfortable, less costly,energy efficient housing.

• Buffering our community from the effects of unstable energy supply and pricing.

• Decreasing our community’s contribution to the harmful environmental and climatic effects of fossil fuel use.

Public invited to open house in Tofte tonight to learn more about senior housing plans

Tue, 08/21/2012 - 11:31am

An open house and public meeting is being held from 6:30 – 7:30 p.m. tonight, Tuesday, August 21 at the Tofte Town Hall to give the community the opportunity to learn more about the architectural and engineering study recently completed for the proposed West End Senior Housing project.
There will be a presentation by DSGW Architects and the town board will review the purpose of the project, its design principals and goals and design options. There will then be a “Design Charrette,” a public input process.
If you would like more information, contact Barbara Gervais, Tofte Clerk at 218-370-0763.

Election lineup set for local races

Tue, 08/21/2012 - 11:29am

Tuesday, August 14 was Election Day and races for county commissioner, Supreme Court judges, and U.S. senators and representatives have been narrowed to two candidates for the November election.
County Commissioner District 4 was the only local race that had three candidates still in the running. The Gunflint and Maple Hill precincts cast their votes in this race with the best voter turnout in the county. Gunflint precinct saw 62% and Maple Hill 61% of its registered voters choosing a candidate.
Garnering the most votes was Heidi Doo-Kirk with 217. She was followed by Rick Austin with 160 votes. The third candidate, Gail Anderson, received 93 votes and will not appear on the November ballot.
County Commissioner District 2 had three candidates listed, however Kelly Swearingen had withdrawn from the race and asked constituents not to vote for her. Despite her request, she received 20 votes.
Incumbent Fritz Sobanja earned 99 votes and challenger Garry Gamble received 76 votes.