Around Cook County

News and other information from Cook County

Visit the Bally Blacksmith Tent, Saturday 10-2

Fri, 07/25/2014 - 2:27pm

Not only are renovations under way on the Bally Blacksmith Shop in Grand Marais, but the renovations and history are being documented.  WTIP volunteer Randy Eastlund spoke with Leah Thomas and Michael McHugh of the Cook County Historical Society.

The Cook County Historical Society hosts the Bally Blacksmith Tent most Saturdays from 10am to 2pm.  Everyone is welcome to learn about the renovation of the old blacksmith shop, identify mystery artifacts, share stories and enjoy coffee and cider.  The tent is behind the Bally Blacksmith Shop on the corner of Broadway and 1st St.  More information from the Historical Society at 387-2883.


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Spaghetti Dinner Fundraiser for the Cook County Senior Center, July 25

Fri, 07/25/2014 - 10:22am

During the North Shore Dragon Boat Festival, the Senior Center will be hosting a spaghetti dinner as a fundraiser. The dinner will be July 25th from 5 to 7 p.m. WTIP spoke to Warren Anderson and Kristen Anderson of the Senior Center about the event.


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Jury deliberating Scannell sexual misconduct case

Fri, 07/25/2014 - 4:32am

The case of Cook County Attorney Tim Scannell who is accused of sexual misconduct with a teenage girl has gone to the jury.

WTIP’s Martha Marnocha reports the jury deliberated for over three hours before going home about 8 p.m. last night. The jury is not sequestered and will likely reconvene at 8:30 this morning.

Scannell is charged with two counts of fourth-degree criminal sexual conduct for an alleged inappropriate relationship with a 17-year-old girl. Because the age of consent in Minnesota is typically 16, the jury was asked to decide whether Scannell was in a “position of authority” over the girl at the time of the acts.

Prosecuting attorney Tom Heffelfinger argued Scannell abused a position of authority when he kissed and allegedly touched the girl during drives they took in 2012. He questioned Scannell for nearly four hours.

The Duluth News Tribune reports in closing, Heffelfinger told jurors that either Scannell or the girl lied on the witness stand. He asked them to consider the credibility of each and consider who would benefit from lying. He concluded it would be Scannell.

Defense attorney Joe Tamburino said Scannell was never directly given — or charged with — any parental responsibilities over the girl, making the acts distasteful and immoral but not illegal.

He argued that state statute defines an authority figure as a person “charged with any rights, duties and responsibilities of a parent.” He said Scannell was not “charged” with the care of the girl at the time of the acts, and any positions of authority he may have held ended before the acts.


Scannell testifies in misconduct trial

Thu, 07/24/2014 - 9:54am

Cook County Attorney Tim Scannell, accused of sexual misconduct testified in his own defense yesterday and will be cross examined today.

Scannell is charged with two counts of fourth-degree criminal sexual conduct for an alleged inappropriate relationship with a 17-year-old girl. Scannell said Wednesday in St. Louis County Court that he developed feelings for the girl in 2012. He admitted he kissed the girl multiple times but didn't intentionally touch her in a sexual way. He also said he thought she was too young.

According to WTIP’s Martha Marnocha, defense attorney Joseph Tamburino began his questioning of Scannell with a long recap of events leading up to the girl's family seeking a restraining order against Scannell to stop the relationship.

Tamburino included details of the courthouse shooting of Scannell in December of 2011 by Daniel Schlienz, his hospitalization, rocky recovery, subsequent PTSD, breakdown and treatment in an Arizona rehabilitation facility.

Prosecutor Thomas Heffelfinger interrupted Tamburino with objections for “excessive recollecting.” He also objected several times to Scannell’s “rambling” testimony. From the beginning Scannell alternately cried and appeared aggressive during testimony, he was animated and frequently went off topic.

Scannell's attorney says his client acted inappropriately but not criminally. Today Heffelfinger will cross-examine Scannell and the case could go to the jury this afternoon.


The Heavenly Harp duo to perform at Bethlehem Lutheran Church July 25

Wed, 07/23/2014 - 5:40pm

The Heavenly Harp duo, featuring harpists Karin and Joy Gunderson along with other family members, will be giving a concert at 7 p.m. July 25 at Bethlehem Lutheran Church.

Author of the book Encounters with Heaven: Stories of God’s Surprising Presence, Karin Gunderson will share stories of Divine Presence from her work as a hospice harpist and peaceful music with her family featuring harp, flute, and vocals.

Joy Gunderson, who at age 11 was already performing the Handel Harp Concerto, is now one of the top harpists in the Phoenix, Arizona metro area. Gunderson, a graduate of St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minnesota with a church music degree, plays with professional mastery and sensitivity that will truly inspire you. In Minneapolis she studied harp with the Minnesota Orchestra’s harpist, Kathy Kienzle, who has won numerous awards in teaching harp. Gunderson won the Philharmonia Concerto Competition in her junior year of college and also had the honor of being chosen to play a concerto with the St. Olaf Orchestra her senior year.

There is no admission charge, but offerings are accepted. For more information, contact Bethlehem Church at 387-2227 or view   


North Shore Dragon Boat Festival starts with Parade of Teams July 25

Wed, 07/23/2014 - 10:27am

Ainslie Kincross, executive director for the North Shore Dragon Boat Festival, is excited about some of the new changes to the 2014 festival.

“We have more of a family emphasis this year,” said Kincross. “We would like to get more people in a dragon boat. Even the day of the event, people can still sign up. It’s much more participatory than in the past.”

“Fun equals people on the water,” said Greg Wright, executive director of the North House Folk School and one of the Dragon Boat Festival board members.

In its 11th year, the Dragon Boat Festival has become a stalwart event for Grand Marais and a strong fundraiser for three Cook County non-profits: WTIP Radio, the North Shore Health Care Foundation and the North House Folk School.

The three-day festivities run from July 25-27 and include a wide array of fun filled activities for everyone.

Visit the websit at for a complete schedule.