Around Cook County

News and other information from Cook County

Expansion at Great Expectations School

Fri, 08/24/2012 - 2:51pm

Great Expectations School (GES) is looking at some changes for the upcoming school year.  People driving by the school might have noticed the big change—a new modular building being added to the existing school.  
The building is being leased from Innovative Modular Solutions, a firm that specializes in designing classrooms. The modular building, which will be used as a stand-alone kindergarten and will also offer space for special education programming, will be connected to the existing building via an enclosed walkway off the back. The building will have its own restrooms and water fountains.
GES Director Peter James said there are 10 students in kindergarten at GES and the multi-age classrooms have no more than 20 students. Enrollment for the coming year is 80 students.
The school has also done remodeling in its current building to accommodate the growth.

Cook County Steering Committee continues planning--now with city participation

Thu, 08/23/2012 - 11:31am

Now that the city of Grand Marais can legally participate in the planning process for a new community center, there was some difference of opinion expressed Aug. 8 about just how much that participation should amount to.
“We can now discuss this…and we paid a lot of money to be able to do that,” observed Councilor Jan Sivertson in reference to council’s decision at its prior meeting to sign a settlement agreement with Burbach Aquatics. The agreement calls for the city to pay $57,500 in exchange for a mutual release of any claims related to a 2005 contract between the two parties, the terms of which Burbach alleged the city breached by taking part in the early phases of planning for a Cook County community center that includes a swimming pool and aquatics center.
Although the county has been moving the facility’s planning process forward, the city has refrained from participating or even talking about the issue since the litigation was threatened.
Council voted in May of this year to initiate its own litigation, and in June served Burbach with a complaint for declaratory judgment to have certain provisions of the contract thrown out. The May 9 resolution also affirmed the city’s “desire to support the Cook County community center’s future operations and maintenance…in an annual amount not to exceed the $156,000 average annual net operating loss the city incurs in operating and maintaining the city’s municipal swimming pool.”
Last week’s discussion was prompted by a letter sent to council by the community center steering committee requesting that two city representatives be appointed to the group. “We appreciate the expertise the city brings to parks, recreation and pool management and look forward to having that expertise on our steering committee once again,” the letter states.

North Shore Care Center celebrates "Hawaiian Week"

Wed, 08/22/2012 - 11:09am

It’s “Hawaiian Week” at the North Shore Care Center with something tropical added to resident activities each day. On Friday night, August 24 the band Portage will perform their country music for a Hawaii Five O Dance at 6:30 p.m. Families and community members are welcome to join in the fun.
Many thanks to the volunteers, who continue to give so much of their time during these busy summer months. There are volunteer opportunities for all ages at the North Shore Care Center. For more information please contact the Activity Department at (218) 387.3518 or visit our website

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