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News and other information from Cook County

Grand Portage National Monument open for Memorial Day weekend

Wed, 05/22/2013 - 10:47am

Grand Portage National Monument staff will temporarily open the historic Lake Superior fur trade depot at Grand Portage for Memorial Day weekend, Saturday, May 25-27.The historic depot will be closed again from May 28-31. During that time the heritage center will remain open from 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. daily.
Chief of Interpretation Pam Neil said the National Monument will open the historic depot for the summer season on June 1, 2013. Neil said this amended schedule marks a change from past years.
"We have received a reduction of approximately $67,000 to our operating budget as a result of the sequestration of federal budgets. We are making adjustments in our operations, including amending our opening dates, to meet the requirements of sequestration and be able to accommodate visitors travelling over the Memorial Day weekend. As always, we are looking forward to another busy, rewarding, and productive year," stated Superintendent Tim Cochrane.
Beginning on June 1, 2013, the monument’s heritage center will be open 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily until mid-October. While at the heritage center, visitors can view the monument’s new interpretive film, Rendezvous With History: A Grand Portage Story and additional video Shorts along with over 2,000 square feet of exhibits that highlight Ojibwe culture and the history of the North West Company. 
The historic depot area will be open daily from 9:00 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily through mid-October as well. In the Great Hall, visitors can “window shop” via a new exhibit entitled, From Furs to Fashion. This exhibit is a London streetscape complete with storefronts that welcome “shoppers” interested in the luxurious hats and furs, as well as powder puffs, fancy perfumes, and even fishing lures made for European shoppers from pelts and parts of mammals traded to the North West Company in the 1790s.

Minneapolis Guitar Quartet to appear at Arts Center June 1

Tue, 05/21/2013 - 3:49pm

With the passion, style, and musical sophistication borrowing from the best chamber music and string quartet traditions, the Minneapolis Guitar Quartet has successfully earned its place as one of the world's leading guitar ensembles since its founding in 1986.
Thanks to the North Shore Music Association, the group will perform at 7:30 p.m. June 1 at the Arrowhead Center for the Arts. Classes will also be offered at the Grand Marais Art Colony June 2. Classes include Guitar Master and Beginning Flamenco Dance.
The Minneapolis Guitar Quartet (Joseph Hagedorn, Maja Radovanlija, Ben Gateño and Wade Oden) will teach the guitar class from 10 a.m. to noon; Colette Illarde will teach dancers from 1 to 2 p.m.
Since 2006, the MGQ has collaborated with Flamenco dancer Colette Illarde, developing two different productions with music by the great Spanish composers Joaquin Rodrigo and Enrique Granados. This dynamic and wide ranging synthesis features music arranged by the MGQ, while Ms. Illarde’s choreography reflects the extraordinary vitality of Spanish culture and includes Spanish regional and folk dancing, classical ballet and flamenco.
The Minneapolis Guitar Quartet’s concerto appearances include the Austin Symphony, St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, Minnesota Orchestra and the Columbus Symphony, among others. In recital, the MGQ has performed in more than 30 states in such cities as Seattle, Chicago, New Orleans, Los Angeles, Baltimore, Omaha, and Boston. The MGQ has been heard on the nationally syndicated Saint Paul Sunday, and on National Public Radio's Performance Today. From its first four CDs on the Albany and GSP labels, the group has garnered unanimous international critical acclaim. "With (Over Land and Sea)," said Soundboard Magazine, "the MGQ demonstrates that it is one of the major guitar ensembles in the world."

Burn restrictions still in place for Cook County

Tue, 05/21/2013 - 3:43pm

Although the state burning restrictions are lifted in several counties today, restrictions remain in Cook, Kittson, Koochiching, Lake, Lake of the Woods, Marshall, Pennington, Roseau, north St. Louis and north Beltrami counties. It is anticipated these will be lifted soon.
Because fire danger can change quickly, DNR foresters can turn off burning permits in individual counties whenever conditions warrant. This could occur if there is a dry, windy day when fires could start easily and burn quickly.  Check the fire restrictions page on the DNR website at: for information on daily changes to burn permits.

Art In the Garden, June 1st at the Community Center

Tue, 05/21/2013 - 3:02pm

The U of M Master Gardeners will host "Art in the Garden" at the Cook County Community Center on Saturday, June 1. Morning activities include "Garden Yoga," "Garden Art for the Heart & Soul," and "Landscape Art." In the afternoon, participants can choose one of four "make and take" garden art projects, including hypertufa, stained glass, mosaic flower pot, or metal garden art. Registration is requested by May 24, to Diane at the CC Extension Office, 387-3015. 

In this interview, master gardners Maxene Linehan and Nancy Carlson share details with WTIP volunteer Julie Bishop.

Attached file

Study: Less Lake Superior habitat for big trout

Tue, 05/21/2013 - 9:17am

DULUTH, Minn. (AP) — New research finds that Lake Superior's warming water probably already is affecting its most abundant big fish, the cold water-loving siscowet lake trout.

Increasing water temperatures over the last three decades have made conditions more favorable for chinook salmon, walleye and lean lake trout but less favorable for siscowet lake trout.

The study estimates that fatty siscowets have lost about 20 percent of their historic habitat because of the temperature changes that have already occurred.

The research used a mix of computer modeling and temperature measurements. It was conducted by the University of Wisconsin-Madison, funded by Wisconsin Sea Grant.

The Duluth News Tribune reports the researchers picked lake trout, siscowet, salmon and walleye because they are among the most important species for sport angling and the region's tourism economy.

County to discuss septic ordinance changes at Tuesday work session

Mon, 05/20/2013 - 1:28pm

At the April 16 county board meeting, the septic system ordinance was discussed. After a long delay while the state responded to objections from the counties regarding new Minnesota Pollution Control Agency septic system rules, the Cook County Planning & Zoning Department has revised a septic ordinance it drafted several years ago in accordance with state law.
Each county now has until February 2014 to get its own septic ordinance in place. Cook County’s previous draft ordinance would have required property owners to have their septics pumped every three years whether they needed it or not.  The currently proposed ordinance allows people to postpone pumping as long as their septic tanks pass an inspection, which must be done every three years.
The board will discuss the proposed ordinance in a work session Tuesday, May 21, 2013 at 2:30 p.m. at the courthouse.  The public will have time to comment on the ordinance before the board takes action to adopt it.