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News and other information from Cook County

Stormwater plan postpones closure on Cedar Grove lot

Fri, 07/18/2014 - 11:41am

Paul James, co-owner of Cook County Towing, approached the Cook County/Grand Marais Economic Development Authority (EDA) in June 2014 with an offer to purchase a lot in the Cedar Grove Business Park (CGBP). At the July 8 meeting, James thought the sale would be completed. However, EDA Attorney Baiers Heeren said there was one more clause in the lot sale—James must complete a stormwater management plan and submit it to either the EDA or the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA). “That is a step that must be taken before construction begins,” explained Heeren.

In June, James appeared before the EDA board with Realtor Tim Kennedy to make an offer on Lot 1, Block 8 in the business park. James made an offer of $25,000 for the lot, which had been listed at $45,000.

James gave a summary of his business, which he said consists of four rollback trucks, three front-line wreckers, three service trucks, a couple of plows and a skid steer.

James said in addition to himself and his wife Pam, Cook County Towing employs Jay Mesenbring, Brad Peterson, Lee Jahnke and Paul Olin as drivers.

James said Cook County Towing currently has an agreement with Grand Marais Motors to leave their tow trucks in the Grand Marais lot, but it slows down vehicle recovery to have to clear snow off of vehicles and warm them up. “Meanwhile, someone is stranded in the ditch,” James told the EDA in June.

Cook County Towing would like a building in Grand Marais to house its vehicles, he said. However, James said it would not be an income-generating operation, so they don’t have a lot to invest.

Kennedy pointed out that Cook County Towing would be making improvements to the lot and it would be added to the tax rolls.

Lake Superior Day - Celebrate Safe and Clean Water on July 20

Thu, 07/17/2014 - 5:08pm

This Sunday, July 20, is Lake Superior Day.  Lissa Radke of the Lake Superior Binational Forum talks about this special day with WTIP host Marnie McMillan on North Shore Morning.

More information:

11th Annual Lake Superior Day – July 20, 2014

Lake Superior Day is a time set aside to celebrate our connection to Lake Superior.  To show appreciation for the lake, people, communities, businesses, tribes, First Nations, churches and other groups celebrate Lake Superior Day each year on the third Sunday in July.

Each Lake Superior Day, all residents who live, work, play, and worship around the lake can organize events in their communities or take action in their homes, at their places of employment or in community groups to help protect the treasure that is Lake Superior.

The Lake Superior Binational Forum promotes this basin-wide event to highlight the special connections people have to this unique world treasure.

Are you celebrating Lake Superior Day? Find out what’s happening in your area - see calendar.

Listen to the Story

Grand Marais Garden Club shares "Birds, Bees & Blossoms"

Thu, 07/17/2014 - 1:33pm

The Grand Marais Garden Club invites you to its annual flower show entitled Birds, Bees & Blossoms on Friday, July 18 from noon to 5 p.m. in the Cook County Community Center.  Sally Berg and Helen Muth are this year's chairpersons. 

You will enjoy a vast array of floral arrangements using all member-grown flowers.  Refreshments will be served as well as homemade rhubarb punch.  A plant sale and exchange is also a favorite feature.  The flower show is free with donations accepted.

The Garden Club is celebrating its 80th year.  It's one of the oldest clubs in Cook County. The members beautify Grand Marais by planting all the town flower boxes, helping to maintain the downtown Harbor Park, re-working the curb flower garden by the South of the Border restaurant and growing beautiful roses in the Memorial Rose Garden.

Come enjoy one of the prettiest events of the summer at the Flower Show!

World's Best Donuts and Drury Lane Books host "Lake Superior Flavors" booksigning july 19

Thu, 07/17/2014 - 1:31pm

If you are a “foodie” and want to enjoy the many places along the Lake Superior Circle Route, this book is for you.  It contains a combination of great eclectic cafes, scenic places to visit and things to do, which I’m sure you will find very helpful in discovering your new “favorites.” 

Check out this guide to great food and small specialty breweries; wineries; family businesses and markets along the Circle Tour. It has great sections on Minnesota’s North Shore; Canadian Waters; Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, and Wisconsin’s South Shore.  

This book shares where to find the many locally made foods and drinks to sample: donuts; baked goods; pasties; Pannukakku; smoked fish; shark sandwiches and many other preparations of fish; herring roe (caviar); Cudighi sandwiches; honey; pickles; pumpkin and cranberry apple pies, salamis; cheeses; beers; wines; jams and jellies; juices; herbal teas; flowers; berries, and, of course, hamburgers and pizza are all included.    

Highlighted places in Grand Marais area are World’s Best Donuts; The Angry Trout and its “next door” neighbor, the Dockside Fish Market & Deli, from which the “Trout” gets its fresh Lake Superior fish, as well as the lovely old Naniboujou Lodge.

 Pictured and titled eclectic is the Beaver House.”

Several favorite old timers of the Thunder Bay area are Belluz Farms and Hoito Restaurant.

There will be a “Meet & Greet Book Signing Event” with Author James Norton and Photographer Becca Dilley in Grand Marais on July 19 at the World’s Best Donut Shop and Drury Lane Books. Enjoy a chat with these talented folks, purchase the book, and get a free donut and small cup of coffee.

"Nunsense: the Mega Musical" kicks of the Grand Marais Playhouse Summer Festival Thursday

Wed, 07/16/2014 - 1:59pm

The Grand Marais Playhouse Summer Festival features two comedies chosen with summer fun in mind. In Nunsense: the Mega Musical, the sisters of Mount Saint Helen of Hoboken put on a fundraiser to raise money to bury four dead sisters. The cast is Rena Rogers, Karina Roth, Karen Blackburn, Rose Arrowsmith DeCoux, Michaela Peterson, Jan Healy, Don Grant, Daniel Ditmanson and Gerry Grant.

 In Nana’s Naughty Knickers, grandma (Jan Healy) is caught operating an illegal boutique from her apartment, much to the dismay of her granddaughter (Yvonne Block). Others performers are Julie Fredlund, Karl Olson, Ron McClellan, Jane Gellner, Bill Shaffer and Tina Krauz.

Performances of Nunsense: the Mega Musical are July 17, 19, 25 27, 31, Aug. 2, 8 and 10. Performances of Nana’s Naughty Knickers are July 18, 20, 24, 26, Aug. 1, 3, 7 and 9. Show times are Thursday – Saturday at 7 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m., except for Fisherman’s Picnic, Aug 3, when the show begins at 3 p.m. following the parade. Tickets are $20 for adults and $10 for students under 18. Save $5 by purchasing a ticket to both shows. As always, the first Sunday matinee is donation day; pay any amount to see the performance.

Playgoers are also invited to a special Playhouse Summer Festival “After Party” on two nights, after Nunsense on July 17 and after Nana’s Naughty Knickers on July 24. Gather to enjoy Sydney’s Frozen Custard & Wood Fired Pizza with casts and crew. Tickets are $10 at the door or can be purchased online at

Ushers are still needed for some performances. Contact the Playhouse at 218-387-1284 or for more information about volunteering or the shows.


This local news is provided by the Cook County News-Herald

Commissioners approve more animals at Putt 'n Pets mini golf

Wed, 07/16/2014 - 1:57pm

Following a lengthy discussion at the Tuesday, July 8 county board meeting, commissioners approved a conditional use permit amendment allowing Randy Sjogren to increase the number of “animal units” allowed at his Putt ’n Pets miniature golf facility on Highway 61 west of Grand Marais.

“Animal units” are used in the permitting, registration and environmental review process because they allow equal standards for all animals based on size and manure production, rather than setting limits based solely on number of animals. The original permit granted permission for two turkeys, four or five pheasants, 15-20 chickens and three goats. The new guidelines will allow an emu, a potbelly pig and two mini-donkeys.


This local news is provided by the Cook County News-Herald