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News and other information from Cook County

STOP training to be offered in Hovland April 12

Sat, 04/05/2014 - 10:00am

Have you ever wondered how to help your local fire department and First Responders, but don’t know how? The Hovland Fire Department and Safety Team Operational Patrol (STOP) team is offering a training opportunity that could help you become part of the emergency services team as a traffic control incident manager.

Keck Melby of the Hovland Fire Department and coordinator of the department’s STOP team said his department has seen firsthand how effective traffic control protects all responders and victims. Melby said, “First Responders could use your help to make sure everyone gets home safe.”

Melby said it is especially important to establish STOP teams in other areas of Cook County and encourages community members to join the Hovland Fire Department for the day to complete the training to become a traffic control incident manager and certified Minnesota flagger.

Attendees do not need prior experience as firefighters, First Responders or with law enforcement, but that experience does not disqualify them. The training is available to anyone who would like to help their local department or First Responders. It is based on the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) Standard for Traffic Control Incident Management Professional Qualifications.

The training will start at 8:30 a.m. on Saturday, April 12 at the Hovland Town Hall with classroom and desktop exercises, followed by a practice roadside scene. Lunch will be provided, as well as a barbecue at the end of the day.

For more information or to sign-up for the training, call (218) 475-2766.

Grand Marais Playhouse planning two special events--auditions for "Momologues" April 8

Sat, 04/05/2014 - 9:58am

The Grand Marais Playhouse is working on two upcoming special events. Details are still being worked out but mark your calendar, as you will not want to miss them. On May 8, the Grand Marais Playhouse will present a Mother’s Day Dinner Theater at Lutsen Resort. One show only! The Grand Marais Playhouse will present "Momologues2: Off to School" Moms will laugh along with the four women who share their stories from surviving homework, multi-tasking, play dates gone wrong and finding the perfect babysitter.

Auditions for "Momologue"s will be April 8 at 7 p.m. at the Arrowhead Center for the Arts. There are roles for four women.

Oh fer sure! "Church Basement Ladies" is returning to Grand Marais as dinner theater! One weekend only May 23-25 at the Bethlehem Lutheran Church social room! That’s right, dinner prepared by the real church ladies of Bethlehem Lutheran making the food right out of the musical. Come enjoy this wonderful, funny and far too familiar musical brought to life with all the sights and smells of the pale food we all love.

Weekend News Roundup for April 5

Sat, 04/05/2014 - 9:11am

Each week the WTIP news team puts together a roundup of the week's news. Reservation elections, a busy road construction season, Enbridge activists, Twin Metals and Superior ice…all in this week’s news.


Attached file

Economic Development Authority researching bonding options for Superior National at Lutsen golf course improvements

Fri, 04/04/2014 - 8:24am

Following up on the resolution passed at the February meeting allowing Treasurer Scott Harrison to work with Ehlers& Associates and bond counsel Fryberger, Buchanan, Smith & Frederick on the issuance of bonds for $2,350,000 for improvements and additions to the Superior National at Lutsen golf course, Harrison reported that Ehlers had only two replies to the RFPs.

The bond rates from those firms were high, ranging from about 5½ to 6 percent, Harrison told his Cook County - Grand Marais Economic Development Authority (EDA) colleagues on Tuesday, March 11. Harrison said Ehlers suggested that the golf course seek a tax abatement bond, which would drop the rate to 2½ percent.

“In short,” Harrison said, “We’re going back to the county.”

By obtaining a tax abatement bond, Harrison said the golf course would see $1.4 million in savings over 15 years. He explained that the rate is significantly less because of the certainty. He said, “Golf course revenues are pledged to pay the bonds, but if those revenues are not sufficient, the bonds are backed by the county. Basically, taxpayers are on the hook.”

However, Harrison asserted that the golf course has covered bond payments since they were first issued in 1998. He said the cash load for the new bonds would be the same.

Harrison and bond attorney Bob Toftey appeared before the county board on March 18 to introduce the idea to the commissioners. Commissioners asked for more information such as examples of successful tax abatement bond projects, options for other collateral, and the possibility of reducing the cost of the project.

Theater Sports postponed -- again!

Thu, 04/03/2014 - 9:54pm

The community will have to wait to catch the energetic and highly-entertaining Theater Sports. Theater Sports was postponed last month when school was cancelled because of the weather and was scheduled to Friday, April 4--another snow day! Stay tuned to find out when this fun event will be held.

The competition can get a little crazy, but for a great cause:  the College Literature class’s annual spring theater trip to the Twin Cities. This year the students will see both Rain and Othello.

Coached by Michael McHugh, Theater Sports is improvisational theater with a competitive sports angle. In a typical match, two teams challenge each other, react to a surprise command, and count on the audience to judge them. In addition to suggesting wacky scenes for the teams to enact, a few brave audience members may wish to take the stage and compete also!

 Theater Sports teams include Thomas Anderson, Jessica Berg-Collman, Joe Borud, Anna Carman, Joey Chmelik, Sarah Deschampe, Cy Fortunato, Jonny Jacobsen, Charlie Lawler, Megan Lehto, Shannon O’Phelan, Breana Peterson, Melanie Stoddard, Abby Sutton, and Seth Warren.

Furlong picked to attend National Youth Leadership Forum

Thu, 04/03/2014 - 12:37pm

Cook County High School sports fans know Richie Furlong as a fearless competitor. A tough kid who competes as hard as he can but plays with great sportsmanship.

A junior at CCHS, Furlong recently received notification that he has been selected to attend the National Youth Leadership Forum in Washington D.C.

“I received a letter nominating me for this week-long program and was happy to accept it,” he said.

The forum will run from July 6 to July 11.

Furlong hopes to someday become a lawyer or work as a crime scene investigator (CSI). Both programs will be covered in Washington. The weeklong classes will include exploring the entire judicial process, from the discovery of the crime, through collecting and analyzing all of the critical evidence and then proceed into the courtroom for a mock trial. 

Visits will also be made to some of Washington D.C.’s top law firms, universities and legal institutions. Students explore the full range that exists in the legal and forensic science fields, not from a classroom setting but from hands-on experience.

Furlong will get to tour campuses at George Mason University and Pepperdine University.

Furlong is a starter in three varsity sports for Cook County High School: football, basketball and baseball. The son of Lisa and Richard Furlong of Grand Marais, Furlong is also a good student.

“I will apply for a scholarship and then I will have to raise some funds to go, but this is a great opportunity for me. I will get a feel for what I will be up against in college and in the future. I can’t wait to go,” Furlong said.

If you would like to help please go to and search Richie’s name and scroll to the form with the donation information