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"A Century of Jazz" at Grand Marais Playhouse

Thu, 07/19/2012 - 3:12pm

The Grand Marais Playhouse is excited to announce a very special event at the Arrowhead Center for the Arts on Saturday, July 21. The skyBLUEtrio and theORANGEgirl, with guest Al Anderson will perform A Century of Jazz, a concert presentation of the different jazz genres of the last century.
This includes early jazz, swing jazz, jazz standards derived from musicals, Bebop. hard bop, Latin jazz, cool jazz, and jazz fusion.
This quartet of Grand Marais musicians, formed in 2011, performs singable and danceable jazz standards and original jazz compositions. The quartet is Karina Roth, vocals; Mike Roth, bass; Erik Hahn, sax and flute; Mike DeBevec, piano and vocals. They often feature local and regional guest musicians. 
This event will be a fundraiser for the Grand Marais Playhouse. The evening will begin at 6 p.m. with hors d’oeuvres available by Sweetz, inc. with a silent auction and then the concert at 7 p.m.
In an interesting new twist for the ACA, there will also be a dance floor set up in front of the stage! Veronica Weadock and Bob Pranis will be bringing some of their dance students to demonstrate the dances of the era and invite audience members to join them on the dance floor. Tickets are $17 or adults and $7 for students. Come enjoy an evening of fine entertainment and show your support for the Playhouse as we continue to strive to provide Cook County with high quality theater.
For information about the Grand Marais Playhouse, visit

Grand Marais beaches back to acceptable bacteria levels

Thu, 07/19/2012 - 3:11pm

The Minnesota Department of Health warned people to avoid contact with the water at two Grand Marais beaches on Lake Superior on Tuesday, July 17, 2012. Since then the water has been re-tested and the advisories on both beaches have been lifted.

Water samples collected Monday, July 16 at the Grand Marais downtown beach near Harbor Park and the Grand Marais Campground beach contained elevated levels of E. coli bacteria, indicating the possible presence of fecal contamination.

Re-testing on July 17 found that the water at the Grand Marais campground beach, next to the rec. park pavilion, had returned to acceptable levels and now has a “water contact acceptable” rating.

The downtown beach, by Harbor Park, remained under the “no water contact” advisory until Thursday, July 19. A beach advisory alert was issued on July 19 stating that bacteria levels had returned to acceptable levels.

Other beaches with advisories include Duluth’s Park Point near 15th Street and by the Sky Harbor Parking Lot and Hearding Island Canal near 20th Street in Duluth.

2 NE Minn. men accused of lying about killing wolves

Thu, 07/19/2012 - 9:02am

(AP) - Two northeastern Minnesota men face a federal indictment for allegedly killing two gray wolves and lying to investigators.

Fifty-four-year-old Vernon Lee Hoff and 31-year-old Kyler James Jensen, both of Finland, Minn. are charged with conspiracy, violating the Endangered Species Act, and making false statements to a federal officer.

The indictment alleges that in February 2010, after Jensen purposely killed the wolves with his vehicle, he and Hoff conspired over the phone to transport the carcasses to Superior National Forest. Jensen allegedly drove to the forest and used a bulldozer to bury the wolves.

At the time, the gray wolf was listed as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act. It was removed from that list in Minnesota last January.

Photo in public domain: Retron@thewikipediaproject

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Water advisory lifted for Grand Marais campground beach

Wed, 07/18/2012 - 12:31pm

The Minnesota Department of Health warned people to avoid contact with the water at two North Shore sites on Tuesday, July 17, 2012. One of the beaches was re-tested and the advisory has been lifted. The Grand Marais campground beach, next to the pavilion has been returned to acceptable levels and now has a “water contact acceptable” rating.
The downtown beach, by Harbor Park, remains under a “no water contact” advisory due to elevated levels of E. coli bacteria, indicating the possible presence of fecal contamination.
Beach monitoring also took place at the following beaches in Cook County on July 16:  Chicago Bay boat launch in Hovland; Paradise Beach, Kadunce Creek, Durfee Creek in Colvill; Old Shore Road, Cutface Creek Wayside Rest; Temperance River State Park, Schroeder Town Park and Sugarloaf Cove Beach in Schroeder. All received water contact acceptable ratings.

A number of factors, such as dog, geese and other wildlife feces, dirty diapers, failing septic systems and sewer line breaks and overflows, can contribute to higher levels of illness-causing bacteria.
Anyone who becomes ill after contacting beach water is asked to contact the Minnesota Department of Health at (877) 366-3455.
To find the latest results of beach monitoring for North Shore beaches, visit

EDA considers 2013 budget

Wed, 07/18/2012 - 10:51am

The Cook County – Grand Marais Economic Development Authority (EDA) spent much of its July 10, 2012 meeting talking about the budget it would be presenting to the county board for approval. However, the EDA had some difficulty developing a budget as it is unsure when it will be hiring a new director and what is ahead for its housing program.
EDA personal committee member Bruce Martinson said the EDA had received 13 applications for the director position. However, he said because the amount the EDA will be able to levy is still up in the air, the board should wait to decide about who to hire.  He said although the EDA must submit its budget to the county for approval by mid-July, the county does not complete its budget process until December, so the EDA will not know what it will be receiving until then. “At this point, I think we should not hire a director. We should hire at the end of the year,” said Martinson.
The EDA budget committee’s proposed budget of $148,566 for 2013 was reviewed. There was discussion regarding the success of the EDA housing program and how it has changed because it is no longer a joint Cook – Lake County entity. The board agreed that the housing program budget should be increased accordingly.
EDA Board Member Scott Harrison suggested seeking an increase in the housing administrative budget from the proposed $37,000 to $62,000. Harrison additionally proposed increasing the housing projects budget line from $20,000 to $40,000 for a total of $102,000 for the EDA housing program. He also suggested increasing the EDA’s budget contingency fee by $6,000 for a total overall budget of approximately $200,000. The EDA passed a motion to present that budget request to the county.

Winston Churchill is topic of July Guest Lecture Series

Wed, 07/18/2012 - 10:49am

Cook County Higher Education will feature Dr. Karen Halbersleben, who will present Winston Churchill: the Man and the Myth at the July Guest Lecture Series event on Thursday, July 19, from 7 to 8:30 p.m. at the North Shore Campus in Grand Marais.
"We shall never surrender."  "Their finest hour...". The words and the leadership of Winston Churchill continue to fascinate Americans nearly 50 years after his death.  At the center of British and world politics for over half a century, Churchill was recently named the greatest Briton of all times by his countrymen.
What was the combination of personal and historical forces that combined to create this complex and forceful statesman?  How did he rise from political exile in time to rally his country to stand alone against Hitler's Germany for one long and harrowing year, forever altering world history as he did so?  Are there lessons from his life and legacy that can instruct us amidst the turmoil of our own century?  Join us on July 19 for an examination of the life of Sir Winston Churchill and a conversation about the reasons that many of us continue to venerate his example so long after his death.
Halbersleben holds a Ph.D. in British history from the University of Buffalo. She was a professor of European history in the State University of New York system and published research in Victorian social reform movements, notably the British antislavery movement. Following retirement, she and her husband Jack Miller moved to Grand Marais.