Around Cook County

News and other information from Cook County

First Congregational Church - United Church of Christ to hold Installation service for Reverend Beth Benson

Sat, 06/07/2014 - 1:59pm

In December 2013, the congregation of the First Congregational Church - United Church of Christ voted overwhelmingly to accept Reverend Beth Benson as its pastor. A covenant was signed and Reverend Benson, or “Pastor Beth” as she has become known, began her pastoral duties on January 20, 2014. On Sunday, June 8, the congregation finalizes the process of accepting Pastor Beth as its called pastor with an installation service. 

Before coming to Grand Marais, Reverend Benson served as the senior pastor for Zion United Church of Christ in Le Sueur, MN, as pastor at Prescott United Church of Christ in Prescott, WI and pastor at Peace United Church of Christ in St. Paul. Before becoming ordained, she worked as a social worker.

The community is invited to the service and a light luncheon will follow the service.

The First Congregational Church, which meets weekly at 10:30 a.m. at the church at 300 West 2nd Street in Grand Marais, is a Just Peace Church. The church declares, “No matter who you are, or where you are on life’s journey, you’re welcome here.”

Take a Hike on National Trails Day: June 7

Thu, 06/05/2014 - 2:26pm

The Superior Hiking Trail Association is planning a hike celebration and trail project for National Trails Day, on Saturday, June 7th, 2014


Each June, trail groups across the country celebrate National Trails Day. The day is organized by the American Hiking Society to highlight the importance of trails. 

The SHTA is planning to host two hikes in

Cook County. The long and short route options will offer hiking for almost everyone! Separate from the hikes they will complete a maintenance project to provide an opportunity to volunteer to improve the Superior Hiking Trail.


On Saturday, June 7 at 10:00 a.m. -- Both hikes meet at the Cook Co. Rd. 1 trailhead parking lot. At Hwy. 61 milepost 78.8, turn left on Cook Co. Rd. 1 (Cramer Rd.) and go 3.6 miles to parking lot on right.


--Long Hike 8.0 miles, Temperance River State Park to Cook County Road 1. Hike along the beautiful Temperance and Cross Rivers for several miles with many climbs and descents. The trail then comes to marshy Boney’s Meadow area and then climbs to Tower Overlook for one last view. Meet at the Cook Co. Rd. 1 parking lot.


--Short Hike 2.2 miles, Cook County Road 1 to Dyers Creek campsite and back. This out-and-back hike has an abundance of wildflowers as it winds through mixed conifers toward the confluence of the Two Island River and Dyer’s Creek.


No pre-registration is required for hikes.


More information is available at the Superior Hiking Trail website, or call: 218-834-2700; email:


Listen to the Story

"I Can Climb" program offered by the MN DNR at Tettegouche State Park June 14

Thu, 06/05/2014 - 11:31am

The popular “I Can Climb!” program will once again be offered by the DNR this summer in partnership with Vertical Endeavors.

The program offers opportunities to learn basic climbing skills. Youth and other beginners ascend real rocks at Minnesota’s state parks for rock climbing. Helmets, harnesses and other climbing and safety gear are provided. Advance registration is required.

Locally, “I Can Climb! On the North Shore,” a 90-minute program ($5 per climber) for participants age 10 or older, takes place at Tettegouche State Park in Silver Bay starting Saturday, June 14. Climbers are slowly lowered from the top of a cliff above Lake Superior and then climb back up. No experience is necessary.

To register for the climbing program visit or call 866-857-2757 (8 a.m.-8 p.m. daily, except holidays).

Icebox Radio Live Theater Comes to Grand Marais on June 13

Thu, 06/05/2014 - 9:11am

The Icebox Radio Theater will be presenting a series of performances in public libraries across Northern Minnesota this June.  At each stop, the Theater will perform: "On the Air!" - a short play about the history and future of radio drama where audience members will learn a little bit about the rich history of telling 'stories in sound,' and young audience members can try out life 'behind the mic.' For more information, visit the Icebox Radio Theater website at

The Theater will be coming to Grand Marais on Friday, June 13th at 6 p.m.  The performance will be at the Grand Marais Public Library. 

Some other area performances in Northern Minnesota include:

Silver Bay: Friday, June 6th at 1 p.m.
Two Harbors: Friday, June 6th at 3:30 p.m.
Ely: Tuesday, June 10th at 10:30 a.m.
Grand Rapids: Tuesday, June 10th at 6 p.m.


Listen to the Story

Cook County beach advisories lifted

Wed, 06/04/2014 - 4:32pm

Two Cook County beaches received “no water contact” advisories from the Minnesota Department of Health this week. When the water at the beaches--Paradise Beach and Durfee Creek Beach--were retested on June 3, the bacterial levels had returned to acceptable levels.

Water samples collected on June 2, 2014 at Paradise Beach had bacteria levels that indicate possible fecal contamination. The water at the beach will be tested again today.

The Durfee Creek Area Beach also showed elevated levels of E.coli bacteria from the test on June 2. The beach will also be retested today.

Other beaches that received advisories on June 2 include Agate Bay, Burlington Bay and French River Beaches in Two Harbors and the 20th Street/Hearding Island Canal Beach and the Lakewalk Beach in Duluth. All of those no-contact advisories were removed after retesting except for the French River beach. That advisory remains in place.

Beach monitoring is conducted at the following beaches in Cook County:  Chicago Bay boat launch in Hovland; Paradise Beach, Kadunce Creek, Durfee Creek in Colvill; Old Shore Road, Harbor Park in Grand Marais, Recreation Park campground in Grand Marais, Cutface Creek Wayside Rest; Temperance River State Park, Schroeder Town Park and Sugarloaf Cove Beach in Schroeder. At press time, all had “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.

Interested in buying a home? Attend the June 7 "Home Stretch Workshop"

Wed, 06/04/2014 - 2:12pm

Homebuyers could be eligible to earn $5,000 towards closing and down payment costs on a new home! Cook County residents interested in learning more are invited to join Sandy O'Fallon, from the Arrowhead Economic Opportunity Agency (AEOA) on Saturday, June 7 at the 2014 Home Stretch Workshop.

The program, which is sponsored by the Cook County/Grand Marais Economic Development Authority (EDA), AEOA and the Cook County Chamber, will give the opportunity to learn about homeownership and howyou might be able to become a new home owner.

Workshop topics include:

* Qualifying for a mortgage / loan programs

*  Budgeting/credit issues/saving

*  Shopping for a home/realtor services

* Professional inspections/appraisals

* Closing/title insurance/homeowners insurance

*  Financial responsibilities as a homeowner

*  $5000 down payment closing costs free to eligible buyers

The workshop is free, but registration is required. Call Sandy at (218) 999-0828.