Around Cook County

News and other information from Cook County

May brought an informational open house to EDA

Sun, 05/25/2014 - 9:25am

The Cook County/Grand Marais Economic Development Authority (EDA) opened its Tuesday, May 13, 2014 meeting at 3:30 p.m. and was completed in record time. Why the rush? The EDA was hosting an open house that same evening to talk to the public about its initiatives and community collaborations.

After closing the meeting, EDA members headed to their stations to talk to the public about the various initiatives currently under way. EDA President Sandbo and Board Member and County Commissioner Heidi Doo-Kirk welcomed community members and encouraged them to ask questions.

Citizens and public officials chatted with Arrowhead Economic Opportunity Agency (AEOA) representatives about housing; with Small Business Development Center consultant Pat Campanaro about business opportunities; with Jim Boyd about the Cook County Chamber of Commerce’s work; with Scott Harrison about Superior National at Lutsen and the upcoming construction project; and with Realtors Jack and Sandra McHugh about lots in the Cedar Grove Business Park.

At the end of the evening, EDA board members thanked everyone for coming and encouraged citizens to attend EDA meetings, which are normally held at 4 p.m. on the second Tuesday of each month. More about the EDA can be found at

ISD 166 hires new industrial arts instructor

Sat, 05/24/2014 - 10:37am

School District 166 held a special meeting on Tuesday, May 20, 2014 to approve the hiring of a new industrial arts instructor.

The School Board accepted the resignation of Sam West, who has been the industrial arts instructor for four years, at its March 20 board meeting. West also served on the CCHS Career Readiness/Vocational Education Planning Team and worked with CCHS students in the Robotics program.

Superintendent Beth Schwarz asked the board to accept the recommendation of the people who conducted interviews—High School Principal Adam Nelson, School Board Member Deb White, community member Bob Pranis, and Schwarz—to hire Peter Johnson.

Johnson currently lives and teaches in Janesville, Wisconsin. Schwarz said Johnson will have to obtain his Minnesota teaching licensure, but said with his master’s degree and his teaching background, Johnson should be able to do that easily.

She said Johnson planned to start and finish his doctorate at CCHS with the dissertation topic of “college or Vo-Tech credit for high school career and technical education (CTE).”

Johnson will be coming on board at CCHS just in time to oversee the renovation and expansion of the industrial tech area, which is expected to begin this spring.

Johnson will be paid a salary of $56,384 with a stipend of $2,002.94 for working with the CCHS Robotics team.

The board passed a unanimous motion to hire Peter Johnson.

Weekend News Roundup for May 24

Sat, 05/24/2014 - 10:27am

Each week the WTIP news team puts together a roundup of the week's news. County elections filing opened this week, a water resources bill promises more money for the Great Lakes, ticks survived the harsh winter…all this and more in this week’s news.


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One more fabulous performance of "Church Basement Ladies"

Fri, 05/23/2014 - 10:43pm

"Church Basement Ladies" was a delight last year on the Arrowhead Center for the Arts stage, but it is even better as dinner theater! There is one more showing and seating for the performance and delicious dinner prepared by some of the Bethlehem Lutheran Church ladies (and a few guys!)  

The last performance of "Church Basement Ladies" is Saturday, May 24 at Bethlehem Lutheran Church. Seating at 6 p.m. and dinner at 6:30 p.m. Tickets are $25. Advance tickets at Limited seating at the door, so get their early!



Co-op to host another family movie night with "What's On Your Plate?"

Fri, 05/23/2014 - 11:52am

The Cook County Whole Foods Co-op is hosting another family movie night beginning at the What’s Upstairs Theater in Grand Marais.

Featured movies in this series will cover many topics such as the environment, globalization, sustainability, climate change, developing world, indigenous peoples, earth science, and children’s films. Admission is free for Co-op owners, $5 for others. Bring your own snacks.

Doors open at 6:30 p.m., and the movie starts at 7 p.m. The theater is located at 301 First Ave. W.

What’s On Your Plate? is the next Co-op offering, set for June 26. It’s a witty and provocative documentary about kids and food politics. Over the course of one year, the film follows two 11-year-old multiracial city kids as they explore their place in the food chain. Sadie and Safiyah talk to food activists, farmers and storekeepers, as they address questions regarding the origin of the food they eat, how it’s cultivated and how many miles it travels from farm to fork. Running time is 76 minutes.

Two more citizens file for District 1 commissioner seat

Fri, 05/23/2014 - 11:47am

The filing period to run for county offices in 2014 opened on Tuesday, May 20 and all of the county offices that will be on the ballot have at least one candidate except for the Soil & Water Conservation District supervisor district 4.

In Commissioner District 1, at News-Herald press time, three candidates had filed, John W. Bockovich of Hovland, Steve Fleace of Hovland and Frank Moe of Colvill. Today, May 23, two more candidates had filed, Harry Drabik of Hovland and Jerry Hiniker of Colvill.

incumbent Janice Hall of Hovland had not filed.

County Commissioner District 3 Commissioner Sue Hakes has announced that she will not be running fore reelection. Reached by phone, Hakes said the decision not to run was one of the most difficult choices she has ever made.

She said she loves the job, which she said is challenging and rewarding, but in March 2014, Hakes learned that her application for a Bush Foundation Fellowship had been granted. The fellowship will allow her to earn her master’s degree from the University of Minnesota. She will begin classes this August.

She said, “It is with mixed emotions that I have decided not to run for reelection to the county board. The gift of the Bush Fellowship is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and I want to take full advantage of all it has to offer.

Hakes encourages anyone interested in running for the county board to contact her. “If you wonder what it’s like to be a county commissioner in a small community, contact me. I would be happy to share my experiences with you,” she said.

A citizen has come forward to run for that District 3 seat, Jan Sivertson of Grand Marais.

In Commissioner District 5, the West End, incumbent Bruce Martinson was the only candidate that has filed at press time.