Around Cook County

News and other information from Cook County

Flood damage survey information

Tue, 06/26/2012 - 6:00am

Boreal Access is encouraging any individuals or organizations who suffered damages -- including cancelled reservations --  to complete the Disaster Survey Form under Damage Reporting at the following website:

The goal is to create an accurate and complete database of damages to better understand where the needs are and ultimately find resources to help those in need.



USFS roads good, campsites are wet

Mon, 06/25/2012 - 10:32am

The recent rains have elevated water levels throughout the Superior National Forest. WTIP’s Jay Andersen spoke with John Benson from the Tofte Ranger station about water on the back roads and in the back woods.

Attached file
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Norwegian photojournalists seek stories

Mon, 06/25/2012 - 9:40am

“Brown cheese for stories!”  That’s what Norwegian 
photojournalists Kristian Balsrod, Anton Ligaarden, and Katinka Hustad 
will be offering to Cook County residents of Norwegian heritage – or 
locals with good Sven & Ole jokes.
The three University of Oslo students arrived in Cook County on June 
12 for a four-week stay during which they will start filming a 
documentary intended to find out how much Norwegian culture remains 
alive in descendants of the 50 percent of the Norwegian population 
that emigrated to the United States several generations ago.  Indeed, 
the population of Norwegian-Americans – close to five million – is 
about as large as the current population of Norway.  They also hope to 
get a sense for whether Norwegian heritage will still mean something 
to Norwegian-Americans 50 years from now.
“Norwegians have no idea how they’ve gone out and made a mark on 
the world,” said Balsrod, who with his colleagues stopped by the Cook 
County News-Herald office seeking help in finding Norwegian-Americans 
for their project. They are hoping to interview people of all ages.
Balsrod, Ligaarden, and Hustad started the project three years ago.  
The final product will be a new form of documentary Balsrod calls an 
“interactive web documentary.”  Offered on the Internet, it will 
include educational links and opportunities for people to leave 
comments and get in touch with each other.  They also hope to use the 
project to teach young Norwegians about their own emigration history.
The researchers plan to return for two weeks in December and then 
again next spring.

EDA and engineering firm in legal conflict

Mon, 06/25/2012 - 9:37am

The Tuesday, June 12 meeting of the Cook County – Grand 
Marais Economic Development Authority (EDA) was the last for Director 
Matt Geretschlaeger and it started with a closed session to discuss 
potential litigation. The EDA’s attorney Baiers Heeren said it was 
his opinion that the meeting could be closed in accordance with 
Minnesota Open Meeting law to discuss a summons received by the EDA 
from Short, Elliot, Hendrickson, Inc. (SEH).
When the meeting reconvened, a unanimous motion passed to authorize 
Heeren to submit the potential litigation to the League of Minnesota 
Cities for review. The EDA board said the matter could not be 
discussed further at this time.
In 2006, the EDA became embroiled in a dispute with the Minnesota 
Pollution Control Agency (MPCA), KGM Contractors Inc. and Short, 
Elliot, Hendrickson (SEH) over alleged construction violations at the 
Cedar Grove Business Park.
In August 2010, Director Geretschlaeger reported that the dispute had 
been settled. He said the MPCA had released the EDA from all 
complaints and confirmed that the business park was in compliance with
MPCA regulations. At that time, Geretschlaeger told the board that KGM 
Construction paid the MPCA fines, which according to a letter from 
Lisa Thorvig of the MPCA totaled $40,000. KGM also completed projects 
totaling $80,000 and paid $14,000 of the EDA’s legal fees from 
environmental attorney Kenneth Podpeskar of Minneapolis. SEH was also 
to pay a share of the attorney’s fees.
The EDA board would not confirm whether or not the potential 
litigation is a continuation of that matter. However at the May 8 EDA 

Interstate 35 and ore dock bridges temporarily affected

Mon, 06/25/2012 - 8:17am

DULUTH, Minn. —Interstate 35, just south of Duluth will close temporarily for emergency road repairs, Tuesday, June 26, from 5:30 a.m. to approximately 8:30 a.m. The closed area will be from the southbound I-35 on-ramp at Highway 61 to Scanlon.

Highway 61 and Highway 45 will be used as an alternate route.

The emergency road patching repairs are needed as a result of the torrential rain associated with the June 19 storm that passed through northeastern Minnesota.

Traffic on the Ore Dock Bridges, located south of 27th Avenue West in Duluth, will be restricted to a single lane in each direction until Tuesday, June 26 to complete a bridge painting project.


Search ends for plane missing in NE Minn.

Mon, 06/25/2012 - 8:04am

The Air Force and Civil Air Patrol are suspending the search for a Twin Cities pilot and his plane that went missing two weeks ago over northeastern Minnesota.

Mike Bratlie of Lakeville left a South St. Paul airport in his Piper PA-31 Navajo on June 8 bound for Duluth. He made his last radar contact in the Silver Bay area, and since then search crews on the ground, from the air and on Lake Superior looked in vain for evidence of a crash.

Civil Air Patrol spokesman, Lt. Col. Paul Hertel, says Saturday the search is ending after 13 days without success. He says searchers covered over 2,000 square miles and that likely crash areas were searched multiple times.