Around Cook County

News and other information from Cook County

Jay Cooke State Park closed indefinitely

Tue, 07/03/2012 - 1:02pm
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Because State Highway 210 remains closed due to severe flood damage, The Minnesota DNR announced that Jay Cooke State Park in northeastern Minnesota also will remain closed indefinitely. The highway, which provides the only vehicle access to the park, is impassable due to mudslides and large, washed-out sections.

Damage estimates are not yet available for the park, but the DNR anticipates losing approximately $175,000 in camping and lodging revenue while the park is closed.

Reservations at the park are being canceled through Oct. 31. Full refunds are being issued to customers. No reservations will be taken until further notice.

Jay Cooke State Park is the ninth most visited of Minnesota's 75 state parks and recreation areas. It had more than 302,000 total visitors in 2010 and nearly 35,000 overnight visitors.

Damage to the campground and park buildings was minimal and no one was hurt, but the park's iconic swinging bridge over the St. Louis River was severely damaged. There has also been extensive damage to the park's 50-mile trail system, and water and sewer service remain unavailable.

The Willard Munger State Trail, a popular paved bike route that was severely damaged by the flooding, remains closed between Carlton to Duluth until further notice.

The DNR urges people not to go near Jay Cooke State Park or the closed section of the Willard Munger State Trail, because conditions are still very unsafe.

Memorial Blood Center coming for three blood drives

Mon, 07/02/2012 - 9:00am

Memorial Blood Centers has scheduled three July blood 
donation drives in Cook County.
Tofte, Schroeder and Lutsen blood drive
will be on Tuesday, July 17 from
2:30 to 5:30 p.m. The bus will be parked at Zoar Lutheran Church.
Contact Polly at (218) 663-7398.
The Grand Marais community blood drive
will be on Wednesday, July 18
from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the bus parked at the Senior Center.
Contact Rosemary at (218) 387-1758.
The Grand Portage Health Services blood drive
will be on Thursday, July 19 from
10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the bus in the parking lot. Contact Vivian 
Carlson at (218) 475-2235.
According to the Memorial Blood Center, one blood donation can save as
many as three lives. You can be a hero to someone through the simple 
act of donating blood, so call for an appointment today!
 

Dayton to call special flood session

Mon, 07/02/2012 - 8:45am

Gov. Mark Dayton says he will call a special session to pass disaster relief for northern Minnesota, which was ravaged by floods last week.

Dayton told reporters at the state Capitol Friday that state lawmakers will need to approve funding to address damage to public infrastructure.

The first step is to have President Obama issue a disaster declaration for the area that was besieged by floods on the night of June 19. The state and local governments will have to pay 25 percent of the costs of repair, with the federal government picking up the rest.

The damage to roads and other public infrastructure is estimated at $108 million, although Dayton said the number could increase when the assessment is complete.

Earlier today, Dayton met with his cabinet members, legislative leaders,  Duluth Mayor Don Ness, and former Duluth senator and Lt. Governor Yvonne Prettner Solon to discuss the application for the federal declaration. The application was submitted Friday.

Dayton said he’s confident the application will be approved by the Federal Emergency Management Administration in one to two weeks.

Chik-Wauk Museum and Nature Center offers nature walks and talks

Sun, 07/01/2012 - 9:22am

Chik-Wauk Museum and Nature Center hosts a series of 
naturalist presentations during the 2012 summer season. U.S. Forest 
Service Ranger presentations, which are part of the Becoming a 
Boundary Waters Family program, are every Thursday at 3 p.m.  now 
through Aug. 23. Nature Walks and Talks are every Sunday at 2 p.m.
through Aug. 28.

Topics of the presentations and walks include trees 
of the boreal biome, wildflowers, wildlife and human history. All 
presentations and walks begin by gathering on Chik-Wauk’s front porch.

Mural at Whole Foods Co-op to come down

Sun, 07/01/2012 - 9:18am

With the planned renovation and expansion of the Cook County 
Whole Foods Co-op in Grand Marais now taking shape, it has been 
determined that the mural created by local schoolchildren on the outside north wall has to 
come down.
An architect recently inspected the wall the mural is attached to and 
determined it couldn’t withstand the re-building and expansion 
planned for this fall, said Co-op Executive Director Jennifer Stolz.
“It can’t be saved,” said Stolz, “But pieces of it can be 
saved, and they will be used to create a tribute to the adults and 
kids who built this mural.”
The co-op board met on Tuesday, June 26, in a meeting room at WTIP 
Radio where Stolz gave an update about the mural.
The mural took five years to build and was constructed by Sawtooth 
Mountain Elementary fourth graders under the direction of their 
teacher Jana Larson and Kelly Dupre, an artist and former teacher who 
volunteered to help with the project. Many organizations, individuals 
and businesses also contributed a great deal of time, money or 
resources to help with this luminous art project.
Just what form salvaged pieces will take and just where they will be 
placed in the new building hasn’t been yet determined.
 

Deer hunters association wants wolf sighting information

Sat, 06/30/2012 - 10:55am

With the recent delisting of wolves from the Endangered 
Species Act, and the return of the wolf to state management, a new 
interest has spawned asking, “To what degree have wolves expanded 
within Minnesota?”
Currently, DNR is proposing a wolf population survey to run from fall 
2012 through early spring 2013. Minnesota Deer Hunters Association’s 
(MDHA) members are expressing great interest as well. So, MDHA devised
a “Report Zone B Wolf sightings” web survey page to encourage MDHA 
members and nonmembers to report their documented wolf sightings 
across the approximately 70 percent of Minnesota that is considered 
“Zone B” or non-wolf range.
Reporting Zone “B” wolf sightings will require that you provide 
photo documentation as well as geographic information (township/range/
section or GPS coordinates) and your contact information.
According to MDHA Executive Director Mark Johnson, “Wolf presence 
throughout Zone A is well known, but their expansion into Zone B is 
not. MDHA’s objective is to collect documented and verifiable wolf 
sighting information in wolf Zone B and to provide this data to DNR 
for consideration toward the 2012-13 Minnesota wolf survey. DNR has 
the duty of managing Minnesota’s wolves. Good management needs good 
information. Our hope is that this wolf reporting opportunity will 
provide DNR with valuable usable information.”
To participate in MDHA’s Zone B wolf sighting survey, keep your 
camera or camera phone handy for that rare moment when you may see a 
wolf. Better yet, MDHA recommends that you use digital trail cameras