Around Cook County

News and other information from Cook County

Preserving Mineral Center history

Wed, 06/20/2012 - 4:04pm

Years ago, about six miles up the Mineral Center Road in Grand Portage, there was a thriving community called Mineral Center. There were numerous homes, a store, a garage, a church and a cemetery.
The town came to life in the early 1900s, according to Glen Roberts, a descendant of the Linnell family that once lived in Mineral Center. There were once 54 families living there.
According to the Cook County Historical Society, the United Congregational Church of Mineral Center was first used on June 2, 1920. The church is long gone, however. For various reasons, families moved on in the 1930s and Mineral Center ceased to be.
For many years, relatives of the people buried there cared for the cemetery, but its remoteness makes it difficult. In recent years, the Grand Portage Band of Lake Superior Chippewa has assisted with the maintenance of the old cemetery. However, some descendents feared that the location of the cemetery would be completely lost to future generations and they decided to do something about it.
Halbert “Hally” Bockovich of Finland, MN, was particularly concerned that his family’s history in the former town of Mineral Center would be lost. The son of one-time Mineral Center residents Martin and Theresa (Linnell) Bockovich was particularly concerned that his family’s history in the former town would be lost. He carefully mapped where homes had been and saved the information for his siblings and children, for nieces and nephews. He marked the lots that were homesteaded by Clyde Roberts, William Walters, Asa Hoyt, Art Evans, Malcolm Linnell and many others, including his grandparents, Peter and Nellie Linnell and his parents.
Bockovich also hoped that one day there would be some sort of marker commemorating the cemetery, where two of his siblings that died as children are buried.

"Cactus Blossoms" to appear at Arrowhead Center for the Arts Thursday

Tue, 06/19/2012 - 3:58pm

Country music has a long-held appreciation for sibling bands, and it seems there's no sweeter sound than two brothers harmonizing over a sad country tune.
Brothers Page Burkum and Jack Torrey have capitalized on this tried-and-true formula with their band the “Cactus Blossoms,” most recently pulling together a backup band of music veterans Mike "Razz" Russell (Jayhawks) on fiddle, Liz Draper (Ditch Lilies, Black Blondie) on upright bass, and Randy Broughten (Gear Daddies) on pedal steel guitar and dobro.
Last year, the five-piece group joined together for a day of live in-studio recording with Brent Sigmeth at Cannon Falls' LittleBig Studio, and released their first self-titled album. Made up of eight original tunes and a couple of covers, it has since caught the attention of scores of Minnesota listeners as well as Country Music Television's music blog, which named it among the top overlooked albums of last year.
The Cactus Blossoms will perform at 7 p.m. June 21 at the Arrowhead Center for the Arts. Call the North Shore Music Association, sponsor of the event, at (218) 387-2916 for more information.

Operation Round Up awards distributed

Tue, 06/19/2012 - 3:55pm

A highlight of the Arrowhead Electric Cooperative, Inc (AECI) annual meeting each year is the AECI Operation Round Up Trust distribution of funds. Customer Service Representative Jenny Kartes made the presentation at the Saturday, June 9 annual meeting, stating, “I’ve been honored to be part of Operation Round Up. It’s amazing to see the benefits to our community,” she said of the program, which is funded by members “rounding up” to the dollar on their electrical bills.
Just a few cents a month adds up to a lot, said Kartes, explaining that since it began in 2003, Operation Round Up has given $195,000 back to the community.
Participation in Operation Round Up is currently 86 percent of AECI’s membership. Kartes said anyone who is not taking part who wants to sign-up can do so by contacting the co-op.
The selection of this spring’s recipients was especially difficult, said Kartes, noting that the co-op had received 22 applications for a total of $44,000. The trust had $10,000 to distribute. She then called up representatives from each of the twelve non-profits receiving funding to accept a check.

Beach advisories posted

Tue, 06/19/2012 - 12:34pm

The Minnesota Department of Health has placed advisories for dozens of Lake Superior beaches.

Affected are Split Rock River Beach at the mouth of Split Rock River, Twin Points Public Access Beach north of Gooseberry Falls State Park and four Two Harbors area beaches as well as several in the Duluth area.

No cook County beaches are involved.

Water contact is not recommended for the beaches due to elevated E. coli bacteria levels found in samples taken on June 18.  Re-sampling will take place today.

Hilarious comedy at the Grand Marais Public Library

Mon, 06/18/2012 - 3:01pm

The Arrowhead Library System (ALS) invites you to a high-energy, hilarious comedy act by Kenny Ahern at the Grand Marais Public Library at 1 p.m. Tuesday, June 19.
Ahern presents a comedy act unlike any other. With props, sound, and brilliant acting, this world-class entertainer will have you laughing in delight at his heart-warming antics. This show is appropriate for audiences of all ages.  
Ahern has successfully toured for over 25 years.  He has been featured on television in three CBS specials with Ringling Brothers Circus, as a guest on CMT’S Most Wanted Live, MTV, The Family Channel’s Funniest Videos, Good Morning America, The Today Show, on the radio as a guest on What D’Ya Know with Michael Feldman, and numerous regional promotional interviews across the U.S. He is the co-host of the video Circus Works! Circus Arts curriculum for Educators, and is in the film Da Vinci’s Dream. For more information about Kenny Ahern, visit 
Admission to the event is free thanks to sponsorship by the Arrowhead Library System Kids Stuff Program and the local library.
Ahern will also perform at the Two Harbors Public Library at 7 p.m. June 19 and Silver Bay Library at 1 p.m. June 20.

Adult Firearms Safety Class offered this weekend

Mon, 06/18/2012 - 2:59pm

The DNR’s Adult Firearms Safety Class is being offered in Grand Marais on Saturday, June 23, 2012. This class is available to individuals age 16 and over who need a Firearm’s Safety Certification to purchase a hunting license, or are interested in learning more about firearms and hunting. The course involves completing an online course or Independent Study Guide, both of which require about 7 hours to complete.
Completion of the online or home study options will prepare you for a field day including a classroom review, written exam, and exercise which includes firing .22 rifles.  The field day, approximately 5 hours, will be held locally on Saturday, June 23, 2012.
Anyone born after Dec. 31, 1979 is required to have a Firearms Safety Certification before purchasing a hunting license in Minnesota.
For more information, please call Dick Parker at 387-1183.