Around Cook County

News and other information from Cook County

Learn more about affordable housing options?

Fri, 04/25/2014 - 8:36am

Affordable housing is a growing concern in Cook County, and there will be an informational meeting to provide assistance for potential home-buyers.  WTIP host Joe Detrick spoke with Abby Tofte, Cook County EDA Advocate, and Andrew Beavers, Lutsen Township Supervisor, about the upcoming affordable housing informational meeting on Tuesday April 29th at 7pm at Lutsen Resort Conference Room.

--Leah Hall, Housing Project Manager for AEOA (Arrowhead Economic Opportunity Agency),
--Pat Campanaro,  Cook County EDA/SBDC Small Business Consultant,
--Bruce Martinson(Cook County Commissioner)
--Andrew Beavers(Newly Elected Lutsen Township Supervisor) & Abby Hedstrom Tofte(EDA Housing Advocate)

I.    Introductions
II.  Resources for starting a business in Cook County (10 minutes)
          A.  Overview of services - Pat Campanaro
          B.  Handouts
                1. "A Guide To Starting a Business in Minnesota" by Small Business Development Center at UMD's Center
                    for Economic Development
                2.  Info on the Cook County Revolving Loan Fund and other funding sources

III.    Affordable Housing
          A. Go Team Survey  - Highlights on housing
          B. Current availability of housing for ownership- Kim Wolff of Timberwolff Realty
          C. Fradenburg Creek Sites in Schroeder as case study on affordable lots
          D. Potential future availability of land for development into affordable lots
          E. How can AEOA help us in Cook County- Leah Hall
                 1.  Assist buyers of existing homes with down payment, financing and mortgage payments
                 2.  Assist Cook County/West end in developing affordable lots
          F. Input from attendees
                 1.  What has been your experience in finding affordable home ownership on the West end of Cook County?
                 2.  What has been the greatest barrier keeping you from buying a home or land in Cook County?
                 3.  Are you looking for an affordable existing structure?   If yes, what is your price range?
                 4.  Are you looking for a low priced build-able lot? If yes, what is your price range?
                 5.  What size property are you interested in buying or building a structure on?
                 6.  What is the maximum distance you are willing to drive or carpool from your home to work?


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"The Typist" documents experience of a Minnesota soldier at the Nuremberg Trials

Thu, 04/24/2014 - 12:13pm

The life and work of Larry Tillemans of Sartell, MN, believed to be the last living clerk-typist at the Nuremberg Trials, is the subject of a new documentary film. 

Public screenings of the film ‘The Typist’ are scheduled in Duluth and Silver Bay this weekend.  The subject of this documentary, Larry Tillemans, is believed to be the last living clerk-typist at the Nuremberg Trials.  David Klassen, one of the producers of the film, spoke with WTIP's Ann Possis on North Shore Morning.   

The film will be shown at 7 pm on Saturday, April 26 at Temple Israel (1602 East 2nd St., Duluth) and 2 pm on Sunday, April 27 at William
Kelley High School Auditorium in Silver Bay.

(Photo by Marion Doss on Flickr)

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Severe Weather Awareness Week, April 21-25 is time to think about being prepared

Thu, 04/24/2014 - 11:22am

Even with snow still on the ground, Emergency Management officials are planning for spring ice, mud, floods, thunderstorms, tornados, and even wildfires.

April 21-25 is Severe Weather Awareness Week, and here are some things residents should think about:

 • Stay informed: Check out the Department of Public Safety weather page at Each day it will focus on a different subject such as weather warnings, lightning and hail, floods, tornados, etc.

• Make a kit: Build a basic survival kit for when the electricity fails. It should include food and water for three days, a radio and flashlight, first aid, and personal items like toilet paper. A smaller “grab and go” evacuation kit should contain emergency contact information, medications, spare eyewear and documentation of pets, medical information, insurance, etc.

• Have a plan: What if you’re delayed or stranded by severe weather, or need to leave your home due to a storm-related power failure? Do you have an emergency kit in your vehicle? Do you know how to reach your friends and family, or where you could go for shelter? Do your friends know where to look for you?

More information is available at

Visit now, before the weather hits.


Grand Marais Park Board researches canopy or tent for Harbor Park events

Thu, 04/24/2014 - 11:21am

At the March Grand Marais Park Board meeting, Park Board Chair Walt Mianowski asked Tersteeg to investigate why a “tensile” tent structure was never built in in the Harbor Park as originally planned. Mianowski, a member of the Grand Marais Lions Club, said the Lions would use such a structure for events at the Fisherman’s Picnic if one were there to use.

 After looking into the matter, Tersteeg learned that there wasn’t enough money to erect a structure, but at least four anchor bolts were put in the ground and could be used to secure a tent.

“I did some checking and found a company, KD Kanopy, that sells tent awnings that might work,” Tersteeg said.

He passed out drawings and a picture of one of the tent covers (no walls, just a roof) that would cost a little over $5,000.

“I can’t speak for all of the Lions, but that looks like it would work for us,” Mianowski said.

“What do you think?” Mianowski asked another Lions Club member, Mike Carlson, who was attending the meeting.

“Yes, that looks good to me,” said Carlson.

Tersteeg said two people could put up the structure in 30 minutes. He also said that if it is purchased he would recommend taking it down after each usage to extend its life.

Park Board Member Reid Dusheck suggested that if the park purchased the tent awning they make it available to the public to rent. “That way we could get some return on our investment,” he said.

“Would that be possible?” Mianowski asked Tersteeg.

“It might be possible because the kit I looked at comes with  30-inch steel spikes and a pole. It comes with everything you would need to put it up.”

The board agreed with Dusheck to explore that option and Tersteeg will do further research into the matter of purchasing a tent awning for the park

Northern Sustainability Symposium to focus on where our food comes from

Wed, 04/23/2014 - 2:09pm

Where does your food come from? With a little skill, the answer can be your own yard!

Foods: Grown and Gathered is the focus of this year’s Northern Sustainability Symposium, May 1-4, at North House Folk School, which features a buffet of coursework, speakers and gatherings to explore how food, sustainable living and health are linked.

Featured speakers at this year’s event include straw bale gardening pioneer Joel Karsten, who will lead a workshop and give a presentation on this simple method of producing food featured in his popular book Straw Bale Gardens. Also participating is bee researcher Mike Goblirsch, permaculturist Chad Johnson, and a Modern Hunter Gatherer roundtable discussion with wild crafting instructor Eric Edgin and hunting and fishing instructor Shawn Perich.

Event coursework includes 17 courses ranging in length from a half day to 4.5 days. Course topics include bee keeping, alternative heating, apple grafting, micro housing, herbal healthcare, fermentation and more. Registration is required for coursework.

Programming during the event also features a screening of the film Beyond the Lightswitch, a walk-along energy audit and grid-tied solar systems presentation, and a wood-fired community pizza bake potluck. A complete schedule of events is available at the school’s website, or call (218) 387-9762 for more information.

City and union employees reach agreement on 2014-2015 contract

Wed, 04/23/2014 - 2:02pm

The city’s union employees have a new contract.

Grand Marais City Council approved the terms of a two-year deal at their April 9 meeting. Union members approved the contract the following morning.

Mayor Larry Carlson, who participated in the negotiation process, said he was confident the union would approve the tentative agreement councilors reviewed at their meeting. “We ultimately agreed to what they asked for at the last meeting,” he said.

The new contract is retroactive to the beginning of 2014 and remains in effect through the end of 2015. It grants the approximately 20 members of the local union a 1.5 percent pay increase each year and spells out some minor changes in employment policies.

Also, as in past years, council voted to award supervisors the same wage increase as that given to union members.