Around Cook County
The search continues for a missing Grand Marais man, Paul Brandt, 82. Brandt went blueberry picking up the Gunflint Trail on Thursday afternoon and did not return home. He was picking blueberries in the area south of the U.S. Forest Service Seagull Guard Station. His vehicle was found in that vicinity.
Several items of personal property in the search area, but no credible evidence indicating his location, said Cook County Sheriff Mark Falk.
The search has involved the use of helicopter, fixed wing aircraft, four search dogs and according to Sheriff Falk, "Many, many people."
The following agencies have assisted with the search efforts:
Cook County Search and Rescue
Lake County Search and Rescue
St. Louis County Search and Rescue
Sawyer County Wisconsin Search and Rescue
Central Lakes Search and Rescue
Minnesota State Patrol
Minnesota Department of Natural Resources
United States Forest Service
United States Border Patrol
Gunflint Volunteer Fire Department
Hovland Volunteer Fire Department
Colvill Volunteer Fire Department
Maple Hill Volunteer Fire Department
Grand Marais Volunteer Fire Department
Lutsen Volunteer Fire Department
Sheriff Falk said there has also been a tremendous number of civilian volunteers who have assisted the Cook County Sheriff's Office with this effort.
A smaller Minnesota wolf population means fewer hunting and trapping licenses will be available when the wolf season opens Nov. 9. The Department of Natural Resources (DNR) set the statewide target harvest of wolves at 220 – 180 fewer than last season.
Starting Aug. 1, hunters and trappers can apply for 2,000 early-season and 1,300 late-season licenses. That’s a reduction from 3,600 early-season and 2,400 late-season licenses in 2012. The deadline to apply for the hunting and trapping license lottery is Sept. 5.
“The changes are a management response to the most-recent wolf population estimate,” said Dan Stark, the DNR’s large carnivore specialist. “As with other game species DNR manages, adjustments are made to regulate hunting pressure and harvest to ensure long-term population sustainability and provide hunting and trapping opportunities.”
Minnesota continues to have the largest wolf population in the lower 48 states. The DNR’s 2013 wolf population survey estimated 2,211 wolves last winter compared to 2,921 in the winter of 2008. The most recent estimate does not include the birth of as many as 2,600 wolf pups this spring, some of which will survive into winter and be counted in next year’s population.
“DNR’s population survey confirmed Minnesota’s wolf population remains firmly established on the landscape,” Stark said. “We can manage seasons for a sustainable population of wolves like we do for dozens of other game species.”
Wolf licenses cost $30 for residents and $250 for nonresidents. The early season purchase deadline is Nov. 1, with surplus licenses going on sale at noon Nov. 6.
The Grand Marais Public Library presents singer/songwriter Preston Gunderson on Thursday, Aug. 8 at 6 p.m. for a performance and workshop.
Gunderson, a native from Virginia, Minn. will perform songs from his latest release, “The Recluse – EP,” top 25 on the iTunes singer songwriter charts. His workshop on writing and recording original music, his processes and his musical experiences as a singer/songwriter are sure to appeal to teens and adults.
Everyone is welcome to this event, funded in part or whole by a grant from Minnesota’s Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund.
The Temperance River rapids have taken another life. The Cook County Sheriff’s Office reports that a 20-year-old man drowned while swimming in the Temperance River, Friday, August 2
At approximately 5:25 p.m. on Friday, August 2, an emergency 911 call was made for help at Temperance River State Park in Schroeder. The caller said someone was drowning in the river on the lakeside of Highway 61.
The man, Pavel Shtrefleng of Eden Prairie, MN, was swimming in a pool just below the bridge when, according to witnesses, he got caught in the current and was pulled under several times. His brother attempted to save him, but was unable to reach him because of the current.
Shtrefleng was submerged for approximately 4-5 minutes before the current released him. His brother and another person were then able to reach him and bring him to shore where CPR was begun. CPR was performed for approximately 20 – 30 minutes before Cook County Ambulance arrived. Tofte – Schroeder First Responders assisted with CPR.
The Cook County Ambulance transported Shtrefleng to the Cook County North Shore Hospital where he was pronounced dead.
This is the same location where rescuers were paged on June 30, 2013 to rescue a 16-year-old boy from Northfield, MN. Fortunately, he survived.
There have been a number of unwelcome interactions with bear at local campgrounds over the last month, warranting a mention in Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Conservation Officer report and a U.S. Forest Service “Special Bear Alert.” Bears determined to be “bothersome” have been spotted in the Clearwater Lake area in Grand Marais, the Kimball Lake campground in Grand Marais and at the east end of Caribou Lake have been visiting campsites and portages.
The Forest Service issued the bear alert for Clearwater Lake and the east end of Caribou Lake.
DNR Conservation Officer Darin Fagerman reported that he had assisted campers with an aggressive bear at Kimball Lake campground. The campers said that the bear wouldn’t let them pack up and leave. Every time they got out of their vehicle to pack up, the bear charged in and got up on its hind legs to chase the campers back to their vehicle. The CO and a Cook County deputy responded to help the men pack up and go to another campground.
Reached by phone a few days later, CO Fagerman said this is the same location where a local waster hauler was chased around his truck last year.
Fagerman said it was a small bear and it has not bothered other campers at Kimball Lake, including one staying there at the time of the incident. The second group had a dog, Fagerman said, so that may have discouraged the bear from approaching that campsite.
The Forest Service alert reminds forest visitors to watch for signs of bear activity in places where food may be available. The alert reminds visitors to follow bear country guidelines such as using bear resistant food containers, storing food in car trunk, never leaving food unattended, and not storing food in tents. The Forest Service also advises campers—especially those in remote or wilderness campsites—to hang food packs in nearby trees properly.
A long-term planning workshop was held on July 22 by the Cook County Historical Society to evaluate best future uses of the historic properties under its care. Participants toured the Lighthouse Keeper's Museum, Chippewa City Church, Bally Blacksmith Shop and the 1930s Fish House Replica with the fishing tug Neegee.
From now through August 4, community members and visitors are invited to contribute their comments and ideas at the Lighthouse Keeper's Museum in downtown Grand Marais. Informational materials, site plans, and photographs will be on display to help envision the possibilities.
Three of the sites under consideration—the blacksmith shop, church and museum—are on the National Historic Register. The mission of the Cook County Historical Society is to preserve them and their history.
Funding for this project is made possible by a grant from Lake Superior Coastal Program.
Long-term planning is being facilitated by architect Richard Gilyard and designer Leah Thomas. The public is invited to help the historical society envision the greatest potential for these extraordinary, historic properties.
The Lighthouse Keeper’s Museum is open Tuesday through Sunday, 11 a.m. - 4 p.m. and is located at 8 South Broadway.