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News and other information from Cook County

More questions about ARMER towers in the county

Fri, 02/27/2015 - 4:11pm

When Cook County Information System (IS) Director Rena Rogers came before the county commissioners in January to tell them about a Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) proposal to build two 330-foot Allied Radio Matrix Emergency Response (ARMER) towers on county land in Hovland and Tofte, commissioners asked that MnDOT come explain why the two towers are needed. 

On Tuesday, February 24, 2015, two MnDOT officials were on hand to talk to the board. They answered questions on the towers on county land but left unanswered questions on towers to be installed on state land.

Several citizens spoke during the public comment period, making their case against the 330-foot towers that would not be in compliance with the county’s tower ordinance.

Commissioner Garry Gamble noted that the county’s tower ordinance was formed through citizen participation, the county should not grant a variance to go against that.

Commissioner Frank Moe said he had heard from many of his constituents that are opposed to taller, lighted towers.

Moe also said he didn’t like that MnDOT was “abdicating the responsibility” to the county. If the county authorized construction of a 330-foot tower and a lawsuit was brought similar to the one in Ely in opposition to a cell phone tower, the county would incur those legal fees, said Moe.

Moe made a motion to approve construction of towers up to 200 feet on the county-owned sites and the motion carried unanimously.

However, one question raised went unanswered and that was: what would be the height of other towers, such as two new sites proposed on state land off Lima Mountain Road and the Cascade River?

Auditions for "I Love You, You're Perfect--Now Change!" will be March 3

Fri, 02/27/2015 - 4:10pm

The musical for the Grand Marais Playhouse summer repertory will be I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change! Book and Lyrics are by Joe DiPeitro and music is by Jimmy Roberts. Auditions will be March 3 at 7 p.m.

The cast includes two men and two women. People wishing to audition should prepare a piece that demonstrates their vocal ability. They should also demonstrate a character singing voice.

Performance dates are July 17, 19, 23,25, 31 Aug. 2 (at 3 p.m., not 2), 6, and 8.

The comedy to be performed in repertory is still being selected but auditions will be in early March as well. The dates for the comedy are July 16, 18, 23, 25, 30, Aug.1, 7 and 9. Rehearsals will begin this winter as cast availability works out and then move to stage in July.

Contact the Playhouse at (218) 387-1284 to be notified of auditions.


This local news is provided by Cook County News-Herald. Visit the community newspaper at

Portage to play at North Shore Care Center Saturday

Thu, 02/26/2015 - 2:22pm

At the end of the month, the band Portage will visit the North Shore Care Center to play their classic country music on February 28 at 6:30 p.m. The Care Center welcomes families, friends, and community members too!

There are volunteer opportunities for all ages at the North Shore Care Center. For more information about the volunteer program or the activities going on, please contact the activity department at 218.387.3518 or visit the website:  


This local news is provided by Cook County News-Herald. Visit the community newspaper at

Help with Medicare at Cook County Senior Center

Thu, 02/26/2015 - 2:21pm

On February 27, Marjori Bottila will be at the Cook County Senior Center in Grand Marais to help with Medicare decisions and information.

Bottila will take appointments from 8 a.m. - 10:00 a.m. At 10:30 a.m. she will be gving a presention on 2015 Medicare changes.

Then from 12:30 p.m. - 4 p.m. she will have individual counseling sessions. Please call 218-387-2660 for an appointment for the free counseling session.

The presentation is open to anyone. No reservation needed.


This local news is provided by Cook County News-Herald. Visit the community newspaper at

Recording For Radio Workshops

Wed, 02/25/2015 - 9:15am

WTIP invites community members to participate in a new project designed to bring a wider range of voices to the air. Participants will learn how to identify topics, record audio, and how to turn recorded material into sharable features. The time commitment is flexible and varies depending on the interests and needs of the participants. For more information email or call 387-1070

To attend a "Recording for Radio Workshop"click the date/time below to open the registration page!

Commissioners say "no" to taller towers

Wed, 02/25/2015 - 8:40am

Radio towers were once again on the agenda for the Cook County Commissioners at their Tuesday morning meeting.

On this occasion, representatives from MNDOT were on hand to answer questions regarding the proposed construction of two 330 ft. towers as part of the ARMER communications network.

Towers of this height would be at odds with the county land use plan, which specifies height not to exceed 200 ft. The additional height would also require the towers be lighted. One of the towers will be located at Devilfish Lake off the Arrowhead Trail and the other southeast of Sawbill Canoe Outfitters. Towers in these locations will likely be visible from within the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness.

Three individuals spoke in opposition to the tower height variance during the public comment period. Jim Raml and Ted Young, both long-time residents of the Upper Gunflint Trail, expressed concern over the negative visual impact the taller, illuminated towers will have on the wilderness experience of visitors. Raml also emphasized the danger of allowing deviation from the county land use plan.

The MNDOT representatives provided a map illustrating the difference in signal coverage between the two tower heights. Shane Chatleain, with the Office of Statewide Communications, went on to say either height would satisfy their requirements.

Commissioner Gary Gamble offered the opinion that coverage gained by the additional height would not justify the possible downsides.

After some additional discussion, Commissioner Frank Moe made a motion to approve construction of the towers not to exceed 200 ft. in height consistent with the county land use plan. The motion passed unanimously.

In response to a question from Commissioner Ginny Storlie, Chatleain confirmed that an additional tower is under consideration for the Sea Gull Lake area on property owned by the state.