Around Cook County

News and other information from Cook County

Grand Marais wastewater treatment plant working with MPCA on mercury reduction

Tue, 10/06/2015 - 3:39pm

Due to new lower acceptable levels of mercury limits set by the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) the Grand Marais Wastewater Treatment Plant will have to come in compliance within the next five years or the city will be faced with fines, said Water/Sewer Plant Manager Tom Nelson to the Public Utilities Commission (PUC) on September 2.

The minute amounts of mercury found in the city’s wastewater treatment plant comes from what is termed “nonpoint sources” said Nelson, which means it could come from anywhere.

The first step, Nelson said, is to get a new permit from MPCA that will come with the new requirements and guidelines that must be met. Nelson told the board that he didn’t feel that adding more additives to the water would meet the new requirements to reduce mercury. He suggested that it is in the city’s best interest to find a firm that has dealt with mercury mitigation to help with the process and the board agreed. “We are still waiting to get a permit from the MPCA,” Nelson said to the Cook County News-Herald on September 16. “The first step is to complete a Pilot Study Plan for the MPCA and give it to them for their review and approval,” Nelson said.

Once a Pilot Study Plan has been reviewed the city will complete and submit a Facility Plan That plan will identify treatment options aimed at reducing mercury emissions from the plant. All of the work to correct the problem must be competed within five years, Nelson said.


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

Local officials weigh-in on Indigenous People's Day

Tue, 10/06/2015 - 11:12am

Columbus Day or Indigenous People’s Day? Local units of government weigh-in as controversy grows. WTIP’s Jay Andersen has this report.



‘Fishing Through the Ages’ features speakers from three generations, October 9

Mon, 10/05/2015 - 1:04pm

‘Fishing Through the Ages’ is the theme of this year’s annual Storytelling Dinner sponsored by the North Shore Commercial Fishing Museum. WTIP volunteer Yvonne Mills talked with the Fishing Museum’s Virginia Reiner on North Shore Morning. 

Sixth Annual Storytelling Dinner
Friday, October 9 at Lutsen Resort
Social hour begins at 5:30, Scandinavian Dinner at 6:15; dessert and program at 7:15 
Call Lutsen Resort at 218-663-7212 for reservations by noon on October 9

(Photo courtesy of North Shore Commercial Fishing Museum)


Folksinger/songwriter John Gorka performs October 10

Mon, 10/05/2015 - 12:29pm

Recognized as innovative and  intelligent, folksinger/songwriter John Gorka will perform at the Arrowhead Center for the Arts on Saturday, October 10. WTIP volunteer Yvonne Mills spoke with the North Shore Music Association’s Kate Fitzgerald on North Shore Morning. 

Concert is on Saturday, October 10 at 7:30 pm.  Tickets on sale in advance and at the door.  For more information visit


ISD166 school board endorses Indigenous People’s Day

Mon, 10/05/2015 - 11:54am

At their October 1st meeting the Cook County Schools ISD166 board voted for proclaiming October 12 Indigenous People’s Day.

According to Superintendent Beth Schwarz, 22 percent of the students at ISD166 are Native American.

She said that while the second Monday in October is technically a Federal holiday – Columbus Day – and the school can do nothing about changing that, “unfortunately the true history of Columbus has not been taught for many years.”

Citing evidence of the genocide of indigenous people as well as slave trading, she said there are a lot of issues with having a day memorializing someone who was not the hero he has been made out to be.

“We chose to make a proclamation -- very strong proclamation. We did state that we recognize the contributions of our American Indian friends and stated that we certainly hope that both the county and the city at some time follow suit.”

She added  that research indicates perhaps changing that date would make sense, and “given the fact we have an American Indian population and a reservation bordering part of our county, it certainly, on their request, was something we felt worth honoring.”



Pleasant fall weather continues

Mon, 10/05/2015 - 11:54am

Cloudy but nice for the next day or two, some rain mid-week and then clear as the weekend approaches. WTIP’s Jay Andersen spoke with National Weather Service meteorologist Carol Christenson.