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City Council to accept public comment on Dollar General Feb. 8

Sun, 02/07/2016 - 10:34am

Located at 100 Mission Road, Goodlettsville, Tennessee, Dollar General’s apparent move to Grand Marais is generating quite a bit of conversation in the community, with some in favor, and many against the move of a large discount business into a small community.

Speaking on behalf of the corporation on Feb. 3, Dan McDonald, who is in charge of the possible move to Grand Marais, said, “We haven’t made any decisions yet. This project is in the ‘due diligence’ phase for us. We are still interested in the site, it looks like it will work for us, but want to make sure it meets all of the criteria before we give it the green light.”

Should the company decide to build, McDonald said it would be a 9,000-square foot freestanding building with approximately 7,300-square feet of floor space.

At a special meeting of the Grand Marais Planning Commission on February 3, Tim Kennedy said concerns brought up at that planning meeting would be forwarded to the city council, which is holding a special meeting on Monday, Feb. 8 at 5 p.m. to discuss the implications of Dollar General’s possible move to Grand Marais.

The public is invited to attend and give their input.  This current discussion will also be the starting point for reviewing the city’s building ordinances, Kennedy said.


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



Cook County Ambulance needs EMTs

Sun, 02/07/2016 - 10:30am

An emergency medical technician (EMT) course is beginning soon and the Cook County Ambulance service encourages anyone interested in becoming an EMT—and member of the ambulance squad—to take the training. The News-Herald spoke recently with Ambulance Director Steve DuChien who said the need for more EMTs is great.

With just six paid staffers and 11 volunteers, Cook County Ambulance is stretched pretty thin. Especially considering the ambulance service covers the City of Grand Marais, and the townships of Lutsen, Tofte and part of Schroeder, as well as making ambulance runs to Duluth hospitals when needed—sometimes two or three times a day.

DuChien said in addition to needing more EMTs, the hospital is looking for a paramedic to work “casual,” to fill in if the two paramedics on staff are not available. DuChien said it is difficult to find someone who can work as a ‘casual’ paramedic. He said, “We are hoping that there might be a retired paramedic in the county who might be interested.” EMTs on the ambulance squad are considered volunteers, however they do receive a stipend for their service.  While on call, EMTs receive an hourly rate. If EMTs are paged to a local call, they receive a flat rate. They also received a flat rate for patient transfers to Duluth, which typically take 5-6 hours. Ambulance workers also have a life insurance benefit.

The reward for serving on the ambulance is much more than monetary, however, said DuChien. He said, “It’s giving something back to the community, to our quality of life. What would the community be with out pre-hospital care? It would be like back in the 1920s when people died from injuries they shouldn’t have died from.”

Get moving in February!

Sat, 02/06/2016 - 1:37pm

Sawtooth Mountain Clinic will once again sponsor “Move It in February,” beginning with a free day at the Cook County YMCA on Feb. 7.

Participants will register and log in their activity, with a virtual destination of Chena, Alaska.

Other events for the month-long promotion include a series of workshops and classes, which are viewable at, or by calling (218) 387-2330, ext. 150.

Moving Matters, a project of the Sawtooth Mountain Clinic, is supported by the Center for Prevention at Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota.



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

WTIP Weekend News Roundup for February 6

Sat, 02/06/2016 - 10:48am

Each week the WTIP news staff compiles a review of news from the previous five days. Governor Dayton quits trying for a special session, highway fatality go up, there’s a new ice breaker planned for the Great Lakes and a proposed Dollar General store galvanizes Grand Marais…all this and more in the week’s news.


Cook County Ridge Riders Fun Run is tomorrow, February 6

Fri, 02/05/2016 - 2:30pm

For the seventh year of the Cook County Ridge Riders Fun Run, the snowmobile club is changing things up a bit.  With the closing of the Landing on Devil Track, the Fun Run will now start and end at the Ridge Riders’ Clubhouse on South Shore Drive on Devil Track Lake. All are invited to join in the festivities February 6.

Ridge Riders members have been working hard to get trails cleared, so now it is time to have some fun at the Fun Run. The event starts with a poker run up the Gunflint Trail. To collect poker hand cards, riders hit the trails and stop and get stamped at the following stops, Hungry Jack Lodge, Trail Center Lodge, Windigo Lodge, Gunflint Lodge and Gunflint Pines. The event starts at 9:00 a.m. and all riders need to be back by 5:30 p.m.

Back at the Clubhouse, there will be raffles and the famous balloon pop game. One of the Fun Run organizers Andrea Everson said there are once again numerous great prizes. Everson added, “We would like to thank all the businesses that donate as we know that they all get asked for donations all the time,” said Everson.

There will also be music and great food catered by Rebecca Thompson of Alyce's. Thompson will have her famous squealer sandwiches and much more.  

“This is our biggest fundraiser and we hope it helps with businesses by getting more people from out of town coming to stay at hotels to eat at restaurants and even shop at the stores in town and of course, get gas at the gas stations.

“We look forward to seeing everyone on Feb 7th. Look for the signs to the Clubhouse and additional parking at the old Cook County airport runway,” said Everson.

Check out the Ridge Rider’s Facebook page for more information or email:


Viking girls take Alpine Section 7 championship

Fri, 02/05/2016 - 2:24pm

The Cook County/Silver Bay Alpine Vikings traveled to the Section 7 Championship Ski Meet on Tuesday, February 2.  Twenty-two teams and 242 racers from the Northland and North Twin Cities Metro including Stillwater make up section 7.  Two teams and approximately 15 individuals of each gender were competing to advance to the State Ski Meet.

Coach Charles Lamb said both our boys’ and girls’ teams were underdogs to advance to State, but in every sport anything is possible at a big game.  The only way our teams could advance is if each of our four fastest scorers of the six-member section team threw down his or her fastest possible run and didn’t fall.  Our teams are not as deep as the bigger schools, so our fastest kids needed to come through in a big way and hopefully more of our competition would crash than our racers.  

The stage was set with near perfect weather conditions and temps in the low 20s and clear skies for the first run, turning overcast for the second run. Both race hills were in excellent shape from an early evening groom and a nice frosty night to set up. 

It was an exciting day of racing and at the end of the day, the Viking girls were crowned Section 7 champs and will go on to State. Congratulations to Sela Backstrom, Madysen McKeever, Haley Yoki, Morgan Welch, Reilly Wahlers and Alyssa Martinson.

Individual skiers also earned spots on the slate of racers at the upcoming State competition: Alyssa Martinson, Sela Backstrom and Reilly Wahlers are also going to state as is Logan Backstrom.

Best of luck to all of them on February 10 at Giants Ridge!


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