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News and other information from Cook County

Grand Marais considers changes to zoning ordinance to allow "light manufacturing and processing"

Fri, 01/17/2014 - 7:23am

In response to requests that the city of Grand Marais has received in recent months, both the planning commission and city council recommended last week that the Grand Marais zoning ordinance be amended to accommodate growing businesses.

At issue is a request to establish a microbrewery in the downtown C-1 district. There has been a similar past request, as well as a request for a coffee roasting business, but City Administrator Mike Roth noted that such “light manufacturing and processing” enterprises currently best fit in the Commercial-Industrial (C/I) zone with a conditional use permit. That means they’d be limited to the Cedar Grove Business Park, said Roth.

Councilor and planning commissioner Tim Kennedy pointed out that the proposed zoning change isn’t really a big one.

Kennedy said, “This is already occurring,” noting that the Beaver House makes and sells lures, the World’s Best Donuts makes and sells donuts, and the Gunflint Mercantile makes and sells fudge. “There are all kinds of things being made in town…this is nothing we haven’t already seen,” he said.

What the planning commission wants to ensure, Kennedy said, is that retail is the primary use of the property. Roth added that the ordinance already addresses concerns and sets limitations on things such as lights, noise, vibration, odors and landscaping. The city doesn’t really care, for instance, how many gallons of a beverage are sold or what percentage of space is dedicated for retail, but is more concerned with how the business fits in with the neighborhood, said Roth.

DNR offers "Take-A-Kid Fishing Weekend" Jan. 18 - 20

Fri, 01/17/2014 - 7:21am

Minnesotans age 16 or older can try ice fishing or spear fishing without purchasing an angling or spearing license if they take a child younger than 16 fishing during Take-A-Kid Ice Fishing Weekend Saturday, Jan. 18 through Monday, Jan. 20.

“Take-A-Kid Ice Fishing Weekend is a great opportunity for family and friends to get those special kids in their life outdoors enjoying the fun and beauty of a Minnesota winter,” said Roland Sigurdson, DNR aquatic education supervisor. “What better way to celebrate our winter heritage than by passing on the tradition of ice fishing.”

Ice fishing presents some unique challenges, but with basic equipment, a few skills, and good planning, ice fishing can be easy, enjoyable and exciting.

Here are key ice fishing tips from DNR’s MinnAqua program, which provides resources to teach fishing skills, aquatic ecology and conservation stewardship of our lakes and rivers:

 • Dressing in layers is the best way to deal with winter’s icy chill. Layers keep you warm in cold conditions by creating pockets of warm air and helping moisture evaporate.

 • Portable ice shelters can increase the enjoyment of the experience by keeping kids warmer.

 • Plan for a shorter, quality experience that will make a happier memory. Cold, bored kids don’t ask to go again.

Grand Marais Lioness Club hosts monthly dessert social at North Shore Care Center Saturday

Thu, 01/16/2014 - 11:19am

The Grand Marais Lioness Club will host their monthly social for North Shore Care Center residents with special desserts on Saturday, January 18 at 3 p.m., along with favorite piano tunes by Irene Thompson. 

Grand Marais Apartments seeks citizens for senior housing board

Thu, 01/16/2014 - 11:18am

Housing, or especially affordable housing for seniors, is always a concern and hot topic for discussion in Cook County.

 One of the ways that pressing need is currently being addressed is by Grand Marais Apartments, Inc., (GMAI) which is now looking for additional advisory board members.

Ice bridge to Isle Royale? maybe this year

Thu, 01/16/2014 - 10:02am

Dr. Rolf Peterson has been studying the predator-prey ecosystem on Isle Royale since the 1970s. WTIP’s Veronica Weadock spoke with him before he left for Isle Royale about the news that an ice bridge may form this year.


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AEOA's Home Ownership Program

Wed, 01/15/2014 - 1:13pm
AEOA’s homeownership program includes education and counseling as well as assistance with down payment and closing costs.  
WTIP volunteer Tracy Benson spoke with Leah Hall of the Arrowhead Economic Opportunity Agency on North Shore Morning.

The program is for first time home buyers but also those who have not owned in the last three years.

AEOA's Homeownership Program  ( designed to promote and encourage homeownership by providing down payment and closing cost loans to income-eligible, qualified buyers.

AEOA conducts a series of Homestretch Workshops, open to anyone interested in learning how to buy a home. It is designed to give prospective homebuyers an understanding and knowledge of:

  • How real estate transactions work
  • Qualifications of homebuyer financing
  • Responsibilities of homeownership

Potential buyer must attend the complete series of the Homestretch Workshops.
Buyer must complete the Homestretch Workshops and 1-on-1 counseling to qualify for AEOA financial assistance
Potential buyer must qualify for a mortgage. The Counselor will assist homebuyers in shopping for an appropriate mortgage.
Family income must be at or below 80% of the area median income in St. Louis, Cook, and Lake County (Please call if you are uncertain that you qualify).
Potential buyer must be a first-time homebuyer.

Sandy O'Fallon
(218) 999-0828




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