Around Cook County

News and other information from Cook County

City council agrees to proceed with land sale for zip line project

Mon, 05/07/2012 - 5:21pm

Following a closed session at the end of the Grand Marais City Council meeting on Wednesday, April 25 the council voted to enter into a purchase agreement with Matt Geretschlaeger for approximately 20 acres of city-owned land on the Gunflint Trail near the water tower. Geretschlaeger, who plans to build a zip line on the property this summer, agreed to the $75,000 asking price and asked that the purchase process be expedited. To do so, the council reconvened April 30 to finalize the deal, which was done with a unanimous vote (Councilor Jan Sivertson was absent).
The purchase price was established through an appraisal by Ramsland & Vigen Inc. of Duluth.
According to information presented by Geretschlaeger, the “Sawtooth Mountain Indurance Course” will be built by Geronimo Construction of Biwabik and will include a 2,500-square-foot lodge, a 1,000-foot driveway, two access trails, one launch deck platform and two 35-foot towers. The deck will be visible from town as it is located in a natural clearing, but the towers will not. The lodge building will be visible from the Gunflint Trail. The course will not be illuminated.
Geretschlaeger has said the operation will be open about 100 days per year and create 23 new jobs.

New signs on Interstate 35 provide travel time information

Mon, 05/07/2012 - 12:28pm

Seven new digital signs have been installed along the Interstate 35 corridor between Hinckley and Duluth. The signs display estimated travel times between several locations.

The signs display real–time travel information and will be used until the end of the 2012 construction season.

“The purpose of this project is to inform the traveling public of the travel times through three major reconstruction projects on I-35 this summer,” said Dave Mavec, project engineer.

Mavec said the intent is to reduce driver frustration by displaying the actual driving time it takes to drive through the corridor.

Highway 23 travel times are displayed to encourage Highway 23 as an alternate route.

Cook County Visitors Bureau welcomes new marketing manager

Sun, 05/06/2012 - 11:22am

Welcome to Shelby Gonzalez who has been named the new Cook 
County Visitors Bureau (CCVB) marketing manager.
In collaboration with director Sally Nankivell and the CCVB’s 
marketing and PR team at Marketing that Matters, Gonzalez will be 
responsible for managing, carrying out and measuring the CCVB’s 
marketing and PR efforts.
Before joining the CCVB, Gonzalez managed editorial planning and 
production at Grand Marais-based Northern Wilds Media. She lived in 
Duluth but traveled to Grand Marais often. She also worked as a 
freelance writer specializing in Minnesota travel and outdoor 
adventure. She has also worked in communications management roles at
two California-based nonprofit organizations and as a rock climbing 
instructor for the University of Minnesota, Duluth’s Vertical 
Pursuits program.
“We are delighted that Shelby has joined our team,” said Nankivell. 
“She joins us at a very exciting time in the growth of the Cook 
County Visitors Bureau, and I am confident that she will be an 
excellent addition to our team and an engaged member of our 
Gonzalez grew up in Minneapolis, the oldest of six children. She got 
to know Grand Marais and the Gunflint Trail as a teenager through 
summers at YMCA Camp Menogyn. She studied at the University of 
Minnesota, Twin Cities and Duluth campuses. She designed her own major 
in outdoor communications.

North Shore ATVers invited to World's Longest ATV Parade in Silver Bay -- registration open now

Sun, 05/06/2012 - 11:20am

In June 2009, about 50 Cook County outdoor enthusiasts rode their all-
terrain vehicles (ATVs) into the Guinness Book of World Records. The 
folks on the four-wheelers were part of the All-Terrain Vehicle 
Association of Minnesota (ATVAM)’s successful attempt to break a 
Guinness World Record for the World's Longest ATV Parade. Those 50 
people were part of a record-breaking parade of 1,632 ATVs in the city
of Silver Bay.
The title was short-lived, however. In the fall of 2010, the state of 
Utah broke the Minnesota record with 1,870 ATVs. So ATVAM plans to 
take back the world record and northland ATVers are once again invited 
to take part. ATVAM hopes to have more than 2,000 ATVs in the parade.
There will also be fun riding opportunities on the fabulous Silver Bay 
Moose Walk ATV trail system and other ATV-related activities. Sponsors 
of the ATV Parade will be hosting booths on-site for participants to 
see new products. Parade organizers will also be holding a contest for 
the most creatively decorated ATV. After the parade concludes Zup’s 
Foods will be hosting a buffet at the Silver Bay Union Hall.
Registration and the staging area for the parade will be one half mile 
north of Outer Drive and Highway 61 in the field in front of AmericInn 
Motel. There will be signs showing participants where to go. There 
will be ample parking on the streets and surrounding areas. The parade 
route will be a designated ATV trail for the day, so children can ride 
in the parade as long they meet all MN safety requirements. Side-by-
side ATV's and three-wheelers are welcome to come, but will not be 

UMD Bulldogs Coach Shannon Miller to speak at Booster Club Athletic Banquet

Sat, 05/05/2012 - 4:22pm

The Cook County Booster Club supports student athletes throughout the year and several times each year hosts an athletic banquet to recognize athletes and coaches. The sports banquet on Sunday, May 6 will be an extra-special event with a well-known sports figure as speaker—Shannon Miller, coach of championship-winning UMD Women’s Hockey.
The dinner for athletes and families will be at 5 p.m. at St. John’s Catholic Church. After dinner, the public is invited to the banquet to hear Coach Miller speak at 6 p.m.
Booster Club Member Cindy Crawford was delighted to announce the special guest speaker. “The speech is open to anyone interested in athletics,” she said. “Especially all the community members who helped out in the concession stand to support the Booster Club.”
Shannon Miller has led the UMD Bulldogs to nine NCAA playoff appearances and five NCAA Championship titles. No other hockey program in the country has won five titles, let alone three consecutive NCAA trophies.
Not only has Miller enjoyed incredible success with the Bulldogs, but she also had tremendous success coaching on the international stage with Team Canada. Miller coached Canada to a silver medal at the 1998 Winter Olympics and stood out as the first and youngest female head coach of any Olympic hockey team.
In addition to her duties at UMD, Miller chairs the Ethics Committee for US women’s college hockey, and also serves on the NCAA Division 1 Championships Committee. She is one of only two coaches in the entire country on the committee.

Boreal.TV to record county government meetings

Sat, 05/05/2012 - 4:21pm

Cook County Commissioners agreed to pay Boreal.TV $6,000 to videotape all county board meetings that take place in the commissioner’s room for one year.  The meetings will be filmed in their entirety and available online within 24 hours.  Boreal.TV will make DVDs available to the public library, and offer a format that can be used on PAC-13, the local cable TV station.
Boreal.TV was started with funding from grants through Blandin Foundation’s Minnesota Intelligent Rural Communities initiative to promote the development of broadband applications. A new 501c3 nonprofit has been created in Cook County called Boreal.TV. 
Boreal.TV is working toward build a sustainable funding model and would like community members or businesses interested in sponsoring local events to email or call 218-387-9471.