Around Cook County

News and other information from Cook County

Volunteer open house at WTIP Radio Tuesday

Fri, 09/20/2013 - 8:17am

WTIP invites community members to stop by the radio station for a new volunteer open house at 4 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 24.

The open house is an opportunity to learn more about current volunteer openings at the local radio station, including public affairs program hosts, Small Change trivia show hosts, and various music program hosts. WTIP staff will be on hand to discuss the opportunities, learn more about volunteer interests, and explain the process of becoming a trained host or co-host.

Volunteers are the backbone of WTIP and have helped make the station’s 15 years of service possible. Volunteering at WTIP is an important and rewarding experience, through which community members can learn new skills, connect with others, and contribute to an essential community resource.

Anyone interested in becoming a volunteer or who would like to learn more about volunteer opportunities at WTIP is invited to stop by the open house between 4 and 6 p.m. For more information call the station at 387-1070

North Shore Music Association hosts "Northern Songs," an evening of chamber music

Thu, 09/19/2013 - 10:58am

Coming to the Arrowhead Center for the Arts soon is a sophisticated evening of song—courtesy of the dream songs project—Northern Songs.
The dream songs project was started in 2010 by mezzo-soprano Alyssa Anderson and guitarist Joseph Spoelstra to present accessible and engaging chamber music across the upper Midwest. This classical voice and guitar duo has a wide repertoire, including guitar transcriptions of lute songs and opera arias, classical and romantic art songs, modern pieces and newly commissioned works.
Anderson’s vocal abilities span the ages, from Baroque masterpieces to contemporary experimental music, with a focus on American and 20th-century art song and chamber music. She has appeared as a soloist with the Minnesota Oratorio Society, the Kenwood Symphony Orchestra, Zeitgeist, Renegade Ensemble, the University of Minnesota’s New Music Ensemble and more.
Classical guitarist Spoelstra has performed throughout the United States, including the Wilshire-Ebell Theater in Los Angeles, the Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis and the Corbett Auditorium in Cincinnati. His performances have been broadcast on NPR programs in Los Angeles and Wisconsin and he is a frequent ensemble guitarist with chamber groups throughout the Midwest.
The concert will feature the world premiere of University of Minnesota-Duluth Professor Justin Rubin’s songs for voice and guitar, Ultima Verba.
The show at the Arrowhead Center for the Arts will include the chance to talk to composer Daniel Nass after the performance.
In addition to the talented Northern Songs artists, a trio of local musicians—Philis Anderson, Erika Ternes and Karina Roth—will open the show.
The performance is Saturday, Sept. 21 at 7:30 p.m. at the ACA. Tickets are $15 adults, $5 students (18 and under). Tickets are for sale at the door or in advance at

Business Network Lunch features new Cook County Visitors Bureau executive director

Thu, 09/19/2013 - 10:53am

Welcome Linda Jurek Kratt, new executive director of the Cook County Visitors Bureau, back to the community at Higher Ed’s September Business Networking Luncheon, 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sept. 25 at Higher Ed.
Kratt is known to many in the community because she grew up here, graduated from Cook County High School, and worked here for a number of years. As those who know her will attest, she brings an incredible level of energy and expertise to her new position.
Kratt will have a great deal to say about successfully marketing Cook County to the world. She also may have a preliminary update on how the county tourism sector fared this summer. Anecdotal information suggests it was a good summer for most businesses.
Kratt comes to her new position from the Duluth Area Chamber of Commerce, where she was director of events and member retention. Prior to joining the Duluth Chamber, she served as program coordinator at the Miller-Dwan Foundation in Duluth.
Cost to attend this luncheon, which will be catered by the Cascade Lodge Restaurant, is $15. To register, email or call 218-387-3411 by Sept. 20.

Jack Hedstrom to retire from Hedstrom Lumber Company

Wed, 09/18/2013 - 11:22am

In its 99th year of operation, Hedstrom Lumber Company of Grand Marais prepares to say thank you and goodbye to Jack Hedstrom, 67, grandson of company founder Andrew Hedstrom and an owner who helped guide this iconic North Shore business through years of difficult struggle and monumental change in the lumber industry. That the company survived to plan its centennial celebration next year owes in significant degree to Jack Hedstrom’s work, said Howard Hedstrom, Jack’s brother and company president.
On Sept. 16, Jack Hedstrom will retire as vice president for sales. He will be replaced by Jeff Johanns, 39, previously vice president for operations and plant manager at Stewart’s Forest Products in Fort Ripley, Minn., a position he has held since 2004. Johanns will be returning home, in a sense. He is a 1992 graduate of Cook County High School. He studied forest products at the University of Minnesota.
Jack Hedstrom will aid with the transition and formally retire at the end of 2013.
Jack Hedstrom’s diverse duties at Hedstrom lumber include production planning, dry kiln operations, sales and shipping coordination. Johanns will take on all of those responsibilities.
“Finding someone who possessed that specific combination of skills was a challenge,” Jack Hedstrom said. “But Jeff can do all of it. We were fortunate to find him.”
In addition to his multiple duties at the mill, Jack Hedstrom also serves as chairman of the board for Hedstrom Lumber, a position he will retain. He also will continue to serve on the board of directors for Northeast Lumber Manufacturers Association, as president of the Northern Softwood Lumber Bureau and as a member of the American Lumber Standard Committee (ALSC). Members of the ALSC are appointed by the secretary of Commerce. The ALSC sets lumber standards that have a global reach.

Community invited to "Moving Matters" event at Cook County Community Center

Wed, 09/18/2013 - 11:20am

All across the country communities are working to make streets safer and more accessible for pedestrians and bicyclists in an effort to help people go from place to place without the aid of a motor. Besides the physical and mental benefits to the participants, proponents say there is also less automobile traffic on the road and less carbon fuels being burned and sent into the atmosphere, and more economic activity with increased bicycle tourism and local business.
That is called a win-win.
Today, similar efforts are coming to Cook County. The Sawtooth Mountain Clinic has launched a project called “Moving Matters” and is working to create safe and accessible walking and biking routes for all people.
“To kick-off the start of this three-year project, we are hosting an event on Thursday, September 19  from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.,” said Maren Webb, assistant coordinator for Moving Matters. The group originally planned to hold the event at the Grand Marais Library, but the location has been changed to the Cook County Community Center. 
Former U.S. Congressman James Oberstar, a strong advocate of active living and bike trails during his long career in Congress, will be the keynote speaker. Congressman Oberstar will talk from 12:30 to 1:30 and his theme will be “Active Living As You Age.”
During the morning there will a bouncy house, Zumba and an outdoor story time for young children. Following Congressman Oberstar’s speech there will be bike/walk tours ongoing into the afternoon.
The four to six block tours will allow participants to experience and assess the walkability and bikeability of the city streets, a county road and Highway 61. All ages and ability levels are welcome. “Just don’t forget your walking shoes or bicycle,” said Webb.

Commissioner Gamble to research where to place water fountain

Wed, 09/18/2013 - 11:19am

As promised, Commissioner Garry Gamble brought his recommendation regarding a water fountain at the county’s public tennis courts back to the county board on September 10.
The county had purchased a freestanding unit but has had it in storage because they wanted to coordinate the work with the other work being done in the vicinity. 
The county could avoid a $1,000 hookup fee to the city and a monthly service charge by installing a wall-mounted unit on the outside of the new YMCA.  Wall-mounted units do not come with water bottle spigots at this time. 
Gamble said returning the fountain they already purchased would cost a 35 percent restocking fee, which means they would get $1,300 back out of an investment of about $2,000. 
The fountain could be handicap-accessible if they put in a slope to the curb near it. 
The board decided to not install the fountain they had purchased but to find out the cost of installing a wall-mounted one onto the YMCA with a sloping curb leading to it