Around Cook County

News and other information from Cook County

Grand Marais Library hosts Sean Emery, the "Jugglin' Guy"

Wed, 02/26/2014 - 9:28am

Visit the Grand Marais Public Library at 4 p.m. Feb. 28 for an unforgettable performance with one of the region’s funniest and most sought-after entertainers, Sean Emery.

With his talent and uncanny ability to read people, Sean will scoop up members of the audience and embrace them with his circus skills, comedy, and showmanship.  Professionally trained with the Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey, Emery truly is one of the most in-demand entertainers from county fairs to Radio City Music Hall, festivals, theaters, cabarets and even the White House!  His act includes amazing juggling, unicycling and physical comedy, and he is a master of improv.

This event is sponsored by the Grand Marais Public Library, the Arrowhead Library System and funded by money from Minnesota’s Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund.

For more information contact the library at  (218) 387-1140 .

MPCA to make initial sulfate ruling

Wed, 02/26/2014 - 9:20am

The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency on Thursday is expected to make its first recommendation on how much sulfate pollution is too much for wild rice.

The agency will announce whether the current sulfate limit for wild rice waters, 10 parts per million, is too high, too low or just right.

PCA officials say they also will work toward an administrative rule change to better clarify exactly where the rule should be enforced — which lakes and rivers are official wild rice waters.

The Duluth News Tribune quotes  Shannon Lotthammer, director of the PCA’s environmental analysis division as saying, “This is going to be our preliminary recommendation based on the science we have so far.”
Lotthammer said the recommendation will be preliminary until a scientific panel can review the field and laboratory data collected during the past two years on which the PCA is basing its decision.

The sulfate rule, if enforced, has huge implications for the state’s iron mining industry, with some taconite processing plants apparently releasing sulfate at levels above the current standard. It could affect the state’s fledgling copper mining industry as well as wastewater treatment plants in areas where wild rice grows, or did grow in the past.

The current sulfate rule was enacted in the 1970s based on work from the 1940s by a state biologist who found that wild rice didn’t grow in water with high sulfate levels.


Financial Aid Information Night at Higher Ed, Wednesday February 25

Mon, 02/24/2014 - 1:18pm

Help is available locally for sorting through financial aid for higher education.  North Shore Morning host Julie Carlson learns more in this interview with Kirstin van den Berg of Cook County Higher Education; Haley Brickner, the Director of Education for the Grand Portage Band of Lake Superior Chippewa; and Amanda Burggraff, academic and career guidance counselor for Cook County schools, about Financial Aid Information Night.

Financial Aid Information Night is scheduled for February 26 from 5:15pm to 7:00pm at Cook County Higher Education’s North Shore Campus in Grand Marais.  

Cook County Higher Education in collaboration with Cook County High School and the Grand Portage Department of Education are pleased to bring you Financial Aid Information Night: Completing the FAFSA and Paying for College.  It's an opportunity to learn about changes to the 2014 – 2015 FAFSA and ask Financial Aid Director LaNita Robinson questions about the financial aid process.  


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Girl Scout Troop 4077 working toward Bronze award with pajama collection

Mon, 02/24/2014 - 10:41am

For more than a year the girls in Girl Scout Troop 4077 have been brainstorming ideas for a community service project to fulfill Girl Scout Bronze Award requirements. For months the fifth-graders have been researching their idea and then putting it in action through a remarkably fun event—a pajama party. The girls did all of the planning and promotion for the event and hosted a fabulous pajama party at the Evangelical Free Church on Feb. 6. Admission to the party was a new pair of pajamas and Troop 4077 collected 67 pairs at the party.

They are only 35 pajamas away from their goal of 102 pairs—102 in in recognition of Girl Scouting’s 102nd anniversary. They will be taking the pajamas to the Damiano Center in Duluth and will be getting a tour of the building that provides services to low income and unemployed people in the community.

If you would like to help the girls reach their goal, by March 10, Bethlehem Lutheran Church has graciously agreed to serve as a drop off point for pajamas. There is a collection box in the lower level of the church.

Please contact Christine with questions at  218-370-8338 .

Lake service providers must participate in MN Department of Natural Resources aquatic invasives training

Mon, 02/24/2014 - 10:38am

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources is offering aquatic invasive species (AIS) training to owners of lake service provider businesses so they can legally work in lakes and rivers throughout the state.

Businesses such as resorts and outfitters that rent, lease or decontaminate boats and other water-related equipment are now required to attend AIS training and acquire a permit under a state law change that took effect last July. These businesses are considered lake service providers, which means they must attend training, apply for a permit, and pay a $50 application fee every three years to comply with Minnesota law.

“Before this change, the law applied only to businesses such as marinas, dock haulers, lawn irrigators and others who install or remove equipment from state waters for hire,” said April Rust, DNR AIS training coordinator. “The law change means many more businesses will need to attend training to learn about the threat of zebra mussels and other invasive species, and how to prevent their spread."

Registering for the winter and early spring sessions will give businesses time to attend training and get a permit before ice-out. Registration deadlines are one week prior to each training. Seventeen free AIS training sessions are planned around the state. The closest session to Cook County will be in Duluth at the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, 525 Lake Avenue South, Suite 400 on March 4 from 1- 4 p.m. Register by February 25 for the training in Duluth.

A list the other 2014 training sessions is available at

Grand Marais Playhouse to offer "Our Town" for one weekend only

Mon, 02/24/2014 - 10:35am

Rehearsals are under way for the Grand Marais Playhouse’s next production, a community youth performance of Our Town by Thornton Wilder. “Our Town” runs for one weekend only, March 6 - 9. Thursday - Saturday, 7 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m. Tickets are $10 adults and $5 students. Sunday, March 9 is donation day (pay what you can for your ticket).

This timeless drama of life in the mythical village of Grover's Corners, New Hampshire, has become an American classic with universal appeal. Thornton Wilder's most frequently performed play, Our Town appeared on Broadway in 1938 to wide acclaim, and won the Pulitzer Prize. From the very beginning, Our Town has been produced in amateur and professional theatres around the world.

Wilder offers a couple of chairs on a bare stage as the backdrop for an exploration of the universal human experience. The simple story of a love affair is constantly rediscovered because it asks timeless questions about the meaning of love, life and death. In the final moments of the play, the recently deceased Emily is granted the opportunity to revisit one day in her life, only to discover that she never fully appreciated all she possessed until she lost it. "Oh, earth, you're too wonderful for anybody to realize you," she says as she takes her place among the dead.

Mark your calendar, you don’t want to miss this play with a talented intergenerational cast of local performers.