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News and other information from Cook County

Ride along on the Gitchi-Gami Trail Association North Shore Bike Ride Saturday, August 17

Fri, 08/16/2013 - 7:46pm

The 13th Annual Gitchi-Gami Trail Association North Shore Bike Ride will take place on Saturday, Aug. 17. The recreational bike ride will once again begin and end in beautiful Gooseberry Falls State Park, located between Two Harbors and Silver Bay on scenic Highway 61.

As in past years, riders will be able to choose between 28-mile and 55-mile routes. New this year is a 37-mile option that will give bikers a chance to ride on the new 3.2-mile section of the Gitchi-Gami State Trail between Silver Bay and Beaver Bay that was officially opened with a ceremonial ribbon-cutting in June.

The 28-mile ride option is entirely on the Gitchi-Gami State Trail, from Gooseberry through historic Split Rock Lighthouse State Park, to a rest stop at the Beaver Bay trailhead, and returning on the trail. The 55-mile option follows the GGST to Beaver Bay and adds a loop north of Beaver Bay on paved county and state roads. The new 37-mile option adds a shorter loop north of Beaver Bay, circling back through Silver Bay and returning on the new trail section. Both of the longer rides return to Gooseberry on the trail.

The ride begins at 9 a.m. Riders are requested to depart by 10:30 a.m. Parking for the ride is in a lot inside Gooseberry Falls State Park. Vehicles will need an annual state park vehicle sticker or a daily vehicle pass (a daily pass will be provided by the GGTA as part of the registration fee).

 More information is available on the GGTA website, On the website, riders can register for the ride online and can also download mail-in registration forms. Ride brochures with registration forms are also available along the North Shore.

Invasive plant workshops for landowners

Fri, 08/16/2013 - 1:02pm

The Cook County Invasive Team (CCIT) is sponsoring two Invasive Plant Control and Tree Planting Workshops in Cook County this week; on Wednesday, August 14 at the Cook County Community Center and Thursday, August 15 at the Hovland Town Hall.  (Click on audio mp3 above to hear a short feature about local efforts to combat the spread of terrestrial invasive species.)

Workshop participants will learn to identify and control Canada thistle, common tansy, spotted knapweed and other invasive plants. There will also be information on herbicide application techniques, planting and restoration.
The workshops are funded in part by a grant from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation. Presented by the Cook County Invasive Team,Sugarloaf: The North Shore Stewardship Association, and the University of Minnesota Extension.

Workshop times and locations:

August 14 – Grand Marais: 5:30 pm at the Grand Marais Community Center
August 15 – Hovland: 6:30 pm at the Hovland Town Hall
More information from Angelique Edgerton (Cook County Invasive Team), 218-387-3772, or Mike Reichenbach (MN Extension),  218-726-6470.

Attached file

USFS closes campsites due to bear activity

Fri, 08/16/2013 - 11:02am

The U.S. Forest service has today closed all campsites on two lakes in the BWCAW until further notice. The campsites affected are on Caribou and Little Caribou lakes.

According to Superior National Forest Supervisor, Brenda Halter, the closures were made to reduce safety hazards posed by aggressive bear activity in the area.

Bears have been a problem in the area for a number of weeks. The restrictions remain in effect as long as the sites continue to be posted or the closure order is lifted.

First & Second Thrift Store planning--and celebrating!

Wed, 08/14/2013 - 1:12pm

First and Second Thrift Store is pleased to have found a winter manager for the thrift store. Gerry Grant has worked at the store and at the donation center and is ready and able to take on the task. Summer store manager Lois Johnson said, "We are very excited about her taking the challenge!"

This is a non-paid position but all of the volunteer hours earn money for your favorite charity. This year that amount is $12 per hour.

Volunteers are also being sought to work at the donation center, which is located behind the Senior Center. Donations are accepted at the newly re-organized garage Wednesdays and Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
First & Second Thrift Store profits benefit more than 30 different community nonprofits
The money has been used for a range of things such as completion of a handicap entrance at the Cook County Historical Society museum, classroom items, for church building upgrades, for a scholarship and much more.
Save Aug. 15 at 4:30 p.m. for the first of this year’s pay out celebration at the Senior Center in Grand Marais. 
The event is a celebration and the community is invited to explore the program’s accomplishments. Coffee and goodies will be served as well. Over $23,600 for raised by volunteers from Jan. 1 through June 30 will be presented. “If all goes as planned, at this time next year the shop will have given a quarter of a million dollars back to the nonprofits in Cook County!” said Johnson.
Contact Bev Green at the Cook County Senior Center for more information about First and Second at (218) 387-2660.

"Gunflint Woods, Winds & Strings" at Schaap Mid-Trail Community Center Saturday, August 17

Tue, 08/13/2013 - 11:57am

The Gunflint Trail Historical Society (GTHS) announces its first chamber music concert by and for residents and guests of the Gunflint Trail to benefit the work of the Society.
The Gunflint Woods, Winds & Strings will take place at 4 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 17 at Fire Hall 1 on Poplar Lake (1 mile east of Trail Center). A “Meet the Artists” social hour in the new A. Paul and Carol Schaap Mid-Trail Community Center will follow the concert.
“Classical chamber music in a North Woods setting is an exciting combination,” said GTHS Events Chairperson Sally Valentini. “Several of our members have recruited some very talented Trail residents and guests to entertain us on a summer Saturday afternoon. We are grateful for the community’s support of the GTHS.”
Concert organizing committee members include Susan Scherer, Craig Kirchhoff, Sharlene Le Tourneau, Jan Wright, Carol Byers, Judy Edlund, Paul Dykstra and Vi Nelson. Additional committee volunteers are welcome.
Among the scheduled performers are Bill Beckstrand (piano), Philis Anderson
(oboe), Paul Dykstra (piano), Paul Jacobson (baroque flute), Judy Ranheim
(flute), Barb LaVigne (flute), Erika Ternes (soprano) and Laura Popkes (soprano). Craig Kirchhoff will serve as the master of ceremonies. Music by Grieg, Bach, Chopin, Britten, Hoover, Rossini, and Beckstrand will be performed.
Tickets are $20 each, including the reception, and are very limited. Tickets may be purchased at the Chik-Wauk Museum and Nature Center (28 Moose Pond Drive). Ticket orders will be taken by phone at 218-388-9915 and online at

North Shore Care Center celebrates birthdays August 14

Tue, 08/13/2013 - 11:55am

The monthly birthday party at the North Shore Care Center will be celebrated on August 14 to honor Phyllis Anderson, Eleanor Matisis, Jack Halverson, Marie Jacobson, and Marigold Linnell. Cake and ice cream will be served at 3 p.m. along with piano music by Doug Sanders. 
For more information about activity programs or volunteer opportunities at the North Shore Care Center, please contact the Activity Department at 218.387.3518 or check out the website: