Around Cook County
The Grand Marais Summer Theater Festival continues with Church Basement Ladies, which opened on July 26 to rave reviews. The play is in repertory with The Odd Couple on weekends through August 11. Church Basement Ladies, by Jim Stowell and Jessica Zuehlke with music and lyrics by Drew Jansen, is a musical comedy inspired by the books of Janet Letnes Martin and Suzann Nelson authors of the best-seller Growing Up Lutheran.
The Church Basement Ladies cast includes Mark Abrahamson, Rose Arrowsmith DeCoux, Yvonne Mills, Diane Stoddard and Linda Waterhouse.
Performances are July 28, Aug. 1, 3, 9 and 11
As described on the play’s website, Church Basement Ladies is a celebration of the church basement kitchen and the women who work there. Church Basement Ladies is a new musical comedy featuring four distinct characters and their relationships as they organize the food and solve the problems of a rural Minnesota church about to undergo changes in 1965.
From the elderly matriarch of the kitchen to the young bride-to-be learning the proper order of things, we see them handle a record-breaking Christmas dinner, the funeral of a dear friend, a Hawaiian Easter Fundraiser, and, of course, a steaming hot July wedding. They stave off potential disasters, share and debate recipes, instruct the young, and keep the pastor on due course while thoroughly enjoying, (and tolerating) each other as the true "steel magnolias" of the church. Funny and down-to-earth, audiences will recognize these ladies as they witness the church year unfold from below the house of God.
Tickets for summer festival productions are $20 adults, $10 students (18 and under). Save $5 when you buy a ticket to both shows! Available in advance at www.tix.com or at the door one hour before the performance.
TOFTE, Minn. (AP) — Some Minnetonka High School students have rescued a lost dog in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness.
The five teens were on a canoe trip this week when they saw a note scrawled on a rock at their island campsite, saying "Lost dog, call DNR."
The boys soon spotted Tomah, the lost Shetland sheepdog. The teens, all cross-country runners, tried chasing the dog, but Tomah was too fast.
The teens spotted the dog the next morning and grabbed him. With the dog in the canoe, they paddled to meet one of the boys' dads, who drove them to the U.S. Forest Service ranger station in Tofte, where there was a sign with Tomah's name and his owners' phone number.
The Star Tribune reports Tomah was reunited with his owners.
ST. PAUL (AP) — A chunk of state-owned land on the shores of Lake Superior has been sold for over $1 million and will benefit public schools.
The 65-acre property includes nearly 1,700 feet of lakeshore 10 miles north of Silver Bay. It was sold to two individuals during a public auction Wednesday. State lawmakers last year approved the sale of lake land to boost funding for schools. The sale had previously been prohibited unless approved by the legislators.
Not everyone is happy about the sale of the prime property, including the Parks & Trails Council of Minnesota. Executive director Brett Feldman called the sale disappointing.
Advocates had hoped a state trail would be built on the land. But the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources said it prefers a connection to the nearby Gitchi-Gami trail be built further inland.
On Friday, July 26 from 5 - 7 p.m. the Cook County Senior Center will be hosting a Spaghetti Dinner Fundraiser at the center on Broadway.
On the menu is all you can eat, homemade spaghetti, tossed salad, bread, lemonade and coffee. The cost is $10 at the door. Children 6 and under: $5. Cash and local checks accepted. And of course additional donations are always welcomed and much appreciated.
Bus transportation will be available by reservation within the near Grand Marais area.
For more information on Senior Center activities, stop in or call the Senior Center at (218) 387-2660.
Grand Marais Public Library Director Linda Chappell and Audrey Stattelman, president of the library board, presented the library’s 2014 budget proposal at the Wednesday, July 10, Grand Marais City Council meeting. The library budget first comes before council because both the city council and Cook County commissioners must approve it; under the terms of a joint operating agreement, each entity pays half of the library’s operating expenses.
As usual, said Stattelman, there are still a number of unknown factors that may influence the final budget, making projections a bit difficult. For example, the union contract, health insurance, public utilities costs and a propane contract are still awaiting finalization, she said. The 2014 budget also includes the cost of carpet cleaning, which should be done about every 18 months.
Chappell said the library has been seeing “hordes of people” who are enjoying the newly renovated building. There are some new services the library staff will concentrate on next year, said Chappell, such as an online magazine service, portable devices for public use, and an electronic book service offered through the Arrowhead Library System.
“People love the new services,” said Chappell. “But they don’t want to give up the old ones either.”
Despite the new offerings and plans for even more services, there is good news about the budget. Chappell said that, due mainly to a librarian’s retirement earlier this year, she anticipates a less than 1 percent increase in the 2014 budget. By comparison, the 2013 budget was an increase of 4.4 percent over the prior year.