Around Cook County

News and other information from Cook County

City considers construction noise at high school

Thu, 01/17/2013 - 11:24am

Mayor Larry Carlson reported that he has received a complaint about the blasting being done at the construction site at the high school. He said the caller didn’t like it that the blasting was being done until 8 p.m. Administrator Mike Roth said there is no ordinance prohibiting or restricting the hours of such activity, and the construction crews are doing the blasting between 4 and 8 p.m. so as not to disturb the students while school is in session.
“You would be hard-pressed to do something before it [blasting] is completed,” Roth said when asked about the possibility of drafting and enacting an ordinance before the construction is done. Councilors agreed that such action is not necessary. The blasting is being done to make way for the new YMCA swimming pool.

Birch Grove hosts boot hockey tournament

Thu, 01/17/2013 - 11:23am

Things are heating up on the ice at Birch Grove Community Center. Four teams are signed up for the third annual Birch Grove Boot Hockey Tournaments, to be held Friday, Jan. 25 at 5:45 and Sat. Feb. 9 at 4 p.m.
If you’d like to join the fun, contact Birch Grove Foundation Director Patty Nordahl at Birch Grove Foundation by e-mail at  or call (218) 663-7977 (Wednesdays) for complete registration and signup information. 
The cost to participate is $20 for both dates; $15 for one date per team.
Teams need 5-6 players ages 12+ to participate in a 25-minute game.  Co-ed and mixed age level teams are welcome!  Each participating team will receive a large pizza sponsored by Grand Marais State Bank and Sven and Ole’s Pizza.
Not interested in playing?  Come watch the action and warm up by the bonfire.  Pizza will be available for sale.

Final EPA pollution regs affect Nortshore Mining in Silver Bay

Thu, 01/17/2013 - 5:08am

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has made public the final regulations aimed at cutting pollution from taconite plants that causes haze over northern Minnesota wild areas.

Included in the regulations is the Northshore Mining Co. operation in Silver Bay.

The regulations come after months of delay and will force some taconite operations to add expensive new pollution control equipment to curb nitrogen oxides, or NOx, and sulfur dioxides, SO2.

According to a Duluth News Tribune report Thursday morning, environmental and public-health groups, and now the EPA, say that pollution causes haze over pristine areas like the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness and Isle Royale and Voyageurs national parks. The groups and the EPA say it also can cause lung ailments in people.

The plan “will reduce pollutants that are harmful to people’s health and impair visibility in national parks and wilderness areas,” the EPA said in announcing the final rule. The agency said the pollution controls are expected to reduce NOx emissions by about 22,000 tons per year and SO2 emissions by about 2,000 tons per year.

The News Tribune reports the rules affect all six taconite operations in Minnesota as well as the lone taconite operation on Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. New plants also would be expected to meet the standards. Many coal-fired power plants already have been required to make similar upgrades.

The federal government stepped in after regulators concluded that the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency didn’t go far enough to limit haze from taconite plants. The state in April essentially said the industry was doing all it could within reason to control haze pollution.

Amy & Adams perform at O'Phelan's Pub at Cascade Lodge Friday, Jan. 18

Wed, 01/16/2013 - 11:49pm

Amy & Adams of St. Paul will be performing at O'Phelan's Pub at Cascade Lodge on Friday, Jan. 18 from 7:00 – 9:30 p.m.
Amy & Adams share their inspiring upbeat music with folks in the Midwest and beyond, and for nearly two decades they’ve touched audiences of all ages at schools, churches, libraries, city parks, art fairs, weddings, wineries, radio, television, and especially elder care facilities.
Amy and Mark Adams-Westin found each other in the Twin Cities after decades of playing in their own worlds. They’ve produced five well-received CDs that have garnered national and international airplay; they cover a musical territory far wider than folk which they’ve dubbed Eclectic/FolkRock/ TinPanAlley/BluesGrass.
Their newest CD, Gone…aloft may be heard at

North Shore Visitation Center offers safe place for parents and children

Wed, 01/16/2013 - 1:02pm

 The North Shore Visitation Center provides a safe place for families who need supervised visits among parents and children. Annie DeBevec (D Beh vic) and Lucy Perpich talked with WTIP's DayBreak host Roger Linehan about who the program is for, how it works and the change in leadership from Annie to Lucy.

Attached file

Soo Locks are closed for season

Wed, 01/16/2013 - 1:02pm
Cason J. Callaway_Photo from

DETROIT – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Detroit District reports that the Soo Locks in Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan, are closed for the winter season.

The season’s final vessel was the the 767-foot Cason J. Callaway . The Callaway entered the Poe Lock and out of Lake Superior just after 6 p.m. Tuesday, downbound with 25,000 net tons of taconite pellets.

During the 2012 navigation season, 4,086 cargo vessels passed through the Soo Locks carrying about 75 million tons of iron ore, coal, grain and other commodities. In addition to cargo vessels, a total of 3,278 tour boats, private boats and other recreational vessels used the locks this past year.

The Corps has operated and maintained the locks as part of its navigation mission since 1881 and will use the downtime to perform critical winter maintenance on the lock structures. 

"The Soo Locks is the linchpin of the Great Lakes Navigation System, and it is vitally important that we keep this infrastructure in good working order," said Lt. Col. Robert Ells, district engineer. "This time of year, our dedicated and hard-working staff at the Soo Area Office perform important maintenance and repair work under strict time constraints to prepare the locks for the next shipping season. The district puts a high priority on this work to keep the locks functioning safely and reliably for the benefit of our nation."

District personnel will perform a 5-year periodic inspection of the MacArthur Lock, while work crews repair watertight doors and miter gates, and install a new air bubbler ice suppression system on the MacArthur Lock gates. Concrete upgrades and installation of gate fenders are also planned in the MacArthur Lock. Piping will be installed in the Poe Lock for a new hydraulic system to operate the gates, booms and valves. Once winter maintenance is complete, the locks will reopen in March.