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News and other information from Cook County

Neighbors object to temporary asphalt production near County Road 6

Sun, 05/26/2013 - 12:32pm

At the public comment period during the May 21, 2013 county board meeting, two residents who live near the Bautch gravel pit on Meridian Road just off County Road 6 (also known as the Monker Lake pit) tried to convince the board not to approve a conditional use permit (CUP) for Northland Constructors to operate a temporary hot mix asphalt plant in the gravel pit.  The Cook County Planning Commission approved the plant on May 8 despite public protest at that meeting as well.
The plant is expected to operate for nine days, producing 29,000 tons of asphalt that will be laid down on six miles of County Road 7.  Asphalt currently on the road will be reused as well.  The project will also involve gravel washing. The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency has issued a permit for the equipment.
The Cook County Office of Planning & Zoning received objections from six out of 24 property owners notified by letter of the project.  Concerns included health impacts from ozone, lead, asbestos, and particulates and dust and dangers from traffic and trucks traveling fast. 
One neighboring property owner asked the county to monitor the dust and the speed of the trucks and limit hours of operation to 7:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. six days a week or 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. five days a week.
The zoning ordinance requires hot mix plants to maintain a 2,600-foot buffer zone from the nearest residence.  Five property owners on three parcels within the 2,600-foot buffer signed waivers, but Planning & Zoning Administrator Bill Lane said a decision was made to maintain the buffer distance anyway.

Weekend News Roundup for May 25

Sat, 05/25/2013 - 9:18am

Each week the WTIP news staff puts together a roundup of the news over the past five days. One of Lake Superior’s fish may be affected by warming waters, fire restrictions remain on locally, but the drought conditions in the state have lessened. These stories and more…all in this week’s news.


Attached file

Memorial Day Service at courthouse Monday

Fri, 05/24/2013 - 9:07am

A traditional Memorial Day service will be held on the Cook County courthouse lawn at 11 a.m. on Monday, May 27. A luncheon follows at American Legion Post 413. The luncheon is free for veterans and $5 for non-veterans.

Ely inspection station to open for summer season

Fri, 05/24/2013 - 5:41am

INTERNATIONAL FALLS, Minn. (AP) — U.S. Customs and Border Protection says the Ely inspection station will open for the summer tourist season Saturday.

The border station is located in the National Forest Service Complex in Ely. The station serves people arriving from Canada through the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness.

There are no roads into or out of Canada in that remote wilderness area. All travel into and out of Canada is by non-motorized small boat, canoe, kayak or aircraft.

The Ely inspection station is a seasonal facility. It will remain open during the summer tourist season through Sept. 7. Hours are 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Central time, seven days a week.

New classes, instructors at Art Colony starting Memorial Day weekend

Thu, 05/23/2013 - 12:20pm

Two new instructors will be teaching at the Grand Marais Art Colony starting Memorial Day weekend.
Experience Watercolor with Spencer Meagher will be held May 25 and 26. Students will learn the fundamentals of watercolor painting, from transferring the sketch through the initial wash to the final details. Understanding the difference in paint, paper, and brush qualities while practicing proper techniques including wet-in-wet, dry brush, splattering, and sponging, among others will be taught.
This class is open to all levels, no drawing experience necessary.  Students can bring their own supplies or pay the supply fee.
On May 27-30, Creative Breakthrough: Bringing the Art Spirit into Your Work will be presented by Mary Pettis, a classically trained painter and an eloquent and respected teacher with 35 years experience who has won extensive awards in national painting events and exhibitions, as well international recognition.
The class is designed for students with some painting experience working in oil. Through exercises, lectures, discussions, and demonstrations, students will learn the path to finding their inner creative spirit. Each day there will be painting – not to turn out finished pieces, but to get a sense of the exercises that will make stronger, more powerful paintings in each of six considerations: line, shape, values, color, edges, and texture.
Call the Art Colony at (218) 387-2737 to register or for more information.

Grand Portage National Monument open for Memorial Day weekend

Wed, 05/22/2013 - 9:47am

Grand Portage National Monument staff will temporarily open the historic Lake Superior fur trade depot at Grand Portage for Memorial Day weekend, Saturday, May 25-27.The historic depot will be closed again from May 28-31. During that time the heritage center will remain open from 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. daily.
Chief of Interpretation Pam Neil said the National Monument will open the historic depot for the summer season on June 1, 2013. Neil said this amended schedule marks a change from past years.
"We have received a reduction of approximately $67,000 to our operating budget as a result of the sequestration of federal budgets. We are making adjustments in our operations, including amending our opening dates, to meet the requirements of sequestration and be able to accommodate visitors travelling over the Memorial Day weekend. As always, we are looking forward to another busy, rewarding, and productive year," stated Superintendent Tim Cochrane.
Beginning on June 1, 2013, the monument’s heritage center will be open 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily until mid-October. While at the heritage center, visitors can view the monument’s new interpretive film, Rendezvous With History: A Grand Portage Story and additional video Shorts along with over 2,000 square feet of exhibits that highlight Ojibwe culture and the history of the North West Company. 
The historic depot area will be open daily from 9:00 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily through mid-October as well. In the Great Hall, visitors can “window shop” via a new exhibit entitled, From Furs to Fashion. This exhibit is a London streetscape complete with storefronts that welcome “shoppers” interested in the luxurious hats and furs, as well as powder puffs, fancy perfumes, and even fishing lures made for European shoppers from pelts and parts of mammals traded to the North West Company in the 1790s.