Around Cook County

News and other information from Cook County

Cook County YMCA Open House: September 2-7

Sun, 08/31/2014 - 2:10pm

The Cook County YMCA is hosting a Fall Open House, September 2nd through 7th – that’s Tuesday through Sunday.  North Shore Morning host Julie Carlson spoke with Branch Executive Director Emily Marshall and Membership Director Betsy Blaisdell.  Events include Blackout Volleyball, Tuesday September 2, 6-8pm; Pool Party, Wednesday September 3, 4-6pm; Family Block Party, Friday September 5, 3:30-6pm; and Outdoor Movie, Friday September 5, 8pm.  Events and admission are free.  
More information about the Fall Open House and Y programs at 387-3386 or online.

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County schedules public hearing to consider tax abatement bonds for Superior National at Lutsen

Sun, 08/31/2014 - 11:08am

 The Cook County/Grand Marais Economic Development Authority (EDA) appeared before the county board on Tuesday, August 26, 2014, asking the board to schedule a public hearing on the EDA’s proposal to have the county issue tax abatement bonds for $2 million to fund continued improvements at Superior National at Lutsen (SNL) golf course. The public hearing was scheduled to be held in the commissioners’ room on Tuesday, September 23 at 10 a.m.

EDA President Mark Sandbo gave a brief history of the funding for the golf course and reminded the county board that it had hired Consultant John Wait of Sirius Golf Advisors in 2011 to come up with a long-range plan for Superior National. “We’re in the middle of that reconstruction,” said Sandbo. “But the bonding for this project, we feel is important, to finish this project and bring it up to be one of the premier golf courses in the state.”

Howard Hedstrom, who was appointed to the EDA board in January, said, “I’m new to the EDA, but the EDA is not new to the golf course business.”

Hedstrom shared what he had learned in his brief tenure, that the EDA had created a plan for development of SNL with Golf Course Architect Jeff Brauer of Golfscapes. He said phase 1 of the improvements would be done in September 2014 and phase 2 is expected to be completed by mid-September 2015. Hedstrom said the EDA has been handling all the “mundane details” of the construction project.

Hedstrom said the EDA was surprised when it learned from its bonding firm Ehlers & Associates that it was going to be very expensive to seek traditional general obligation bonds. “We found out that if we go out for tax abatement bonds, we’d save $1.4 million over the term of the contract.”

DNR lake and stream assessments under way

Sun, 08/31/2014 - 11:05am

Fisheries staff from the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Grand Marais area office will conduct surveys and assessments on several area lakes and streams during the next few months.

 Waters scheduled for surveys or assessments (by week) include:

* Sept. 1 - Prune Lake, Echo Lake

* Sept. 8 - Moose lake, Loft Lake (fish population assessment)

* Sept. 15 - Kraut Lake, Trip Lake, Squash Lake

* Sept. 22 - Chester Lake, Trout Lake (yellow perch assessment), Unnamed Lake

* Sept. 29 - Thrush Lake (brook trout special assessment)

* Oct. 6 - North Shady Lake

* Oct. 13 - Greenwood Lake (lake trout special assessment)

* Oct. 20 - Trout Lake (lake trout special assessment), Thrush Lake

 These survey plans are tentative. Lakes and streams may be added or dropped and timing may change. Questions about these surveys can be addressed to the DNR’s Grand Marais Area Fisheries at 1356 Highway 61 E., Grand Marais, MN 55604. Questions also can be submitted
by calling 218-387-3056.

 Fisheries surveys and assessments are done on a regular basis to monitor changes in fish populations and to determine if management strategies have been effective. Survey frequency varies on each lake and stream based on ongoing management evaluations and angler use. Large lakes with heavy use are surveyed more frequently than small, remote lakes. Lakes stocked regularly are also sampled more frequently to assess stocking success.

Deer and wolf license lotteries end Sept. 4

Sat, 08/30/2014 - 10:24am

Those who want to harvest antlerless deer throughout much of Minnesota this hunting season are reminded they must apply by Sept. 4. 

Although no antlerless permits are being issued in Cook County permit areas, hunters traveling to other areas are reminded that antlerless deer permits are issued by lottery.

Many deer hunting permit areas that have not been in the lottery classification in recent years are in that classification this year.

“The message to deer hunters is to review the hunting and trapping regulation book now,” said Paul Telander, DNR wildlife section chief. “That way, you’ll know whether where you hunt requires entering a lottery to harvest antlerless deer.”

 More information on deer permit areas and special hunts is in the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources hunting regulations handbook or may be found online at www.mndnr.gov/hunting/deer.

Wolf licenses are also issued by lottery. Wolf hunters and trappers must apply by Sept. 4 as well.

Weekend News Roundup for August 30

Sat, 08/30/2014 - 10:12am

Each week the WTIP news department puts together a roundup of the weeks top news stories. Missing boaters found, a wolf advisory made for pet owners, more money for the Great Lakes…all this and more in this week’s news.

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DNR concerned about increase in wolf encounters in Grand Marais

Fri, 08/29/2014 - 3:12pm

Living with the chance of wolf encounters is nothing new to Cook County residents. However, in recent weeks an apparent increase in the number of incidents involving pets and livestock has caused the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) to establish one “wolf control zone” and to consider setting up another.

DNR Conservation Officer Darin Fagerman said a wolf control zone was established on the west end of County Road 7 in Grand Marais after a calf was attacked at the farm owned by Nelda Westerlind and her family.

Reached by phone, Roger Westerlind confirmed the attack on the calf. It was a small animal that had been rejected by its mother and had been bottle-fed by the family. The calf was not killed but suffered bite injuries.

CO Fagerman said a wolf control zone was established and a predator control specialist came in to trap the animal (or animals.) Fagerman said one wolf was trapped and killed. He said it was an old, weak-looking, male. He said he suspected that it was not able to hunt well and was looking for easy prey.

Westerlind said it was not the only wolf hanging around the cows. As they observed the trapped wolf, another was seen crossing County Road 7 near the farm.

Fagerman said he has heard numerous reports of wolf sightings from Grand Marais residents near the hospital on the old Gunflint Trail and on 8th Avenue. He has also heard of a number of dogs disappearing or being killed.

He shared the circumstances of one such incident. A woman was walking her two dogs through the woods near her house on 7th Avenue East (one road over from the law enforcement center) during the day, as she did frequently, when one dog, a whippet mix, dashed ahead of her. She heard a sound and as she neared and saw a wolf attacking the dog. The wolf and dog separated and both ran off into the woods. The whippet mix never returned home, so it is assumed it was killed.