Around Cook County

News and other information from Cook County

DNR scientist ‘confident’ the mystery of Devil's Kettle is solved

Tue, 02/28/2017 - 4:23pm

Well, it appears the mystery has been solved.

A waterfall that famously “disappears” into a hole at Judge C.R. Magney State Park near Hovland actually soon re-enters the river from underground, according to new research.

In fall 2016, hydrologists from the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources found nearly identical volumes of water flowing both above the Devil’s Kettle waterfall and below it. Above the waterfall, stream gauges measured the flow of the Brule River at 123 cubic feet per second. Below the waterfall, gauges detected 121 feet per second.

“In the world of stream gauging, those two numbers are essentially the same and are within the tolerances of the equipment,” explained DNR Groundwater Hydrologist Jeff Green. “The readings show no loss of water below the kettle, so it confirms the water is resurging in the stream below it.”

Green and Calvin Alexander, a colleague at the University of Minnesota, plan to conduct a dye trace to show where the water resurfaces. In the fall of 2017, during low-water flow, they will pour a fluorescent, biodegradable dye into the pothole and note where the dye re-enters the river. This, they hope, will be the conclusive evidence to prove that the water simply remerges from the Devil’s Kettle. 

Listen to WTIP this week, as WTIP’s Joe Friedrichs speaks with DNR Groundwater Hydrologist Jeff Green about the process of solving the mystery at Devil’s Kettle Falls. 


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Study finds BWCAW has significant economic impact for Minnesota

Tue, 02/28/2017 - 12:18pm

A recent study in northeastern Minnesota focused on the economic impact the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness has on the region. WTIP's Joe Friedrichs finds out more in this feature. 

To learn more about the study, click here. 


Local dairy loses legal appeal, aims for Supreme Court

Mon, 02/27/2017 - 4:31pm

A Minnesota Court of Appeals has issued a decision confirming that the state’s Department of Health has the legal right (and duty) to inspect Lake View Natural Dairy and its non-pasteurized milk operation for compliance with health standards. The court ruled that no constitutional rights were violated.

The dairy is located in rural Grand Marais and owned by the Berglund family. David Berglund had argued that the district court erred in determining that the Minnesota Department of Agriculture has statutory authority to regulate and inspect his dairy and that inspection of his farm violates his Fourth Amendment rights.

Berglund had argued that as a farmer he has a fundamental right to sell his farm products. The court disagreed, saying farmers have no such fundamental rights and that current laws do not allow such sales, saying “ensuring that food products offered for sale are safe for consumption is a legitimate governmental purpose.”

Therefore, the court ruled, because the DOA enforcement and inspection statutes are rationally related to a legitimate government interest, the district court did not err in determining that statutory scheme was constitutional and not in violation of Berglund’s claimed constitutional right.

WTIP’s Joe Friedrichs spoke with Lake View Natural Dairy Attorney Zenas Baer, who said the Berglunds now plan to take their case to the Minnesota Supreme Court. 


Details emerge of Grand Marais seaplane service to Isle Royale

Mon, 02/27/2017 - 12:26pm

For many years Cook County residents and visitors to the area have enjoyed taking a ferry from the mainland to Isle Royale National Park on Lake Superior. Now there is discussion of bringing a seaplane to shuttle passengers to the island from Grand Marais. WTIP's Joe Friedrichs learn more in this interview.



First snow, cold, then warmer weather returns

Mon, 02/27/2017 - 10:40am

There’s snow in the forecast, maybe as much as 4 to 5 inches, but then things will warm up again. WTIP’s Jay Andersen spoke with National Weather Service meteorologist Mike Stewart.


WTIP visits with Arrowhead Electric Cooperative interim manager

Mon, 02/27/2017 - 6:36am

Arrowhead Electric Cooperative is in a period of transition. The cooperative is in the process of searching for a general manager/CEO. In the meantime, Gary Connett of Great River Energy, the cooperative's power provider, is filling some of the CEO duties.

Rhonda Silence learns more about what is happening at the local power company in this interview. 


WTIP shares the latest law enforcement report

Sun, 02/26/2017 - 2:53pm

The following is a record of calls made to the Cook County Law Enforcement Center from February 13 – February 19. These are the initial calls made to law enforcement dispatchers.
If you need help from Cook County Law Enforcement, dial 9-1-1. For non-emergency calls, contact the Cook County Sheriffs Office at 218-387-3030.



County Veterans Services Officer talks about transportation for vets

Sun, 02/26/2017 - 11:23am

Cook County Veterans Services assists community veterans in a variety of ways. One need that has been identified is transportation. Veterans Services Officer Pat Strand speaks with Rhonda Silence about what is available--and what is needed--to get local vets to their important medical appointments. 



Weekend News Roundup for February 25

Sat, 02/25/2017 - 11:30am

Each week the WTIP news staff compiles a review of news from the previous five days. Sunday liquor looks like it will succeed this time around and Grand Marais is considering opening its municipal store to see if the move could be profitable.…all this and more in the week’s news.



County Auditor's Office supports coworker with Spaghetti Dinner Benefit Feb. 25

Fri, 02/24/2017 - 6:37pm

The Cook County Auditor’s Office is joining forces with Zoar Lutheran Church to host a benefit for a coworker, Angie Cook of Schroeder, who is battling cancer for a second time. 
The Spaghetti Dinner benefit will be Saturday, February 25 at the Birch Grove Community School in Tofte from 5 – 7 p.m.
Rhonda Silence learns more in this interview.


Truck hits pedestrians in Grand Marais

Thu, 02/23/2017 - 11:59pm

A Grand Marais man struck two pedestrians while pulling out of the Super America gas station in Grand Marais just after 1 p.m. on Saturday, February 18.

Mark Oltean, 53, was leaving the convenience store in a 2012 Ford F150 pickup when his vehicle struck two pedestrians crossing the middle driveway entrance to the station.

Barry Lee Rudman, 46, and Donara Kay Rudman, 46, both of Forest Lake, Minnesota, suffered non-life-threatening injuries. Cook County Ambulance transported them to North Shore Health. According to North Shore Health, they were both treated and released.
Cook County Sheriff Deputies and U.S. Border Protection also responded to the incident.
According to the Minnesota State Patrol, Oltean is not in custody pending blood test results and further investigation.
Oltean was previously convicted of a driving while intoxicated test refusal in 2001 and a DWI in 2005. 

Don't forget to sign up for the College and Job fair

Thu, 02/23/2017 - 2:38pm

Public meeting to be held to discuss bonding for Lutsen workforce housing

Thu, 02/23/2017 - 2:11pm


Cook County commissioners will hold a public hearing at 5 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 28 in the commissioners’ room at the courthouse to discuss the sale of up to $1.6 million in bonds that will help fund building 16 affordable workforce housing units in Lutsen.

Four west end businesses whose employees will benefit from the housing have promised to pay any shortfalls in rent for the first year. But that's it. One-bedroom rents are slated to cost $850 per month while two-bedroom units will run $1,050 per month.

Some question whether the meeting should be held at this time because of Cook County/Grand Marais EDA and One Roof Housing—who will own and manage the property—haven't been able to give complete financial details about the project. Both EDA and One Roof will hold a joint meeting four hours before the public meeting and, following that, suggest they will have complete numbers for the hearing at 5 p.m. Some, however, claim that doesn't give either the public or commissioners enough time to know if the project poses a financial risk to the public.

Two people spoke to that point during the public comment period at the county board meeting on Feb. 21.

First, said Greg Gentz,  "The ultimate risk of this project to the taxpayer is the yearly payment of $110,000 based on a bond of up to $1.6 million. 

Severe weather likely to miss North Shore

Thu, 02/23/2017 - 12:19pm

The big storm heading through Minnesota is a hard one to track, but the National Weather Service is pretty sure the North Shore will not see much of it. WTIP’s Jay Andersen spoke with Meteorologist Carol Christenson.


Girl Scouts host a dance for "Dads and Daughters" February 28

Wed, 02/22/2017 - 1:01pm

Cook County Girl Scouts have invited community members to a Father Daughter Dance on Tuesday, February 28 from 7:30 - 8:30 at the Arrowhead Center for the Arts. The event is open to all girls and their dads or other significant adult. 

There will be a light snack, a keepsake photo taken by local photographer Bruce Johnson and live music with the Community Swing Band. 

Rhonda Silence learns more in this interview with Girl Scout leader Arvis Thompson. 

Photos courtesy of Bruce Johnson Photo.


Monday, February 13
5:38 a.m.  Grand Marais  Caller states the individual in the apartment below him is yelling for help.
7:13 a.m.  Law Enforcement Center  Inmate transport.
7:25 a.m.  Lutsen  Safe routes to school with bus No. 8 to look for stop arm violations.
8:06 a.m.  Law Enforcement Center  Inmate transport.
8:18 a.m.  West Highway 61, Lutsen Traffic stop, citation issued.
8:28 a.m.  Cascade Lodge  Black SUV parked on the lake side of the highway near this location partially blocking the eastbound lane. 
8:51 a.m.  Law Enforcement Center  Party would like a call back.
8:59 a.m.  East Highway 61 Reporting a computer scam. 
9:44 a.m.  Law Enforcement Center  Deputy finger printing party. 
9:48 a.m.  Law Enforcement Center  Inmate transport. 
10:48 a.m.  Bucks Hardware, Grand Marais  Party found a little black and white dog running loose. She will keep the dog for now if someone calls. Dog has no tags but a pink collar. 
12:33 p.m. East Highway 61, Grand Portage  Ran into a deer near this location.
12:57 p.m. West Highway 61  Reporting a driver ahead of her crossed over the lines. 
1:06 p.m. Law Enforcement Center  Inmate transport.
1:41 p.m. Lutsen Mountains Eagle Mountain, east side near the top of Charlotte’s Web 
2:30 p.m. East Highway 61 Traffic stop, warning given.
2:31 p.m. 7th Avenue, Grand Marais  Large dog hanging around the area, owner was able to retrieve dog.
2:33 p.m. The Grade/Lutsen Checking on truck parked for 1 1/2 week. 
3:06 p.m. Shoreline Motel, Grand Marais  Guest turned in a wallet that they found by the beach. 
3:19 p.m. Bally Creek Cabins Party reporting snowmobile tracks going past the cabins and on the ski trails.
3:20 p.m. Law Enforcement Center  Inmate transport.
4:21 p.m. Genes Foods, Grand Marais Someone hit the back of her vehicle in the parking lot, does not have any idea who it was no note left. 
4:56 p.m. Law Enforcement Center  UA for probation. 
6:05 p.m. County Road 6, Grand Marais Party loading vehicle on trailer 
6:08 p.m. Law Enforcement Center  Party requests a callback. 
6:34 p.m. Poplar Creek Drive  77-year-old male drove his car into the ditch 
8:15 p.m. West 5th Street/5th Avenue  Caller states the stop sign has been knocked down at this intersection. Highway Department notified. 
9:52 p.m. Law Enforcement Center  State Patrol stated party was looking for Burmese mountain dog. Last seen around the Gene’s Foods. 
11:30 p.m. East Highway 61  Traffic stop, warning given.
Tuesday, February 14
7:08 a.m. West Highway 61, Tofte Removing dead deer from westbound lane of Highway 61. 
8:08 a.m. Holiday, Grand Marais Elderly man seen driving erratically, into the wrong traffic lane twice 
9:10 a.m. West Highway 61  Party hit small deer west of this location. Unsure where deer is now. 
9:13 a.m. Grand Marais 2 puppy dogs 1 black, 1 brown; no collars running around behind Century Link building.
9:32 a.m. West Highway 61 Requesting to talk to a deputy.
11:58 a.m. Sawtooth Mountain Elementary DARE class, 3rd grade.
1:06 p.m. Law Enforcement Center  Inmate transport. 
1:09 p.m. Law Enforcement Center  No one on the line. On 2nd callback snowboarder answered and said it was a butt dial. No emergency.
2:40 p.m. Law Enforcement Center  Inmate transport.
2:45 p.m. Cook County High School Female student fell. Medical assistance needed.
3:11 p.m. Grand Marais  Receiving unwanted calls from fundraiser.
3:15 p.m. Law Enforcement Center  Civil process attempt.
4:20 p.m. Law Enforcement Center  Received permit to carry application.
6:23 p.m. Isak Hansen & Sons, Lutsen Deer that has been hit, laying injured in the south bound lane. Minnesota State Patrol to dispatch. 
10:38 p.m. Law Enforcement Center  Party arrested on Cook County warrant 
Wednesday, February 15
8:01 a.m. Law Enforcement Center  Inmate transport.
8:04 a.m. Cook County High School School patrol.
9:42 a.m. West Highway 61  Injured deer near this location 
9:57 a.m. Hughie’s Tacos, Grand Marais  Party reporting vehicle parked in front of their establishment since yesterday 
12:57 p.m. Lutsen  Giving a party a ride home.
1:41 p.m. West Highway 61, Schroeder Vehicle broken down at Temperance River parking lot and is backed into a spot.
2:35 p.m. Cook County Recycle Center Inmate transport.
3:50 p.m. West Highway 61 Hit deer. Vehicle disabled, partially blocking traffic lane. Transferred caller to State Patrol.msp 
4:24 p.m. Cook County Whole Foods Co-op, Grand Marais  Female in red Subaru yelling at her dog. 
4:40 p.m. Cramer Rd, Schroeder  Caller would like to speak to a deputy. 
11:04 p.m. West Highway 61, Schroeder 62-year-old female some difficulty breathing. Medical help needed. 
Thursday, February 16
2:12 a.m. North Shore Health, Grand Marais  Male party on 911 trying to get help at hospital for asthma problems, but nobody was there so he left. Cook County advised him to buzz at the ER door after hours and gave directions to the correct door and location of the buzzer.
8:05 a.m. Law Enforcement Center  Inmate transport. 
8:43 a.m. Birchwood Apartments, Grand Marais Party is knocking on door.
9:01 a.m. Law Enforcement Center  Stopped in about visitation. 
12:00 p.m. Law Enforcement Center  Hang up from 911 phone only.. 
12:44 p.m. Law Enforcement Center  Would like a call back.
1:11 p.m. Grand Portage  Assisted Human Services.
1:54 p.m. Johnsons Foods  Stated saw party driving with revoked licence. Silver pickup. 
3:30 p.m. Law Enforcement Center  MN drivers license found at Holiday in Grand Marais dropped off
4:15 p.m. Law Enforcement Center  Requesting that Chief Deputy Sandstrom call him back.
7:29 p.m. Happy Acres Drive/West Highway 61 Reporting a deer/car accident, no injuries.
Friday, February 17
4:07 a.m. Ski Hill Rd/West Highway 61 Injured deer on the highway about 1/2 mile west of this intersection. 911 transferred to Minnesota State Patrol. 
7:40 a.m. Walter Rd, Grand Marais Power outage. Heard a big bang. 
8:02 a.m. Cramer Rd, Schroeder Reporting unauthorized use of her new vehicle.
9:45 a.m. Grand Portage  Child protection.
10:12 a.m. East Highway 61 A gray green 4-wheeler parked at the edge of his property. Engine cold. Unknown who it belonged too. 
10:56 a.m. Law Enforcement Center  Party in for UA.
12:04 p.m. Devil Track Road, Grand Marais Received call. No sounds of distress in background. Cook County tried calling back, went to voicemail. 
2:08 p.m. Law Enforcement Center  Party requests a callback.
2:16 p.m. Law Enforcement Center  Party in for fingerprinting.
2:42 p.m. East Highway 61 Traffic stop, citation issued.
2:57 p.m. Lutsen Mountains Injured male. 
4:44 p.m. Grand Marais  Civil process attempt.
4:57 p.m. Law Enforcement Center  Party turned himself in for weekend sentence. 
5:42 p.m. East Highway 61 A Canadian hit a deer and the vehicle is disabled. Unsure of what to do. Info passed to Minnesota State Patrol. 
6:03 p.m. Cascade Beach Road/West Highway 61 Caller hit a deer. Did not want a deputy. Husband will be dispatching the animal and they will take it home. They will stop in for a DNR tag.
6:08 p.m. Grand Marais  Civil process attempt.
6:19 p.m. Grand Marais  Civil process attempt.
6:35 p.m. Benny’s Collision Center, Grand Marais Business check.
7:06 p.m. Mile O Pine Drive  Party lost her purse downtown by the Holiday station. Purple nylon purse.
7:44 p.m. Ski Hill Road/West Highway 61, Lutsen  Out with broken trailer.
8:09 p.m. East Highway 61 Traffic stop, warning given.
8:21 p.m. West Highway 61, Lutsen Traffic stop, warning given.
10:24 p.m. Law Enforcement Center  Requested deputy give a call back. 
Saturday, February 18
1:17 a.m. West Highway 61 Traffic stop, warning given.
9:34 a.m. Best Western Superior Inn, Grand Marais Delivery driver hit one of their vehicles.
10:11 a.m. East Highway 61 Traffic stop, warning given.
10:18 a.m. East Highway 61 Traffic stop, warning given.
11:11 a.m. Grand Portage  Civil process attempt.
11:16 a.m. West Highway 61, Tofte  Received call. Sounded like walking in background. No sounds of distress. Called and party stated it was a pocket dial and apologized. 
11:27 a.m. Grand Portage Lodge  Walk through.
12:01 p.m. Grand Portage Lodge  Walk through.
12:54 p.m. Super America, Grand Marais 2 people got hit by truck. 
2:10 p.m. Lutsen Mountains 59-year-old male with cardiac problems.
3:09 p.m. Grand Marais  Civil process attempt.
3:17 p.m. Grand Marais  Civil process attempt,
4:18 p.m. Tofte Homestead Drive, Tofte Fire alarm, false alarm.
4:39 p.m. Cutoff Rd, Grand Marais  Party will be shooting at this location. Just wanted us to know in case of any calls.
5:28 p.m. Sawtooth Lumber, Grand Marais  Hit deer. Windshield shattered, deer on side of road 
6:48 p.m. US Forest Service/ Devil Track Campground Minivan on the snowmobile trail off the Devil Track Lake campground, in about 100 yds. Single male in his 40s.
9:05 p.m. East Highway 61 Traffic stop, warning given.
11:11 p.m. Cascade Lodge & Resturant, 2uno  Needs medical help for 40-year-old diabetic.
11:21 p.m. North Broadway, Grand Marais Foot patrol in business district.
Sunday, February 19
12:54 a.m. Caribou Highlands Lodge, Lutsen Needs medical help for 31-year-old female. Has been drinking heavily.
1:00 a.m. Grand Portage Request for a deputy for a fight in the casino. 
6:30 a.m. Law Enforcement Center  Would like to speak to a deputy.
8:03 a.m. East Highway 61 Traffic stop, warning given.
8:33 a.m. East Highway 61, Grand Portage  Traffic stop, citation issued.
8:57 a.m. East Highway 61, Grand Portage  Traffic stop, citation issued.
9:10 a.m. Grand Marais Received some harassing text messages last night and concerned about them.
9:31 a.m. Grand Portage  Civil process attempt.
10:39 a.m. Lutsen Mountains Injury at Lutsen Mountains terrain park.
10:50 a.m. Lutsen Mountain Shop Found drivers licence. 
10:54 a.m. Gunflint Trail  Lost brown cocker spaniel found at this location. Cook County gave phone number for Animal Allies.
10:55 a.m. West 5th Street, Grand Marais Power out. Heard loud pop and sees a dead squirrel.
11:17 a.m. East Highway 61, Grand Portage  Traffic stop, citation issued.
11:27 a.m. West Highway 61 Traffic stop, warning given.
12:53 p.m. West Highway 61 Traffic stop, warning given.
1:17 p.m. YMCA  Ambulance requested for pool incident. Ambulance cancelled.
2:15 p.m. Lutsen Mountains 12 year old male with lower leg leg fracture.
2:20 p.m. East Highway 61 Traffic stop, warning given.
2:21 p.m. Store Rd, Grand Portage  Black truck driving all over the road.
2:25 p.m. Grand Portage  911 phone only. Just heard kids talking in background. No signs of distress. Unable to call back. 
2:41 p.m. Co Rd 44, Grand Marais Heard loud bang and the power went out. 
6:05 p.m. West Highway 61 Burglar alarm, lobby door, false alarm.
6:45 p.m. Voyageur Brewing, Grand Marais  Had a group of guys saying they were going to have some drinks and then go take a canoe and paddle to Five Mile Rock. Deputy will keep an eye out for them.
8:33 p.m. Grand Marais water tower Tan colored Chrysler - swerving all over the lane.
9:01 p.m. Gunflint Trail  Traffic stop, warning given.
9:31 p.m. East Highway 61  Traffic stop, warning given.
91:59 p.m. Caribou Highlands Lodge, Lutsen Intoxicated female guest fell, has laceration. Ambulance needed.
10:51 p.m. Grand Marais  Reporting suspicious activity. Cancel, unfounded.