Around Cook County

News and other information from Cook County

Upgrades planned on three county cell phone towers

Tue, 07/15/2014 - 2:44pm

Rena Rogers, Cook County information systems director, gave an update on her efforts to make the operation and maintenance of the county’s 11 communications towers more sustainable at the county board meeting on Tuesday, July 8. Rogers said she has been working on a service model to calculate the total cost of ownership, so that the county – and not contractors such as AT&T or Verizon – can set the rates it charges to lease space for their equipment.

Concerning the towers, Rogers said work will soon be under way to improve cell phone coverage at three of the sites.

The first, the Gunflint Mid Trail tower, is on U.S. Forest Service land, and AT&T is in the process of submitting an application to the FCC. However, the county needs an amendment to its special use permit to put up a building to house the necessary equipment. Rogers said a meeting has been set with the Forest Service to discuss the amendment.  The board approved submission of a letter authorizing required environmental and historic area reviews.

The Gunflint tower is also on Forest Service land and cannot support cell service equipment. Rogers said options there include adding on to the tower, or building a second tower. Because the tower is already 180 feet tall, Rogers said an addition would result in a need to install lights (a requirement for towers taller than 200 feet). Such a move would likely create controversy, because of the tower’s proximity to the Boundary Waters, so the better option is construction of a second tower, which Rogers said AT&T has committed to. “Everybody is sensitive to that area of the Trail,” she said.

Birds, Bees and Blossoms at the Garden Club Flower Show: July 18

Tue, 07/15/2014 - 2:27pm

Helen Muth and Sally Berg of the Grand Marais Garden Club spoke with WTIP volunteer Barb Heideman about this Friday's annual flower show.

___________________

2014 Garden Club Flower Show
“Birds Bees & Blossoms”

The Grand Marais Garden Club will present its annual flower show entitled “Birds, Bees & Blossoms” on Friday, July 18, from noon to 5pm in the Grand Marais Community Center.  Sally Berg and Helen Muth are this year's chairpersons. 

You will enjoy a vast array of floral arrangements using all member-grown flowers.  Refreshments will be served as well as homemade rhubarb punch.

Listen to the Story

West End Garden Club Flower Show: July 19

Tue, 07/15/2014 - 2:27pm

"Around the World in Eighty Bouquets" is the theme of the West End Garden Club's flower show on Saturday, July 19th, from 1 to 5 pm at the Schroeder Town Hall.  The show will also include a program on miniature gardens. Anita Smith and Katie Anderson spoke with WTIP volunteer Barb Heideman about the show on North Shore Morning.  

(Photo by Domenico Salvagnin on Flickr)

 

Listen to the Story

Annual Gunflint Trail Canoe Races: July 16

Mon, 07/14/2014 - 1:25pm

It's the middle of July, and it's time for the Gunflint Trail Canoe Races!  WTIP host Ann Possis spoke with Chris Steele on North Shore Morning about this annual event.
______________________________________________

Gunflint Trail Canoe Races - A Northwoods evening of family fun!
Wednesday, July 16, 2014 4:00 pm - 7:30 pm

Gunflint Lodge Waterfront
143 S. Gunflint Lake
Grand Marais, MN 55604
This is a fundraiser for the Gunflint Trail Volunteer Fire Department.

All proceeds go to the Gunflint Trail Volunteer Fire Department
The event times are as follows:
4:00 pm-7:30 pm Silent Auction
4:00 pm Kids Fun events begin
4:30 pm Food service begins
6:00 pm Canoe Races begin with the long distance race followed by many age and gender races with gunnel pumping as the finale.
Race registration is at the waterfront.
6:00 pm General Raffle

The Canoe Races are sponsored by the Gunflint-Seagull-Saganaga Property Owners Associations and Chris Steele of Seagull Lake is the 2014 chair. Proceeds from this top summer Trail event go to the Gunflint Trail Volunteer Fire Department which provides fire, emergency and rescue services to keep residents and visitors safe. The deparmnet is completing a long term program that has upgraded facilities at all three stations along the Trail and welcomes funds to maintain these buildings and equipment.

For more information contact:
Julie Henricksson, the Gunflint Trail Canoe Races Committee at 218-388-2246.
 

Listen to the Story

Candidate forums coming up for Commissioner District 1 and 5 on WTIP

Mon, 07/14/2014 - 11:44am

The Cook County News-Herald is joining WTIP Community Radio as it offers two live call-in candidate forums for election 2014. The primary election is August 12 and mail ballots will be sent out mid-July. Before that, WTIP will be broadcasting two live call-in candidate forums.

Join WTIP’s Jay Andersen and News Herald Editor Rhonda Silence on Wednesday, July 16 when they interview the six candidates vying for the position of County Commissioner District 1. Then tune in Thursday, July 17 when they repeat the process with the four candidates running in Commissioner District 5

You’re invited to join in the conversation. Send an email to the Cook County News-Herald at starnews@boreal.org or to the radio station at wtip@boreal.org any time before the broadcast. Or call in during the broadcast at (218) 387-1070. Andersen and Silence will do their best to ask your questions, but to be sure to make your voice heard, get your inquiry in early.

Andersen urged everyone to be involved—with a question or by tuning in “Your questions and concerns matter,” he said.

****************

Candidate forums on WTIP

90.7 FM Grand Marais * 89.1 FM Gunflint Trail * 90.1 FM Grand Portage

 

Commissioner District 1                      7 p.m.     Wednesday, July 16

Commissioner District 5                     7 p.m.              Thursday, July 17

 

This local news is provided by the Cook County News-Herald

 www.cookcountynews-herald.com

 

 

 

City Council to hold work session to discuss "complete streets" project

Mon, 07/14/2014 - 11:38am

After about a year of thinking and talking about improvements to the Highway 61 corridor through Grand Marais, city councilors set July 16 as the date for a three-hour workshop designed to set the “complete streets” project in motion.

Councilors reviewed a design proposal from LHB and C.J. Fernandez at their June 25 meeting. City Administrator Mike Roth explained that the proposal was only a draft, and will need to be pared down in its scope and cost. However, Roth said a finalized version will likely be available for council’s approval at their next meeting in two weeks.

The city has been working in partnership with the Sawtooth Mountain Clinic to come up with a streetscape redesign for Highway 61 as part of the Moving Matters program. Through a Blue Cross-Blue Shield grant, the Clinic has contributed $30,000 toward the effort; the city has agreed to kick in $15,000.

Roth said the original cost of the project was about $62,000, and some cutting has brought the price down to $52,000. More trimming is ongoing to bring the plan into alignment with the $45,000 available, said Roth.

As envisioned by Fernandez, the project will primarily focus on pedestrian access, safety and connectedness along the Highway 61 corridor through town, with an emphasis on improvements to create a more “human-scaled, safe walking and biking corridor, as well as a more inviting ‘front door’ to Grand Marais.”

Roth said the plan calls for the targeted corridor to be defined as between Eighth Avenue West and the Gunflint Trail intersection.

Upon completion of the plan (within 60 or 90 days), councilors and members of the Moving Matters committee will begin the task of looking for grants or other sources of funding to implement the plan’s recommendations.