Around Cook County

News and other information from Cook County

Grand Portage renovation and expansion under way

Sun, 08/23/2015 - 2:17pm

There is some very exciting news from Grand Portage—the Grand Portage Band of Lake Superior Chippewa has begun a complete renovation and expansion of the Grand Portage Lodge and Casino.

Brian Mayotte, Lodge& Casino Enterprise Administrator said, “It’s time. More than 20 years have passed since the original casino was built and we can’t tell you how excited we are to have a newly renovated facility. The improvements we make to the air quality, and the opportunity to offer bigger and better centrally located amenities will definitely impress.”

The three-phased renovation plan designed by DSGW Architects of Duluth, includes remodeled guest rooms, a revitalization of the restaurant and lounge, with a new casino, lobby, swimming pool, and event center.

Phase one, which is nearing completion, offers resort guests 90 newly renovated rooms and five suites. The new rooms are comfortable and fresh, featuring new furniture, carpet, draperies, light fixtures, and 42-inch flat screen televisions.

The second phase includes building the grand entrance and Grand Portage Lodge & Casino shared some of the concept photos with us. There will be a 3-story atrium lobby featuring views of Lake Superior; a remodeled restaurant and lounge, new pool and fitness area as well as an outdoor patio. The casino floor, adjacent to the lobby, will double in size.

And, Grand Portage Marketing Director Frank Vecchio stresses that the renovation was carefully planned to happen in phases so the Casino and Lodge can remain in operation throughout the duration of construction.

It’s fascinating to watch the work in progress and to see how the lodge is working to still accommodate guests. The entire project will be completed in spring of 2017.

WTIP Weekend News Roundup for August 22

Sat, 08/22/2015 - 10:40am

Some Chippewa bands are defying the DNR over wild rice rights. County commissioners spend and save some money. Two candidates announce for the late David Dill’s House seat. Mine waste, kidnapping and a missing body found…all this and more in the week’s news.


Celebrating reading at 'Read to the Rhythm', August 26

Fri, 08/21/2015 - 2:17pm

Reading, rhythm and more at the Grand Marais Public Library; and the picture book collection is organized for easier access.  WTIP volunteer Randy Eastlund spoke with Patsy Ingebrigtsen of the Grand Marais Public Library on North Shore Morning.

“Read to the Rhythm” end of summer event and picnic
 Wednesday, August 26, 2015  
10:30 a.m. Musical Animals Event with Yvonne Caruthers, Gina Macy, and Phylis Anderson
12:00 p.m. Picnic Lunch & Games on the Library lawn
1:00 p.m. Grand Prize Drawings for readers!



Property owners can receive assistance in shoreline erosion reduction

Fri, 08/21/2015 - 1:21pm

Cook County Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) is now accepting shoreline erosion reduction applications from private and public landowners in Cook County.

With the help of Clean Water Land & Legacy Funds, SWCD has financial and technical assistance available to assist interested landowners in completing shoreline erosion reduction Best Management Practices that will reduce sediment and improve water quality of the lake and/or stream adjacent to their property.

For information and an application form visit or contact the SWCD office at (218) 387-3649. Applications are due to Cook SWCD by 4 p.m. Aug. 28.


This local news is provided by Cook County News-Herald. Visit the community newspaper at


Citizens' Climate Lobby chapter opening in Cook County

Fri, 08/21/2015 - 1:17pm

Saying she was frustrated with the world’s reaction to climate change and calling it the over riding issue of our time, Ann Mershon came to the Citizens’ Climate Lobby (CCL) meeting held at the First Congregational Church on Tuesday, August 11 to learn more about CCL and what she could do to help improve the environment.

Mershon, a writer and retired high school English teacher, voiced sentiments that were echoed by most of the two-dozen attendees who listened to a presentation by Paul Thompson and his partner, Mindy Ahler who came from Edina to host the meeting.  

With more than 1,000 volunteers across the country and 278 local chapters nationwide and several hundred chapters across the world, CCL is a non-partisan, non-profit organization that is growing, said Thompson.

Thompson said CCL works with politicians—especially Republicans—to create legislation aimed at creating a revenue-neutral carbon tax (which would be called a fee) on fossil fuels, with the fees distributed back to U.S. households to off-set the rising energy costs and increased cost of consumer goods made from petroleum products.

At the end of the two-hour meeting Ahler and Thompson asked people to rate themselves on their interest in forming a CCL chapter in Cook County, and while most said they were interested, they didn’t have time to organize events and meetings. That is, until Rebecca Wiinanen stepped up and said she would lead a local chapter. “I have the time, but I’m not really a writer, not really good at reaching out and getting information to people so I will need help with this,” she said.

Thompson swept his hands around the room and said, “You have many writers and interested people who, I bet, are ready and willing to help you. Right?” he asked the crowd, who nodded and promised to help Wiinanen organize a local CCL chapter in Cook County.

Principal Gwen Carman resigns - and more news from ISD166

Fri, 08/21/2015 - 11:57am

Principal Gwen Carman has resigned at Sawtooth Mountain Elementary, and the ISD166 school board is on hold regarding its operating levy referendum, waiting to if and when the Governor sets a special election.  WTIP’s Jay Andersen spoke with Superintendent Beth Schwarz.