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Cook County Historical Society dedicates memorial to lost Coast Guardsman

Sun, 07/19/2015 - 11:01am

The Cook County Historical Society Museum in Grand Marais will be hosting a dedication of a bronze memorial plaque on July 20 at 1 p.m. in honor of United States Coast Guard Petty Officer Third Class, Keith Brubaker who lost his life in the Grand Marais Harbor on July 11, 1967.

Before coming to Station North Superior in Grand Marais with his wife (who was expecting their first child), Petty Officer Brubaker had served on the USCGC Bramble and at the Devils Island Light Station.

According to the U.S. Coast Guard, Brubaker was apparently killed after going into the harbor to clear some logs that were blocking the channel. In a U.S. Coast Guard personnel report on Wikipedia, it states: As he neared the break wall, alone in the boat, the boat was sent straight up into the air after it presumably struck one of these logs. Brubaker was thrown from the small boat and struck his head on either the boat or a log as he fell into the water. He was knocked unconscious and drowned.

Attempts to rescue him failed, but his body was recovered the next morning.

Keith Brubaker was laid to rest in Troy, Michigan with full military honors. His daughter was born two months later

Local Coast Guard veteran, Ray Nagy, and reservist Kevin Rofidal ME1, with the help of several others have worked to raise awareness and funds for the dedication of a plaque in honor of their fellow “Coastie.” The memorial will part of the Martine exhibit at the Cook County Historical Society Museum in Grand Marais.

The public is invited to attend this dedication ceremony.


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

Grand Marais residents request zoning change to allow vacation rentals

Sat, 07/18/2015 - 3:32pm

At the July 8 meeting of the Grand Marais City Council, several residents addressed the council during the open forum portion of the meeting, most of them speaking in favor of a zoning change to allow vacation rentals in areas zoned residential. The practice is not now permitted in residential districts, but is becoming more prevalent in areas elsewhere in the city where it is allowed. The planning commission and city council recently voted to reaffirm those restrictions and directed City Administrator Mike Roth to notify those operating vacation rentals in violation of the ordinance to halt the practice, an action which prompted the requests for a change in the zoning ordinance.

After hearing the public’s comments, councilors voted to send the issue back to the planning commission for further study and recommendations for possible ordinance modifications. Roth cautioned that it “will be a while” until the complicated matter is resolved, but in the meantime, said the mayor, “the city isn’t going to demand that anybody turn away their guests.”


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

Chippewa City Church celebration of 120 years

Sat, 07/18/2015 - 3:27pm

Celebrate 120 years of Chippewa City Church on Sunday, July 19 from 1-4 p.m. at the historic church one mile east of downtown Grand Marais on Highway 61.

The fundraising event will include a talk and slide show with Chippewa City historian Staci Drouillard, a performance by the popular seven-piece band SplinterTones, a silent auction, treats and goodies, and prize drawing. The celebration is free and open to the public. Donations for the church’s restoration are encouraged.

The Chippewa City Church was built in 1895 by Ojibwe carpenter Frank Wishcop. One hundred twenty years later this beautiful piece of history needs attention.

Thanks to donations from the Grand Portage Band of Chippewa, St. John’s Catholic Church in Grand Marais, and historical society members, a new roof is keeping the structure safe and dry. However, there are additional serious structural issues that must be addressed.

While the historical society will be seeking grants for a complete assessment of the property and for restoration of the hand-hewn log structure, the potential costs are unknown. Severe rotting, foundation problems, and other concerns will escalate the costs of repair. Donations will be used to offset these costs and demonstrate to grantors a local commitment to the project.

The church has a rich history and is on the National Register of Historic Places. It stands as a reminder of the once-vibrant community that surrounded it.

For more information contact the historical society at (218) 387-2883.


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

WTIP Weekend News Roundup for July 18

Sat, 07/18/2015 - 10:43am

Each week the WTIP News Department reviews the major   stories of the past five days. Ely bear researcher loses a bid to collar. Native bands oppose the Sandpiper. County commissioners schedule an ATV ordinance hearing and the EDA helps the broadband commission…all this and more in the week’s news.


120th Anniversary Celebration: Chippewa City Church, Sunday July 19

Fri, 07/17/2015 - 12:00pm

Saint Francis Xavier Catholic Church, known locally as Chippewa City Church, is the site of a celebration this Sunday, with history, music and more. WTIP volunteer Julie Carlson spoke with Chippewa City historian Staci Drouillard on North Shore Morning.
Chippewa City 120 year Celebration and Fundraiser
Sun., July 19, 2015  1:00 pm – 4:00 pm
Chippewa City Church, Highway 61, 1 mile east of downtown Grand Marais
1:00      Presentation and slide show with Chippewa City Historian Staci Drouillard
Bring your Chippewa City memorabilia, photos and stories to share.
2:00      Live music with SplinterTones  (2:00 – 4:00)
            Silent Auction
            Treats and Goodies
4:00     Prize Drawing
            Silent Auction ends

The Saint Francis Xavier Catholic Church is located about one mile east of Grand Marais. Call the museum for information regarding visiting opportunities at 218-387-2883.


Head to Harbor Park to hear the SplinterTones

Fri, 07/17/2015 - 11:40am

SplinterTones, a popular high-octane seven-piece dance band based in Grand Marais, got visitors to their feet in recent performances in Harbor Park during the Grand Marais Classic Car Show and the Grand Marais Arts Festival. They are returning for two more free concerts in the park on Saturday, July 18 and Saturday, July 25, from 4 – 7 p.m.

Noted for their vibrant vocal harmonies, colorful stage presence and strong rhythmic grooves, SplinterTones are also known for getting the crowd up and dancing.

The SplinterTones are a band with something for everyone, playing swing, zydeco, mambo, Celtic, polka, rock, and original tunes in a unique and unmistakable style. Head down to Harbor Park and join the fun.

The SplinterTones are Max Bichel on fiddle; Liz Sivertson on saxophone, Leah Thomas on accordion; John Gruber on guitar, Holly Harwig with percussion, Jeff DeShaw on bass, and Rick Brandenburg on drums.


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