Around Cook County

News and other information from Cook County

AARP Driver Safety training offered May 11

Fri, 05/08/2015 - 3:28pm

AARP volunteers are once again offering local drivers the opportunity to brush up on their skills and save money by participating in upcoming safety classes.

On May 11 from 5-9 p.m., Birch Grove Community Center will be offering AARP Driver Safety Refresher Training. 

Minnesota drivers aged 55+ receive a 10 percent auto insurance discount by taking part in one of these approved driver safety classes. Drivers maintain the discount by taking a four-hour refresher class every three years.

Call Pam at (218) 387-2035 or Bill at (218) 387-3167 to register or ask questions.


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

EDA gives new business concept its endorsement

Fri, 05/08/2015 - 3:24pm

The Cook County/Grand Marais Economic Development Authority (EDA) had an item of new business on its April 14, 2015 agenda introducing just that—a possible new business in the community.

EDA Board Member Hal Greenwood introduced George and Marilyn Carlson of the Grand Marais. Greenwood said George Carlson was one of the founders of the Gunflint Trail Volunteer Fire Department, had a distinguished career with Motorola and after moving to the Gunflint Trail, started his own company, the very successful Wildfire Protection Systems.

Carlson noted that many of the problems in Cook County—lack of living wage jobs, the affordable housing shortage, declining school enrollment and the exodus of young families—can be traced to the fact that Cook County has a mono-economy, based primarily on tourism. Carlson said the county—the EDA—needs to create economic diversity.

Carlson shared a copy of his business plan for Wildfire Solutions, a company that will design, manufacture and distribute ultraviolet flame detectors. Carlson said a detector such as he is manufacturing is not currently available directly to consumers. He passed around samples of the product’s components.

Carlson said in 2014, more than 1,900 primary structures were lost to wildfire. In 2012, the U.S. saw $595 million in insured losses due to wildfire. “With the growing threat of wildfires exacerbated by extreme drought in areas like California, there is an opportunity to market early detection flame sensors to protect lives and property,” he said.

Carlson has created his new company, has obtained the license to develop the flame sensors and has begun testing and production. The initial location is his home on the Gunflint Trail, but in 2016 he plans to relocate to larger facilities in Grand Marais.

Care Center Celebrates: Anniversary Gala, Volunteers and more

Fri, 05/08/2015 - 1:36pm

This May the North Shore Care Center is celebrating their 50th anniversary with a Gala on May 11th; and celebrating their volunteers, current and former, with a reception on May 20.  Staff Helena Blake, Kay Rosenthal, Hilja Iverson and resident Bernice LeGarde all share the month's activities.


'Indians and Public Art: Changing the Image' reception May 14

Fri, 05/08/2015 - 12:26pm

‘Indians and Public Art: Changing the Image’ is now open at the Grand Portage Community Center.  A reception with the artists is Thursday May 14th from 3 to 5pm. WTIP volunteer Julie Carlson spoke with art instructor Belle Janicek about the young artists and the larger project.  More information from Belle at Oshki Ogimaag at 475-2112.


DNR announces fishing closures during walleye spawning

Thu, 05/07/2015 - 1:42pm

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources has announced several fishing closures in Cook County during the beginning of the 2015 fishing season to protect concentrations of spawning walleye. Closures on Minnesota-Ontario waters are made in cooperation with the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and affect both sides of the border.

Closures apply to fishing only; travel is permitted through these areas.

All closed areas will be posted, but they are primarily near the end of the Gunflint Trail—on Sea Gull River and Lake through Gull Lake, Saganaga, Little Gunflint, Little North, Cross River and so on. 

The closures are intended to protect concentrations of walleye that may be vulnerable to over-harvest in what may be a year with relatively late ice-out and delayed spawning due to a persistently cool spring. Closures apply to fishing only; travel is permitted through these areas.

Questions may be directed to the DNR fisheries office in Grand Marais at 218-387-3056


The following closures took effect April 1:

* Sea Gull River from Sea Gull Lake through Gull Lake to Saganaga Lake approximately one-third mile north of the narrows; closed through May 22.

* Saganaga Falls on the Minnesota-Ontario border where the Granite River enters Saganaga Lake; closed through May 31.

* Maligne River (also known as Northern Light Rapids) on the Ontario side of Saganaga Lake; closed through May 31 by the Ontario Ministry of

Natural Resources.

* Unnamed channel between Little Gunflint and Little North Lakes on the

Minnesota-Ontario border; closed through May 31.

* Cross River (inlet to Gunflint Lake) from the Gunflint Trail to

Gunflint Lake; closed through May 22.


The following areas will be closed to fishing May 9 through May 22:

Trails for Tails, Saturday May 9th

Thu, 05/07/2015 - 11:23am

Trails for Tails is a Troop 4070 fundraiser for Arrowhead Animal Rescue.  It's Saturday May 9th, registration at 9am at Sawtooth Mountain Elementary in Grand Marais.  WTIP volunteer Marnie McMillan spoke with Girl Scouts RaeAnne Silence and Riley Goettl on North Shore Morning.  
The Girl Scouts are sponsoring a "Trails for Tails Fun Run/Walk" to benefit Arrowhead Animal Rescue, on Saturday, May 9. Everyone is invited to participate with or without a pet. The event starts at the Sawtooth Elementary School parking lot, with registration beginning at 9 am, blessing of the animals by Pastor Kris Garey at 9:45 am, a 2k race at 10 am, and a half-mile race on paved trails at 10:15 am. More information is available from troop leader Michele Silence at 370-9958, or on facebook.