Around Cook County

News and other information from Cook County

Grand Marais PUC considers future of aging infrastructure

Thu, 02/16/2017 - 12:33pm

Winter is warming up

Thu, 02/16/2017 - 12:33pm

Old MacDonald Had a Banjo

Thu, 02/16/2017 - 12:25pm

Staff report

The Grand Marais Public Library will present Old MacDonald Had a Banjo, a free children’s program, on Saturday, Feb. 25 at 10:30 a.m.

North House welcomes new employees

Thu, 02/16/2017 - 12:22pm

Staff report

Girl Scout cookie sales under way in Cook County

Wed, 02/15/2017 - 2:25pm

Cook County Girl Scouts --Daisies, Brownies, Juniors, Cadettes, Ambassadors and Senior Scouts -- are now selling cookies on the North Shore.  Rhonda Silence learned more from some very excited Girl Scouts in this report. 

If you'd like information on Girl Scout cookies, contact Michele Silence at 218-370-9958. 


Workforce housing controversy discussed by commissioner

Wed, 02/15/2017 - 12:40pm

Proposed workforce housing projects are causing a stir among some members of the public. WTIP’s Jay Andersen spoke with Commissioner Heidi Doo-Kirk.


County board gives green light to pave Pike Lake Road

Tue, 02/14/2017 - 3:42pm

The Cook County Board of Commissioners agreed during a meeting Tuesday, Feb. 14 to approve the paving and reconstruction of Pike Lake Road, also known as County Road 45. The move to approve paving the road came in conjunction with hiring LHB Engineering Consultants to the engineering work regarding the reconstruction project for Pike Lake Road.

LHB will be paid approximately $557,000 for their services as design consultants. The project will be paid for largely from the recently passed half-cent sales tax increase in Cook County, though there will likely be bonds taken out until the sales tax funds accumulate.

With regard to the engineering timeline, LHB would submit a redesign proposal sometime by the summer of 2018, as the approved contract will expire in August of that year. With regard to the physical redesign of Pike Lake Road, Cook County Highway Engineer Dave Betts has stated previously that due to the permitting and planning process it could take up to five years to begin construction. The actual costs of the physical redesign, including paving the road, could be more than $10 million. 

As stated in their project proposal, LHB will upgrade approximately 6.75 miles of County Road 45 starting at County Road 7 until the road ends near Pike Lake. Once the main thoroughfare is paved, the speed limit on Pike Lake Road will be suggested by LHB to be 55 mph.  In addition to paving the road, there will be a redesign of the approach to the Cascade River Bridge on Pike Lake Road, and the intersection with Murmur Creek Road.

In the near future, there will be a series of neighborhood open houses regarding the construction project on Pike Lake Road. 

Commissioner Heidi Doo-Kirk compared the Pike Lake Road project to “landing on the moon” and said improving the road is a big deal in the history of Cook County.

To hear more on this story, listen to the audio below. 


New DNR app directs Cook County residents to natural springs

Mon, 02/13/2017 - 4:24pm

A new web-based app developed by the Department of Natural Resources gives people the ability to submit reports on the location of springs in Minnesota.
The data will help researchers with important groundwater research.

Spring location and reporting is important because springs create and sustain vital ecosystems. They can indicate groundwater health and help protect against invasive species. Land stability and building integrity depend on knowing where springs are located. Trout streams and other coldwater fisheries, calcareous fens, and many streams and lakes require springs. Springs also have aesthetic and historical value that creates a special sense of place for residents and visitors.

Click here to locate or report a natural spring in Minnesota. 

WTIP’s Joe Friedrichs finds out more about the new DNR app in this interview. 


Local swimmers advance to state competition

Mon, 02/13/2017 - 4:24pm

The following are Cook County swimmers who are competing at the state meet on Feb. 19 at the University of Minnesota.

  • Jack Willis: 200 free, 200 Medley relay, 200 IM, 200 free relay, 200 breaststroke
  • Shaelyn Hingos: 200 Medley relay, 200 free relay
  • Ella Hedstrom: 200 Medley relay, 200 free relay
  • Arora Schlemeske: 200 Medley relay, 50 freestyle, 100 IM, 
  • Tanner DeBoer: 200 Medley relay, 50 freestyle, 200 backstroke, 200 free relay, 100 freestyle
  • Henry DeArruda Wharton: 200 Medley relay, 200 IM, 100 backstroke, 200 free relay, 100 butterfly
  • Tristan Surbaugh: 200 Medley relay, 100 backstroke, 200 free relay, 100 breaststroke
  • Isaak Lien: 100 IM, 25 backstroke, 25 breaststroke
  • Martine Redshaw: 400 free relay
  • Liv Hedstrom: 400 free relay
  • Lexi Surbaugh: 400 free relay
  • Mary June Wharton: 400 free relay

Stay tuned to WTIP online and on the air for updates on the 2017 Minnesota State Swim Meet. 

Preparing for Valentines Day 2017

Mon, 02/13/2017 - 3:49pm

February 14 is Valentine's Day and local shops are getting ready with special treats, flowers and gifts. 

Rhonda Silence stopped by two local businesses to find out how they are preparing for this special day. 


Nordic Nature Group shares concern about climate change

Mon, 02/13/2017 - 6:29am

The Nordic Nature Group, a contingent of young naturalists, meets monthly to learn about nature and to find ways to protect the planet. Some members of the group will be speaking to the Grand Marais City Council on February 22. Rhonda Silence learns more about their upcoming presentation in this interview


Alpine ski team shines at Sections

Sun, 02/12/2017 - 11:37am

Some great skiing at Sections on Tuesday, February 7 led the Viking boys' team to defeat 21 teams. The boys claimed the Section 7 Championship and will now advance to the Minnesota State Tournament.

Coach Charles Lamb said the girls skied well, defeating 21 teams, finishing the day in third place. 

In a field of 122 girls and 119 boys, the Viking skiers did well individually also.There are three individual State qualifiers: Reilly Wahlers, Sela Backstrom and Will Lamb!


Individual results for the girls’ team:
Reilly Wahlers 4th, Sela Backstrom 13th, Halle Lamb 19th, Elsa Lunde 56th, Madysen McKeever 70th, Hanna Borson 94th.

Individual results for the boys’ team:

Will Lamb 3rd, Erik Lawler 20th, Logan Backstrom 21st, Will Surbaugh 31st, Ezra Lunde 34th, Masen McKeever 43rd.

The State Tournament is Wednesday, February 15th at Giants Ridge. Racing starts at 10:00 a.m.


View more news from WTIP

Weekend News Roundup for February 11

Sat, 02/11/2017 - 11:09am

Each week the WTIP news staff compiles a review of news from the previous five days. The Dakota Access pipeline will go ahead. There’s a plan to scrap forest police. St. Louis County votes to support wilderness area mining…all this and more in the week’s news.



Fri, 02/10/2017 - 3:05pm

Proposed bill could have Cook County Sheriff's Department patrolling the BWCAW

Fri, 02/10/2017 - 10:41am

A Congressman from Utah has proposed a bill that would change who enforces rules and regulations on national forest lands in the United States. WTIP’s Joe Friedrichs reports on this story that could have an impact on enforcement of rules in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. 

Click here to read more on the proposed bill, known as the “Local Enforcement for Local Lands Act.”