Around Cook County
The Grand Marais Public Utilities Commission is researching alternative energy options such as solar power. Toward that end, at the last PUC meeting on Wednesday, January 4, the commission agreed to hire the consulting firm of Rural Renewable Energy Alliance (RREAL) to analyze the costs and benefits of solar energy production in Grand Marais.
The firm will conduct an analysis for a variety of projects and return to the PUC with a report in March 2017.
Rhonda Silence finds out more in this interview with George Wilkes, PUC board member.
The Norpine fat tire bike race took place in Cook County on Jan. 7. WTIP’s Joe Friedrichs has this report from the event.
For complete race results, click here.
We can expect more snow, anywhere from a couple of inches to a half foot. WTIP’s Jay Andersen spoke with meteorologist Carol Christenson about snow and cold with a warm-up at the end of the tunnel.
Each week the WTIP news staff compiles a review of news from the previous five days. Commissioner Moe resigns. The County Board has new leadership, shipping traffic increases and herring fishery decreases…all this and more in the week’s news.
U.S. Forest Service Tofte District Ranger Kurt Steele has served in the Superior National Forest for just over three years. He has received a promotion and will be leaving Minnesota to accept a position in the Nez Perce - Clearwater National Forest in Idaho.
WTIP's Rhonda Silence speaks with Steele about his time here in Cook County and his new adventure.
Lonnie Dupre left Talkeetna, Alaska on Wednesday, January 4, flying into the Alaska Range to the base of Mount Hunter (14,573ft) to attempt its first winter solo ascent.
It’ll be a below zero weekend but starting Sunday and for the next few days, the weather will be warmer. WTIP’s Jay Andersen spoke with National Weather Service Meteorologist Carol Christenson.
The Cook County Vikings girls’ basketball team is entering the second part of the season in January. WTIP’s Joe Friedrichs spoke with Head Coach Kelly Senty about the season moving forward.
Winter has arrived in Minnesota. And for many that means it’s time to seek shelter inside a wood-finished room and splash water on superheated stones. There’s a particular name for this room, and WTIP’s Joe Friedrichs finds out more in this story.
People passing the Grand Marais Library may be alarmed to see the 20-foot puzzle sculpture laying on the ground. The first thought of many is that the high winds on the evening of January 3 knocked the sculpture down.
That is not the case according to Library Director Steve Harsin.
Harsin said the library’s snow removal crew noticed that the sculpture was leaning. The creator of the piece, Tom Christianson of Last Chance Gallery, came to inspect and found a small crack in the sculpture’s base.
Christianson, who has been providing ongoing maintenance of the puzzle sculpture, had already been working on a different design with improved support.
It was decided to lower the sculpture for the winter. The Grand Marais Public Utilities crew used the electrical department bucket truck to gently lower the 200-pound puzzle sculpture to the ground.
It will be raised in the spring. For now, Harsin said, “We decided to lay it down for the safety of both the sculpture and the public.”
The puzzle sculpture was erected on the library lawn on June 5 of this year.
A tragic snowmobile accident happened over New Year’s. Sheriff Pat Eliasen had a personal connection with the victim. WTIP’s Jay Andersen spoke with the sheriff about a community that comes together in many different ways.
Cook County Commissioner Jan Sivertson will serve as the board chair for 2017, as selected by her fellow commissioners during the first board meeting of the year on Tuesday, Jan. 3.
Serving as vice chair will be Commissioner Heidi Doo-Kirk, who has served as board chair for the previous two years.
There was some reluctance among the four county commissioners during Tuesday’s meeting in deciding who would serve in the roles of chair and vice chair. At one point, Sivertson nominated Doo-Kirk to serve as board chair for a third consecutive year, a motion that failed for lack of support.
Moments later, Commissioner Ginny Storlie nominated herself for vice chair, a motion that also failed.
In the end, Commissioner Jan Sivertson will serve as board chair, with Doo- Kirk serving as vice chair in 2017.
The appointment of chair and vice-chair came after new commissioner for District 2, Myron Bursheim, took the oath of office. Also being sworn in by Cook County Deputy Court Administrator Kim Shepherd was Assessor Todd Smith.