Around Cook County

News and other information from Cook County

Grand Marais PUC hires consultant for solar project planning

Mon, 01/09/2017 - 4:28pm

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. 


Norpine Fat Bike Classic spins good times through the cold

Mon, 01/09/2017 - 3:18pm

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. 



Once through the snow and cold cycle, the weather warms up

Mon, 01/09/2017 - 9:28am

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.


Weekend News Roundup for January 7, 2017

Sat, 01/07/2017 - 10:17am

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.


Tofte District Ranger Kurt Steele leaving for Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forest

Fri, 01/06/2017 - 4:49pm

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. 


Gunflint Mail Run sled dog race begins Saturday, Jan. 7

Fri, 01/06/2017 - 1:54pm

The Gunflint Mail Run is taking place in Cook County this weekend. WTIP’s Joe Friedrichs spoke with Matthew Schmidt, one of the mushers who will be competing in the race taking place up the Gunflint Trail. 

For more information about the race, click here. 


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Puzzle Tree taken down

Thu, 01/05/2017 - 2:15pm

Dupre begins climb of Mount Hunter

Thu, 01/05/2017 - 1:56pm

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.

Carman receives scholarship from the University of Minnesota, Morris

Thu, 01/05/2017 - 1:51pm

Sub-zero weekend, but warm-up is coming

Thu, 01/05/2017 - 11:06am

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.


Vikings' basketball coach gives mid-season report

Thu, 01/05/2017 - 8:11am

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.


WTIP investigates how to correctly say the word "sauna"

Wed, 01/04/2017 - 1:33pm

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. 


Library puzzle sculpture lowered for safety

Wed, 01/04/2017 - 12:23pm

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.

Sheriff reflects on snowmobile fatality

Wed, 01/04/2017 - 9:28am

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.


Commissioner Jan Sivertson is county board chair for 2017

Tue, 01/03/2017 - 11:55am

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. 

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