Around Cook County

News and other information from Cook County

WTIP shares the latest law enforcement report

Sat, 02/04/2017 - 5:00pm

The following is a record of calls made to the Cook County Law Enforcement Center from January 23 to January 29. These are the initial calls made to law enforcement dispatchers.
If you need help from Cook County Law Enforcement, dial 9-1-1. For non-emergency calls, contact the Cook County Sheriffs Office at 218-387-3030.


Weekend News Roundup for February 4

Sat, 02/04/2017 - 11:09am

Each week the WTIP news staff compiles a review of news from the previous five days. Grass carp in the Great lakes, protestors outside Rep. Nolan’s office, not much ice cover on Superior…all this and more in the week’s news.


Cleveland Cliffs burglary suspect found guilty

Fri, 02/03/2017 - 1:36pm

One of the people involved in a break-in and theft at Cliffs Mining in Schroeder in March 2016 has been found guilty in Cook County court.

On January 26, a jury in the Sixth District Court in Grand Marais found Madison Rose Vail, 23, of Lindstrom, Minnesota guilty of two counts of burglary, one count of criminal damage to property, and one count of receiving stolen property.

The charges against Vail stemmed from a report of trespassing by a Cleveland Cliffs staffer. Following that report, the Cook County Sheriff’s Office began surveillance of the property. On April 2, 2016 Sheriff Deputy Jesse Johnson saw two people in a van at the site. A search warrant was obtained and when the van was inspected, receipts were found from recycling centers for insulated wire, copper wire, and brass. Also found were hacksaws, headlamps and bolt cutters.

Vail and a companion, Alexander Gaiter Smith, 28, of St. Paul were arrested. A sentencing hearing for Vail will be held February 27. She could face up to 10 years incarceration and fines of up to $20,000.

Smith, who received similar charges, failed to appear at hearings in Cook County court in May, August and September 2016. A warrant has been issued for his arrest. If arrested, Smith will be held without chance of release on bail.

The former mining operation building has been shut down since 2001, but is monitored by Cleveland Cliffs staff.
A general manager for Cliffs Mining estimated the damage, which included areas where control panels were removed, wires stripped and walls graffitied. He estimated the damage to the property at “thousands of dollars.”

Public invited to open houses on Draft Environmental Impact for bringing more wolves to Isle Royale

Thu, 02/02/2017 - 6:15pm


Free help with tax preparation

Thu, 02/02/2017 - 6:06pm

Prague Pedalers coming to library

Thu, 02/02/2017 - 6:02pm

The Grand Marais Public Library has been a busy place this winter, bringing in music, art, sled dogs, and now the Prague Pedalers will present a slide show presentation of their trip by bicycle across Eastern Europe at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, February 14.

 Who are the Prague Pedalers? On September 2, 2016, six intrepid Cook County bicyclists stuffed their bikes in boxes, packed up tents and sleeping bags, and flew to the Czech Republic to begin a six-week cycling and camping adventure. From Prague, the group biked along a network of dedicated bicycle trails and quiet roads through some of Europe’s most breathtaking landscapes, ending up in Budapest, Hungary in mid-October.

Local GOP to hold county convention

Thu, 02/02/2017 - 5:56pm

The Beargrease experience at Trail Center

Thu, 02/02/2017 - 2:18pm

The John Beargrease Sled Dog Marathon wrapped up on Wednesday, February 1, but memories of the 2017 race live on. WTIP’s Rhonda Silence caught up with some of the folks involved in the race at the Trail Center checkpoint on Monday, January 30.

The Mid-distance race finishes at Trail Center and Marathon teams have a rest stop there, so it is a very busy place, with race fans and many volunteers standing by to cheer on incoming teams and to send them off.

Watching the sled dogs as they come in to Trail Center is exciting, some of them are still jumping around, wanting to pull some more as the musher checks in. Then, the dogs get some food or a chew bone and they curl up in their hay beds.

We hear from the mushers – and some of the dogs – in this feature. 


Ely Memorial High's remarkable 83-year-old cheerleader

Thu, 02/02/2017 - 1:08pm

Ely Memorial High School has only one cheerleader for their basketball team – but she is very special. WTIP’s Sherrie Lindskog learns more in this interview.



First February weekend will have easy-to-take weather

Thu, 02/02/2017 - 11:23am

The weather will slowly start to warm over the next few days, and there may be a little snow as well. Typical February. WTIP’s Jay Andersen spoke with National Weather Service Meteorologist Carol Christenson.


View more news from WTIP

Rep. Rob Ecklund: Budget, bonding and bipartisanship

Thu, 02/02/2017 - 10:13am

The Legislature is in full swing. WTIP’s Jay Andersen spoke with Rep. Rob Ecklund about working across the aisle important pending budget issues and hopefully a resolution to the stalled bonding bill.


Ryan Anderson wins 2017 Beargrease

Wed, 02/01/2017 - 1:16pm

At approximately 10 a.m. on Feb. 1, musher Ryan Anderson crossed the finish line to claim first place in the 2017 John Beargrease Sled Dog Marathon. Anderson is now a three time John Beargrease Sled Dog Marathon champion and moved into the lead Wednesday morning as mushers headed down the final leg of the race toward the finish near Duluth.

Anderson was first to arrive at Billy's Bar in Rice Lake, just north of Duluth.

Following Anderson, musher Ryan Reddington came in second place. Reddington held the lead for most of the race, before dropping back to second early Wednesday morning.

In third place for this year’s Beargrease is defending and four-time champion Nathan Schroder. And in fourth place is Cook County resident Matthew Schmidt.

For a complete listing of the mid-distance and full marathon finishers, click here. 

As for this year’s marathon champion, Ryan Anderson, 35, was born and raised in a dog mushing family in the small community of Ray, Minn. According to his racing bio, Anderson has been around the sport of mushing since he was five years old and has been mushing competitively since the age of 10. He’s won the Beargrease three times as of Feb. 1, the UP 200 six times and had many other top finishes. In 2017 he will finally fulfill his ultimate goal of racing in the Iditarod. Also racing in the Iditarod this year will be Reddington and Schroder. The 2017 Iditarod starts on Saturday, March 4 in Anchorage, Alaska.

Congratulations to all the mushers in the 2017 John Beargrease Sled Dog Marathon.

City and MnDOT host open house on proposed Highway 61 redesign

Wed, 02/01/2017 - 1:15pm

Representatives of the Minnesota Department of Transportation have visited Grand Marais several times in preparation for the reconstruction of Highway 61 through the city in 2019.

At a meeting two months ago, MnDOT unveiled a preliminary plan for the Highway 61 redesign through Grand Marais. Citizens in attendance gave feedback and suggestions for refinement.

MnDOT is returning Thursday, Feb. 2 with the latest version of the proposed highway design. To learn more, the public is invited to attend the open house at Grand Marais City Hall at 6 p.m. There will be a brief presentation and then MnDOT representatives and city staff will answer questions and again gather public comments.

These meetings are a continuation of the work begun in February 2016 when a MnDOT design team, including consultants CJ Fernandez and Jason Aune of Aune Fernandez Landscape Architects and Mike Fischer of LHB, Inc., shared concept designs. The city continues to collect community involvement, seeking feedback on things such as parking, safe crossings, street landscaping, and a walk/bike trail.

If you are unable to attend this meeting, the plans are available for viewing at City Hall anytime during normal business hours. A preliminary map can be seen here. 

Photo courtesy of Moving Matters

MNsure deadline extended to February 8

Wed, 02/01/2017 - 9:46am

MNsure enrollment has been extended to February 8 due to new legislation affecting premiums.  WTIP’s Jay Andersen spoke with MNsure Navigator Erin Watson .



Four sign up for Cook County Commissioner opening

Tue, 01/31/2017 - 11:52am

Staff report

Monday, January 23
5:09 a.m. West Highway 61 Caller reporting a deer laying down by the fog line on the upper side of the roadway.
7:47 a.m. Mile marker 107 Safe routes to school.
7:52 a.m. West Highway 61 Reported dead deer on the fog line just west of this address, traffic hazard. 
8:20 a.m. Mile Marker 113  Hit deer near this location. No injuries but does have vehicle damage. Call transferred to State Patrol. 
8:58 a.m. Cedar Grove Lane 911 from 911 only phone.
9:53 a.m. Grand Marais  Requesting residence checks. 
10:34 a.m. Java Moose  Capital One Visa card missing, last used at Java Moose, if found please call.
10:40 a.m. Grand Marais Party heard a rumor that party had been arrested.
11:17 a.m. Law Enforcement Center  Requested deputy call back.
12:05 p.m. Caribou Highlands Lodge Civil process attempt.
1:54 p.m. Hovland Bison truck driver almost ran him off the road.
2:36 p.m. Thompson Park Drive, Grand Marais Civil process attempt.
2:49 p.m. Grand Marais  Stated that someone has been removed from the property. Unknown what was taken. 
3:13 p.m. Law Enforcement Center  Permit to carry application received. 
4:22 p.m. East Highway 61  Cairn terrier running near this location. Caller picked up and will keep it at her place. 
4:34 p.m. Linnell Road/East Highway 61 Out with vehicle.
5:02 p.m. Harbor View Apartments, Grand Marais Female with sharp pain in arm. 
Tuesday, January 24
2:08 a.m. East Highway 61, Hovland  Automated alarm. Company contacted keyholder, Cancel, false alarm. 
2:42 a.m. East Bay Suites Checking on van with rear door open. 
7:22 a.m. Lutsen  Safe routes to school; follow bus look for stop arm violators. 
7:26 a.m. West Highway 61, Lutsen Traffic stop, warning given.
07:52 a.m. Sawtooth Ridges, Grand Marais Caller has fallen while getting into his wheel chair. No injury, just can't get back up.
8:23 a.m. Law Enforcement Center  Permit to carry application. 
9:40 a.m. Grand Portage Attempt to pick up parties with warrants. 
9:42 a.m. Law Enforcement Center  Permit to purchase application.
10:43 a.m. Law Enforcement Center  Taking prisoner to court. 
11:47 a.m. Cook County courthouse  Reporting party hit a vehicle with the transport van. Information passed to Minnesota State Patrol.
11:49 a.m. Sawtooth Elementary School  Dare class, 3rd grade.
12:12 p.m. Law Enforcement Center  911 call from 911 only phone. A lot of yelling from kids. Location at the high school. Sounds like a pocket dial from gym class.
1:17 p.m. Grand Portage  Party arrested for trespassing 
3:38 p.m. East Highway 61  Party hit a deer 
6:10 p.m. West Highway 61 Party requesting a welfare check on his mom. He was on the phone with her and phone went dead. Answering machine now answers. Cancel, caller was able to get a hold of party
9:33 p.m. Grand Portage  People outside fighting about parking.
Wednesday, January 25
7:53 a.m. Cook County High School School patrol.
9:27 a.m. West Highway 61  Two dogs running around this location. One poodle and one darker colored dog. 
10:01 a.m. Devil Track Road Caller states party violated an order for protection on Sunday when they showed up at the caller’s place of work. 
10:26 a.m. Oshkiogimaag School  Set up radar trailer.
1:20 p.m. Law Enforcement Center  Inmate transport.
1:21 p.m. Law Enforcement Center  Inmate transport.
1:40 p.m. Law Enforcement Center  Permit to carry application.
3:40 p.m. Law Enforcement Center  Transport one inmate to St. Louis County jail and one inmate to Aitkin County jail.
3:47 p.m. Grand Portage  Need assistance in getting possessions from home.
4:06 p.m. Grand Marais  Reported that tools, a plow, snow blower and tool box stolen from garage by party. 
4:11 p.m. Grand Portage  Party had questions about previous events at home.
6:41 p.m. East Highway 61 80-year-old male with severe pain in side. 
8:38 p.m. West Highway 61 Traffic stop, warning given.
Thursday, January 25
6:57 a.m. West Highway 61 Traffic stop, citation issued.
7:38 a.m. East Highway 61 Assist with flat tire.
8:03 a.m. Law Enforcement Center  Give inmate ride to sentence-to-serve.
8:14 a.m. Cook County High School  Caller states a vehicle exited the Bethlehem Church and went through a crossing guard flag. 
8:22 a.m. West Highway 61 Party sees lights on in a relative’s house that should be closed up for the season.
9:31 a.m. Grand Portage National Monument Caller states a vehicle hit and broke a gate on their property last night. 
10:31 a.m. Grand Portage  Fire alarm at this address, false alarm.
11:24 a.m. Gunflint Trail  Caller states a layer of ice on the Gunflint near MidTrail. 
11:49 a.m. West Highway 61, Tofte Traffic stop, citation issued.
12:56 p.m. West Highway 61, Tofte Traffic stop, warning given.
1:21 p.m. County Road 7  Residence check.
2:18 p.m. Grand Portage Reporting party’s dog ran away last night.
2:37 p.m. Grand Portage Convenience Store Unlicensed driver driving at this location now. 
3:31 p.m.  Mile Creek Rd, Grand Portage Traffic stop, warning given
Friday, January 27  
12:51 a.m. Grand Portage    Party passed away. Requesting an ambulance for transfer. 
9:09 a.m. East Highway 61  Brown and white husky mix named Koda ran off. Not necessarily friendly to strangers. 
9:35 a.m. Lutsen Resort Party in the main dining room choking.
3:01 p.m. Law Enforcement Center  Deputy finger printed party .
4:38 p.m. East Highway 61, Grand Portage Traffic stop, citation issued.
4:59 p.m. West 3rd Street, Grand Marais  Sometime last night the laundromat was broken into. 
6:03 p.m. 5th Ave West, Grand Marais Cat got lost last week and has not returned home.
6:28 p.m. Grand Portage  Civil process attempt.
7:35 p.m. Grand Portage Health Services Automated security alarm trying to contact keyholder. False alarm.
8:27 p.m. Co Road 7/West Highway 61 Out with vehicle that has flashers on.
8:49 p.m. West Highway 61  Out with state patrol on traffic stop. 
9:42 p.m. West Highway 61, Lutsen Out with state patrol on a traffic stop. 
9:56 p.m. West Highway 61, Tofte Traffic stop, warning given.
10:07 p.m. West 3rd Street, Grand Marais  Business check.
10:15 p.m. West Highway 61, Tofte Traffic stop, warning given.
11:45 p.m. West Highway 61, Tofte Traffic stop, citation issued.
Saturday, January 28
1:21 a.m. East Highway 61, Tofte Destroyed injured deer.
2:04 a.m. Grand Portage  U.S. Customs and Border Protection requesting a call back.
11:25 a.m. West Highway 61, Tofte Traffic stop, warning given.
12:36 p.m. Lutsen Mountains Ski Patrol 61-year-old female with deformed ankle, in pain conscious and breathing.
12:53 p.m. East Highway 61 Traffic stop, warning given.
2:54 p.m. County Road 7, Grand Marais Residence check.
3:16 p.m. Law Enforcement Center  Dog truck on Highway 61 in Lake County could use traffic assist. 
4:00 p.m. Margarets Road, Grand Portage Traffic stop, citation issued.
4:45 p.m. Grand Portage 911 cell phone with nobody on the line. 
4:57 p.m. Mile Creek Road, Grand Portage  Traffic stop, citation issued.
5:10 p.m. East Highway 61/Hollow Rock Road, Grand Portage Silver Trailblazer broken down near this location. Will have it removed tomorrow.
7:46 p.m. West Highway 61 Traffic stop, warning given.
8:00 p.m. Moose Valley Road, Hovland Caller needs to talk to party either at the hospital or clinic. Caller was given number to hospital and advised to call back if more help is needed.
8:51 p.m. Cramer Road, Schroeder Civil process attempt.
10:37 p.m. Law Enforcement Center  Party searching for her daughter.
Sunday, January 29
7:10 a.m. Arrowhead Trail, Hovland  70-year-old female needs medical help.  
7:25 a.m. East Highway 61 Traffic stop, warning given.
10:31 a.m. Cramer Road, Schroeder Civil process attempt.
11:14 a.m. East Highway 61 Off peak heat is not working. 
11:21 a.m. Law Enforcement Center  Lost black trifold wallet in downtown Grand Marais. 
11:23 a.m. Law Enforcement Center  Requesting a welfare check on his daughter.
3:19 p.m. County Road 7 Residence check.
4:53 p.m. Pine Mountain Court, Grand Marais Extra patrols. 
5:22 p.m. Lake Superior Trading Post, Grand Marais Reporting sewer line is possibly frozen. 
6:31 p.m. Grand Portage Community Center Automated fire alarm.