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Another rain garden in Grand Marais

Fri, 08/08/2014 - 2:39pm

Grand Marais city councilors approved an agreement with the Cook County Soil & Water Conservation District that will lead to the creation of a third privately maintained rain garden—this one in the city right of way on East Second Avenue.

City Administrator Mike Roth told council July 30 that the maintenance agreement contains clauses meant to provide protection for the city, which were added since the last two contracts were signed. Notably, the clauses stipulate that the city will be liable to the state for an amount of up to 150 percent of the financial assistance received to install and establish the rain garden if it is not maintained to standards during its 10-year effective life.

Councilors said they believed it was worth taking the risk, especially since the two existing privately maintained rain gardens are actually nicer than those cared for by the city.

Councilor Bill Lenz noted that there are now five rain gardens throughout the city. “The two on private property look good–they really do–and the others do not and they are ours,” said Lenz. “I don’t think this will be a problem.”

Councilor Jan Sivertson wondered who–if anybody–would inspect the rain gardens anyway. Roth said he “severely doubts” that anybody from the state office was going to come up to Grand Marais to inspect the rain gardens. He added that the agreement represents about a $15,000 commitment on the part of the city, which will have to pay the state back if the rain garden is removed or found to be deficient within 10 years.

EvaLyn Carlson of Grand Marais wins Fisherman's Picnic grand prize

Thu, 08/07/2014 - 4:02pm

The 85th Annual Fisherman’s Picnic wrapped up on Sunday, August 3, concluding four days of festivities enjoyed by young and old. A lot of good comes to the community from the event that includes a lot of revelry. The weather was wonderful and there were smiles all weekend for most of the attendees. The smile on the face of EvaLyn Carlson of Grand Marais was perhaps biggest of all. Carlson’s name was drawn from the big Grand Marais Lions Club drum of raffle tickets. The retired minister was nearby, selling tickets to support veterans through the America’s Vet Dog program. Friends scurried to tell her she had won and she arrived in Harbor Park to claim her $10,000 prize.

Carlson said Lion Steve Quaife sold her the winning ticket

Celebrate Smokey Bear's Birthday at the Gunflint Ranger Station August 9

Thu, 08/07/2014 - 4:01pm

Smokey Bear’s 70th birthday is coming up soon. A birthday party will be held on the official Smoky Bear birthday August 9 at the Gunflint District Ranger Station from 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. 

Smoky the Bear was conceived in 1944. The idea of fire prevention started way back in the ‘20s and spread after Japanese submarines were spotted on the West Coast in 1941. There was fear that a torpedo could detonate along the West Coast and theoretically cause serious fires in forestlands.

On August 9, 1944 fire prevention programs began searching for an animal to be used as a symbol. The release of the Disney animated film Bambi had made the public aware of fire hazards, and for awhile Bambi was a popular nomination, but due to copyright problems with Disney Productions, it was finally decided to use a bear, and the rest is history.

Smokey became so popular that he even has his own private zip code. If anyone is interested it's 20052.

Stop by the Gunflint Ranger Station on August 9 to wish Smoky well!

Rendezvous Days and Powwow at Grand Portage: August 8-10

Wed, 08/06/2014 - 12:26pm

This weekend, August 8-10, is Grand Portage National Monument's annual Rendezvous Days and Powwow. WTIP host Mark Abrahamson spoke with Park Ranger Karl Koster of Grand Portage National Monument on North Shore Morning.

National Park Service staff and over 300 volunteers recreate a lively voyageur rendezvous at the historic North West Company fur trade depot in Grand Portage, MN. Scheduled events help you learn more about the 18th century life of traders, clerks and Ojibwe peoples. Many activities such as waltz workshop and dainty voyageur contest are open for public participation or simply enjoy watching.

If you need information regarding the Monument and Rendezvous activities or require assistance, an information station is set up just outside the North Gate (the entry with the gatehouse). Information is also available at the information desk in the Heritage Center.

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Plan ahead for severe weather

Wed, 08/06/2014 - 11:35am

Emergency Management officials remind North Shore residents that emergencies due to severe weather could happen at anytime.

Here are some things residents should think about:

 • Stay informed: Check out the Department of Public Safety weather page at Each day it will focus on a different subject such as weather warnings, lightning and hail, floods, tornados, etc.

• Make a kit: Build a basic survival kit for when the electricity fails. It should include food and water for three days, a radio and flashlight, first aid, and personal items like toilet paper. A smaller “grab and go” evacuation kit should contain emergency contact information, medications, spare eyewear and documentation of pets, medical information, insurance, etc.

• Have a plan: What if you’re delayed or stranded by severe weather, or need to leave your home due to a storm-related power failure? Do you have an emergency kit in your vehicle? Do you know how to reach your friends and family, or where you could go for shelter? Do your friends know where to look for you?

More information is available at

Visit now, before the weather hits.


This local news is provided by the Cook County News-Herald

MidTrail auction, flea market and quilt raffle is Thursday, August 7

Tue, 08/05/2014 - 11:11am

If you are looking for a unique collectable, a beautifully crafted piece of hand-stitchery, or that perfect treasure to remind you of the Gunflint Trail, chances are you will find it at the annual Mid-Trail auction, flea market, boutique, and quilt raffle to be held at the Schaap Community Center from 1 to 4 p.m. on Thursday, August 7.

This year’s quilt, crafted by the many talented hands of the Mid-Trail quilters, is a scrappy multi-colored collection of vintage fabrics and is titled Vintage Triangles. Tickets for the raffle are $2 and may be purchased at local businesses as well as at the event.  Drawing for the quilt will be at the conclusion of the auction, and you need not be present to win this lovely queen/king coverlet.

Unusual bric-a-brac, household, and one-of-a-kind items will be located in the flea market, while the boutique offers many artfully hand-crafted pieces, along with great finds donated by local businesses and outfitters.

Hosted by auctioneer Phil Serrin, bidding on goods ranging from arts and crafts, to antiques, to Gunflint Trail experiences is always lively, spirited, and fun, keeping in mind that proceeds from this event benefit the Gunflint Trail Volunteer Fire and Rescue Department.

Homemade cakes along with coffee and lemonade will be available during the fundraiser.

So get out your shopping list, drive 26 miles up the Gunflint Trail to the Schaap Community Center located next to Fire Hall # 1 for an afternoon of fun and treasures, all for a great cause.


This local news is provided by the Cook County News-Herald