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News and other information from Cook County

Grand Marais Art Colony features artist Tim Pearson at July 5 Exhibit Opening

Wed, 07/02/2014 - 2:14pm

July is a busy month for the Grand Marais Art Colony.  In addition to their annual Arts Festival, there will also be an artist exhibit starting this Saturday featuring the work of Tim Pearson.  WTIP volunteer Tracy Benson spoke with Carolyn Fritz of the Art Colony about July's events on North Shore Morning.

Painter and local artist, Tim Pearson, will be the July featured artist in the Spotlight Gallery.

Meet the Artist | July 5, 1-3pm
Exhibit open | July 5-31
120 West 3rd Avenue 

More information at available through the Grand Marais Art Colony - 218-387-2737.

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"Visit Cook County" appoints 2014-2015 board members, plans move

Wed, 07/02/2014 - 12:30pm

Visit Cook County (Cook County Visitors Bureau) has appointed its board of directors for the 2014-15 fiscal year.  The CCVB board works to ensures representation from every part of the county and oversees the marketing and promotion of all our natural wonders. 

Visit Cook County looks forward to an exciting year.  Linda Kratt, executive directive, dreams big.  "We have contracted with a marketing partner, Giant Voices from Duluth, as well as a media relations firm, LIN PR and Associates from the Metro area. The summer campaign includes complete bus wraps and the recent waterfall campaign drew much attention.  We've been featured three of the past four weekends in the Star Tribune and Pioneer Press."

The CCVB was formed in 2010 and combined the marketing efforts of the Gunflint Trail Association (GTA), Grand Marais Area Tourist Association (GMATA), Lutsen Tofte Schroeder Tourism Association (LTTA), and Grand Portage.  The administrative team and information centers in Grand Marais and Tofte support the tourism and marketing initiatives. 

Bob McCloughan will serve as board chair for 2014-15. Other executive committee members include Dave Tersteeg, Charles Skinner, Nancy Burns and Frank Vecchio.

A move on the horizon

The CCVB administrative team will soon be joining the Grand Marais Information Center team under one roof.  The final details are being finalized for purchase of the Gunflint Reality Building on Highway 61 (next to the Grand Marais Dairy Queen). 

The high visibility on Highway 61 will undoubtedly draw more visitors to the Info Center.  While the summer in Cook County is always busy (approximately 25,000 visitors during July, August and September), the highway presence will promote shoulder season visits.  

Tofte board approves Birch Grove Community School lease

Wed, 07/02/2014 - 12:28pm

On Tuesday, June 24, Tofte Township supervisors approved a one-year lease for the Birch Grove Community School at a special town board meeting.

The lease calls for the school to pay the Tofte township $37,502 to use 4,412 square feet of space in the Birch Grove Community Center building for the year 2014 - 2015.

Under terms of the agreement, the school will switch its office space with the office that currently houses the Birch Grove Foundation director.  Otherwise the school will use the classrooms it used last year and share the same common space (the gym, playground, hockey rink, tennis courts etc.) that the other three tenants now share at no additional charge.

The Birch Grove Foundation is in charge of the building and grounds while the town of Tofte owns the facility. The school is the biggest tenant in the building and a lease payment of $37,502 will go a long way towards paying the approximate $73,000 yearly operating cost for the community center

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

 www.cookcountynews-herald.com

The 9th Annual Hovland Arts Festival

Tue, 07/01/2014 - 12:17pm

Every year, artists get together at the Hovland Arts Festival to display and sell their works. One of the artists involved, Karen Cedarmoon, talked to WTIP about the festival, and art that will be featured there.

Program: 

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Pre-trial hearing for County Attorney Tim Scannell to be held July 3

Tue, 07/01/2014 - 10:38am

Court dates have been set for jury trial of Cook County Attorney Tim Scannell on two felony charges of fourth-degree criminal sexual conduct. On April 17, Court Administrator Diane Herrick-Schmidt issued the notice that Scannell is scheduled to appear in court again in July.

The case is scheduled for a pre-trial hearing at 1:30 p.m. on Thursday, July 3. A jury trial has been scheduled for July 21-25, beginning at 8:30 a.m. each day. The proceedings will be held in St. Louis County District Court in Duluth.

County Attorney Scannell has been free on his own recognizance since his October 2013 indictment with the condition that he has no contact with the alleged victim or with any of the witnesses in the case.

Scannell came under public scrutiny after a Cook County family concerned about the safety and wellbeing of their then-17-year-old daughter issued a harassment restraining order against him on December 4, 2012. An investigation and the grand jury indictment followed.

Scannell’s attorney, Joseph Tamburino argued for dismissal of the indictment at a March 27 hearing, but on April 11, Judge Shaun Floerke issued an opinion that the matter should proceed to trial. Because the age of consent in Minnesota is 16, the case may be decided by the jury on whether or not Scannell was in a position of authority over the girl at the time of the physical acts. According to court documents, Scannell had known the girl since she was in third grade. He had been her soccer coach, tennis coach, taught her guitar lessons, helped her with her homework and most recently, gave her advice on college planning.

If Scannell is found guilty of the charges, he could be sentenced to up to 10 years of incarceration and/or $20,000 on each count.

Scannell first became the center of media attention on December 15, 2011 when he was shot by a defendant he had successfully convicted of criminal sexual conduct with a teenaged girl.

Industrial arts expansion in final design phase

Tue, 07/01/2014 - 10:37am

At the Thursday, June 19 School District 166 board meeting, Ryan Erspamer from Architectural Resources presented an update concerning the industrial arts expansion project at the high school.

The project is scheduled to have a final design completed on July 1. A pre-bid conference will be held allowing potential contractors to do a walk-through of the space. The project is then anticipated to be put out for bids on July 21 with bids due back by August 6.

It will be close to the start of school before construction begins.

The current design calls for a 2,200 square foot addition, which is down from the original plan of an additional 2,500 feet.

The original budget of $750,000 for the project included $450,000 for the building itself but lacked an allowance for the remodeling of the existing building.

The budget currently stands at $783,000 for construction without including any additional equipment.

The total budget for the project is now $997,500 plus a ten percent contingency fund of $100,000. This figure would allow $250,000 to be spent on the purchase of new equipment.

Erspamer said the amount received by Architectural Resources is set and will not increase due to the increased project budget.

In addition to $750,000 of taconite funding slated for the project there is another $150,000 available from the sale of the west end of the ISD 166 building to the county for the Cook County Community YMCA. There may also be funds that can be accessed from the health and safety fund for certain improvements. Superintendent Beth Schwarz added that there are additional grant resources that have not yet been tapped in to.

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

 www.cookcountynews-herald.com