Around Cook County

News and other information from Cook County

"Feelin' Groovy" membership drive a success!

Wed, 07/15/2015 - 5:29pm
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WTIP wrapped up our “Feelin’ Groovy” membership drive at noon on Monday, July 13, and we have a lot of people to thank for helping us meet, and exceed our goal of $30,000. A total of $31,514 was raised!
 
Overall, we heard from 67 new members, 256 renewing members, for a total of 323 pledges this drive.
 
We'd like to thank EVERYONE who helped to make this a successful drive!   All of this would not have been possible without the support of:

  • Listener-members (both new and renewing)
  • Many, many cats and dogs who pledged their support!
  • On-air volunteers
  • Phone answerers
  • Businesses and individuals who provided food and snacks
  • Arrowhead Pharmacy for providing and cooking lunch on Friday
  • Musicians who provided live music
  • Community members who brought in special gifts to offer to those who pledged
  • Our prize drawing providers:Tuscarora Lodge, Stone Harbor Wilderness Supply and Sherrie Lindskog

 
As always, this community steps forward to make wonderful things happen.  Thank you again, we truly are "Feelin' Groovy".
 

"Moon Over Buffalo" opens July 16 at Arrowhead Center for the Arts

Wed, 07/15/2015 - 12:49pm
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“Moon Over Buffalo” is a comic play set in Buffalo, New York, in the 1950s and will open July 16 as part of the Grand Marais Playhouse Summer Festival. WTIP volunteer Mark Abrahamson spoke with Marcia Hyatt and Jan Healy of the Playhouse on North Shore Morning.  

For more information call 218-387-1284 or go to Arrowhead Center for the Arts.

Listen: 

Water advisories on local beaches lifted after retesting

Wed, 07/15/2015 - 11:36am

The Minnesota Department of Health warned people to avoid contact with the water at three Grand Marais beaches on Lake Superior on July 13. Since then the water has been re-tested and the advisories on both beaches have been lifted.

Water samples collected Monday, July 13 at the Old Shore Road beach and the Grand Marais downtown beach in downtown Grand Marais and the Schroeder Town Park beach contained elevated levels of E. coli bacteria, indicating the possible presence of fecal contamination.

Re-testing on July 14 found that the water at all three beaches had returned to acceptable levels and now has a “water contact acceptable” rating.

Beach monitoring also takes place at the following beaches in Cook County:  Chicago Bay boat launch in Hovland; Paradise Beach, Kadunce Creek, Durfee Creek in Colvill; Old Shore Road, Cutface Creek Wayside Rest; Temperance River State Park, Schroeder Town Park and Sugarloaf Cove Beach in Schroeder. All received water contact acceptable ratings.

A number of factors, such as dog, geese and other wildlife feces, dirty diapers, failing septic systems and sewer line breaks and overflows, can contribute to higher levels of illness-causing bacteria.

The Minnesota Lake Superior Beach Monitoring Program offers the following tips to minimize risks associated with potential water contamination. Its website recommends waiting 24 hours before going swimming after a heavy rainfall and showering after swimming or recreating at the beach. It also advises that beach goers do not swallow water and that they try to keep face and head out of the water. If possible, the website says to wear earplugs and goggles. Finally, it advises people with weakened immune systems not to swim.

Anyone who becomes ill after contacting beach water is asked to contact the Minnesota Department of Health at (877) 366-3455.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services studying comments on northern long-eared bat

Wed, 07/15/2015 - 11:35am

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service received  “approximately 666” total comments on the 4(d) rule put in place for the northern long-eared bat after it extended its public comment period to July 1, 2015.

“We intend to finalize the 4(d) rule [which addresses exemptions for some activities that may affect the bat] by the end of 2015,” said Georgia Parham, who works in the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Midwest regional external affairs office in Bloomington, Indiana.

“The status of the bat was finalized earlier this year,” said Parham to the Cook County News-Herald.

According to Parham, the bat has been listed as threatened.

Since 2006 bats in the eastern part of the country have been infected from a fungus called white-nose syndrome. Hibernating bats in caves and mine shafts have died by the millions after being infected with the fungus that turns their noses white and causes them to wake up and fly out into the cold during the day. The bats often freeze or starve to death because there are no bugs to catch. The fungus also causes wounds to wing tissue and dehydration.

To date the disease has been discovered in 28 of 37 states where the bats live.

By using the threatened status the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service will be able to search for ways to cure the disease and implement protections for the bat’s habitat, efforts they hope will help the bat make a comeback.

The forest products industry fought to keep the bat off of the Endangered Species List because that would have shut down logging in June and July when the bats are roosting in trees with their young.

The interim 4(d) rule allows flexibility to land owners, land managers, government agencies and others as they work or conduct activities in the northern long-eared bats habitat. But just what that means to local forestry businesses and trails is not yet known.

Dr. Seth Moore discusses Grand Portage request that Governor change moose collaring stance

Wed, 07/15/2015 - 9:19am
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Dr. Seth Moore is Director of Biology and Environment with the Grand Portage Band of Lake Superior Chippewa. He joined WTIP’s Jay Andersen on “Daybreak” Wednesday, to talk about a letter recently sent to Gov. Mark Dayton by Grand Portage Band Chairman Norman Deschampe, asking Dayton to reconsider authorizing moose capture and collaring by the Minnesota DNR.

The Governor instructed the DNR to discontinue collaring after a number of moose died as a result of the procedure.

Dr. Moore said the decision by the Governor effectively crippled the Band’s ability to partner with the DNR in moose research and has implications for the continued  health of the entire Northeastern Minnesota moose population.

 

Listen: 

Commissioners schedule ATV ordinance public hearing

Wed, 07/15/2015 - 6:38am

At their July 14 meeting, Cook County commissioners reviewed proposed changes to the Cook County ATV ordinance. The changes, if adopted, will permit Class 1 ATVs to travel legally on the Gunflint Trail from Pine Mountain Road (FR 154) to South Brute Road (FR 325) and from Lima Grade Road (FR 315) to the Old Gunflint Trail (CR 92). The justification for the change is to provide a connection between two sections of the existing ATV trail network.

While ATV advocates and numerous Gunflint Trail businesses see this as a low-impact way to increase the area’s appeal to recreational ATV use, opponents argue it will degrade the Trail’s character as a National Scenic Byway and negatively impact the experience of the many visitors who travel the highway.

A public hearing is now set for July 28 at 10 a.m. during the regularly scheduled county board meeting.

In other business, the board unanimously approved a proposal by Commissioner Garry Gamble to establish an upper limit for 2016 discretionary funding in the amount of 4% of the previous year county tax levy. The percentage is based on discretionary funding as a percentage of the levy in years 2005 through 2015.

While voting in support of the proposal as an experiment for the coming year, Commissioner Jan Sivertson expressed her concern that it might restrict the ability of the county to respond in cases of exceptional financial need.