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WTIP Weekend News Roundup for January 23, 2016

Sat, 01/23/2016 - 10:42am

Each week the WTIP news staff compiles a review of news from the previous five days. There’s a significant retirement pending at the county, a shared superintendent is possible, Congress again tries delisting wolves and the courts keep haze reduction over the wilderness on track…all this and more in the week’s news.


Nice winter weather ahead

Thu, 01/21/2016 - 11:31am

Warmer weather this weekend. Should be a good time to get out and enjoy the winter. WTIP’s Jay Andersen spoke with National Weather Service meteorologist Carol Christenson.


Townships have candidates for upcoming elections

Thu, 01/21/2016 - 10:53am

Although township elections are not held until March, the time for citizens interested in running for a town board seat ended January 12, 2016. Unlike some years when the townships have struggled to find citizens interested in serving, there are candidates for each position up for election, and in Tofte there is a race between two candidates for supervisor.

In Lutsen, the supervisor seat currently held by Tim Goettl is on the ballot. Goettl did not file for re-election. However, a citizen did submit her name to be placed on the ballot. Rae Piepho filed to run for supervisor.

In November, Sharon Hexum Platzer was appointed by the town board to serve as clerk, to fill the unexpired term of Amity Goettl. Goettl submitted her resignation in November. Hexum Platzer has filed to run for the town clerk position.

Tofte is the only township that will have two names on the ballot. Incumbent Supervisor Jim King has filed to run once again. Sarah Somnis is also running for the seat.

The clerk position is currently held by Barb Gervais and she filed to run for re-election.

Tofte has an additional spot on the ballot for a one-year term for treasurer. Erin Huggins was unable to serve as treasurer after being elected in 2015 and Nancy Iverson has been filling that role.  Iverson has filed to serve the unexpired term. 

There are no contested races in Schroeder. Incumbent Supervisor Tina McKeever has filed for re-election as has Clerk Doug Schwecke.

However, Schwecke told the News-Herald, “Write-ins are welcome!”



This local news is provided by the Cook County News-Herald. Visit the community newspaper at

SplinterTones invite all to dance at the Community Center log building

Thu, 01/21/2016 - 3:38am

SplinterTones, a six-piece band based in Grand Marais, will perform at 7 p.m. Jan. 23 at the Cook County Community Center log building.

The ensemble plays a blend of hep and snappy tunes in a unique and unmistakable style. Noted for their vibrant vocal harmonies, colorful stage presence and strong rhythmic grooves, SplinterTones crowd the dance floor with legions of enthusiastic dancers.

The group performs at music festivals, wedding dances, town halls, clubs, parties and celebrations throughout the region. Its members include Max Bichel, fiddle/vocals; Liz Sivertson, saxophone/vocals; Leah Thomas, accordion/vocals; John Gruber, guitar/vocals; Jeff DeShaw, bass; and Rick Brandenburg, drums.

SplinterTones are on Facebook and YouTube. An archived television performance is available on The PlayList,  WDSE TV, Duluth.

Borealis Chorale and Orchestra to perform "Crazy Cold Beautiful" - February 5&6

Wed, 01/20/2016 - 1:58pm

The Borealis Chorale and Orchestra will be performing a musical work inspired by the John Beargrease Sled Dog Marathon. WTIP volunteer Sherrie Lindskog spoke with director, Bill Beckstrand, in this interview.
There will be two performances of Crazy Cold Beautiful: Friday, February 5, from 7 to 8 pm at the Bethlehem Lutheran Church in Grand Marais, and February 6 from 4 to 6 pm at the Sacred Heart Music Center in Duluth.

(Photo courtesy of Markus Jobstl on Flickr)


Cook County health and human services director to retire

Wed, 01/20/2016 - 9:18am

During a meeting of the Cook County Commissioners on Tuesday, Jan. 19, Cook County Public Health and Human Services Director Sue Futterer announced she plans to retire in July.

Futterer made the announcement public during a joint meeting of the Humans Services Board and the commissioners. Her last day of work with the county is slated for July 8. She told county staff of her plans to retire earlier Tuesday morning.

“It’s been a very difficult decision and one I’ve been thinking about for a long time,” Futterer said during Tuesday’s meeting.

Futterer said she has been talking with County Administrator Jeff Cadwell about future plans for the Public Health and Human Services Department, including her retirement. Futterer said during the last round of establishing the county budget she explained to Cadwell her intentions to retire in 2016.

Although the commissioners appeared saddened by the news, Commissioner Frank Moe jokingly made a motion not to accept Futterer’s retirement plans. Commissioner Jan Sivertson followed suit, making a motion to “clone” Futterer so her services and experience can continue to beneficial for Cook County.

Futterer said she will help the county transition while a new director for human services is found. Cadwell told Futterer he plans to post the job opening soon, as the directors for health and human services in both Lake and St. Louis counties also plan to retire this year.

“People have gone through change and change is good, new leadership is good, and everybody will be fine,” Futterer said.