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News and other information from Cook County

Tracy Benson appointed to Grand Marais City Council seat

Thu, 02/05/2015 - 11:42am

Grand Marais City Councilors spent about 20 minutes at their Jan. 28 meeting discussing the merits and qualifications of the five citizens who expressed interest in filling the city council vacancy created when Jan Sivertson resigned to serve on the Cook County Board of Commissioners. Those seeking the council seat were Bob Spry, Daniel Ditmanson, Karen Blackburn, Reid Dusheck and Tracy Benson.

Mayor Jay Arrowsmith DeCoux said he was pleased that “five outstanding candidates” came forward and noted that “each brings something unique.”

During the course of the discussion, it became apparent that councilors were looking for diversity and someone with a strong financial background. Thus, the list was narrowed to Benson and Blackburn, both of whom were lauded for their business acumen and bookkeeping experience.

In fact, the two were regarded as so closely matched and well-qualified that it was finally suggested a coin toss be used to determine a winner. However, Councilor Dave Mills said he didn’t like the idea of a coin toss to make such an important decision and nominated Benson.

The vote to appoint Benson was unanimous. Following the vote, Benson was asked to leave her seat in the audience and join council at the table to participate in the remainder of the meeting. Blackburn was also in attendance and she thanked council for the consideration and kind words, and said there were no hard feelings.

Benson will serve the final two years of Sivertson’s term, until the end of 2016.


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



Catalyst Dance returning to Arrowhead Center for the Arts, February 7

Thu, 02/05/2015 - 11:39am

Emily Johnson and her award winning dance performance company "Catalyst" is  returning to Grand Marais with her troupe for a February 7 performance at the Arrowhead Center for the Arts. Johnson is brining "Niicugni" to the stage at 7:30 p.m.

An Alaskan native with Yup’ik roots, Johnson moved to the Twin Cities in the 1990s to attend the University of Minnesota to pursue a degree in physical therapy, but after attending a dance class she realized she loved to perform and she switched her major. In 1998 she began working on a creating performances that, “uniquely connect us to our land, our lives, and to each other.”

"Niicugni," is the second performance in a trilogy that took more than seven years to create. It is a Yup’ik word that means “listen” or “pay attention.” Johnson said it questions, “The ways we do and do not listen to our bodies, histories, impulses, and environments. It is performed within light/sound installations of hand-made fish skin lanterns that hang over the stage and audiences.”

The first performance in her trilogy was "The Thank-You Bar," and the last of the three is called "SHORE." Throughout the trilogy Johnson said she tries to “connect the audience to the land, or lives and to each other.”

For information on the show or tickets, call the Arrowhead Center for the Arts at 218-387-1284.


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


Sign up now for the "Building Better Homes" workshop

Wed, 02/04/2015 - 11:34am

Cook County Local Energy Project (CCLEP), the University of Minnesota Extension program, and Cook County Higher Education are partnering to sponsor a Building Better Homes Workshop on Thursday, February 12, 2015. The workshop is designed for building professionals, contractors, sub-contractors, building designers as well as interested homeowners.

Continuing education credits through the Department of Labor and Industry (DOLI) will be available.

CCLEP coordinator Virginia Danfelt encourages contractors to sign up for this important training. . S

Please contact Danfelt at (218) 475-2274 or Diane Booth (218) 387-3015.


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


County to consider new ARMER towers

Wed, 02/04/2015 - 9:39am

The Cook County board is being asked to add two ARMER towers for better emergency coverage.  The county ordinance calls for towers no higher than 199 feet. MnDOT wants the new towers to top out at 330 feet. WTIPs Jay Andersen spoke with county IT director Rena Rogers about the towers and the process from this point on.

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Fishing regulations changing on Saganaga, Sea Gull

Tue, 02/03/2015 - 4:01pm

Angling regulations will change on nearly three dozen waters this year, according to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. Among the changes anglers will see more restrictive walleye regulations in and around Saganaga Lake in Cook County.

In Saganaga, Sea Gull, and Gull lakes in Cook County and connected waters, walleye will have a 17-inch minimum length restriction and a bag limit of three.

The new regulation is established to protect small walleye to make the most of limited production of those fish from natural reproduction or stocking. Fish managers have been concerned for several years about low numbers of young walleye seen in these lakes, and the possibility that without some protection, those low numbers would result in even lower numbers of adult fish, with further reductions in spawning success.

Effects of this regulation will be studied for the next 10 years, and will be reviewed with the public in 2024.

Anglers who travel to Lake Winnibigoshish will have a relaxed, or narrower, protected slot limit for walleye. Other regulations are changing throughout the state, in Todd County, Grant County, Otter Tail, Beltrami, St. Louis and others.

Changed and new special and experimental regulations will be posted at public accesses on affected lakes and become effective March 1.

In most years, the DNR reviews the effectiveness of some existing regulations and also considers proposals for new regulations. After evaluating information collected from lake and angler surveys, the department takes public input before making decisions based on management goals. For more information, see


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


Catalyst Dance presents "Niicugni" February 7

Tue, 02/03/2015 - 2:54pm

Catalyst Dance will be returning to the Arrowhead Center for the Arts with a performance titled “Niicugni.” WTIP volunteer Marnie McMillan spoke with James Everest of Catalyst Dance on North Shore Morning. 


Date: Saturday, February 7, 2015
Time: 7:30 PM

Arrowhead Center for the Arts
51 West 5th Street
Grand Marais, MN 55604

Phone: (218) 387-1284x2


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