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News and other information from Cook County

Commissioners decide to reconsider and not reappoint engineer

Wed, 05/06/2015 - 6:08am

The Cook County Commissioners met in special session Tuesday to address questions regarding Highway Engineer David Betts and Highway Maintenance Supervisor Russell Klegstad.

Commissioner Frank Moe began the session to ask if any commissioner wished to reconsider the May 1 decision to re-appoint Betts.The commissioners voted unanimously to reconsider and then voted 3 – 1 to re-open the decision to re-appoint. Commissioners Doo-Kirk, Moe and Sivertson voted in favor of reconsideration with Commissioner Storlie voting to maintain the decision made Friday. Commissioner Gamble was not present.

To the county board, this action returned Betts to his employment status prior to the Friday meeting. Betts, present in the audience, objected. He cited the Friday decision as effectively rehiring him for a four-year term and he could only be removed under the circumstances specified in his contract. County Attorney Molly Hicken recommended the commissioners postpone any further action regarding Betts until after addressing those concerning Klegstad.

Since issues in the Klegstad case were essentially personnel matters, the meeting could, at Klegstad’s discretion, continue in a closed session. Klegstad opted to continue with the public forum.

As related by County Attorney Hicken, allegations were initially made anonymously through Commissioner Doo-Kirk that Klegstad had caused county equipment and time to be used for brush hogging and snow removal at his son’s property. In addition, Klegstad allegedly had displayed a volatile temper, used profanity, and made disparaging references to a former county commissioner during department staff meetings. David Betts, Klegstad’s supervisor, conducted an inquiry into the allegations and reported them as unsubstantiated.

Walk or run for animals in “Trails for Tails” May 9

Tue, 05/05/2015 - 6:57pm

The fifth-grade girls in Girl Scout Troop 4070 are concerned about homeless animals in the Northland. They don’t want to see pets in shelters go without necessary supplies, so they are hosting a special event on Saturday, May 9 called “Trails for Tails.”

The Girl Scouts explain that “Trails for Tails” is a fun run for everyone and their dogs…or rabbits…or cats. Any well-behaved animal on a leash (with current vaccinations) is welcome to walk or run with his or her person.

Trails for Tails will start at the Sawtooth Mountain Elementary School parking lot with two options for walking and running—a 2K walk through the woods behind the school and a ½-mile stroll on pavement. The longer run/walk begins at 10 a.m. and the shorter trek at 10:15 a.m.

Registration opens at 9 a.m. The cost is $15 for the 2k and $5 for the ½-mile run/walk, not to exceed $30 for families. The price includes a snack of cookies and water.

There will be a donation box for anyone who doesn’t want to participate in the walk but would like to donate to the Girl Scouts’ event. The girls are also hoping to have a silent auction at the start/finish line.

Dog biscuits made by the Girl Scouts will be on sale, as will delicious human treats, Girl Scout cookies.

There will be a Blessing of the Animals by Pastor Kris Garey of Trinity Lutheran Church at 9:45 a.m.

Trophies, made by the Girl Scouts, will be given to the top three finishers in each race.

Proceeds of the event will be used to purchase food, food dishes, cat litter, blankets and toys for Arrowhead Animal Rescue.

Anyone who would like more information can visit the Trails for Tails facebook page or call Troop Leader Michele Silence at (218) 370-9958.


Get your tickets now for the "Gala for the Grove"

Tue, 05/05/2015 - 6:47pm

Come one, come all! There are still a few tickets for the fifth “Gala for the Grove” Event on Saturday, May 9 in the Lakeside Ballroom at Surfside on Lake Superior.

The evening begins at 5 p.m. with a champagne social with hors d’oeuvres and silent auction/raffle items and concludes with dancing. In between attendees enjoy a fabulous dinner and a live auction of many amazing items.

Have a great night out while supporting Birch Grove Community School. Come with friends or make new ones at the Gala. This is a semi-formal event and all proceeds benefit Birch Grove Community School.

For tickets, visit and click on Gala for the Grove. For more information, call 218-663-0170.


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

WTIP offers 'Editing for Radio' workshops in May

Tue, 05/05/2015 - 1:57pm

If you have an interest in creating and sharing audio features on a variety of topics and subjects, WTIP is offering training as part of their Community Producers Project. WTIP volunteer Mary Manning spoke with Patrick Knight, Community Producers Project Coordinator, and Deb Benedict, WTIP station manager, on North Shore Morning. 

Stand alone sessions:
Thursdays, May 7, 14, 21, 28
6:30-7:30 pm at the station.
Registration/info page:

(Photo by Peter Miller on Flickr)


Violence Prevention Center provides guidelines for a safe prom season

Tue, 05/05/2015 - 1:57pm

May is prom season, and there are ways both parents and teens can ensure it’s a safe experience. WTIP volunteer Marnie McMillan spoke with Marybeth Wilkes of the Violence Prevention Center on North Shore Morning. 


Mental health topics addressed at May 7 workshops

Tue, 05/05/2015 - 1:57pm

‘Mental Illness in the Workplace’ and ‘Suicide Prevention Awareness’ are the topics at two workshops being offered in May. WTIP volunteer Mary Manning spoke with Amy Wood of the Minneapolis VA Health Care System on North Shore Morning.

For more information:

Brown Bag Lunch: Mental Illness in the Workplace

May 7, 2015
Noon - 1 pm
Instructor:  Amy Wood, Minneapolis VA Health Care System
Location:  Cook County Higher Education, 300 West 3rd Street, Grand Marais

Suicide Prevention Workshop

May 7, 2015
6 - 7 pm
Instructor:  Amy Wood
Location:  Cook County Higher Education, 300 West 3rd Street, Grand Marais MN

(Art work by Tim Young, featured on Cook County Higher Education website)