Around Cook County

News and other information from Cook County

Champagne Bonspiel bubbles with excitment

Mon, 01/23/2017 - 10:55am

By Joanne Smith

The Cook County Curling Club hosted its first Two-Person Open Champagne Bonspiel with 16 teams participating.

Let the fun begin at Grand Portage Lodge and Casino

Mon, 01/23/2017 - 10:47am

After months of intensive construction, Grand Portage Lodge and

LSProject: Winter studies of water along North Shore focus on the future

Sun, 01/22/2017 - 12:27pm

A pair of studies focusing on the health of water in Lake Superior and the surrounding watersheds are the focus of this segment in the Lake Superior Project. WTIP’s Joe Friedrichs brings us this report on the studies and why they are important for the future of the North Shore’s clean water. 


Weekend News Roundup for January 21

Sat, 01/21/2017 - 11:24am

Each week the WTIP news staff compiles a review of news from the previous five days. Travel to the ice caves is not safe. Wolves could be delisted again. There are invasive species in some imported rustic furniture and there’s plenty of shipping news on the Great Lakes…all this and more in the week’s news.


Grand Marais women prepare for Haiti mission trip

Fri, 01/20/2017 - 12:06pm

Valita Bockovich and Gloria Johnson of Grand Marais have established a relationship with the people of the Fountain of Christ School in Haiti. They are preparing for a trip to Haiti, leaving the North Shore on January 29.

This is the second trip for both women and they share some of their thoughts on the experience and their upcoming trip in this interview with WTIP’s Rhonda Silence. 


WTIP shares the latest Law Enforcement report

Fri, 01/20/2017 - 2:11am




Winter grooming of bike trails at Pincushion under trial period

Thu, 01/19/2017 - 3:43pm

The USDA Forest Service Gunflint Ranger District, in collaboration with the North Superior Ski & Run Club and the Superior Cycling Association have drafted a plan to allow grooming of single track mountain bike trails at Pincushion Mountain for a one-year trial period during this winter.  Grooming of the Pincushion single track bike trails during the trial period will allow for the use of fat tire bikes.

Pincushion is a favorite destination for visitors to the North Shore as well as local residents.  And while there is much enthusiasm and excitement about the prospect of winter fat biking on the single track bike trails at Pincushion, preserving the integrity of the cross country ski trails at Pincushion is paramount, according to the Forest Service.

A plan has been drafted outlining several standards for trail maintenance and rider etiquette designed to minimize the impact on existing skiing opportunities on the Pincushion Trail network.  Included in this plan are an inventory of single track bike trails that will be open to winter use, a grooming schedule and signage requirements.

The Forest Service notes that the success of the trial period is entirely dependent on fat tire biker compliance.  Fat tire bikes will only be permitted on single track trails with the exception of a portion of the East Overlook ski trail where dogs are also allowed.  Reports of fat bike use on any other ski trails could result in closing the single track bike trails to winter fat bike use, says the US Forest Service.

If the trial period is successful the Forest Service will consider an extension of this trial period for future years at Pincushion Mountain. 

For more information contact Cathy Quinn at the Gunflint Ranger Station at 218-387-3240.


Rain-snow mix, 30 to 60 percent chance over weekend

Thu, 01/19/2017 - 11:38am

Because of down telephone service, we’ve been unable to speak directly to the National Weather Service in Duluth. However we have been consulting their website.

The most recent forecast calls for mostly cloudy skies tonight, with a low around 32. Southwest wind 5 to 10 mph.

On Friday expect a slight chance of freezing rain between 9 a.m. and 10 a.m. then a chance of rain. Cloudy, with a high near 39. Calm wind becoming east around 5 mph in the afternoon. Chance of precipitation is 40%.

Friday night, Rain and snow likely before 1a.m., then a chance of snow between 1 and 5 a.m., then a chance of rain and snow after 5. Cloudy, with a low around 33. East wind around 5 mph. Chance of precipitation is 60%.

Saturday there’s a chance of rain and snow before noon, then a chance of rain between noon and 5 p.m., then a chance of rain and snow after 5. Cloudy, with a high near 39. East wind 5 to 10 mph, with gusts as high as 15 mph. Chance of precipitation is 30%.

Saturday night A chance of rain and snow before 7 p.m., then a chance of snow between 7 p.m. and 10 p.m., then a chance of rain and snow after 10. Cloudy, with a low around 34. Chance of precipitation is 50%.

Sunday. A chance of rain and snow before 8 in the morning, then a chance of rain between then and 4 p.m. A chance of rain and snow after 4. Cloudy, with a high near 39.

Sunday night there’s a slight chance of snow before 11p.m., then a slight chance of rain and snow between 11 and midnight, then a slight chance of snow after midnight. Cloudy, with a low around 32.



911 and land-line telephone service down across most of county

Thu, 01/19/2017 - 9:53am
From the WTIP News Desk (as of midnight, Thurs, 1/19):
Phone service, including 911, across the majority of Cook County is currently unavailable. CenturyLink, the phone service provider, is dispatching a repair crew to locate the problem and restore service as soon as possible.
In the event that anyone needs emergency assistance, they should go to the nearsest Fire Hall, as each hall is being staffed while 911 service is affected.  Click here to be directed to a website with area Fire Hall locations and information.

At approximately midnight today, Cook County Sheriff's Office Dispatch was notified via radio from Grand Portage Casino that surveillance was unable to contact 911 or the non-emergency Sheriff's Office number 218-387-3030. Upon further testing, it has been determined that only the Gunflint area and 663- exchange numbers (Schroeder, Lutsen, Tofte area), are currently able to call 911, and that all other areas of the County are not able to call 911 or make other landline calls. Cell phone to cell phone calls are functioning, but calls to landline phones are not working.

According to Sheriff Pat Eliasen, deputies are on duty patrolling the county and personnel have been sent to fire halls to be a physical and technological link to Dispatch and emergency services through the ARMER radio system.

It is unknown how long it will take to repair the damaged fiber and restore 911 and extended telephone service to the area.

County likely to allow parking on both sides in Middle Gunflint area during Beargrease

Wed, 01/18/2017 - 11:45am

Update: From Cook County Administrator Jeff Cadwell about the parking situation:

“After consultation with the County Highway department and the Sheriff’s office we have recommended that the stipulation attached to the Joh BearGrease sled dog event permit regarding one side of the road parking be removed and that the event be conducted as it has been in the past.  We have asked event planners and organizers to be mindful and responsive to situations which may affect transportation or public safety concerns and they have assured us that they will do so.  County staff and event organizers will meet to debrief and begin planning for future events after the completion of the race.”

As of 10:30 a.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 18, there was no final decision on parking in the Middle Gunflint area with regard to the upcoming John Beargrease Sled Dog Marathon.

But according to Cook County Administrator Jeff Cadwell, a decision is likely to be made no later than Thursday morning, and in all likelihood will result in allowing parking on both sides of the Gunflint Trail during the race.

The audio file posted below is what Cadwell told WTIP Wednesday morning regarding the parking situation.

There were a number of statements issued during the public comment period of Tuesday’s meeting of the Cook County Commissioners. The comments came from Beargrease organizers, participants and supporters. The statements from the public urged the board of commissioners to reverse their decision made Jan. 10 to allow parking on one side of the road during the Beargrease.

The John Beargrease Sled Dog Race starts on Sunday, Jan. 29, with the busiest day of traffic in the Middle Gunflint Trail expected to be Monday, Jan. 30.

Grand Marais Playhouse joins The Ghost Light Project

Mon, 01/16/2017 - 6:24pm

The Ghost Light Project is a national initiative of community theaters across the United States. Inspired by a long-time theatrical tradition, an event is planned for theaters coast to coast on Thursday, January 19, the eve of the Presidential Inauguration.

The Grand Marais Playhouse is participating in the event. Rhonda Silence finds out more in this interview with Playhouse Artistic Director Sue Hennessy. 


View more news from WTIP

A great week for getting out and enjoy winter

Mon, 01/16/2017 - 11:24am

This will be a great week to get out and enjoy January! Sunny skies, no snowfall and the best winter has to offer for sledding and skiing.  WTIP’s Jay Andersen spoke with National Weather Service Meteorologist Carol Christenson.


Tait Lake focus of algae study for Minnesota agency

Mon, 01/16/2017 - 6:09am

A research associate with UMD’s Natural Resources Research Institute is seeking to understand harmful algae blooms in Minnesota, including a lake in Cook County. WTIP’s Joe Friedrichs finds out more in this interview. 


Weekend News Roundup for January 14

Sat, 01/14/2017 - 11:38am

Each week the WTIP news staff compiles a review of news from the previous five days. Ciscos in Lake Superior, A new Superintendent at Grand Portage Monument. A move to take wolves off endangered list. Chemicals in our lakes and a near disaster for Lonnie Dupre …all this and more in the week’s news.



CCHS Alpine teams take first at Moose Mountain Invite

Fri, 01/13/2017 - 7:20pm

The Cook County Vikings hosted the Moose Mountain Invite at Lutsen Mountains on Thursday, January 12. The Alpine skiers were not bothered by the cold as the boys' and girls' teams both finished first. 

Rhonda Silence talks to Alpine Coach Charles Lamb about the meet. 

The next event for the Alpine team is the HIbbing Invite at Giants Ridge in Biwabik on Thursday, January 19. 


January 9, 2017
1:10 a.m. Best Western Superior Inn, Grand Marais   Aston Martin car left in parking lot. Caller ok with it being there. Just thought it was odd. Thought it might be stolen or something.  
6:27 a.m. County Road 14,Colvill Party states a Subaru is parked at the Superior Hiking Trail in a bad location.   
7:31 a.m. Mile marker 90, Lutsen  Safe routes to school.  
8:28 a.m. Law Enforcement Center  Picking prisoner in Wright Co for Cook County court.  
8:53 a.m. West Highway 61, Lutsen Traffic stop, citation issued.  
9:23 a.m. Law Enforcement Center  Assist the jail.  
9:55 a.m. Grand Portage  Papers served.  
10:03 a.m. East Highway 61, Grand Portage Papers served.  
11:07 a.m. Bay Estates Drive, Grand Portage Parking complaint.  
11:42 a.m. Grand Portage  Lost wallet.  
2:35 p.m. Law Enforcement Center  Received a permit to carry renewal application.   
8:03 p.m. 5th Ave, Grand Marais  Car stuck in a snow bank here at this location.   
8:26 p.m. Grand Marais   Attempt to pick up on warrant.  
9:22 p.m. Law Enforcement Center  Transporting a male to home.   
10:55 p.m. Lutsen Resort Employee Housing Party wants to report an assault.  
January 10
5:02 a.m. Mile marker 99, Highway 61  Dead deer in the middle of the road, southbound lane.  
7:36 a.m. Cook County High School School patrol.  
7:50 a.m. Cook County High School   Safe routes to school.  
9:16 a.m. Law Enforcement Center  Party was in for fingerprinting.  
11:01 a.m. Wisconsin Street, Grand Marais  Welfare check on party requested.  
11:46 a.m. Law Enforcement Center  Permit to carry application.  
11:47 a.m. Law Enforcement Center  Permit to carry application.    
11:58 a.m. West Highway 61, Tofte  911 hang up. On callback stated it was a false alarm.  
12:47 p.m. East Highway 61  Traffic stop, warning given.  
1:00 p.m. Law Enforcement Center  Inmate transport.  
3:02 p.m. East Highway 61, Grand Portage Out with vehicle.  
4:07 p.m. Cook County Courthouse Report of threats made.  
4:53 p.m. County Road 6, Grand Marais Lost dog, Brittany orange and white female, goes by the name of Chloe   
5:03 p.m. Grand Marais  Party states her neighbor fell and hurt her leg.   
6:49 p.m. Island Road  No answer. Has dialed three times.   
7:43 p.m. Grand Portage   Party is acting weird. Party does not want person there.  
9:01 p.m. East Highway 61, Grand Marais Someone was knocking at her door and when she got to the door no one was there.   
9:34 p.m. East Highway 61, Grand Marais  Fire alarm. Smoke detector, false alarm.  
9:44 p.m. West Highway 61, Lutsen Burglary alarm. Living room, clear.  
10:15 p.m. Grand Marais  Party is drunk and wandering around in parking lot.  
January 11
3:10 a.m. Oddz & Endz, Grand Marais Business check.  
3:21 a.m. Grand Portage  Report of a trespasser. Male arrested for trespassing.   
6:01 a.m. Grand Marais  CO monitor going off.   
7:24 a.m. Grand Portage  Party complaining of dizziness   
8:07 a.m. Cook County High School School patrol.  
10:03 a.m. Law Enforcement Center  Permit to carry application.   
10:12 a.m. Grand Portage  Traffic stop, warning given.  
1:00 p.m. East Highway 61 Party concerned regarding ad in Sell and Swap with his infant in it.  
1:13 p.m. Law Enforcement Center  Party would like to speak to law enforcement.  
3:38 p.m. West Highway 61, Grand Marais Party states a deer was hit in front of her house. Needs to be dispatched.   
4:07 p.m. 5th Ave. West, Grand Marais Party reports a two car accident in front of hospital. No injuries.   
6:14 p.m. North Shore Health Care Center Locked out of vehicle and was wondering who to call. Party will try to contact North Coast Towing.  
7:04 p.m. Grand Portage  Attempted to pick up party with warrant.  
January 12
1:05 a.m. Grand Marais Public Library Out with vehicle running.  
4:03 a.m. Stevens Road, Grand Portage Burglary alarm.  
7:37 a.m. Law Enforcement Center  Transporting prisoner to St. Cloud.  
7:56 a.m. Cook County High School School patrol.  
8:17 a.m. Upper Rd, Grand Portage Safe routes to school.  
8:41 a.m. Homestead Cooperative, Grand Marais Medical assistance needed.   
9:56 a.m. East Highway 61, Grand Marais Traffic stop, warning given.  
10:03 a.m. East Highway 61, Grand Marais Traffic stop, warning given.  
10:15 a.m. Grand Portage Ride provided to pedestrian.   
10:23 a.m. Grand Portage  Ride to pedestrian.  
12:18 p.m. Cook County courthouse  Vulnerable adult team meeting.  
1:53 p.m. Grand Marais  Daughter lost small leather card case with 2 credit cards inside.   
2:04 p.m. Grand Portage Community Center  Attempt to pick up party with warrant.  
3:42 p.m. Law Enforcement Center  Brought in wallet/coin purse that belongs to party.  
3:48 p.m. Lutsen Resort, Lutsen  911 hang up call from Lutsen Resort.  Cook County called back and desk was checking on it. Turns out to be misdial, no emergency.  
3:55 p.m. Gunflint Trail/Greenwood Road  Tree blocking the southbound lane of Gunflint Trail between Greenwood rRoad and South Brule.   
4:44 p.m. Law Enforcement Center  Arrest made on Cook County warrant.  
5:16 p.m. Grand Portage  60-year-old female need to go in ambulance.  
6:59 p.m. Law Enforcement Center  911 call - no voice on the phone. Callback was answered, but hung up. 2nd call back went to voicemail with no name, phone, no location.  
10:27 p.m. Grand Marais Male having diabetic issues.   
January 13
9:57 a.m. Clearwater/Gunflint Trail and Spur Trails Need medical assistance.  
10:18 a.m. Grand Marais   Getting harassed for a couple of months.   
11:16 a.m. East Highway 61 Traffic stop, citation issued.  
11:25 a.m. Law Enforcement Center  Requested call from deputy.   
12:04 p.m. Law Enforcement Center  Transporting prisoner from St Louis County to Lake County jail.  
3:05 p.m. Law Enforcement Center  Anonymous report of party going to Duluth today to pick up drugs.  
3:29 p.m. East Highway 61, Hovland Papers served.  
3:51 p.m. Grand Portage  Papers served.  
4:02 p.m. Schroeder  Child protection report.  
5:32 p.m. Grand Portage Fire Department Out with vehicle parked.  
6:58 p.m. West Highway 61  Traffic stop, warning given.  
8:55 p.m. Grand Portage  Vehicle off road.  
January 14
12:41 a.m. West Highway 61, Grand Marais Traffic stop, warning given.  
11:00 a.m. 8 Ave. West/West 2 St, Grand Marais  Vehicle travelling down W. 2nd St tried to stop at stop sign at 8th Ave W. and slid through. Is very icy there, possibly due to the temperature change.   
11:08 a.m. Law Enforcement Center  911 hang up from cell phone - no GPS location available. Cook County rang back and left message on voicemail.   
11:40 a.m. West Highway 61, Lutsen Traffic stop, warning given.  
11:51 a.m. West Highway 61, Tofte Traffic stop, citation issued.  
12:37 p.m. Grand Marais  Medication missing.  
1:29 p.m. Devil Track Road, Grand Marais  Traffic stop, warning given.  
1:48 p.m. Lutsen Mountains Ski Patrol Party unconscious for 3-4 min.  
2:14 p.m. East Highway 61 Trailer parked in his yard. No license, is concerned might be stolen.   
3:07 p.m. East Highway 61, Hovland Papers served.  
3:08 p.m. East Highway 61 Vehicle parked at this location near the fog line; appears to have hit a deer.  
3:36 p.m. Grand Portage  Papers served.  
3:59 p.m. East Highway 61 Traffic stop, citation issued.  
3:15 p.m. Clearview General Store, 2lut  Follow-up of who was in a previous snowmobile accident.  
5:22 p.m. Grand Portage Community Center  Foot patrol.  
7:53 p.m. East Highway 61 Papers served.  
7:54 p.m. Grand Portage Papers served.  
9:56 p.m. Law Enforcement Center  Traffic stop, clear.  
11:48 p.m. Grand Portage Casino  Foot patrol.  
12:54 a.m. East Highway 61 Missing dog, black and white fox terrier, black collar, no ID. Dog’s name is Xena.   
January 15
1:18 a.m. Arrowhead Trail, Hovland Traffic stop, advised.  
11:35 a.m. Quist Rd, Grand Marais Power is out.  
12:02 a.m. Law Enforcement Center  Requested welfare check on party.   
1:39 p.m. East Highway 61, Grand Portage  Papers served.  
2:23 p.m. Artist Point, Grand Marais  East side at the water's edge is a pile of clothing, a satchel and closer to the water’s edge are a pair of Crocks.  
3:00 p.m. Chicago Bay Marketplace, Hovland Assist Minnesota State Patrol.   
3:37 p.m. Law Enforcement Center  Permit to carry application received.  
4:16 p.m. The Grade/Sawbill Traill US Forest Service is unable to meet their co-worker at the above intersection. Needs someone to contact party to notify them. The farthest they made it was to Windy Lake   
4:31 p.m. Grand Portage  Papers served.             
6:13 p.m. Devil Track Road, Grand Marais  Vehicle axle with tires on side of road