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News and other information from Cook County

Town Hall meetings in Colvill and Hovland, Tuesday and Wednesday

Tue, 03/10/2015 - 11:40am

Cook County Commissioner Frank Moe will be hosting two town hall meetings to give residents in his district the chance to learn more about the Comprehensive Land Use Guide Plan process. Commissioner Moe said, “The countywide planning process is happening and we on the East End need to decide what our involvement in that process is going to be.”

After information is given on the process to date, discussion will follow focusing on if and how residents in Colvill and Hovland want to participate.  Moe encouraged residents who can’t attend one of the meetings to contact him directly to express their opinions. 

The town hall meetings will be held at the Colvill Fire Hall and Chicago Bay Marketplace, because Moe said, those facilities are already heated, saving the expense of heating the county-owned town halls.

The meetings will conclude with decisions on if future town hall meetings will be held and what the topics of those town hall meetings will be. 

The first meeting will be at the Colvill Fire Hall on Tuesday, March 10 at 6:00 p.m.  The second meeting will be in Hovland at the Chicago Bay Marketplace on Wednesday, March 11 at 6:00 p.m. 


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

Judge to decide Lake View Dairy case within 90 days

Tue, 03/10/2015 - 8:31am

A public hearing was held at Cook County Courthouse yesterday in the ongoing case between the Lake View Natural Dairy of Grand Marais and the Minnesota Department of Agriculture.  Lake View owner David Berglund is being charged with contempt of court for denying the MDA to inspect his farm several times in 2014. Berglund could also be facing fines of $500 per day as well as the MDA’s court costs.

The case was heard by Judge Michael Cuzzo at 9am yesterday morning. Cuzzo stayed the order to inspect, taking under advisement a second ruling that would reconcile Berglund's constitutional-right claim and the state's request for inspection. Around 100 local residents showed up at the courthouse in support of Lake View dairy. Berglund appeared beside his attorney, Zenas Baer, but did not speak during the hearing. They were opposed by attorney Kimberly Mittendorf, representing the MDA. 

Baer claimed the Minnesota Constitution gives farmers the right to sell products of the farm, including those sold at Lake View, without government interference. Mittendorf claimed those constitutional rights still do not exempt him from required inspections, and that Berglund had other legal avenues to express his concerns. 

Judge Cuzzo said he will review the cases made from both parties and issue a written decision within 90 days of the hearing.  






West End township elections Tuesday

Mon, 03/09/2015 - 2:13pm

Elections for town board members will take place at the annual town meetings on Tuesday, March 10. There are candidates on the ballot for all three townships, but only one has a contested race, in Schroeder.

 In Schroeder, incumbent Supervisor Deb Johnson is being challenged by former West End Commissioner Bruce Martinson.

The incumbent treasurer in Schroeder, Alisha Kangas has said she is running for reelection.

In Lutsen, acting Supervisor Larry McNeally is running for the seat he has been filling since it was vacated by Ginny Storlie when she was elected as county commissioner. McNeally was appointed to fill the vacancy on December 16.

Lutsen’s incumbent Treasurer John Groth is running for reelection.

Tofte incumbent Supervisor Paul James is running for reelection despite some recent health concerns. Reached by phone on March 3, James said, “My name is still on the ballot. I haven’t been real active lately because of some health issues. But I’m trying to get my health back and I will still be involved."

Running for treasurer in Tofte is new candidate Erin Huggins. She is keeping the tradition of a Huggins family member in the role. Previous treasurers have been her in-laws, Bill Huggins and Mary Jane Huggins!

The polls are open at the individual townships from 5 – 8 p.m. The annual meetings begin at 8 p.m.


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

Sugarloaf Cove offers March 14 presentation on Mercury Measurement in Birds of Prey

Mon, 03/09/2015 - 11:48am

There is relatively little known about mercury levels in wild birds of prey, and there will be an opportunity to learn more at this weekend’s presentation at Sugarloaf Cove Nature Center in Schroeder. WTIP host Jana Berka spoke with Ted Keyel of UMD on North Shore Morning.

(Photo by Keith Carver on Flickr) 



Birds of Prey and Mercury
Saturday, March 14 at 10 am
Sugarloaf Cove Nature Center

Mercury levels vary across species and within species. While mercury levels are widely studied in birds, there is relatively little known about mercury levels in wild birds of prey. UMD graduate student, Ted Keyel, will describe his work collecting and analyzing breast feathers for mercury content from raptors banded at Hawk Ridge Bird Observatory in Duluth, MN. The goal of this study is to create a baseline data set of mercury levels in raptors.


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Local dairy farmer heading to court

Fri, 03/06/2015 - 3:45pm

Cook County residents and North Shore visitors have been making the drive to the Berglund farm in the Maple Hill area of Grand Marais for decades to purchase locally produced eggs and dairy products. Many were unaware that for the last two years, Lake View Natural Dairy has been quietly waging a bureaucratic battle that has led to potential contempt of court charges for David Berglund because he has refused to submit to a state order for inspection of his dairy operations.

Court documents show that the Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) took the matter to the Sixth Judicial District Court after “repeated attempts” to inspect the dairy, beginning in Feb. 2013.

The MDA sites Minnesota Stat. 32.103 and states that the inspection is necessary to determine if Lake View Natural Dairy is in compliance with Minnesota food laws and rules concerning production of food for human consumption

In the complaint filed in Cook County court, MDA stated that “before Mr. Berglund refused an inspection, MDA Inspectors observed a retail store on the premises that offered eggs, cookies, whole milk, chocolate milk, skim milk, colostrum, cream, yogurt and buttermilk for sale.”

Of special concern to the MDA is the fact that the Lake View Natural Dairy manufactures and sells unpasteurized dairy products, which according to court documents, are prohibited by Minnesota and federal law or are subject to various restrictions.

Because David Berglund continued to refuse access for MDA, the agency is seeking a finding of civil contempt, which could mean fines of up to $500 a day. MDA is also asking that Berglund be ordered to pay MDA’s costs related to the case.

Grand Marais chosen as "Coolest Small Town In America"

Thu, 03/05/2015 - 5:29pm

Grand Marais has been chosen the “Coolest Small Town in America” and there will be a “Toast the Town” party Friday evening, March 6. WTIP volunteer Marnie McMillan spoke with Kjersti Vick and Linda Kratt of Visit Cook County on North Shore Morning. 

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