The following content was contributed by Cook County News Herald

Grand Portage advises National Park Service not to introduce more wolves to Isle Royale at this time

Fri, 03/24/2017 - 9:17am

Wait at least ten years before introducing any new wolves to Isle Royale.

That is the recommendation Grand Portage Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Tribe recently sent to Phyllis Green, Superintendent of Isle Royale National Park.

With only two wolves remaining on the island, the park service has touted a plan to introduce 20 to 30 wolves in part to try to keep the moose numbers in check. Currently it is estimated there are 1,400 moose on Isle Royale.

In its letter to Green, which was signed by Norman Deschampe, chairman of the band,  “The Grand Portage Band of Lake Superior Chippewa recommends against reintroducing wolves now and reconsidering further after the effects of their loss are measured and sufficient time has elapsed to allow for natural recolonization of wolves from the mainland. We feel that the current DEIS does not fully outline all the potential options and we recommend an additional option. We support the development and adoption of Option E: Do not stock wolves now and reconsider after at least a decade post-extinction of wolves and if other metrics of ecosystem change have been met. This option includes the development of a scientific advisory committee to 1) define scientifically valid measures of ecosystem change following the natural extinction of wolves from the Island and 2) to produce a management plan that defines whether and when wolves should be re-introduced after sufficient time has elapsed to allow for natural recolonization from the mainland.”

The three-page letter was sent on March 16. It outlines a variety of scientific reasons to take a wait-and-see approach, and cites cultural concerns Grand Portage has with management of an island that was for millennia part of their homeland.

A complete report will follow in next week’s edition of the Cook County News-Herald.

Dupre and Pascale thwarted in attempt to scale Mt. Carpe

Thu, 03/23/2017 - 2:58pm

Two hundred feet separated Lonnie Dupre and his climbing partner Pascale Marceau from making a run for the top of Mount Carpe.

But it was 200 feet of loose rock, hazardous footing and ever present danger that kept them back, and on March 17, after five attempts at finding a safe route up the mountain, they called it quits and began their long journey back down.

 Located in the Denali National Park, Mount Carpe is 12,552 feet at its peak. It has never been climbed in the winter, and Dupre and Pascale can now come back and tell the public why that is so.

There were some tears of disappointment at not reaching the summit, said Dupre in his March 20 post. The couple had sore feet, and Pascale had narrowly avoided falling into a crevasse by the tips of her skis as Lonnie pulled her over the gap with a rope. They had also endured days of extreme cold and high winds.

As Dupre stated in his March 21 blog, everything worked well, the gear, the weather, the food, clothing, but the crevasses, he said, were relentless and the mountain never proffered a suitable way to the top as their food and fuel supplies started to dwindle.

The Denali National Park mountain range is near and dear to Dupre, but climbing her mountains in the winter is never easy, as Dupre has found. He made four attempts before becoming the first person to solo climb Mount Denali in January, and earlier this winter he had to abandon an attempt at becoming the first person to climb Mount Hunter in the winter months due to extreme cold, lots of snow and avalanche conditions.

As Dupre and Pascale began coming back down, they ran into four ladies from the Park Service who were dog mushing. It was a relief to see people after spending so much time on the mountain, said Pascale.

On March 2 the couple flew to Katishna, the last stop on the Denali Park Road. From there they skied 25 miles to the mountain, set up camp and began their climb. They hoped to finish by March 15, but in the end, they readjusted their goal and hope to make it back to Katishna by March 25.

"It's been a great experience, and we will have a great story to tell," said Dupre.

As for Pascale, she said she couldn't wait to get back to Grand Marais and pay a visit to one of their main sponsors, Voyageur Brewing. She hoped there would an IP waiting for her. Bet on it, and bet it will be cold with many stories to follow.

Want to learn more about Cook County property taxes? Then attend the upcoming meeting

Thu, 03/16/2017 - 4:32pm

Business property taxes in Cook County are relatively high, especially in Grand Marais. But did you know that more than half of the property tax levied on a Grand Marais commercial property is not levied locally, nor does the revenue stay in Cook County?

Cook County collects the tax but then ships 53 percent of the revenue off to St. Paul, leaving the remainder to fund city, county, hospital, schools and special taxing districts controlled by Cook County residents. To put it another way, of $10,000 collected from a Grand Marais commercial property, just $4,700 is available to fund local services.

In an unincorporated area of the county, the non-local property tax hit is even higher. In Hovland, for example, fully two-thirds of the taxes collected on a commercial property do not stay in Cook County.

Want to know more?

Come hear Aaron Twait of the Minnesota Center for Fiscal Excellence explain how the property tax actually works in Minnesota and Cook County Assessor Todd Smith explain how it works locally. Join them at the Cook County Chamber/North Shore Title Property Tax Education Seminar from 6-8 p.m. on Tuesday, April 4, at the Arrowhead Center for the Arts. There is no charge, and all are welcome.

Sawtooth Mountain Clinic welcomes Dr. David Rust

Thu, 03/16/2017 - 3:59pm

Sawtooth Mountain Clinic in Grand Marais is pleased to welcome Dr. David Rust, a physician with St. Luke’s Orthopedics & Sports Medicine, to the community. Dr. Rust will provide office consultations to the Sawtooth Mountain Clinic one Friday each month.

Dr. Rust received his medical degree from Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska. He completed his residency in Orthopedic Surgery at the University of New Mexico and his fellowship in Orthopedics and Sports Medicine at Minnesota Orthopedic Sports Medicine Institute (MOSMI)/Fairview in the Twin Cities.

 Dr. Rust has worked with professional, college and high school sports teams, including the Minnesota Twins, the University of Minnesota football and wrestling teams, and the University of New Mexico football team.

 Dr. Rust specializes in orthopedic sports medicine and trauma as well as general orthopedic care. He is a fellowship trained sub-specialist in knee and shoulder surgery, and has expertise in arthroscopic (minimally invasive) surgery, joint replacement surgery and fracture surgery.

 Dr. Rust is an outdoors enthusiast who enjoys hiking, skiing and mountain biking, and has volunteered working with the Lutsen Ski Patrol and providing medical care at the Lutsen 99er mountain bike race. Dr. Rust is excited for the opportunity to provide orthopedic care to Grand Marais and surrounding communities and to make it easier for patients to have access to specialized orthopedic care.

 Talk with your primary care provider about a referral.

Spry comes home a national champion

Thu, 03/16/2017 - 3:43pm


Bob Spry and three curlers from Duluth teamed up to take home the Super Senior Division (ages 63 on up) National Senior Men’s Curling Championship.

The tournament was held in Columbia County, Wisconsin Feb. 16-19.

Teams came from all over the USA, as far away as Arizona and California.

To date, Spry has participated in seven national championships and has played on four winning teams in two different divisions.

The Pines coming to Papa Charlies

Thu, 03/16/2017 - 3:39pm

Ethereal folk rockers The Pines have just announced that they’ll be performing in Lutsen at Papa Charlie’s on Monday, March 20 as part of the their Current-sponsored Songwriter Series.  

This is a free show and starts at 8 p.m. so spread the word!

The Pines will be joined by Native American singer/songwriter Keith Secola, who’s a member of the Native Music Hall of Fame and is known for his song “NDN Kars” (Indian cars), the most requested song on tribal radio since 1992. The Pines are continuing to tour for their recent release, Above the Prairie, their first studio release in four years. Surreal and sublime, the Minneapolis-base trio melds acoustic instruments against atmospheric keyboard backgrounds. Their songs are inspired by their native Midwest, exploring the vast expanses around and above them, from the isolated farms and small towns of the plains to the array of stars that dot the night sky. The Pines have shared the stage with everyone from Arcade Fire and Bon Iver to Mavis Staples and The Holmes Brothers. Their 2012 LP Dark So Gold was named #3 best album of the decade by the Minneapolis Star Tribune, and Vintage Guitar called it “a soundtrack of American Gothic intensity…a stunner of an album.”  

The following content was contributed by WTIP North Shore Community Radio

Meeting to focus on process of collecting local property taxes

Tue, 03/28/2017 - 3:02pm

The Cook County Chamber of Commerce is hosting Aaron Twait, of the Minnesota Center for Fiscal Excellence and Cook County Assessor Todd Smith, Tuesday, April 4th from 6 to 8 pm at the Arrowhead Center for the Arts. They will deliver an in-depth look at property tax and how it works in Minnesota.

More information is available from Jim Boyd at 387-2079.

And WTIP's Joe Friedrichs learns more about the meeting and local property taxes in this interview. 


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County working to prevent 9-1-1 and phone outages

Mon, 03/27/2017 - 2:00pm

Telephone outages, especially those affecting 9-1-1, are troubling to the public and to emergency response personnel. Rhonda Silence spoke with Cook County Information Technology Director Rena Rogers and Cook County Emergency Management Director Valerie Marasco to learn more about the problem -- and the action the county is taking to try to prevent future occurances. 

More information on the county’s emergency response system will be available at the Cook County Emergency Management Conference on April 28th and 29th. For more information on the conference, contact Valerie Marasco at 218-387-3059 or email


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Federal cuts could mean colder houses in Cook County next winter

Mon, 03/27/2017 - 11:39am

Several hundred residents in Cook County could lose assistance keeping their homes warm next winter under proposed cuts to the federal budget. WTIP’s Joe Friedrichs reports on this story. 


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Inching toward spring

Mon, 03/27/2017 - 10:29am

Slow but sure we steadily move into spring.  WTIP’s Jay Andersen spoke with National Weather Service meteorologist Joe Moore.


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Wildlife officials kill nearly 200 Minnesota wolves in 2016

Sun, 03/26/2017 - 5:56am

Nearly 200 wolves were killed in Minnesota last year. WTIP’s Joe Friedrichs reports on how and why wolves are killed by wildlife agents in Minnesota. 


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Cook County Sheriffs Office implements chaplain program

Sat, 03/25/2017 - 2:13pm

The Cook County Sheriffs Office has been working with local ministerial personnel to create a chaplain program. Eight people are now serving as chaplains. Rhonda Silence learns more in this interview. 


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