Around Cook County

News and other information from Cook County

North Shore hostel navigates plumbing issue, business soaring

Tue, 06/28/2016 - 3:12pm

The owners of the Hungry Hippie Hostel, which is located eight miles from Grand Marais, continue to make progress with a state inspection of their plumbing. WTIP’s Joe Friedrichs reports on this story.


Volunteers needed and welcomed for upcoming WTIP membership drive

Tue, 06/28/2016 - 2:01pm
Come join the fun at WTIP!

WTIP’s “With a Little Help from My Friends” membership drive is coming up, July 6 to 11.

We’re looking forward to a fun-filled five and a half days, celebrating and supporting local, community radio, but we need a little “help from our friends” to make it success! Specifically, we need volunteers to help take pledges by phone and/or provide food, treats and snacks for volunteers and visitors to the station.

 If you’d like to help, there are several ways to sign up!

1.  Give us a call. Contact Jana or Deb at 387-1070.

2.  Stop by the station, between 8 am and 4 pm, Monday through Friday.  We’re located at 1712 West Highway 61.

3.   Sign up online. If you’ve got internet access, you can sign up via SIGN UP GENIUS, just use the links provided below.

Take pledges by phone:  Sign up for one or more hours – whatever works best for you!  Shifts are available in the morning, afternoon and evening.

Panel and congressman talk moose, housing, tourism in Cook County

Tue, 06/28/2016 - 12:17pm

On Tuesday, June 28, Congressman Rick Nolan visited the North House Folk School for a roundtable discussion with local officials and members of the community. WTIP’s Joe Friedrichs has this report on Nolan’s public forum. 


Water contact advisory posted for Kadunce Creek beach area

Tue, 06/28/2016 - 10:22am

A Cook County beach has received a “no water contact” advisory from the Minnesota Department of Health. Water samples collected at the beach on June 27 at Kadunce Creek beach, on the northwest side of the creek near the picnic area, indicate possible fecal contamination. The water at the beach will be tested again tomorrow, June  28.

Beach monitoring is conducted at the following beaches in Cook County:  Chicago Bay boat launch in Hovland; Paradise Beach, Kadunce Creek, Durfee Creek in Colvill; Old Shore Road, Harbor Park in Grand Marais, Recreation Park campground in Grand Marais, Cutface Creek Wayside Rest; Temperance River State Park, Schroeder Town Park and Sugarloaf Cove Beach in Schroeder. At press time, all had “water contact acceptable” ratings.

A number of factors, such as dog, geese and other wildlife feces, dirty diapers, failing septic systems and sewer line breaks and overflows, can contribute to higher levels of illness-causing bacteria.

The Minnesota Lake Superior Beach Monitoring Program offers the following tips to minimize risks associated with potential water contamination. Its website recommends waiting 24 hours before going swimming after a heavy rainfall and showering after swimming or recreating at the beach. It also advises that beach goers do not swallow water and that they try to keep face and head out of the water. If possible, the website says to wear earplugs and goggles. Finally, it advises people with weakened immune systems not to swim.

Anyone who becomes ill after contacting beach water is asked to contact the Minnesota Department of Health at (877) 366-3455.

To find the latest results of beach monitoring for North Shore beaches, visit


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

Water loss problem at Cook County Community YMCA resolved

Tue, 06/28/2016 - 10:12am

For the last month the Cook County Community YMCA swimming pool seemed to have a high tide and low tide, as water levels fluctuated. In reality, it has been learned that water was leaking out of the pool and then being replaced automatically.

Grand Marais Public Utilities Commission (PUC) Water and Sewer Director Tom Nelson said that from May 20 to June 20 the Cook County YMCA swimming pool lost more than one million gallons of water,

Nelson said his PUC crew discovered the leak when they were completing random meter checks on water usage throughout the city. They made the discovery around the 14th of June, and County Maintenance Director Brian Silence was notified.

Nelson said by then the pool had lost between 800,000 to 900,000 gallons of water.

Nelson first noticed an uptick in water consumption at the pool around Memorial Day, on the heels of the mid-May closing to drain, clean, and refill the pool, which took about 10 days to accomplish.

Silence suspected a valve had somehow remained open after the pool had been cleaned and then refilled.  Silence retained the services of a scuba diver who swam to the bottom of the 10-foot deep pool and found that a rock had gotten stuck in the mechanical valve that helps the pool drain and kept the valve open.

The PUC will likely work with the YMCA on a reduced charge for the lost water.

To help ensure that the YMCA is properly taken care of, the Cook County Board of Commissioners recently authorized hiring a full-time person to perform custodial duties at the Y. In the meantime, Silence said he is taking an online class in pool maintenance so he can help troubleshoot mechanical failures should they occur again at the YMCA pool. 


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

Cooler summer weather forecast

Mon, 06/27/2016 - 11:49am

Nice summer weather continues, though cooler and no more severe events in the forecast. WTIP’s Jay Andersen spoke with National Weather Service Meteorologist Kevin Huyck.


Northwoods Volunteer Connections seeks volunteers for portage repair project

Sun, 06/26/2016 - 6:57pm

The Northwoods Volunteer Connection is seeking volunteers to help with a  portage repair project in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness July 13-17.

Space is still available, but is limited to six volunteers for this project.

Food and most of the equipment needed will be provided.

Participants will help restore a popular Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness portage (Lizz to Caribou Portage) by installing log and rock water bars and check dams, and by reshaping soil, planting rocks and logs. These projects will reduce erosion and create a more sustainable tread.

Volunteers will travel by canoe to Caribou Lake to camp and will commute by canoe to the work site daily. The cost to participate is $50 per adult, $25 for students.

Interested? Contact Laurel at (218) 663-8606 or to register.


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

Trinity Lutheran Church fundraising for new roof

Sat, 06/25/2016 - 11:42am

Trinity Lutheran Church in Hovland is a handcrafted place of worship and an historic landmark.

The building was completed in 1949. Now a significant undertaking to replace the roof with cedar shakes and additional insulation has begun.

At the same time Trinity is looking toward the future and what additional mission they have in our county and beyond.  As you drive along Highway 61 through Hovland you can see the work in progress being done by Smith Construction of Cook County. 

Trinity will have fundraisers this summer and fall.  The first is a freewill offering breakfast on Sunday, June 26 at the church (4957 E. Highway 61) 9:45 - 11:00 a.m. (Egg-bake, French-toast, sausage gravy with biscuits, sweets).  

Also during the annual Hovland Arts Festival (10 a.m. - 4 p.m., Saturday July 2 and Sunday 3) Trinity will serve lunch (pulled pork sandwiches, potato salad, baked beans, brats, hot dogs, dessert). 


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

WTIP Weekend News Roundup for June 25

Sat, 06/25/2016 - 10:53am

Each week the WTIP news staff compiles a review of news from the previous five days. Severe weather claims the life of a camper. The Twin Metals lease issues continues. The Governor supports Great Lakes diversion and boaters have a new carbon monoxide rule…all this and more in the week’s news.


Spectators invited to watch the Lutsen 99er action

Fri, 06/24/2016 - 3:13pm

Cook County residents and visitors will have a chance to watch some of the best mountain bike racers in the country when they compete in the Lutsen 99er on Saturday, June 25.

This will also be a chance to cheer for your friends or neighbors in one of the four races.  Riders from near and far will roll up to the starting line at Lutsen Mountains and compete in either the 19er, 39er, 69er, or 99er. 

“We have some well-known pros like Jorden Wakeley from Grayling, Michigan, and Jeff Hall from Farmington, Minnesota,” said Peter Spencer, race director. “But the majority of our participants are recreational bikers. And with our Sunday kids’ events for children 5-13, we attract hundreds of kids and their families.

“Spectators are more than welcome,” adds Spencer.  “We’d love to see them at the beginning and end of the race, and at some of the viewing spots along the way. They are also welcome to celebrate with us at Papa Charlie’s on Lutsen Mountain after an awards ceremony outside Papa Charlie’s at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, June 25.  Music will be provided by the Minneapolis foot-stomping band 4ontheFloor.

How popular has the mountain biking event become? Mountain bikers have voted the Lutsen 99er the best mountain bike race in Minnesota for 2016.

The 99er is run on trails, forest roads, and some county roads. Riders have 11 hours to complete the grueling ride to receive an official time.                                                             

"Portage" to perform at the North Shore Care Center on June 25

Fri, 06/24/2016 - 3:11pm

The band Portage will play their classic country music at the North Shore Care Center on June 25 at 6:30 p.m. Families, friends, and community members are always welcome to join in the fun.

Additional live music in June features Myron Bursheim on Sundays, Al Fuller on Mondays, Susan Scherer on Wednesdays, and occasionally Harris Mills.

For more information about volunteer opportunities at North Shore Health Care Center or to check out the June calendar of events, visit our website: or call the Activity Department at 387-3518.


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

North Shore Winery set to open in July

Thu, 06/23/2016 - 11:07am

A new winery in Lutsen is set to open its doors in July. WTIP’s Joe Friedrichs visited the North Shore Winery, which is the official name of the business, to tour the facility and speak with its owners. (Audio available below from Joe's visit to the winery)

North Shore Winery Owners Chuck and Kim Corliss will open their doors on Friday, July 1. A grand opening celebration will be held Saturday, July 16 and Sunday, July 17.  The winery will offer wine and hard cider for tastings and purchase along with artisan cheese and meat products.

The grand opening event includes music, food, and tastings. Beverages will be available for purchase for tastings or by the glass and carafe. Bottles of wine and cider will also be available for purchase.

The winery project began in 2012 when the couple purchased property on Ski Hill Road in Lutsen. The winery manufacturing facility and tasting room were completed in 2015. Wine production began last fall, and there will be 5 red wines, 4 white wines, and two ciders bottled and available by opening day.

The winery and tasting room at North Shore Winery is open Wednesday through Sunday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. The tasting room will offer a flight of tastings along with carafe, glass and bottle purchases of wine and hard cider.



Severe storms could return to the area later this weekend

Thu, 06/23/2016 - 10:33am

Nice summer weather through Saturday afternoon, then a storm could roll in that sounds a little like the severe weather we experienced last Sunday. WTIP’s Jay Andersen spoke with National Weather Service Meteorologist Mike Stewart, who is hoping their forecast does not come true.


Public invited to Firewise demonstration day on June 24

Wed, 06/22/2016 - 8:16pm

Interested in learning how to protect your home and neighborhood against wildfire?

A free Firewise demonstration day will be held June 24 at two locations in Cook County. The presenter will be Jeffery Jackson, NE Region Firewise specialist.

The first demonstration will begin at 10 a.m. at 40 Moose Ridge Road (off Gunflint Trail on Poplar Lake). At 2:30 p.m., the presentation will be given at Lockport Marketplace in Lutsen. The free one-hour demonstrations are designed to help homeowners reduce risk to their property.

For more information contact Todd Armbruster, Cook County Firewise coordinator, at (218) 235-0899.


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

Camp Menogyn director discusses incident on Duncan Lake where camper died in storm

Wed, 06/22/2016 - 11:49am

On June 19 a man was killed in a severe storm while camping on Duncan Lake in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. Staff from YMCA Camp Menogyn assisted in rescuing people who were camped on Duncan. WTIP’s Joe Friedrichs spoke the director of Camp Menogyn about the incident on Sunday night.