Around Cook County

News and other information from Cook County

Tofte begins comprehensive town planning

Wed, 04/29/2015 - 4:23pm

Tofte citizens gathered on April 15 to consider what they want the former fishing village to look like in 20 years—should there be a business park? Clusters of affordable homes? Senior housing? Walking paths in addition to the Gitchi Gami Bicycle Trail?

These were just a few of the ideas discussed with Andy Hubley of the Arrowhead Regional Development Commission (ARDC) at a public meeting at the Birch Grove Center to discuss Tofte’s future.

Part of the process also included discussing future concerns, threats, and issues the township needed to avoid.

Besides looking to shape the future, Hubley said it was important for townships and towns to make comprehensive plans because granting organizations like the Iron Range Resources & Rehabilitation Board (IRRRB) increasingly call for them to be included in grant applications.

Hubley will take the public comments and will develop a vision statement for the Tofte Comprehensive Plan. He will come back late May and another public meeting will be held for more input from residents. 


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

Apple growing workshop May 2 at Community Center

Wed, 04/29/2015 - 4:22pm

An apple growing workshop with Dr. Cindy Hale of the National Resources Research Institute (NRRI) will be held from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. May 2 at the Cook County Community Center.

Dr. Hale and her family operate a small, organic, integrated tree fruit, poultry and hog farm. She is also spearheading the Heritage Orchard restoration efforts at the University of Minnesota-Duluth field experimental station.

Topics covered include intensive apple growing systems for dwarf apple trees and integrated pest management. Participants will also pot newly grafted apple trees.

There is a $10 fee to attend. Pre-register by calling the Extension office at (21) 387-3015.


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

Forest Service offers open house on wildfire management and fire awareness

Wed, 04/29/2015 - 2:39pm

The Gunflint and Tofte Ranger Districts will be offering an open house on wildfire management and fire awareness. WTIP volunteer Tracy Benson spoke with Patty Johnson of the US Forest Service on North Shore Morning. 

There will be presentations on Fire Safety and Awareness in three locations:
May 4 in Finland
May 11 at the Gunflint Ranger Station
May 12th at the Schaap Community Center on the Gunflint Trail

All meetings are from 4:00 to 6:00 pm.


"First Friday" monthly event begins May 1 in Grand Marais

Wed, 04/29/2015 - 1:29pm

“First Fridays” are a once-a-month block party event in downtown Grand Marais. WTIP volunteer Tracy Benson spoke with Jean Spry of the Grand Marais Retailers, and Suzanne Sherman of the Cook County Chamber of Commerce on North Shore Morning.


Youth ATV Safety training coming in May

Tue, 04/28/2015 - 8:21pm

The Cook County ATV Club reminds parents that an ATV Safety Training course is available in May for students, ages 11 - 15. Sign up now for a safe summer!

The course is part independent study and part field test. When students sign up, they receive a Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) CD to study for the written test and field test.

A review and the written test will Wednesday, May 13 at 3:45 p.m. at Cook County High School. After passing the test, students participate in a field test, Saturday, May 16 at the old Grand Marais airport site (by Devil Track Landing). Participants do not have to provide their own ATVs or helmets, those are provided by Steve’s Sports of Grand Marais and local ATV Club members.

There is a $10 fee, payable to Community Education. The Cook County ATV Club provides scholarships to any youths who cannot pay the fee.

All students who successfully complete the safety training are also treated to a pizza party with the DNR and volunteer instructors and receive a Cook County ATV club T-shirt.

Safety Instructor Chuck Silence encourages parents to have their kids take this course. “Statistics show that 47 percent of all persons involved in ATV accidents are in their teens, 10-19 years old. The major cause of accidents is rollovers and hitting fixed objects. Speed is frequently the cause,” said Silence. “That’s why it is so important to catch kids when they are young to teach them about safe and ethical riding.”

“Just because you don’t own an ATV doesn’t mean your kid doesn’t need the training,” said Silence. “There are more ATVs in the state than snowmobiles—you want them to be prepared to ride just in case they have the chance at a neighbor or friend’s house.”

Dayton to DNR: No more moose collaring -- experts disagree

Tue, 04/28/2015 - 11:35am

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Gov. Mark Dayton yesterday ordered the state Department of Natural Resources to stop the practice of radio-collaring moose as part of studying the animals. The governor's executive order cites reports that the collaring has caused the deaths of some adult moose and the abandonment of some calves.

Minnesota's moose population has been on the decline, and researchers have hoped the collaring would help them understand why. The DNR had planned to collar about 50 newborn moose next month in the third such effort. According to the St. Paul Pioneer Press, the Governor’s action was met with immediate criticism by scientists in the state and elsewhere, who accused Dayton of putting the interests of public relations before the needs of the larger moose population.

Two years ago, the Department of Natural Resources embarked on a pair of ambitious projects to determine what was killing Minnesota's moose. The $1.6 million effort involved adult moose and newborn calves.  Adult moose were affixed with GPS radio collars calves were affixed with radio collars immediately after being born.

But problems surfaced quickly. Of the 74 calves collared in the spring of 2013 and 2014, many were believed to have died of starvation after being abandoned by their mothers. Additionally, Dayton noted that some adult moose had died likely from being tranquilized and handled by researchers. DNR Commissioner Tom Landwehr said six adult moose died in that manner over the winter.

Two of the nation's pre-eminent wildlife researchers Tuesday said Dayton's decision suggests a misunderstanding of the value of research -- and the population dynamics of moose.