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News and other information from Cook County

Cloud Cult to perform at Papa Charlie's on Saturday, February 6

Thu, 02/04/2016 - 1:42pm

Stop by Papa Charlie’s at Lutsen Mountains on Saturday, February 6, 9:30 p.m. to hear a live performance by Cloud Cult. The experimental, alternative rock band will be performing in support of their upcoming album, The Seeker, which is coming out later in February. The performance may include a few songs from the upcoming album as well as other favorites.

The Seeker is the band’s tenth, full-length studio album and is accompanied by a new, feature-length film. The film, which is based on the story outlined in the new album, follows the life of a young girl who, after suffering loss, embarks on a self-discovering journey. The story was written by Craig Minowa, vocalist and multi-instrumentalist as well as founder of Cloud Cult.

The Seeker is also the first album to be recorded entirely in Cloud Cult’s own solar powered Earthology Records studio. The studio reflects Cloud Cult’s environmentally conscious philosophy that influences the marketing and production of all of their products.

Tickets and additional information on Cloud Cult and their upcoming concerts can be found online at


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

AARP TaxAide volunteers ready to help taxpayers

Thu, 02/04/2016 - 1:40pm

The AARP TaxAide volunteers are ready once again to help members of the community with their 2015 state and federal returns and their Minnesota property tax and rent refund forms. In most cases the volunteers can E-file for taxpayers.

The AARP can help in several ways, including amending previous returns if a mistake was made or an omission occurred. Volunteers can also help taxpayers estimate next year’s payment or refund; can print out the appropriate Estimated Tax Vouchers for taxpayers to use in 2016; and can help taxpayers understand how to respond to letters from the IRS or Minnesota Department of Revenue.

Volunteer Chuck Flickinger noted that little had changed since last year, adding, “This year is so ‘like last year’ that the IRS did not even change the workbooks.”

The volunteers take people on a first come, first served basis.

Tax preparation began Tuesday, February 2 and will continue through April 14.

Tax volunteers will be at the Cook County Community Center in Grand Marais on Tuesdays from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.; the Grand Portage Community Center on Wednesdays from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.; and Birch Grove Community Center in Tofte on Thursdays from 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

Anyone with questions is asked to call Chuck Flickinger (218) 475-2776 or Steve Deschene at (218) 370-2184.


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

Dollar General topic brings large crowd to city hall

Thu, 02/04/2016 - 11:02am

It was a busy night at the Grand Marais City Hall Wednesday, Feb. 3. The hot topic: Dollar General. WTIP's Joe Friedrichs attended the meeting and has this report. 


Snowy weekend in store

Thu, 02/04/2016 - 11:02am

On again, off again snowfalls this weekend. WTIP’s Jay Andersen spoke with National Weather Service meteorologist Carol Christenson.



Medical marijuana not available at local medical facilities

Wed, 02/03/2016 - 2:30pm

Even if you have a prescription for medical marijuana, it can’t be filled at Cook County North Shore Hospital (CCNSH). Nor can it be filled at Sawtooth Mountain Clinic.

This would seem to counter the state of Minnesota’s new law, which legalized medical marijuana on January 1, 2016.

Under the legislation, Minnesotans diagnosed with intractable pain (when no relief or cure of the cause of pain is possible, or none has been found after reasonable efforts) are now eligible to receive medical marijuana to treat their pain.

However, Hospital Director Kimber Wraastad said to the hospital board on January 21, “To our knowledge there is no nonprofit hospital or nursing home in the state that allows this.”

The problem, said Wraalstad, is that the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) “can exclude providers for payment for breaking the federal law,” because medical marijuana isn’t legal nationally.

Until the federal government changes its stance on medical marijuana, Wraalstad said the hospital/care center couldn’t risk providing cannabis to patients for fear of losing its Medicaid/Medicare payments.


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

Public Health & Human Services Director to retire

Wed, 02/03/2016 - 2:28pm

Cook County Public Health and Services (PHHS) Director Sue Futterer will be leaving her position, but not for a while. Futterer, who will retire on July 8 after filling the position for 18 years, made the announcement at the Cook County Board of Commissioners meeting on Tuesday, January 19, at the end of the Health and Human Services Board meeting.

Commissioners were saddened, but understanding.

“This has been a very difficult decision and one I have been thinking about for a long time,” Futterer said to the commissioners, adding she had told her staff earlier so they would be aware of her decision.

The position will be advertised first internally, but Futterer said County Administrator Jeff Cadwell would post her job to the public in the near future in light of several human service directors in the region announcing that they too, will be retiring soon.

Lake County will lose its director at the end of June, said Futterer, the Koochiching’s human service director leaves in July, and the St Louis County’s human services director will retire in April.

Futterer said she would like to help with the coming transition, adding, “People have gone through change and change is good. New leadership is good. You’ll be fine.”

When she told her family, her son called and said, “Good luck mom on saying you’re going to retire.”

“They know it’s an emotional thing for me,” said Futterer. “I am really tied to what we do.


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