Around Cook County

News and other information from Cook County

Beach advisory announced for Grand Marais Campground beach

Tue, 07/07/2015 - 11:14am

Now that summer has finally arrived, the Minnesota Department of Health beach monitoring program has begun. A Cook County beach has received a “no water contact” advisory. Water samples collected at the Grand Marais Campground beach on July 6 indicate possible fecal contamination. The water at the beach will be tested again today.

Also receiving an advisory on July 6 was Burlington Bay in Two Harbors.

An advisory announced on July 1 for the Minnesota Point Harborside/15th Street Beach in Duluth has been lifted after retesting on July 6.

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.

Annual planked trout dinner hosted by the Cook County Historical Society on July 11

Tue, 07/07/2015 - 10:50am

There’s a lot happening at the Cook County Historical Society in July and August, in addition to their annual planked trout dinner on Saturday, July 11, at the Grand Marais RV Park Recreation Hall. WTIP volunteer Yvonne Mills spoke with Carrie McHugh of the Cook County Historical Society on North Shore Morning. 


Air pollution warning issued for northern Minnesota

Tue, 07/07/2015 - 3:16am

The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency yesterday issued an air pollution warning for northern Minnesota due to smoke from wildfires in Canada.

The agency says rain showers Sunday and Monday briefly improved air quality, but pollution had reached unhealthy levels as of mid-day Monday. According to Gunflint and Tofte District Fire Management Officer Patty Johnson, the haze and smoke smell in Cook County is from the Canadian fires.

Officials in the western Canadian province of Saskatchewan say about 741,000 acres are burning in the area this year — around 10 times what's normal.

The Canadian military has been called in to help fight wildfires in Saskatchewan, where 112 active fires have forced the evacuation of more than 13,000 people and threatened several remote towns.

The provincial government said more than 1,000 soldiers are on their way or already in the Prairie province, with some 600 to be trained as firefighters and on the front lines as early as Wednesday. The Canadian Armed Forces said up to 1,400 personnel could be sent.

Wildfires are also raging in the Pacific Coast province of British Columbia, blanketing Vancouver with smoke and haze. The province's government said there are 180 fires burning, including 18 major fires. Eight communities are under evacuation order. 

People with respiratory issues are urged to limit strenuous outdoor activity.


"Tour de Fox" group to climb Eagle Mountain

Mon, 07/06/2015 - 2:26pm

The “Tour de Fox,” a 14,000-mile cross-country journey benefitting The Michael J. Fox Foundation, is inviting individuals and teams to climb Eagle Mountain to raise money for Parkinson’s research at 7 a.m. July 10.

Heading “Tour de Fox” is endurance athlete and Michael J. Fox Foundation staff member Sam Fox. Sam’s inspiration for these charitable endurance feats is his mom, Lucy, who was diagnosed with Parkinson’s in 2000. Through “Tour de Fox,” Sam will bike and hike his way across the United States in a little over three months and aims to raise $1 million for Parkinson’s research.

Representing Minnesota in “Tour de Fox” is Linda Kratt, executive director of Visit Cook County, and Grand Marais Mayor Jay Arrowsmith DeCoux, who will join Sam and other volunteers for the seven-mile round-trip hike on Eagle Mountain.

Others interested in joining the climb or making a donation can sign up online at or call Visit Cook County at (218) 387-2788.


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

Highway department work in Hovland

Mon, 07/06/2015 - 2:25pm

Highway Maintenance Supervisor Russell Klegstad came before the county board on Tuesday, June 23 with an update on the work to be done in the east end of the county. Klegstad said the highway department is ready to install a culvert on County Road 17 (Mineral Center Road).

Klegstad said the department has had the culvert since last fall but was unable to install it because the water was too high because of a beaver dam flooding the area. He said the highway department could not do anything about the beaver because the road is on Grand Portage tribal lands. Grand Portage personnel have trapped the beaver and the water is now low enough to allow the culvert installation, he said.

He said a bigger pipe is being installed which will handle the flow better—if beavers don’t plug it up again.

Klegstad said the highway department would also be installing two culverts on County Road 23 soon.

Regarding the driveway that keeps flooding at Otis Creek, Klegstad said the highway department would be putting in a culvert as soon as possible. He said Kerrie Berg of Soil and Water is working with the landowner and designing a drainage plan that will improve the situation.

Klegstad also said some work will also be done on County Road 69 this summer. He said the highway department will be putting a little lift on the roadway to prevent flooding on a corner that frequently floods.

Commissioner Frank Moe said he knows the landowners in the area are very appreciative of the highway department’s efforts. Moe added, “I appreciate you and Mr. Betts [Highway Engineer] working with Soil and Water to find a solution.”


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

The North Shore Music Association presents The skyBlue Jazz Quartet

Mon, 07/06/2015 - 11:32am

On Saturday, July 11, gypsy-jazz musician Sam Miltich is coming to the Arrowhead Center for the Arts to perform with the skyBlue Jazz Quartet. Mike Debevec, a member of the quartet, spoke to WTIP's Jana Berka on North Shore Morning about the upcoming concert.

Tickets are available at the door, or at