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News and other information from Cook County

Cook County voters deny school levy increase

Wed, 11/04/2015 - 1:37am

On Tuesday, Nov. 3, voters in Cook County did not approve a property tax increase that would have gone toward funding Independent School District 166.

The IDS 166 School board asked voters to approve a levy of $1,276 per pupil. The referendum failed with 1,140 people (52 percent) voting against the increase and 1,039 people(48 percent) voting in favor of the levy increase.

Tune in to Daybreak on WTIP at 7:40 a.m. Wednesday, Nov. 4, where Host Jay Anderson will interview ISD 166 Superintendent Beth Schwarz and Board Chair Jeanne Anderson about the levy increase. The interview will also be posted here at

School District 166 Operating Levy Referendum defeated by narrow margin

Wed, 11/04/2015 - 12:21am

The General Election ballots have been tallied and the School District 166 Operating Levy Referendum has been defeated by a margin of 101 votes. The Minnesota Secretary of State reports that there were 1,039 yes votes and 1,140 no votes.

The next meeting of the School District 166 school board will be Thursday, November 5 at 5 p.m. at the Jane Mianowski Conference Room. The first agenda item, under Community Comments, is recognition of levy volunteers.  

A school board retreat has been scheduled for November 10. The agenda for that meeting, compiled before the election results were known, lists time for discussion of election results and the impact on the school budget going forward.


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

It's Election Day--Polls are open at Cook County courthouse until 8 p.m.

Tue, 11/03/2015 - 11:54am

The Cook County courthouse will be open until 8 p.m. today, Tuesday, November 3, to accept ballots from citizens. There is only one question on the 2015 ballot, the School District 166 Operating Levy Referendum.

School District 166 is part of the approximately 92 percent of school districts in Minnesota seeking voter-approved levies. According to the Funding our Future committee, the top ten areas in which levy monies will be spent are:

1. Industrial Arts

2. Technology upgrades

3. Early childhood programming

4. Small class sizes in K-2

5. Drop-out prevention

6. Special Education

7. Balance vocational and college electives

8. Hard-to-fill teaching areas

9. Eliminate student fees

10. Maintain safe building and grounds

Anyone with questions about voting may call the Auditor’s office at 218-387-3640.

Citizens with last minute questions about the ISD 166 Operating Levy are encouraged to visit


Bluegrass Masters Weekend--workshops and concert

Tue, 11/03/2015 - 9:40am

Celebrate, make music, learn, and listen at the North Shore Music Association’s 25th Annual Bluegrass Masters Weekend Nov. 6-8 at Lutsen Resort.

A quarter-decade of this popular event has been satisfying appetites of bluegrass musicians and fans from all over the region and the U.S., who come to listen to and learn with the nation's best bluegrass players and instructors. Three days of jamming, a day of instrumental workshops, and an evening concert by the featured group make for a pickin' weekend in a relaxed setting—a great opportunity to connect with your bluegrass friends.

This year's featured instrument is resonator guitar (dobro). Featured instructor is Mike Witcher, who will be joined in concert by his handpicked bluegrass supergroup: Jordan Tice on guitar, Samson Grisman on bass, and Dominick Leslie on mandolin.
A much-in-demand session player in L.A. and Nashville, Witcher has worked with artists including  Dwight Yoakam, Dolly Parton, Bette Midler, Peter Rowan, Sara Watkins (Nickel Creek), Laurie Lewis, John Paul Jones (of Led Zeppelin), Joan Osborn, The Gibson Brothers, Willie Watson (Old Crow Medicine Show), and Fernando Ortega. He has played the Grand Ole Opry and A Prairie Home Companion many times.

Witcher is a gifted and caring teacher. Over the last 15 years, he’s developed an effective method of teaching the resonator guitar—one that allows his students to integrate complex concepts quickly into their playing. He teaches at the top acoustic music camps around the world, including Rob Ickes’ Reso Summit.

Cook County Senior Center hosts fall food drive

Tue, 11/03/2015 - 9:38am

Do you have items to donate to the food shelf?

The Cook County Senior Center will help you get your donation there. Jes Rodne, programs and services coordinator at the Cook County Senior Center has asked everyone to take part in the “Thanks for Giving” fall food drive.

In addition to helping community members, anyone who donates will be entered into a raffle to win some great prizes donated by local business. Prizes so far include gift cards, T-shirts, water bottles, a bird feeder, a Thanksgiving turkey and a Weber grill.

Rodne said, “The need is huge so now is the time to drop donations off at the Senior Center or 1st & 2nd Thrift Shop to enter a raffle for a chance to win one of many prizes!”

Drop boxes are available at the Senior Center and the thrift shop in the Cobblestone building on Highway 61.

For more information contact the Senior Center at (218) 387-2660.


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

Grand Marais continues to learn place and value of vacation rentals

Mon, 11/02/2015 - 12:56pm

The issue of vacation-rental properties in Grand Marais has been a hot topic of discussion this year. WTIP News Reporter Joe Friedrichs takes a closer look at this issue.