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News and other information from Cook County

WTIP Weekend News Roundup for April 25

Sat, 04/25/2015 - 10:28am

Each week the WTIP news department puts together a    roundup of the week’s top news stories. A hiking tragedy on the Sioux Hustler Trail, bird flu emergency, Granlund sculpture stolen and ice caves make money…all this and more in the week’s news.


Tools for increasing "financial literacy" offered through PHHS

Fri, 04/24/2015 - 11:45am

Cook County Public Health and Human Services has tools to help with increasing our “financial literacy.” WTIP volunteer Sherrie Lindskog spoke with Beth Faraone of Cook County Public Health and Human Services on North Shore Morning. 

For more information call Health and Human Services at 218-387-3620.



"Poetry Rocks!" event at Grand Marais Library on April 29

Fri, 04/24/2015 - 11:26am

Poetry Rocks! a workshop with Minnesota Book Award winner Laura Purdie Salas, will be the highlight of an April 29 event at the Grand Marais Public Library.

The evening includes readings of the author’s works and an opportunity for creative writing as participants work together to write a few poems. Purdie Salas will also talk about her writing style and the publishing process in Minnesota.

Purdie Salas is the author of more than 100 books for kids and teens, including Bookspeak! Poems about books, Stampede! Poems to celebrate the wild side of school and A leaf can be...

She loves to introduce kids to poetry and help them find poems they can relate to, no matter what their age, mood, and personality. She has also written numerous nonfiction books. See more about Laura and her work at

The Grand Marais program begins at 6 p.m., and is sponsored by Arrowhead Library System and funded in part or in whole with money from Minnesota's Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund.

Call (218) 387-1140 for more information.


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

WTIP Wins Prestigious Edward R. Murrow Award

Thu, 04/23/2015 - 3:22pm

The Radio Television Digital News Association (RTDNA) has announced the 2015 regional winners of the Edward R. Murrow Awards. The awards recognize the best electronic journalism produced by radio, television and online news organizations around the world.  This year, RTDNA awarded 673 regional Edward R. Murrow Awards in 14 journalism areas.

In the small market radio category WTIP won for best News Series, “Trafficking and Lake Superior.” by Kelly Schoenfelder. WTIP competes in Region 4, which includes small stations in Minnesota, Wisconsin, North and South Dakota.

"When newsrooms do outstanding work to inform their audience and serve their community, it should be celebrated," said RTDNA Chair Amy Tardif. "Being recognized with one of journalism's most prestigious awards is one way to showcase their commitment to excellence."

WTIP Station Manager Deb Benedict said, “We are very excited and honored to receive this national recognition for the work we do here on a local level. Huge kudos to Kelly for her work and for raising the bar on the feature production that our staff, volunteers, and community journalists engage in.”

RTDNA received more than 4,200 entries during the 2015 awards season, setting an all-time record for the third year in a row.
Regional winners automatically advance to the national Edward R. Murrow Awards competition, which will be judged in May. National awards, including those for network news organizations, will be presented at the RTDNA Edward R. Murrow Awards Gala at Gotham Hall in New York City on October 12.

Listen to archived editions of this five-part series:

School District 166 to proceed with parking lot improvements

Thu, 04/23/2015 - 10:22am

In March, the School District 166 school board accepted the low base bid from Edwin E. Thoreson, Inc. for the school parking lot expansion of $134,293. At that time the board asked Superintendent Schwarz to ask for bids for other alternatives in addition to the base bid, such as paving the increased lot and adding some parallel parking spots. Thoreson, Inc. was again the low bidder for the additional work totaling $52,377, which the board approved unanimously.

The board also directed Superintendent Schwarz to seek bids for phase 2 of the parking lot expansion, noting that it would be more cost effective to have all of the work completed at the same time. Board Member Deb White said the school grounds are public property and needs to be taken care of. She pointed out that all taxpayers pay the abatement bonds, so it is the best source of funding for such projects. “It’s cheap, cheap, money,” she said.

White added, “I don’t want to wait until someone gets hurt out there to say, ‘Gee, I wish we had…”

The board passed a resolution to move forward with an abatement bond of $236,000 to be repaid over four years. A public hearing will be held to share the abatement bond information with the public on Thursday, May 21 in the Jane Mianowski Conference Center at the Arrowhead Center for the Arts. Board Member Terry Collins asked that drawings of the parking lot expansion be available to the public at that meeting.

Board Member Sissy Lunde said the parking lot project was discussed at the latest Safe Routes to School (SRTS) meeting. Lunde said the group feels there will be a need for parent and community education about the new parking area. She said she and other members of the SRTS group would be willing to be on hand to help direct traffic and explain the changes, if needed.


Culvert concerns in Hovland

Thu, 04/23/2015 - 10:20am

At a recent county board meeting, east end Commissioner Frank Moe asked about a county culvert that was blocked and caused a Hovland resident’s yard, driveway and basement to fill with water. The flooding occurred after a rain, but it wasn’t a major weather event, said Moe.

Highway Maintenance Supervisor Russell Klegstad said the highway department had responded, bringing gravel to create a small berm to block the water while the culvert was being cleared. It took only 15 minutes from the time the berm was built for water to subside to a trickle into the basement.

Klegstad said the 4x4 foot culvert was too small and needs to be replaced with a larger one, but at this time there is no budget or time to plan for one. It had plugged, said Klegstad, because of ice on the bottom of the culvert and debris getting stuck in the culvert’s top half.

“I am asking you for an expedited plan to fix this,” said Moe, adding that for the last 10 years or so residents in the area have asked for the culvert to be replaced.

County Engineer David Betts said he doesn’t have the time or the staff needed to plan for an immediate fix, adding that it could cost about $250,000.

 “We have two big bridges, the Junco and the Cross river bridges nearing collapse that we are working on. I’m short two people and I don’t see my staff getting better for at least a year.”

Betts suggested rolling this project into one an upgrade on the Arrowhead Trail, which isn’t currently being planned. Moe said that was too long to wait.

A small culvert will be put in at the beginning of the homeowner’s driveway, said Klegstad, and that may provide some temporary relief.

Betts said he would submit a proposal to receive bridge bonding, “Otherwise we can’t afford to fix this.”