Around Cook County

News and other information from Cook County

Weekend News Roundup for December 31

Sat, 12/31/2016 - 11:31am

Each week the WTIP news staff compiles a review of news from the previous five days. The County Board sets non-mandated cuts. The Gov. says Twin Metals is not dead yet. U.S. Steel reopens Keetac plant…all this and more in the week’s news.



CCHS Alpine ski coach gives a report

Fri, 12/30/2016 - 3:43pm

The Cook County High School Alpine ski season is full swing. The Cook County varsity team has had several meets, one at Giants Ridge in Biwabik and another against a Thunder Bay school at Lutsen Mountains. 

WTIP's Rhonda Silence talked to Alpine Ski Coach Charles Lamb about the start of the season. 

Photos by Jenny Lamb


American Legion Post 413 Auxiliary kicks off charitable gambling

Thu, 12/29/2016 - 4:53pm

The mission of the American Legion Post 413 Auxiliary is to serve our nation's veterans and the community. To help fulfill its mission, the Auxiliary in Grand Marais is embarking on a new method of fundraising -- charitable gambling.

Starting on January 1, 2017, the Auxiliary will be offering pulltabs at Grandma Ray's in Grand Marais. 

Rhonda Silence learns more in this interview. 


2016 set to exit in a flurry of flurries

Thu, 12/29/2016 - 12:13pm

It looks like we might be digging out again before celebrating New Years. WTIP’s Jay Andersen spoke with National Weather Service Meteorologist Dean Packingham about another snow blast to take us out of 2016.


Christmas Bird Count in Cook County

Wed, 12/28/2016 - 3:15pm

The  Audubon Christmas Bird Count tradition continued in Cook County on Sunday, December 18. Jeremy Ridlbauer, compiler of results for the Christmas Bird Count visited WTIP with a report on this year’s count.

Here are the preliminary results in order of abundance from Sunday and during the count week:

Black-capped Chickadee
Pine Grosbeak
Cedar Waxwing
American Goldfinch
Purple Finch
Common Raven
American Robin
Red-breasted Nuthatch
Downy Woodpecker
Blue Jay
Common Redpoll
Herring Gull
American Crow
Common Goldeneye
European Starling
Pine Siskin
House Sparrow
Rock Pigeon
Hairy Woodpecker
Evening Grosbeak
Bald Eagle
Pileated Woodpecker
Long-tailed Duck
White-winged Crossbill
Dark-eyed Junco
Gray Jay
Ruffed Grouse
White-breasted Nuthatch
American Tree Sparrow
Northern Cardinal
Red-bellied Woodpecker
Canada Goose
Northern Shrike
Rough-legged Hawk
White-throated Sparrow
Bohemian Waxwing
Fox Sparrow
Harris' Sparrow
Hermit Thrush
Red-breasted Merganser
Red-tailed Hawk
Red-winged Blackbird
Song Sparrow
Unknown Buteo
Varied Thrush
Red Crossbill (seen on count week only so far)
The first known Minnesota CBCs were conducted on Christmas Day 1905 in Minneapolis and Red Wing. During those last 109 years, the Christmas Bird Count has been conducted uninterrupted in the state and has grown to include almost 70 census circles and involved more than 28,000 participants. Each and every year more than 1,000 participants canvass the state to conduct the survey.
Anyone who would like more information about the Audubon Christmas Bird Count may call Ridlbauer at (218) 370-0733.


Break-in at local business on Christmas Day

Wed, 12/28/2016 - 10:35am

There was a break-in at a local business on Christmas Day.

The break-in was at Oddz & Endz, a non-profit business that sells used and repurposed furniture and household items. Proceeds from the sale of items is returned to the community via grants to other nonprofits. The business on the west end of Grand Marais was founded in June 2014 and has become a thriving operation.

Someone broke a window to enter the building and apparently exited from the front door.

The culprits took not only money, but a donation jar and cash box containing the store stamp and bank information.

EvaLyn Carlson of Oddz & Endz told WTIP they are still assessing the store to see if anything else was taken.
Carlson said Oddz & Ends is open as usual.

Anyone with any information about the break-in is encouraged to call Cook County Law Enforcement at 218-387-3030. 

Changes coming to

Tue, 12/27/2016 - 12:30pm

Andy Butter

Grand Marais State Bank President retiring after 33 years

Tue, 12/27/2016 - 12:17pm

On Monday, December 19 the Grand Marais State Bank Board of Directors announced the retirement of President Mike LaVigne, effective January 27, 2017, after 33 years of service.

Sheriff talks about News Years and walking safely at night

Tue, 12/27/2016 - 10:07am

Law enforcement is looking forward to a safe and sober New Years. WTIP’s Jay Andersen spoke with Sheriff Pat Eliasen about responsible partying and staying visible when out walking these dark winter nights.


Weather settles down as New Year approaches

Mon, 12/26/2016 - 10:49am

The wet, snowy and windy Christmas storm came and went, leaving colder temperatures but no more snow. WTIP’s Jay Andersen spoke with National Weather Service Meteorologist Dean Packingham about a smoother transition to the New Year.


Think twice before going out on the ice

Sat, 12/24/2016 - 6:38pm

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources is reminding Northlanders to think twice before going out on the ice.

According to recreation safety specialists with the DNR, ice that formed quickly during the recent sub-zero temperatures is now thawing and refreezing, which leads to extremely weak ice that is dangerously deceptive 
In a statement this afternoon, Lisa Dugan, DNR recreation safety outreach coordinator said, “There are many variables to consider, including whether a waterbody has a current or run-off, the freeze-thaw cycle, and snow cover. Rivers have been especially problematic, as water levels have continued to drop even after surface ice formed, creating dangerous air pockets under the ice.” 

Conservation officers across the state are reporting vehicles, snowmobiles and ATVs going through the ice on lakes where ice may be relatively thick in one area, with as little as 4-5 inches nearby.  

Conservation Officer Lisa Kruse said, “No ice should ever be considered 100 percent safe, and checking ice thickness every 150 feet is imperative when on inconsistent early ice.”
For ice safety tips and thickness guidelines are available at:

Weekend News Roundup for December 24

Sat, 12/24/2016 - 11:38am

It could be a weather-rough Christmas. The county board wraps up the year with a compromise and a resignation. The biggest invasive species treat to the Great Lakes turns out to be plastic. The Park Service decides to reintroduce wolves to Isle Royale…all this and more in the week’s news.



Christmas trees have a local connection

Fri, 12/23/2016 - 3:15pm

Have you purchased a Christmas tree at a local business? Do you know where it was grown? Odds are the tree has been cared for by Karen Smaby of Grand Marais. 

Rhonda Silence visits with Karen about her work as a tree farmer. 


Wahlers wins Virginia Invitational

Fri, 12/23/2016 - 9:27am

Former Cook County Vikings basketball player now playing at collegiate level

Thu, 12/22/2016 - 2:47pm

Lily Gruber-Schulz graduated from Cook County High School in the spring of 2016. While attending school in Grand Marais, Lily became well recognized for her talents as a student athlete. She is now playing college basketball at Lakehead University in Thunder Bay, Ontario.

Lily sat down to talk with WTIP’s Joe Friedrichs about the transition to college hoops and life in Thunder Bay.