Around Cook County

News and other information from Cook County

DNR seeks citizens for deer and fish advisory teams

Thu, 11/13/2014 - 1:23pm

People interested in helping the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources establish deer population goals or discussing how the state manages fish are urged to apply for citizen advisory board positions.

Volunteers are being sought to join five advisory teams that will develop deer population goals for large portions of northeastern, north-central and east-central Minnesota. Each team will focus on deer goals for a specific region, or goal-setting block, of the state.

Once selected, each team will review biological and social data as well as public input collected at meetings and through online and written questionnaires. After considering and discussing this information, each team will recommend a deer population goal for each of the permit areas within its goal-setting block.

DNR staff will review the data for each goal block as well as advisory team goal recommendations and final public comments on team recommendations before making final decisions.

This is the third year the DNR has worked with citizens to reassess and revise deer population goals in Minnesota. Goals for southwestern and a portion of northern Minnesota were set in 2012. Goals for southeastern Minnesota were set last year. Goals for the deer permit areas not part of the 2015 process will be set in 2016.

For the application or more information, go to Deadline is Nov. 17.

For those more interested in discussing fish, volunteers are also needed to join five citizen-agency work groups that will discuss how the state manages fish. The deadline for applying is Nov. 19.

Airport runway extension delayed until spring

Thu, 11/13/2014 - 12:56pm

Work on extending and widening the airport runway probably won’t happen this fall, said Cook County Airport Manager Rod Roy at a recent meeting.

The Cook County Board of Commissioners approved the low bid by Northland Constructors as recommended by consultants Reynolds, Smith and Hills, Inc. for $1,468,200. The board’s decision came at the county board’s October 14 meeting.

It was hoped that Northland could begin work this fall, but, said Roy, “We haven’t gotten final approval from the U.S. Fish & Wildlife service yet. All of the work has been done with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT). We’re just waiting for them to give us the go ahead.”

Northland will widen and extend the runway and will complete phase 1 grading at the airport. Northland has met the contract requirements (bonds, insurance etc.) and MnDOT and the FAA, which are covering 95 percent of the cost, have approved funding.

The 5 percent local cost of $109,088.30 was paid to the airport previously by the highway department as right of way expense for road construction through federal property. Northland Constructors must complete the work by July 1, 2015.

Learn to "Lighten Up" on the Trail with dried foods

Thu, 11/13/2014 - 10:21am

‘Lighten Up:  Eating Well on the Trail’ will be offered at North House Folk School on November 22 from 2 to 4 p.m. WTIP volunteer Tracy Benson spoke with North House instructor Lindsay Lee on North Shore Morning about this class.

More information and registration is available online at



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Join friends and family at Empty Bowls, Thursday, Nov. 13

Wed, 11/12/2014 - 10:03am

For many in Cook County, November is the time to make sure the pantry and freezer are stocked before the snow flies in earnest. Yet one in 10 Cook County residents struggles with hunger.

Four percent of Minnesotans have “very low food security,” meaning they not only worry about or struggle to get enough food, but they actually eat less or skip meals because there isn't enough. The annual Empty Bowls fundraiser event strives to bring awareness to the pervasiveness of hunger in Cook County while actively working to solve this community problem.

At Empty Bowls 2014, enjoy a simple soup dinner provided by local restaurants for $5 and continue the conversation about hunger in Cook County with fellow community members. Take home a beautiful handcrafted bowl made at a Grand Marais Art Colony Make-A-Bowl workshop or by Cook County schoolchildren for $10, $20 or $35.

Shop the silent auction, featuring a large selection of gift certificates perfect to give as holiday gifts, donated by local businesses. Consider purchasing a lovely Grand Marais Art Colony bowl necklace for $15.

For those with a sweet tooth, pick up goodies at the bake sale.

This year’s event will be held Nov. 13 at St. John’s Catholic Church. Lunch will be served from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and dinner from 5 to 7 p.m.

Empty Bowls in Cook County began in 2006 as a project of the Cook County High School Art Club. Today, Empty Bowls is organized by community volunteers. Approximately 75 volunteers are needed on the day of the event to assist with setting up, serving, and assorted other tasks. If interested in volunteering, contact Pat Campanaro at 651-336-2964.

Grand Marais pool building demolition to begin soon

Wed, 11/12/2014 - 9:59am

With an end-of-the-year deadline looming, Grand Marais city councilors awarded a bid Oct. 29 for demolition of the municipal swimming pool building, which closed in January when the facilities moved to the new YMCA at the school campus.

City Administrator Mike Roth said only one bid was received for the demolition job, and that was from Edwin E. Thoreson Inc. of Grand Marais at a cost of $64,726. Under a cooperative agreement with Cook County, each entity will pay half of the cost of removal, which is to be done by the end of 2014.

Roth said the bid appeared to be a bit high, but was within the range of what was anticipated. He acknowledged that demolition and removal of the building at the Rec Park would be a “complicated job,” partly because the materials will have to be hauled to a landfill that is certified to handle asbestos. In their letter to council, Thoreson’s said they expect to have the job completed by Dec. 19.

Highway 61 is being revisited by Moving Matters team

Wed, 11/12/2014 - 9:18am

The Moving Matters team has been putting together public input on the redesign of Hwy 61. WTIPs Jay Andersen spoke with Grand Marais City Administrator Mike Roth.

The City of Grand Marais invites you to view the concept designs and provide feedback at until November 20, 2014.

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