Around Cook County

News and other information from Cook County

North Shore Music Association presents Guy Davis Saturday

Tue, 06/02/2015 - 11:08am

The North Shore Music Association will present renowned musician Guy Davis at 7:30 p.m. June 6 at the Arrowhead Center for the Arts.

The roots of Guy’s blues are as diverse as the music form itself. It can be soulful, moaning out a people’s cry, or playful and bouncy as a hayride. He can tell you stories of his great-grandparents and his grandparents, of their days as track linemen, and of their interactions with the KKK.  He's a musician, composer, actor, director, and writer.  But most importantly, Guy Davis is a bluesman. 

Throughout his career, Davis has dedicated himself to reviving the traditions of acoustic blues and bringing them to as many ears as possible through the material of the great blues masters, African American stories, and his own original songs, stories, and performance pieces. His influences include the great blues musicians Blind Willie McTell, Skip James, Manse Lipscomb, Mississippi John Hurt, Elizabeth Cotton, and Buddy Guy, among others. But it was through Taj Mahal that he found his way to the old time blues. 

The son of legendary actors Ruby Dee and Ossie Davis, Guy taught himself the guitar and learned by listening to and watching other musicians. He made his Broadway musical debut in 1991 in the Zora Neale Hurston/Langston Hughes collaboration Mulebone, which featured the music of Taj Mahal. In 1993, he performed Off-Broadway as legendary blues player Robert Johnson in Robert Johnson: Trick the Devil.  He received rave reviews and became the 1993 winner of the Blues Foundation's "Keeping the Blues Alive Award” presented to him by Robert Cray at the W.C. Handy Awards ceremony.

Guy has been nominated for nine W.C. Handy Awards over the years, including “Best Traditional Blues Album,” “Best Blues Song” and “Best Acoustic Blues Artist.”

Sign up now for "Road, River and Rail" trip with Birch Grove Community Center

Tue, 06/02/2015 - 11:06am

The Birch Grove Community Center Senior Circle Tour trip by “Road, River, and Rail” is scheduled Aug 16 - 21.  People should contact Community Center WE Connect Director Caroline Wood at the center for more information or to place a $100 security deposit to register.

There is always something happening at the Birch Grove Community Center. On Monday and Wednesday there is Go4Life Fitness at 10:30 a.m. - $2; Zumba Friday at 10:30 a.m. - $2; Pickle Ball Thursdays starting at 2 p.m. $2. Scrap, stamp, and card making is the second Sunday of every month 2-7 p.m., $5.  

Senior Lunches are Wednesdays at 11:30 a.m. - $5 and community hearth oven pizza parties are Wednesdays 5-8 pm - $5; We request RSVPs to make sure we have enough food for lunch and pizza nights. 

To RSVP for pizza, to register for the “Road, River and Rail” trip or for more information about Birch Grove call 663-7977 or


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

Lutsen 99er offers events for all ages during last weekend in June

Mon, 06/01/2015 - 4:09pm

Fifteen hundred mountain bikers will gather at Lutsen Mountains during the last weekend of June for the Lutsen 99er. WTIP volunteer Mark Abrahamson spoke with Mike Larson and Linda Kratt on North Shore Morning. 


Blues musician Guy Davis comes to Grand Marais June 6

Mon, 06/01/2015 - 3:33pm

Nationally-known blues musician Guy Davis will be visiting Grand Marais on June 6th, with plans for a concert and a special kids program. WTIP host Yvonne Mills spoke with Kate Fitzgerald of the North Shore Music Association on North Shore Morning. 


Event:  “The Roots and Routes of the Blues” Youth Program with Guy Davis
Venue: Grand Marais Public Library
Date: June 6, 2015
Time:   1-2 PM

Co-sponsored by the North Shore Music Association and the Grand Marais Public Library, this event, featuring world-renowned acoustic blues musician Guy Davis, will be a fun, playful, musically and culturally enriching time for all.
 Event: Performance by Guy Davis
Venue: Arrowhead Center for the Arts
Date: June 6
Time: 7:30 PM

For more information contact Kate Fitzgerald of the North Shore Music Association at 218-387-2916. 


Hospital rejects biomass proposal

Mon, 06/01/2015 - 2:38pm

On Thursday, May 21 the Cook County North Shore Hospital board made a motion to decline entering into a contract for service from the proposed Grand Marais Biomass Heating District.

Hospital Board Member Tom Spence read a motion to not accept the proposed Thermal Energy Service Agreement.

Before Spence read his motion, Hospital/Care Center Director Kimber Wraalstad addressed Mark Spurr of FVB Energy Inc. and Cook County Local Energy Project (CCCLEP) President George Wilkes.

Wraalstad said she didn’t have an issue with biomass. But, Wraalstad said she still had concerns when she broke down the numbers on the contract.

Wraalstad said, “We have looked at this for the year and a half and have gone through the proposal carefully because we realize that we are 31 percent of the pie.”

On sticking point, Wraalstad said was the estimated cost of $1.70 per gallon for propane in 2017, the first year of scheduled operation for the proposed biomass facility.

She said currently the hospital is paying $1.29 per gallon and Maintenance Director Rory Smith said that if they purchase a larger quantity, the hospital/care center would pay less than $1 per gallon for the next three years. That amounts to a savings of $86,000 per year over what the biomass heating district contract called for.

The hospital board also had concerns about being locked into a single energy source for the proposed 25-year contract.

The hospital board voted unanimously to reject the proposal.  

Grand Marais fisheries surveys continue

Mon, 06/01/2015 - 2:36pm

Fisheries staff from the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources Grand Marais area office will conduct surveys and assessments on several Cook County lakes and streams during the next few months.

The following lakes will be assessed in June:

June 1 - survey Dislocation and Sock lakes.

June 8 – survey Paulson, Star, and Sea Gull lakes.

June 15 - continue Sea Gull Lake survey; survey Alder Lake.

June 22 - complete Sea Gull Lake survey; survey Ward Lake.

June 29 -  survey Woods Creek and Sunfish Lake.

These survey plans are tentative. Lakes and streams may be added or dropped and timing may change. Questions can be addressed to the DNR’s Grand Marais area fisheries office at 1356 Highway 61 E., Grand Marais, MN 55604. Questions also can be submitted
by calling 218-387-3056 or emailing

Final reports on 2015 surveys will be available in the spring of 2016, but preliminary results for many lakes should be available in the fall of 2015. Final lake survey results will be available online at or from the Grand Marais area fisheries office. Contact the office if interested in stream survey results or preliminary lake survey results.

Fisheries surveys are performed on a regular basis to monitor changes in fish populations and to determine if management strategies have been effective. Survey methods and frequencies vary based on the types of information needed for ongoing management evaluations in individual lakes and streams. Large lakes with heavy use are surveyed more frequently than small, remote lakes. Stocked lakes are also sampled more often to better assess stocking success. Large trout streams are surveyed more frequently than small trout streams or warm-water streams. Most streams are surveyed using backpack electrofishing gear, while most lakes are surveyed using gill nets and trap nets.