Around Cook County

News and other information from Cook County

Shift in EPA funding impacts the future of the Lake Superior Binational Forum

Thu, 12/18/2014 - 12:53pm

The Lake Superior Binational Forum will be impacted by a shift in EPA funding. WTIP host Joey Detrick spoke with Lissa Radke, U.S. Coordinator of the Forum, on North Shore Morning. 

To learn more about the change in funding for the Lake Superior Binational Forum, or to submit comments regarding this change, go to:

More information about Lake Superior issues can be found on WTIP's Lake Superior Project.

(Photo courtesy of Lake Superior Binational Forum)

Listen to the Story

Cook County YMCA celebrates its 1st birthday

Thu, 12/18/2014 - 11:43am

There are several upcoming events and new classes at the Cook County YMCA. WTIP host Joey Detrick spoke with Michaela Buchheit and Betsy Blaisdell of the Cook County YMCA on North Shore Morning.

For  more information on YMCA events and activities contact:

Betsy Blaisdell
Membership Director
Cook County Community YMCA
218-387-3386 x503
P.O. Box 787, Grand Marais, MN 55604

Listen to the Story

Audubon Christmas Bird Count is Saturday, Dec. 20

Thu, 12/18/2014 - 10:52am

Both feeder watchers and birders to walk or drive are needed for the 2014 Audubon Christmas Bird Count (CBC) on Saturday, December 20.

Participants can cover as much or as little as they would like in the Grand Marais counting circle, which is a 7.5-mile radius circle from a point 3 miles south of the middle of Devil Track Lake.  The count circle covers Highway 61 to Lindskog Road and north, some of County Rd 60, the Gunflint Trail to the landfill road, Pine Mountain Road to the backside of Elbow Lake, Devil Track Road to Bally Creek Road, Ball Club Road to The Grade, Pike Lake Rd, and Highway 61west to Cascade Lodge, and all of the lakeshore between Lindskog Road and Cascade Lodge.

Participants can be novice to professional, since CBCs are open to birders of all skill levels.  CBC Bird Count Compiler Jeremy Ridlbauer said, “We can use both walkers and drivers as well as feeder watchers that can identify birds and can count the highest number of a single species in an area as well.

“We'll also need any species of birds that you see in the count circle, but not on the count day.  This ‘count week’ happens for the three days prior and three days after the count day of Saturday.”

For count day, participants need a guidebook, binoculars, a scope for lake birding, warm clothes, warm boots/Yak Traks, a logbook to record your observations, and a keen and quick eye to count our winter rarities!  

If you are a feeder watcher, keep you feeders full up and through count day to encourage birds to be there on that day, have various foods available in feeders and on the ground to entice as many species as possible.

SplinterTones on stage at Papa Charlie's Saturday

Thu, 12/18/2014 - 10:50am

SplinterTones, the high-octane seven-piece dance band based in Grand Marais, will be swinging onto the Papa Charlie stage on Saturday, December 20. 

Noted for their vibrant vocal harmonies, colorful stage presence and  strong

rhythmic grooves, SplinterTones are known for crowding the dance floor with legions of  enthusiastic dancers.  

Truly a band with something for everyone, SplinterTones play swing, zydeco,  mambo, celtic, polka, rock, and original tunes in a unique and unmistakable style. So lace up your dancing shoes, come on out and shake a tailfeather.

The SplinterTones are: Max Bichel - Fiddle, Liz Sivertson - Saxophone, Leah Thomas - Accordion, John Gruber - Guitar, Holly Harwig -percussion, Jeff DeShaw - Bass, Rick Brandenburg - drums.


This local news is provided by the Cook County News-Herald ~

Schroeder township now on-line

Wed, 12/17/2014 - 3:07pm

It’s not finished; in fact it’s a work in progress.  “But it’s up and running,” said Schroeder Supervisor Tina McKeever, of the the township’s new website.

McKeever made the exciting announcement at the town board’s December 9 meeting.

Last month the supervisors hired Lavona Czaplicki to help them design and get the long- planned site up and going.

McKeever and Town Clerk Doug Schwecke have been adding pictures and information to the site, but, as she noted, “We need to add a lot more information about the township and we need to get more pictures that represent Schroeder onto the site.”

The website can be viewed online at


This local news is provided by the Cook County News-Herald ~

National Park Service sees positive results in ballast water testing

Wed, 12/17/2014 - 3:06pm

The National Park Service continues its efforts to prevent the spread of aquatic invasive species. Invasive species such as the zebra mussel have caused extensive damage to natural resources and cost millions of dollars in eradication and control efforts. Ballast water discharges from ships (water used for ship stability) is a primary pathway for introduction of invasive species. The NPS and its partners have conducted significant research into ballast water treatment technology, most recently this summer at Isle Royale National Park.

Results are in from the summer testing of two freshwater ballast treatment systems on the NPS ship Ranger III. The NPS tested a manually operated rapid response treatment process that used chlorine and a neutralizer and a fully automated permanent treatment system using filtration and ultraviolet (UV) technology. The shipboard status tests were conducted in September 2014 and the final report was recently released. Both systems passed United States federal and international standards for two out of three requirements: discharge of living zooplankton and indicator bacteria.

The systems did not meet the standards for phytoplankton, which remain some of the toughest organisms to kill. Since the numbers of live phytoplankton collected exceeded the standard, the test facility conducted a viability analysis. After giving the organisms optimum conditions for growth and reproduction it was determined they were not viable (not capable of reproduction) after undergoing either of the treatments.

More information on results and criteria will be posted on the Isle Royale website,