Around Cook County

News and other information from Cook County

Sen. Franken reflects on a new game in Washington

Thu, 12/08/2016 - 11:59am

There may be a new administration in Washington, and there certainly will be some changes, but many things will remain the same. WTIP’s Jay Andersen spoke Minnesota’s U.S. Senator Al Franken about what’s new and what’s not in D.C.


Vikings basketball teams ready for home opener

Thu, 12/08/2016 - 9:04am

Both the Cook County Vikings girls and boys basketball teams have their season opener on Friday, Dec. 9 at home against Two Harbors. The girls start things out at 4:45 p.m. in the Cook County High School gym. And the boys are up after that, starting at 6:30.

In this interview, WTIP's Joe Friedrichs speaks with Vikings Coach Kelly Senty about the upcoming season. 


Winter withdraws, will return

Wed, 12/07/2016 - 12:19pm


Dick Nelson couldn't believe his water gauge. It contained seven inches of rainwater.

"Seven inches. Can you believe it?" Nelson asked on Tuesday, November 29.

Convert that rain to snow, said Nelson, and that would make "a good five feet. Maybe more," he exclaimed on the phone from his Lutsen residence.

While Nelson didn't want five feet of snow dumped on us in a small amount of time, Lutsen Mountains would at least like the temperatures to fall below freezing so they can once again start to make snow.  Enough snow was made to open a few runs in time for Thanksgiving, but much of that has been washed away. Still, skiers take heart, a few cold nights and some natural snowfall are all that is needed for runs to open again.

Nelson isn't the only one surprised by winter's brief retreat.

Winter came with a pounding fury and frightening flurry of snow less than two weeks ago. It took about 12 hours to blanket the Northland under a foot of snow in some places, but then it backed down, and a day later fall returned.

Instead of a white rabbit landscape, the ground is brown, wet and muddy, sloppy as a St. Bernard puppy’s kiss but not as cute.

 The Co-op parking lot in Grand Marais has been flooded for two days. Even in the summer, it doesn't stay under water that long.

Meanwhile, the rivers are once again high, and the water is moving fast. It feels like fishing for Rainbow can't be far behind.

As far as the 10-day weather forecast, snow is coming. As of November 30 temps are supposed to be in the 30s during the day but colder at night with a chance of snow. That's the way the forecast looks for the next 10 days: falling temps, lots of clouds, and some snow. Even a little snow will whiten the land and brighten moods as the gray of winter once again falls upon us.

Commissioners backtrack on decision to meet with adminstrator to solve board greviance

Wed, 12/07/2016 - 12:17pm

The Grand Marais Harbor isn’t full of tea bags yet, but it could be.

Commissioner Frank Moe called on citizens to take back their county.

Janicek reciveves EMDR training

Wed, 12/07/2016 - 12:11pm

Boys' coach upbeat for Vikings basketball season

Wed, 12/07/2016 - 9:46am

The local basketball season tips off this week here in Cook County. We will hear from both the boys and girls local coaches this week as they get ready for the season opener. 

In this interview we hear from Vikings Head Coach Mitch Dorr. 


Tensions flare in Ely over councilman's offensive Facebook post

Tue, 12/06/2016 - 3:43pm

Ely City Councilman Dan Forsman is under fire after posting to a politically-themed Facebook group, suggesting the members should commit suicide.

The post, which was made last week and has since been deleted, was to the Facebook group known as “Pantsuit Nation.” The post included a photo of Dr. Jack Kevorkian and comments about suicide.

According to a report in The Timberjay newspaper, several Ely residents have called for City Councilman Dan Forsman to resign over the comment.

A city council meeting in Ely on Tuesday, Dec. 6 is expected to draw several hundred people.

WTIP’s Joe Friedrichs spoke with Councilman Forsman’s father, Mike Forsman. Mike Forsman is the former mayor of Ely and for 20 years served as a St. Louis County Commissioner.

Friedrichs also spoke with Peta Barrett, owner of Women’s Wilderness Discovery in Ely. Barrett is among the Ely residents speaking out against Forsman’s social media post. 


Mila Horak: Life on a coffee farm

Tue, 12/06/2016 - 12:48pm

Mila Horak divides her time between the North Shore of Minnesota and the tropical weather of Hawaii, where she and her husband Ron Peters operate a farm. Their primary crop is coffee beans, but they also grow a wonderful variety of fruit.

Rhonda Silence talked to Mila about life on a coffee farm.  See more photos of their beautiful locale on the WTIP Facebook page. 

To learn more about Mila Horak and Ron Peters’ adventures, visit


Crash in Little Marais sends Grand Marais woman to hospital

Mon, 12/05/2016 - 1:30pm

A crash on Highway 61 at 1:30 p.m. on Sunday, December 4 totaled two vehicles and sent a Grand Marais woman to the hospital.

Erika Ternes, 34, of Grand Marais was traveling south on Highway 61 near mile marker 6o in Little Marais when she lost control and her Dodge Caravan crossed into the northbound lane.

Her van was broadsided by a 2007 Ford Super Duty pickup driven by Michael J. Hofer, 56, of Maple Grove, Minnesota.

Ternes suffered non-life-threatening injuries and was transported to Lake View Hospital in Two Harbors. Hofer had no apparent injures.
Both parties were wearing seatbelts and air bags deployed in both vehicles. Both vehicles were totaled.

According to Minnesota State Patrol the highway was icy. 

Public opinion varies on moose, elk hunts in Minnesota

Mon, 12/05/2016 - 12:55pm

A tribal moose hunt in Minnesota created some strong opinions this fall. Meanwhile, an elk hunt in the northwest corner of the state went by mostly unnoticed. WTIP's Joe Friedrichs take a closer look at this story. 


Expect snow and increasingly colder temps this week

Mon, 12/05/2016 - 12:20pm

Looks like winter weather will arrive this week. WTIP’s Jay Andersen spoke with National Weather Service Meteorologist Carol Christenson about snow and colder temperatures.


Truth in Taxation meeting draws large crowd to county courthouse

Fri, 12/02/2016 - 12:06pm

It was a packed house at the Cook County Courthouse Thursday night Dec. 1, as more than 20 people addressed the Board of Commissioners to share a mix emotions and thoughts on property tax increases and the 2017 county budget.

The commissioners’ room was full before the 6 p.m. start time on Thursday, and became a standing room only as the Truth in Taxation meeting began.

Many of the sentiments addressed to the commissioners and several members of county staff from the public focused on the fact high property taxes were problematic for local residents. 

Cook County residents began receiving their proposed 2017 tax statements toward the end of November. The proposed increase for Cook County is currently at 19.88%. A final levy and budget must be adopted on or before December 28.

There were moments of strong emotion during Thursday’s Truth in Taxation meeting, including boos from the crowd, raucous applause, stories of families struggling to make ends meet and those simply stating they might have to move away from Cook County due to the high cost of living. On the other side of the equation, there were those who reasoned both during the meeting and in statements sent to WTIP that the assessed value of local properties was a key source of the cause of the increase in property taxes, and that citing percentage increases rather than actual dollar amounts were a means of sensationalizing the actual amount of property tax increases in Cook County.

The next meeting of the Cook County Commissioners is Tuesday, Dec. 13. 


WTIP shares the latest law enforcement report

Fri, 12/02/2016 - 2:46am




Gloomy weather to eventually turn colder

Thu, 12/01/2016 - 12:13pm

More of same for the weather forecast this weekend, with a look ahead to colder temps. WTIP’s Jay Andersen spoke with National Weather Service Meteorologist Mike Stewart about gloomy December weather.


Commissioner asks citizens to "take your county back"

Wed, 11/30/2016 - 11:45am

The Truth in Taxation meeting may bring out angry taxpayers. WTIP’s Jay Andersen spoke with First District Commissioner Frank Moe about the levy increase as well as his thoughts on the board walking back from an earlier decision to review the performance of the County Administrator.


November 21, 2017
  1:23 a.m. Law Enforcement Center Transporting party to detox.
  7:30 a.m. Lutsen  Safe routes to school.
  8:08 a.m. Grand Marais  Walking dog and it got loose. Brown/white Australian shepherd, “Jazz.” 
  8:19 a.m. Grand Marais  Pitbull bit someone in the parking.
  10:42 a.m. East Highway 61  Hit a deer. Deer would be on the upper side of the highway. No injuries to person. 
  11:17 a.m. West Highway 61  Traffic stop, warning given.
  11:29 a.m. West Highway 61  Traffic stop, warning given.
  11:45 a.m. Law Enforcement Center Party in lobby. Stated last night party hit their hand. 
  12:07 p.m. Cook County courthouse  Security.
  1:05 p.m. Law Enforcement Center Dropped party’s items off for them to pick up, due to an order for protection between them. 
  1:31 p.m. Grand Marais  Party stated that he was grazed by a vehicle at this location on Nov. 11, 2016 at 3:30.
  3:22 p.m. Cook County High School Safe routes to school.
  3:29 p.m. West 5th Street, Grand Marais Traffic stop, warning given.
  4:07 p.m. Law Enforcement Center  Wants to talk about party and something that may happen tonight. 
  7:46 p.m. West Highway 61 Traffic stop, warning given.
  7:57 p.m. MN Power, Schroeder Business check.
November 22
  3:31 a.m. Grand Marais  79-year-old woman, very weak and unable to walk. 
  7:42 a.m. Cook County High School  Safe routes to school.
  8:04 a.m. East Highway 61  Traffic stop, warning given.
  8:40 a.m. Grand Marais   Requesting to speak with a deputy. 
  8:58 a.m. Law Enforcement Center   Picking up party from detox.
  10:00 a.m. West Highway 61, Lutsen  Traffic stop, warning given.
  10:13 a.m. West Highway 61, Lutsen Traffic stop, warning given.
  10:21 a.m. Lutsen  Lost GMC key with fob with maybe 3 additional keys on it. Lost on Superior Hiking Trail between Lutsen and Grand Marais. 
  10:27 a.m. West Highway 61 Traffic stop, warning given.
  10:52 a.m. West Highway 61  Out with party.
  12:39 p.m. Law Enforcement Center Party would like to speak to a deputy.
  1:10 p.m. Great Expectations School  D.A.R.E. class. 
  4:11 p.m. Law Enforcement Center Permit to carry application received. 
  4:48 p.m. Lutsen  White Honda SUV all over, info given to Minnesota State Patrol. 
  5:32 p.m. East Highway 61  Traffic stop, warning given.
  8:41 p.m. West Highway 61, Tofte  Traffic stop, warning given.
  9:57 p.m. Birch Terrace, Grand Marais  Welfare check requested. Caller is concerned for party in bar, very drunk, throwing stuff around.
  10:15 p.m. West Highway 61 Traffic stop, warning given.
  10:25 p.m. Cascade Beach Road  87-year-old fell, can't get up and is complaining of hip pain 
November 23
  7:37 a.m. East Highway 61, Hovland Reporting vehicle in the ditch. 
  8:10 a.m. Grand Portage  No one on the phone, sounds of voices in the background no shouting. 
  8:26 a.m. West Highway 61, Schroeder Semi on side of road with flashers and flares out. 
  8:50 a.m. Birchwood Apartment, Grand Marais  Reporting that party parks their truck near this location, feels it is a hazard.
  9:05 a.m. West Highway 61  Vehicle in ditch, lakeside, person standing on the roadway.
  9:05 a.m. West Highway 61, Tofte Traffic stop, warning given.
  9:36 a.m. Gunflint Trail/5th Avenue  Vehicle ran off the road on the SE corner of this intersection. No injuries. 
  11:00 a.m. Law Enforcement Center Permit to carry application received. 
  11:33 a.m. Law Enforcement Center Received permit to carry renewal application.
  1:12 p.m. Arrowhead Trail, Hovland  Helping resident dig her vehicle out. 
  1:15 p.m. Law Enforcement Center Test.
  1:24 p.m. Cook County courthouse Test for training. 
  1:27 p.m. Law Enforcement Center Test for training. 
  1:43 p.m. Law Enforcement Center Party must have hit the wrong button. No emergency, misdial. 
  2:00 p.m. Law Enforcement Center Transporting prisoner from St Louis County Jail to Cook County Jail for housing and court.
  2:12 p.m. Grand Portage  Traffic stop, citation issued. 
  2:13 p.m. County Road 7, Grand Marais  Arrowhead Transit bus stuck near this location. 
  2:19 p.m. Cook County courthouse  Call party back.
  2:53 p.m. Stevens Road, Grand Portage  Vehicle in the ditch.
  3:14 p.m. Grand Marais  Party misdialed at this location, no emergency. 
  4:22 p.m. Grand Marais  Sent over a report on an individual. 
  7:49 p.m. West Highway 61  Traffic stop, warning given.
  8:42 p.m. West Highway 61 Traffic stop, citation issued.
  9:06 p.m. Grand Marais Party moved out and took items when they left
  9:25 p.m. 7th Avenue, Grand Marais  Party states his two dogs ran off. A golden retriever named Bourbon and a white lab named Bolt. Both dogs are wearing collars and are friendly. 
  10:06 p.m. GunFlint Tavern, Grand Marais  Two people arguing outside.
November 24
  7:06 a.m. West Highway 61  Traffic stop, citation issued.
  8:32 a.m. Upper Road, Grand Portage  Large balsam on power line half way down the driveway. 
  8:54 a.m. Cutoff Road, Grand Marais  Requesting residence checks. 
  9:08 a.m. West Highway 61 Reporting someone hit a deer at this location. Vehicle has front end damage. No injuries and deer needs to be dispatched. 
  9:35 a.m. West Highway 61  Traffic stop, warning given.
  9:45 a.m. Mount Maude Tower, Grand Portage  ARMER tower at this site reads out of power. Generator running for one hour.
  9:59 a.m. Hovland  Traffic stop, citation issued.
  10:24 a.m. Grand Portage  Traffic stop, citation issued. 
  10:38 a.m. Grand Portage  Traffic stop, citation issued. 
  11:05 a.m. West Highway 61, Tofte  Traffic stop, warning given.
  11:19 a.m. West Highway 61, Schroeder Traffic stop, citation issued.
  11:39 a.m. West Highway 51, Schroeder Traffic stop, warning given.
  11:49 a.m. Skou Road, Schroeder  Traffic stop, cancel.
  11:55 a.m. Bluefin Bay, Tofte  Abandoned 911 call. Customer misdialed, no emergency. 
  12:26 p.m. East Highway 61 Traffic stop, warning given.
  12:58 p.m. West Highway 61 Traffic stop, citation issued.
  12:59 p.m. West Highway 61 Traffic stop, warning given.
  1:09 p.m. West Highway 61 Traffic stop, warning given.
  1:15 p.m. West Highway 61 Traffic stop, warning given.
  1:25 p.m. Gofer Trailer Court, Grand Marais  Says that there is a white husky running loose in this area. Dog had a green collar and was wearing an orange bandana. Party was wondering if anyone had called missing a dog. 
  1:27 p.m. West Highway 61, Tofte Traffic stop, warning given.
  1:39 p.m. West Highway 61, Tofte Traffic stop, warning given.
  2:40 p.m. East Highway 61, Grand Portage Traffic stop, warning given.
  3:00 p.m. Grand Marais  Reporting his dog Odin is missing for about 3 hours. 
  3:01 p.m. East Highway 61 Traffic stop, warning given.
  3:07 p.m. West Highway 61, Tofte  Traffic stop, warning given.
  3:23 p.m. West Highway 61, Tofte  Traffic stop, citation issued.
  4:12 p.m. Paradise Beach, Colvill Reporting a small black dog running loose in this area. 
  4:27 p.m. East Highway 61  Traffic stop, warning given.
  4:57 p.m. Law Enforcement Center  Party contacted deputy about an ongoing matter with her child. 
  5:56 p.m. Law Enforcement Center  Found a dog just past Cascade State Park. They have the dog and were wondering if anyone has reported a dog missing.
  6:04 p.m. Grand Marais  Reporting that there was a lot of shouting going on in the apartment above caller. 
  8:51 p.m. East Highway 61 Traffic stop, warning given.
  9:16 p.m. East Highway 61 Traffic stop, warning given.
  9:57 p.m. West Highway 61, Tofte Traffic stop, warning given.
  10:12 p.m. Cook County Community Center Surveillance footage of suspicious activity - unknown person on east side of building messing with something along the east wall. Passenger in vehicle. There is a driver but unable to see who. 
November 25
  1:03 a.m. Grand Marais  Reporting possible domestic.
  2:59 a.m. East Highway 61, Hovland 89-year-old male having lots of pain in his back and trouble walking.
  9:32 a.m. Casino Drive, Grand  Portage  Person with possible broken leg in the back parking lot by the maintenance garage.
  9:42 a.m. East Highway 61 Traffic stop, warning given.
  9:54 a.m. East Highway 61 Traffic stop, warning given.
  10:05 a.m. Arrowhead Trail, Hovland  Party called on ARMER to report hitting a deer 1/4 mile up Arrowhead Trail past the pavement. Requested a conservation officer.
  10:08 a.m. West Highway 61  Traffic stop, warning given.
  10:09 a.m. East Highway 61 Traffic stop, warning given.
  10:23 a.m. West Highway 61 Traffic stop, warning given.
  10:51 a.m. Grand Marais  Party having problems going up County Road 14 near this location. Party said that the steep hill in the area is very icy 
  11:10 a.m. Grand Portage Lodge  Reporting they have a counterfeit $20 bill in their possession. 
  11:12 a.m. Law Enforcement Center  Attempting to pick up individual with warrant out of Wisconsin 
  1:12 p.m. West Highway 61  Caller requesting that the ER be alerted, bringing in a 70-year-old male possibly experiencing a stroke. 
  1:29 p.m. Colvill  Reporting 2 vehicle accident near this location.
  1:55 p.m. West Highway 61, Schroeder  Traffic stop, warning given.
  2:15 p.m. East 5th Street, Grand Marais  Wondering what to do about all the deer parts left in the garage. It is starting to stink in there and also what can be done about camper that party took. Would like a call back.
  3:37 p.m. West Highway 61  Big spruce tree hanging on the electrical line, just wants the lineman to know about it.
  3:43 p.m. West Highway 61 Misdial.
  5:07 p.m. Durfee Creek, East Highway 61  Hit a deer, needs to be dispatched. 
  5:10 p.m. Joynes Ben Franklin  Parade detail.
  5:16 p.m. North Broadway, Grand Marais Parade detail.
  7:03 p.m. West Highway 61, Grand Marais  Requested deputy assist at vehicle search at this location. 
  7:39 p.m. 5th Avenue, Grand Marais Traffic stop, warning given.
  8:07 p.m. West Highway 61 Traffic stop, citation issued.
  8:31 p.m. Grand Portage Lodge Foot patrol.
  9:09 p.m. West Highway 61 Traffic stop, warning given.
  9:30 p.m. West Highway 61, Tofte Traffic stop, warning given.
  10:08 p.m. County Road 7, Grand Marais  Complaint on dog that's been in the middle of the roadway in this area during the last couple weeks. Black and tan shepherd type markings but body shape more like a husky. 
  11:21 p.m. Devil Track Road, Grand Marais  Traffic stop, warning given.
  11:43 p.m. Eagle Ridge Resort, Lutsen  Male missing his wife who is intoxicated. She was kicked out of Papa Charlie’s about an hour and a half ago.
November 26
  1:15 a.m. Caspers Hill, Colvill  CO detector went off about 20 minutes ago, no symptoms. Has propane heater turned off and windows open 
  9:20 a.m. Stonegate Road, Hovland  Strong propane smell outside. Not from their house. 
  9:29 a.m. Durfee Creek, Grand Marais  Husky/chow mix white in color. 
  10:44 a.m. West Highway 61 Traffic stop, citation issued.
  11:17 a.m. Law Enforcement Center Hang up from this number. County called back, party stated it was a pocket dial. 
  12:31 p.m. West Highway 61 Traffic stop, warning given.
  3:14 p.m. Law Enforcement Center Party brought in a dog that was found running on the highway. 
  3:49 p.m. Old Shore Road, Grand Marais  Reporting a tree on the power line at this location. 
  5:59 p.m. Chicago Bay Marketplace  Public assist.
  7:14 p.m. Grand Portage Lodge 50-year-old female feeling weak, clammy and slow heart rate.
  8:21 p.m. N. Broadway, Grand Marais  Foot patrol, Grand Marais business district 
  9:06 p.m. Taconite Harbor, Schroeder Business check.
  9:20 p.m. Sven & Ole’s, Grand Marais  Out with 4 behind Sven & Ole’s 
  10:47 p.m. Chateau LeVeaux, Tofte  27-year-old female having severe check and back pain.
  November 27  
  1:41 a.m. East Highway 61 Traffic stop, warning given.
  3:34 a.m. Grandma Ray’s, Grand Marais Wondering if deputy available to give him a ride. 
  3:41 a.m. Grandma Ray’s, Grand Marais  Going to check out - thought there were a couple people at the bar.
  11:45 a.m. Schroeder  Vehicle near mile marker 70. Lost brakes, no injuries. North Coast Towing enroute.
  11:50 a.m. West Highway 61 Will be doing some shooting with a 50 caliber pistol today.
  1:02 p.m. Grand Marais Water Tower  Boat trailer with flat tire, parked in the runaway truck ramp. 
  1:17 p.m. West Highway 61 Traffic stop, warning given.
  1:27 p.m. West Highway 61 Traffic stop, warning given.
  1:28 p.m. West Highway 61, Tofte Traffic stop, warning given.
  1:36 p.m. West Highway 61, Tofte Traffic stop, warning given.
  2:12 p.m. Caribou Trail, Lutsen  Illegally parked obstructing traffic lane. 
  2:34 p.m. East Highway 61 Traffic stop, warning given.
  3:31 p.m. West Highway 61, Schroeder Traffic stop, clear.
  4:35 p.m. East Highway 61 Reporting that they hit a deer near this location. No injuries and thinks car can be driven 
  4:54 p.m. White Pine Lane, Lutsen  Possible stroke. 
  5:32 p.m. N. Broadway, Grand Marais Foot patrol, Grand Marais business district 
  6:24 p.m. Lutsen Resort Suspicious activity reported.
  9:05 p.m. Superior National Golf Course  Business check.