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News and other information from Cook County

EDA considering director candidates

Wed, 02/24/2016 - 3:52pm

The Cook County/Grand Marais Economic Development Authority (EDA) has been without a director since January 1, 2011 when Matt Geretschlaeger submitted his resignation. The EDA has considered hiring another director every year at budget time and has even advertised to fill the position, without success. At the January 2016 EDA meeting the board asked Small Business Development Representative (SBDC) Pat Campanaro, who has been providing administrative services for the EDA, to once again post the job. At the February 9 EDA meeting, Campanaro reported that she had received several inquiries.

After discussion, the EDA agreed to hold interviews with two candidates on Monday, February 22. EDA board members Mark Sandbo, Howard Hedstrom and Carol Mork will conduct the interviews. Campanaro will send the applicants’ resumes them in advance of the interviews.

Campanaro said she would set up the interviews so that hopefully the EDA could make a decision on a director candidate, “to replace me,” she said.

EDA Board Member Anton Moody said, “I don’t think that is possible.”

The salary for the position, which the EDA posted as “up to ¾ time,” will be commensurate with experience.

The full EDA board will hear the results of the scheduled interviews at the next EDA meeting on Tuesday, March 8.


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

County discusses Dollar General, retail development

Wed, 02/24/2016 - 8:39am

The topic of a Dollar General store near Grand Marais reached the Cook County Commissoners during a public meeting on Tuesday, Jan. 23. WTIP's Joe Friedrichs has this report. 


County approves LED sign at Lockport General Store

Tue, 02/23/2016 - 2:56pm

The county sign ordinance was on the commissioners’ agenda on Tuesday, February 16.

Although the county is in the midst of updating its sign ordinance to address internally-lit and LED-illuminated signs, the county heard a recommendation from the Cook County Planning Commission on a conditional use permit for such a sign at Lockport General Store in Lutsen.

County Zoning Administrator Bill Lane brought forward the request for a conditional use permit (CUP) from Deb Niemisto and Nan Bradley of Lockport for a sign with internal illumination.

Lane said the Cook County Planning Commission recommended approval of the CUP, in part because a CUP had been granted to another Lutsen business, Clearview General Store in 2014. Lane said that CUP “kind of set the precedent” for others.

He explained that Niemisto and Bradley recently underwent a change of gas distributors, from Spur to Calumet, warranting a sign update. The new sign would be a freestanding sign in the same place as the previous one at Lockport. The existing lamps would be changed to LED lighting and a wireless price changer with a digital display would replace the current price board that must be changed by hand.

In their request, the Lockport owners wrote that they will continue with their philosophy of having a small footprint and would be sensitive to the use of light. Lane said unlike the Buck’s Hardware sign in Grand Marais, the Lockport sign would not have a scrolling marquee. And the sign would only be lit from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., when Lockport was open.

Commissioners asked about the status of the county sign ordinance revision and Lane said the committee was nearly finished with its work.

Artists invited to take part in "A Sense of Wonder" exhibit

Tue, 02/23/2016 - 2:26pm

Spirit of the Wilderness Episcopal Church invites artists to participate in our seventh annual art show which will be held at the Johnson Heritage Post March 4-28. This year’s topic is A Sense of Wonder: Expressing this Place.  The opening presentation on March 4 will be given by Chel Anderson, author of recently published book North Shore: A Natural History of Minnesota’s Superior Coast, from 6-7 p.m. on this topic.

We invite artists to consider how they are shaped by the context we call home.  Many artists are drawn to Cook County; some who wouldn’t have called themselves artists begin to create art when they’re here. This show offers a chance to ponder how you as an artist have been formed by the landscape, atmosphere, light, seasons, and community along the North Shore.

This year, not only will high school art students submit work, but younger students will also be encouraged by their art teachers and others to respond to the topic. 

Here are some questions to spark your artistic juices:

How would your artistic expression be different if you lived somewhere else? 

How is your spirituality (and your artistic expression) rooted in this particular place?

How does this specific context nurture your creative spirit? 

There is a limit of two pieces per artist, and we particularly request that you submit works that are for sale. Artists need to submit work with title, price and artist statement to the Johnson Heritage Post by March 1. 

Anyone with questions is asked to contact Bonnie Gay Hedstrom at 218-387 2538 or Ellen Stubbs at 218-663-7298. Students are asked to contact Mary MacDonald at the high school. 


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

Meet the host of National Native News: Antonia Gonzalez

Tue, 02/23/2016 - 9:49am

If you're a frequent listener to WTIP, you’ve probably heard the voice of Antonia Gonzalez, the host of National Native News, which is a regular news segment played on the station. We have some contacts in Albuquerque, New Mexico, which is where Antonia lives. We asked our associates there if we could get to know Antonia a little better. Guest producer Peter Rice has this story. 


WTIP's "Cabin Fever" Membership Drive: Amount raised and drawing results

Mon, 02/22/2016 - 4:56pm

WTIP's "Cabin Fever" membership drive wrapped up at noon, February 22.  Our overall goal for the drive was $18,500, and over the course of four and a half days we heard from 29 new members and 193 renewing members, raising $17,848.  It was a great drive, and we appreciate the support of everyone who pledged, as well as all of the volunteers, community members and local businesses and organizations that helped in some way! 
If you didn't get the chance to pledge, you can still show your support and help us reach the $18,500 needed to get a strong start on our membership budget for the year.  It’s quick and easy to make a pledge online, or – during normal business hours – you can give us a call at 387-1070 or stop by the station at 1712 West Highway 61.  
And just a reminder, if you did make a pledge during the drive, you can see the complete list of winners on our website from our end-of-drive drawing.  Prizes can be picked up at the station (during normal business hours), or winners can call the station to make other arrangements.

WTIP would like to thank everyone that shared their time and talent or provided a donation of some sort during the drive, including:

Moose health influences DNR's deer management strategy

Mon, 02/22/2016 - 4:21pm

Aligning deer permit area boundaries to the known moose range is part of the DNR’s strategy to promote the health of moose populations in northeastern Minnesota. WTIP's Joe Friedrichs reports on this story. 


Snow, but not too much, throughout the week

Mon, 02/22/2016 - 11:06am

The front part of the week will have warmer temps with snow and later in the week, colder (below zero lows) temps with snow. WTIP’s Jay Andersen spoke with National Weather Service meteorologist Carol Christenson about…snow.


Painting demonstration at North Shore Care Center

Sun, 02/21/2016 - 8:26pm

On February 23, Tim Young will share his artistic talent with a painting demonstration at the North Shore Care Center. He will bring his canvas and oils to create a painting while interacting with the residents. Care Center Activities Director Belinda Hudler said, “We look forward to the fun.”

For more information about volunteering or about any of the activities going on, please contact the Activity Department at 218-387-3518 or visit the website: There are volunteer opportunities for all ages at the North Shore Care Center. 

WTIP Weekend News Roundup for February 20

Sat, 02/20/2016 - 11:56am

Each week the WTIP news staff compiles a review of news from the previous five days. The Governor wants states to help lobby Washington in favor of American steel. Enbridge delays Sandpiper. Great Lakes states want their money back. Moose number remain unstable and the county board meets…all this and more in the week’s news.



Donkey Basketball at CCHS tonight!

Thu, 02/18/2016 - 1:14pm

Donkey Basketball is coming to Grand Marais tonight! As participants learned last year, you can’t make a donkey do what it doesn’t want to do. That makes for hilarious competition and everyone is invited to watch the action in the Cook County High School gym on Thursday, February 18. Come for dinner in the cafeteria at 6:30 p.m. and stay for the challenging matches at 7 p.m. between teachers and CCHS seniors and county workers and elected officials versus a firefighter/law enforcement team.

Intermission events will once again include donkey rides for kids with the friendly donkeys of Dairyland Donkey Ball.

You don’t want to miss the return of the donkeys. Proceeds of the event benefit the Cook County High School Band.


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

Voyageur Brewing Company hosts "Rendezbrew 2016" Feb. 19-20

Thu, 02/18/2016 - 12:48pm

Voyageur Brewing Company is celebrating one year of brewing adventurous craft beers with a North Shore anniversary party complete with great beer, food, art, music and fun during “Rendezbrew 2016.”  The anniversary event at the taproom in Grand Marais on February 19 – 20, will also include the debut of Hivernant, Voyageur Brewing Company’s new Imperial Stout.

Hivernant, which is French for "winterer,” is a signature brew created by Head Brewer Jason Baumgarth to celebrate Voyageur’s anniversary and the local influence of Voyageur beer. This small batch release will be bottled in 750ml wax dipped bottles featuring special artwork from artist Jeff Niesen.

Collaborating on the artwork for the new craft beer was an adventure, said Baumgarth, noting the challenge Niesen faced to create something that would stand out on a brown growler bottle.

Creating Hivernant with Assistant Brewer Drew Price was also an adventure. “Craft beer is our way of expressing ourselves,” Baumgarth said. “We’re excited to share this signature beer with our customers and to invite new customers to experience our bold and adventurous craft beer at the anniversary party.

“We’re not just celebrating Voyageur Brewing, but all of the adventurers and voyageurs out there who love craft beer, the North Shore, and we’re excited to celebrate with the local community,” said Baumgarth.

Hivernant will be a taproom exclusive. Voyageur Brewing Company plans to brew an artistic Imperial Stout annually featuring labels by different artists.

Expect rain, sleet and icy conditions with weekend

Thu, 02/18/2016 - 11:34am

This weekend’s weather is slated to be fair to partly awful. Warmer temps could bring rain, resulting in ice, resulting in crusty snow and slippery roads. WTIP’s Jay Andersen spoke with National Weather Service meteorologist Joe Moore.


2016 moose count indicates decline will continue

Tue, 02/16/2016 - 4:29pm

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources said the state's moose population remains low despite a slowing population decline during the past five years.

Results from the 2016 aerial moose survey indicate that the population change from an estimated 3,450 in 2015 to 4,020 in 2016 is not statistically significant. Northeastern Minnesota’s current moose population could be as high as 5,180 or as low as 3,230.

“Moose are not recovering in northeastern Minnesota,” said Glenn DelGiudice, moose project leader for the DNR. “It’s encouraging to see that the decline in the population since 2012 has not been as steep, but longer term projections continue to indicate that our moose population decline will continue.”

Annual population comparisons are made to 2006 because northeastern Minnesota’s highest moose population estimate of 8,840 occurred that year. Since then, the moose population has declined 55 percent.

Studies have shown that adult moose survival has the greatest long-term impact on moose populations. Northeastern Minnesota’s collective moose population may be reflecting the annual survival rate of moose collared as part of the DNR’s moose mortality research project, which shows that survival of adult moose increased from 81 percent in 2013 to 88 percent in 2014 and 85 percent in 2015.

DelGiudice said more calves surviving beyond their first year also may be slowing the short-term population decline. Data collected in fall and early winter 2015 document the number of calves that remained with their mothers. These data reflect the 2016 population survey estimate that 17 percent of Minnesota moose are calves, up from 13 percent in 2015 and 15 percent in 2014.

This year’s survey involved flying 52 survey plots distributed across northeastern Minnesota from Jan. 4-15. The Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa and 1854 Treaty Authority contributed funding and provided personnel to assist Minnesota DNR with the annual moose survey.

A copy of the aerial survey report and more information about Minnesota moose are available on the DNR website at

Contract okayed for tennis court repairs

Tue, 02/16/2016 - 10:57am

While there is plenty of snow on the ground and icicles hanging from buildings and trees on February 9, tennis was one of the main topics of discussion at the Cook County commissioners' meeting.

After months of finding ways to pay for the more than $170,000 in repairs, the county board agreed to sign a contract with Dermco-LaVine Construction Company to repair (and in some cases reconstruct) the Cook County Community Tennis courts this summer.

Dermco-LaVine will repair and reconstruct the tennis courts located adjacent to the Cook County YMCA. Two courts will be entirely reconstructed and a Probounce surface will be put on them.

Cracks 1 inch wide and greater will be cleaned, primed, and filled with dry silica sand up to the bottom of concrete or asphalt slab and the remaining void area filled with hydraulic cement until even with the surface. A rigid thin film tape, PB-Bond ll will then be laid over the repair cracks ¾ inches and larger to prevent shadowing after the area has been surfaced. Smaller cracks will be repaired in a similar fashion.

The goal will be to have the work done by the end of July for the Fisherman’s Picnic tennis tournament.


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