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News and other information from Cook County

MnDOT seeking public comments on statewide bicycle system plan

Sun, 10/25/2015 - 11:42am

The Minnesota Department of Transportation is seeking public comment on the statewide bicycle system plan.

 A draft of the plan is online for review at Interested persons may email comments on the plan to through Nov. 16.

The plan represents the agency’s vision and goal for bicycle transportation, implementation strategies and performance measures to evaluate progress toward achieving its vision. MnDOT developed the plan through consultation with the public, agency staff and partners at state, regional and local planning agencies.

More than 4,500 Minnesotans participated in nine statewide open houses and workshops last spring to help MnDOT identify and recommend routes, improve existing facilities in the bike system and more effectively address the needs of bicycle riders in Minnesota.

“We achieved one of the highest levels of participation recorded in a statewide planning initiative,” said Tim Mitchell, MnDOT bicycle and pedestrian programs manager. “We learned that state bikeways create opportunities for inter-community travel across the state. We also learned that people value opportunities for local bicycle travel more than statewide bicycle travel.”

 He said that local and regional bicycling networks support trips within and around communities and in places where state highways overlap with a community’s local network. MnDOT can improve the safety and comfort of bicycling conditions by investing in infrastructure on or across the state highway.

Herring numbers likely to impact DNR's Lake Superior fishery plan

Fri, 10/23/2015 - 1:28pm

Herring numbers are low in Lake Superior, according to the Department of Natural Resources. This could impact the way the lake is managed in the future as a fishery. News reporter Joe Friedrichs takes a closer look at this issue.  


Construction progress at the Care Center

Fri, 10/23/2015 - 9:23am

A new boiler and LP tank, construction progress and a revised logo.  WTIP’s Gary Atwood spoke with hospital and care center administrator Kimber Wraalstad.
Ongoing updates are available online at



County establishes committee to look at vacation rentals

Fri, 10/23/2015 - 7:24am

The Cook County Board has approved a committee to look at unauthorized vacation rentals in the county. The request came from Planning & Zoning Director Tim Nelson.

The committee—or task force as Nelson called it—will ask several questions. “We know it’s [unauthorized rentals] going on, but should we do anything about it? Are they a problem? If so, should they be regulated? And how would we regulate them?

“What are the tax implications and what is the potential impact for sewer systems [more use] and potential for neighborhood conflict?

“These are a few things we will discuss and we will come back to the county board with our recommendations,” said Nelson.

Nelson said he thought the committee would be able to come back with some recommendations in “less than a year.”

Members were selected from throughout the county and represent various organizations.

Heidi-Doo-Kirk will serve as the county board’s primary representative with Jan Sivertson as the alternate.

Other committee members are Dave Seaton (primary) and Gerry Gervais (alternate) from the Planning Commission; County Administrator Jeff Cadwell (primary) and County Attorney Molly Hicken (alternate); County Auditor Braidy Powers (primary) and Karen Blackburn (alternate); County Planning Director Tim Nelson (primary) and County Environmental Health Officer Mitch Everson (alternate); vacation rental business owner Mike Larson (primary) and Steve Surbaugh (alternate); resort owner Bruce Martinson (primary) Jill Pederson (alternate); Realtor Kim Wolf; general public member J.D. Lehr; City of Grand Marais representative Tim Kennedy (primary) Mike Roth (alternate) and County Assessor Betty Schultz.


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


Papa Charlie's hosts Americana duo, Mark Olson and Ingunn Ringvold

Fri, 10/23/2015 - 7:20am

Papa Charlie’s at Lutsen Mountain is delighted to host Mark Olson, founding member of The Jayhawks, and his wife, Norwegian singer/multi-instrumentalist Ingunn Ringvold, in concert on Saturday, October 24, starting at 8:30 p.m.

Catch the talented duo as they wrap up their North America tour with a visit to some of Mark's favorite places in Minnesota before embarking on a three month European tour. This Minneapolis native's songs, which fit comfortably in rock, pop, and country settings, have helped create the fusion of these styles, which is now called Americana (a term The Jayhawks had a part in coining).

The duo's new album, Good-bye Lizelle, finds him plying his trademark sound, one underscored by yearning high-lonesome vocals while adding atmospheric world music ambiance from Ringvold's harmonies and exotic instrumentation

Tickets are $10 in advance; $14 at the door.


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


Banadad Trail Association hosts trail clearing day

Thu, 10/22/2015 - 10:16am

Help wanted! The Banadad Trail Association invites you to help get the Banadad Ski Trail ready for winter. Tentative plans call for cutting a 300-foot reroute around a beaver dam blocking the Banadad’s Tall Pines Trail and hand cutting this past summer’s accumulated downfall on the east end of the Banadad inside the Boundary Waters Canoe Area.

Meet for the Trail Work Day at 9:00 a.m., Saturday, October 24, at Poplar Creek Guesthouse B&B, 11 Poplar Creek Drive (just off the Lima Grade) Gunflint Trail. Hand tools and lunches will be provided to all volunteers. Wear sturdy clothing and boots.

After the trail work volunteers are invited to return to the Poplar Creek Guesthouse to cleanup and for a short reception.

At 6:00 p.m., trail clearing volunteers and other friends of the Banadad are invited to the Banadad Trail Association’s Annual meeting followed by a Potluck Dinner at the Schaap Community Center – Gunflint Fire Hall #1 – on Gunflint Trail (next to Lima Grade). Bring a dish to pass.

For more information on the Trail Work Day and/or the Banadad Trail Association’s Annual Meeting and Potluck Dinner, call 218-388-4487.

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