Around Cook County

News and other information from Cook County

Community feedback wanted at Wednesday meeting on county comprehensive land use guide plan

Mon, 09/15/2014 - 12:17pm

“Cook County’s Comprehensive Land Use Guide Plan will direct county decision making and investment toward creating a future where residents can prosper and enjoy a quality lifestyle within an unparalleled natural setting for which we are dedicated stewards,” said Shari Baker, chair of the County Plan Update Committee. To ensure that the updated plan fully reflects the desires of the community Baker, on behalf of the Comprehensive Plan Committee, invites Cook County residents and property owners to participate in a community planning session on Wednesday, September 17, 2014 at the Cook County Community Center in Grand Marais. The session will run from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

Residents are being asked to participate in this meeting to suggest ideas regarding how the county should look in 20 years in terms of land use, community appearance, economic vitality, and community life. They will also have the opportunity to offer specific action steps needed to achieve that desired future.

Baker said the ideas generated by the public will be a critical ingredient in formulating the draft plan, which will then be offered for public review and comment later in the planning process. “It cannot be emphasized enough how important it is that the public use this opportunity to provide their ideas,” added Baker.

To learn about the planning process to date, visit the County Planning and Zoning website ( The public is encouraged to view the plan and documents related to a “Desired Future Condition” and offer their opinions on them by email to or mailing to Planning and Zoning Department, Cook County Courthouse, 411 W. 2nd Street, Grand Marais, MN  55604 or by talking with one of the committee members.

Calling all girls: Girl Scout Kick-Off event is Thursday, September 18

Mon, 09/15/2014 - 12:15pm

Girls of all ages are invited to the Cook County Girl Scout Kick-Off event, Thursday, September 18, right after school. Girl Scouts—and those interested in becoming Girl Scouts—are invited to meet at Bethlehem Church.  There will be crafts, popcorn, cotton candy–and a lot of fun!

Girls in kindergarten through third grade will be met at their classrooms so everyone can walk together. Girls in grades 4-5 can walk along or meet the group at the church.

Parents are welcome anytime to talk to troop leaders, but should check in with the leader before taking the girls home at 5:00 p.m.

 Girls in 6-12th grade are welcome and encouraged to come join the fun and maybe lend a hand, but a special kick-off event is being planned for you later this fall!



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

Author Lorna Landvik to visit Drury Lane Books Sept. 17

Mon, 09/15/2014 - 12:14pm

Lorna Landvik, best-selling author of many novels including Patty Jane’s House of Curl, Angry Housewives Eating Bon-Bons, Oh My Stars, and Mayor of the Universe, will visit Drury Lane Books in Grand Marais for a book-signing from 2 to 4 p.m. Sept. 17.

Landvik has performed stand-up and improvisational comedy around the country and is also a public speaker, playwright, and actor, most recently seen in an all-improvised, one-woman show Party in the Rec Room. Landvik will also be in Duluth the following day for a 6 p.m. book signing and 7 p.m. reading at the bookstore at Fitger’s (600 E. Superior St.).

Landvik’s new novel is Best to Laugh and features Candy Pekkala, her latest irrepressible character on the world stage—or at least onto the dimly lit small stage where stand-up comedy gets its start.

Herself a comic performer, Landvik taps her own adventurous past and Minnesota roots to conjure Candy’s life in this strange new Technicolor home. Her fellow tenants at Peyton Hall include a female bodybuilder, a ruined nightclub impresario, and a well-connected Romanian fortune-teller. There are game show appearances and temp jobs at a record company and an establishment suspiciously like the Playboy Mansion, and of course the alluring but not always welcoming stage of stand-up comedy. As she hones her act, Candy is tested by humiliation, hecklers, and the inherent sexism that insists “chicks aren’t funny.”

Written with the light touch and quiet wisdom that have made her works so popular, this is classic Lorna Landvik—sometimes so funny, you’ll cry; sometimes so sad, you might as well laugh; and always impossible to put down.

For more information about Landvik’s books or the book signing, contact Drury Lane Books at (218) 387-3370.


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

Cornerstone Community Church sponsoring blood drive

Sat, 09/13/2014 - 10:52am

Memorial Blood Center will hold a blood drive from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 17 at Cornerstone Community Church, 1 Cedar Grove Lane, Grand Marais. (One block up the hill from the Law Enforcement Center on the new Gunflint Trail.)

 Did you know that every two seconds, someone needs blood — from heart transplant and cancer patients to accident victims in crises? Memorial Blood Centers faces a demand of over 2,700 units a week to meet the needs of more than 30 health care partners in the area. And making a blood donation is one way to give a potentially life-saving gift to friends, family and community.

Donating blood—the ultimate renewable resource—is safe and convenient when you are in good health, 17 years or older, free of antibiotics for 24 hours (unless taken daily for skin condition), and symptom-free for at least three days following a cold or flu.

Call Valerie Gustafson at (218) 387-9026 for more information or to reserve an appointment time

Moving Matters seeks comments on Grand Marais Highway 61 corridor

Sat, 09/13/2014 - 10:50am

About 50 people came out on Thursday, Sept. 4 to the Grand Marais Public Library for a Moving Matters event intended to start discussion about Highway 61. Organizers asked, “Is the Highway 61 corridor serving the community well as it is currently designed?” and “How can it be improved for safety, economic opportunity, and as the ‘front door’ to our community?”

The event was a continuation of the discussions of “Complete Streets” with the Minnesota Department of Transportation in May and is part of the ongoing efforts of the City of Grand Marais and the Sawtooth Mountain Clinic’s Moving Matters project to create streets that are safe for bikes, pedestrians and automobiles.

Mike Fisher, senior vice president of LHB Engineering & Architects and C.J. Fernandez, a landscape architect with AvenueDesign Partners, facilitated much of the meeting. After public comments were collected, Fernandez said this is an initial assessment, adding, “There are a lot of parts to this.”

The information gleaned from this first meeting will be compiled and will be available on the Moving Matters website. For those who missed the meeting but wish to comment, they can do so on the website. (

Wolf trapped and killed in Grand Marais

Fri, 09/12/2014 - 12:22pm

 Reports of several close calls and rumors of at least two more wolf attacks in the last week have had Grand Marais pet owners on edge. Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Conservation Officer Darin Fagerman confirmed two attacks, but added that he hopes the problem is over with the trapping and killing of an apparent problem wolf on Saturday, September 6.

A dog was injured at the County Road 6 home of Kathy and Gary Siesennop on Friday, September 5. At about 5:20 a.m., Kathy Siesennop let their golden retriever, Ripper, outside. Moments later, she heard the dog yelping and crying as he ran back onto the deck.  Examining the retriever, the Siesennops found that he had a puncture wound on his back haunch and his leg was bleeding in two spots.

The Williams family on Fall River Road (County Road 13), about three miles from Siesennops witnessed their Scottish terrier, Captain Jack, taken by a wolf.

David Williams said he was doing some chores on the family’s farm at 2:30 p.m. on Thursday, September 4, riding his all-terrain vehicle (ATV) to an outbuilding near his barn when he saw a wolf in pursuit of his lab, Buck. He said the lab ran away, but unfortunately the Scottie ran toward the wolf.

Williams took after the wolf on the ATV and chased it off. He and his son-in-law walked the property and found Jack’s body. The wolf apparently dropped the little dog when it was being chased.

Williams said he would like to believe the wolf trapped and killed in Grand Marais is the one that killed his dog, but he is doubtful. He said the wolf he saw was much bigger and the coloring seemed different than the photos he has seen of the one killed in Grand Marais.