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News and other information from Cook County

DNR hosts public meeting on NorthMet mining application in Aurora April 19

Sun, 04/17/2016 - 11:29am

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources will host a public information meeting on Tuesday, April 19, about PolyMet Mining's potential permit to mine application for its proposed NorthMet project.

The meeting will be at Mesabi East High School, 601 North 1st St. W., Aurora, from 6 to 8:30 p.m.

The purpose of the meeting is to inform the public that PolyMet might submit a permit to mine application and to provide an overview of the permitting process. Under state rules, the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, Environmental Quality Board, St. Louis County and the cities of Babbitt, Aurora and Hoyt Lakes, which are near the proposed mine, have been invited to participate. The meeting is in Aurora to enable local government participation.

The meeting will include a formal presentation and an open house. The formal presentation, which begins at 6:30 p.m., will provide an overview of the proposed mining project and the permit to mine process. It will also include a brief summary of the other state permits that may be required for the project. State agency staff and PolyMet representatives will be available during the open house to answer questions about the permit to mine process and other permit processes, such as tailings dam safety, water quality, air quality, wetlands and others.

Project permit applications have not yet been submitted. Formal public comment on permits will not be taken at this point. However, if applications are received, there will be future opportunities to both obtain information about the applications and review and comment on draft permit decisions.

WTIP Weekend News Roundup for April 16

Sat, 04/16/2016 - 10:25am

Each week the WTIP news staff compiles a review of news from the previous five days. The Governor threatens Essar Steel, a county commissioner raised a flap over mining and a speed limit change on the Gunflint is proposed…all this and more in the week’s news.


Grand Marais Playhouse debuts "Little Red Robin Hood" tonight

Fri, 04/15/2016 - 4:43pm

The Grand Marais Playhouse is busy working on the community youth production of Little Red Robin Hood by Flip Kobler and Cindy Marcus. Performances are April 15-17 and 22-24. Friday and Saturday performances are at 7 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m. Special treats in the lobby on Opening Weekend by Alyce’s!

Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for students 18 and under. Friday, April 15 is “Food Shelf Friday”—bring $10 of food or cash and get one ticket free with the purchase of another. Sunday, April 17 is donation day, pay any amount for your ticket.

This is a hilarious show you will not want to miss!

The cast of Little Red Robin Hood includes:

Jaymie Kirk

Amy Carpenter

Malin Anderson

Aurora Schelmeske

Sam Kern

Elsa Garry

Greta Roth

Grace Blomberg

Karl Olson

Dominic Wilson

Abbey Stoddard

Louise Ramberg

Robin Henrikson

Shaelynn Hingos

Charlet Waver

Ella Hedstrom

Izzy Sparks

Lori Hommerding

Linda Garrity

Beth Benson

Jan Healy

Luke Johnson

Liv Hedstrom

Sammie Garrity

Wren Ferry

Grace Ritchey

Bryn Fitzgerald-Wells

Shelby Sjogren

Saira Smith

Olivia Nesgoda

Nevaeh Sifferath

Iylla Christiansen

Tina Krauz

Katie Carpenter

Amos Falter

Grace Nonnemacher

Kylie Viren


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

Commissioners discuss lowering speed limit on Gunflint Trail

Thu, 04/14/2016 - 11:49am

Several of the Cook County Commissioners asked a representative from the Minnesota Department of Transportation on Tuesday, April 12, if the Gunflint Trail could have lower speed limits than are presently posted. 


It'll take some time, but spring is around the corner

Thu, 04/14/2016 - 10:39am

Slow but sure. Spring is coming this weekend.  WTIP’s Jay Andersen spoke with National Weather Service meteorologist Dan Miller


North Shore book among awards finalists

Thu, 04/14/2016 - 10:35am

The Friends of the St. Paul Public Library has announced the finalists in all eight categories for the 28th Annual Minnesota Book Awards, and a local author is on the list.

North Shore: A Natural History of Minnesota’s Superior Coast by Chel Anderson and Adelheid Fischer (University of Minnesota Press) is among the four titles chosen as finalists in the “Minnesota” category.

Award winners will be announced at the 28th Annual Minnesota Book Awards Ceremony on Saturday, April 16, at St. Paul’s historic Union Depot, 214 Fourth Street East.

For more information, call the Library Friends at (651) 222-3242.


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

Community invited to enjoy music with the Care Center residents

Thu, 04/14/2016 - 10:33am

The North Shore Care Center has some fun music events scheduled in April. Members of the group Lake Effect will hold a concert at the Care Center on April 15 at 5:30, and the Flute Reed Ramblers will be back on April 19 at 3:00 p.m. with their old time country and gospel classics.

At the end of the month, the band Portage will play their classic country music on April 30 at 6:30 p.m. Families, friends, and community members are always welcome to join in the fun.

Additional live music in April features Myron Bursheim on Sundays, Al Fuller on Mondays and Susan Scherer on Wednesdays.

There are volunteer opportunities for all ages at the North Shore Care Center. For more information about our volunteer program, please contact the Activity Department at 218-387-3518.


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

Gunflint Tavern remodel nears completion

Thu, 04/14/2016 - 7:44am

An extensive remodeling project is nearly complete at the Gunflint Tavern in downtown Grand Marais. We spoke with the owners of the Tavern, Jeff and Susan Gecas from inside their bar and restaurant.


Potluck and public meeting on Hovland and Colvill history on April 16

Wed, 04/13/2016 - 8:20pm

Hovland and Colvill are rich in history. History that needs to be documented and preserved, but who should undertake this task?

That was the central theme of the Friday, March 18, 2016 town hall meeting attended by about 27 people.

Hovland and Colvill are quiet places with little hustle or bustle, and that’s how a lot of folks living there want to keep it.  However, they also don’t want to lose their link to the past, so residents gathered at the Hovland Town Hall to discuss the area’s historical assets and to begin planning for their preservation and, in some cases, possible access to the public.

County Commissioner Frank Moe, who represents the Colvill and Hovland communities and Cook County Historical Society Director Carrie McHugh, both residents of the area, called the meeting, but Mary Petz moderated.

Petz asked residents to come up with a list of historical places and talk briefly about each. She led a discussion and review of Hovland and Colvill organizations, with much discussion centered on the Hovland Community Club, which was disbanded in the 1990s. There was discussion of reviving the Hovland community club; of maintenance of the town hall buildings, of historical trails and signage; of preservation of the Chicago Bay dock; and more.

A follow-up meeting has been scheduled at the Hovland Town Hall on Saturday, April 16 from 6 – 8 p.m. Everyone is asked to bring a dish to share, his or her own beverage, plate and utensils.


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


Mining resolution draws strong comments during meeting of the commissioners

Wed, 04/13/2016 - 12:31pm

A resolution brought forth during Tuesday’s meeting of the Cook County Commissioners by Commissioner Frank Moe regarding copper-nickel mining in northern Minnesota will not be discussed as an action item during the board’s next meeting. Listen to comments made and a wrap-up of the topic as it was discussed during Tuesday's meeting.


View more news from WTIP

Development, growth and the future of the Lake Superior North Watershed

Wed, 04/13/2016 - 10:11am

This is the first in a five-part series that focuses on clean and sustainable water along Lake Superior’s North Shore. The story describes the role human activities and development will play in shaping the future of the Lake Superior North Watershed. 


EDA appoints Mary Somnis as director

Wed, 04/13/2016 - 8:26am

 The Cook County/Grand Marais Economic Development Authority (EDA) appointed Mary Somnis as its new executive director. Somnis was appointed as the EDA director during a meeting Tuesday, April 12. WTIP’s Joe Friedrichs spoke with Mary about her new role with the EDA. 


Man thought missing found dead in Grand Portage

Tue, 04/12/2016 - 5:50pm

On April 11 at 11:43 a.m., the Cook County Sheriff’s Office received a phone call requesting assistance in locating a 48-year-old male who had missed multiple days of work. The man was not at his home, but his dog was there.

Cook County Sheriff deputies, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources conservation officers, Border Patrol agents, and a Grand Portage Conservation Officer responded. The missing man, Kim Crawford, was found deceased this afternoon.

His body was transported to Cook County North Shore Hospital by Grand Portage Ambulance and Grand Portage First Responders.

The matter is under investigation, but no criminal conduct is suspected to have occurred at this time.


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

Vikings baseball coach optimistic on 2016 season

Tue, 04/12/2016 - 2:58pm

 The Cook County Vikings baseball team is getting ready to start the season. The first two games of the season were canceled due to weather and other related reasons, but the home opener is scheduled for Thursday, April 14. WTIP’s Joe Friedrichs spoke Vikings Head Coach Arleigh Jorgenson about the upcoming season. 


Ham Run celebration—new and improved

Tue, 04/12/2016 - 11:35am

The route of the Ham Run Half Marathon is the same this year as in the past, however, the celebration surrounding the marathon is seeing some positive changes.

Cook County YMCA Executive Director Emily Marshall said she is happy to announce that the pre-race pasta feed will be back this year, hosted by the Gunflint Lodge. The pre-race celebration will be at Gunflint Lodge on Friday, May 6 from 4 – 8 p.m.

Runners can pick up race packets at the YMCA or at Gunflint Lodge this year.

The race itself will once again finish at the Trail's End, but a new post-race celebration is being planned, said Marshall. Upon completion of the race, racers and spectators will be shuttled back to Gunflint Lodge for a delicious meal, awards, and youth activities including the Little Runts Run.

Marshall said having the post-race celebration at the lodge will allow for higher quality and more food and beverage options as well as a warm, comfortable space to host the awards ceremony.

In addition to being one of the main sponsors of the event Gunflint Lodge is also offering lodging packages for racers.

Marshall said, “The Cook County YMCA never turns anyone away for the inability to pay and provides around $40,000 in scholarships to make sure everyone has access to programs and services.”

She noted that with the help of the Gunflint Lodge and other sponsors and volunteer groups such as the Gunflint Fire Department, Big Bear Lodge, BWARC, MN Power, Gunflint Pines, Lake Superior Trading Post, Great River Energy, Grand Marais State Bank, Northern Wilds, and Voyageur Canoe Outfitters, the race is anticipated to raise around $10,000. “These funds will primarily be used for camp scholarships to help reduce the cost to families that need school-age childcare over the summer,” said Marshall.