Around Cook County

News and other information from Cook County

Superior Hiking Trail rerouted near Pincushion

Fri, 03/18/2016 - 10:54am

A 700-ft. section of the Superior Hiking Trail has been rerouted near Pincushion Mountain and the Gunflint Trail. Jody Nonnemacher of the Superior Hiking Trail Association in Grand Marais brings us this update. If there are any questions about the reroute near Pincushion, contact the SHTA office at 218-834-2700 or


6th Annual Fingerstyle Masters Weekend, April 8-9

Fri, 03/18/2016 - 10:19am

WTIP North Shore Community Radio and Bluefin Bay Resort in Tofte are pleased to announce the 6th Annual Fingerstyle Masters Weekend, April 8 and 9.  For this year’s event, local musician Gordon Thorne welcomes St. Paul fingerstyle guitarist Pat Donohue, and Twin Cities fiddler Tom Schaefer. The weekend features performances both Friday and Saturday night, as well as guitar and fiddle workshops during the day Saturday.
The event kicks off with a free concert at 8 pm, Friday, April 8, at the Bluefin Grille, featuring Gordon and friends playing blues, swing and early Americana.  For those looking to fine tune their own musical skills, workshops will be offered starting at 10 am Saturday, April 9, and are open to musicians of all ages and skill levels.  A free youth guitar workshop will be offered with Gordon Thorne from 10 am to noon.  Also, starting Saturday at 10 am will be a fingerstyle workshop with Pat Donohue, and a fiddle workshop with Tom Schaefer – both are $50 and include lunch.  Pre-registration for the workshops is requested by contacting Gordon at 218-353-7308 or
The event caps off with a concert featuring Pat Donohue at 7:30 pm Saturday, April 9 in the upper room of the Bluefin Grille. Tickets for the Saturday evening concert are $20 per person and will be available at the door, or in advance by contacting Gordon at 218-353-7308 or  Everyone is welcome to attend any or all of the events as part of the Fingerstyle Masters Weekend. Funding for this event is supported in part by the Minnesota Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund, and all proceeds will benefit WTIP’s equipment replacement project. 

Nice winter weather returns for the weekend

Thu, 03/17/2016 - 10:26am

No more snow in sight, but maybe a little rain and cooler temperatures. Still and all, a pretty nice weekend for getting out to enjoy what’s left of winter.  WTIP’s Jay Andersen spoke with National Weather Service meteorologist Kevin Huyck.


White nose syndrome found in bats at Soudan Underground Mine

Thu, 03/17/2016 - 10:06am

In late January several hundred bats were found dead near the main entrance of the Vermillion-Soudan Underground Mine State Park by Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) employees.

When the bats were tested by the United States Geological Survey National Wildlife Health Center, it was determined they had suffered from white-nose syndrome (WNS), a disease that attacks and kills bats that have been hibernating.

An invasive fungus from Europe, WNS was discovered in New York in 2007, and since then has spread to 30 states, killing more than 5 million bats.

The disease causes fuzzy white growths on the noses and faces of the bats, and the fungus eats its way into their wings. Sick bats awaken from hibernation. It is believed they fly out into the cold and die from exposure or from starvation when no bugs can be found.

DNR employees first discovered WNS at the Soudan site in 2013, and they have kept a watchful eye for its expected return.

Minnesota has four bat species that hibernate in the winter. The most affected bats seem to be the little brown bat and the northern long-eared bat. The northern long-eared bat (NLEB) has been placed on the endangered species list as threatened by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS), and last year an interim rule was implemented to protect the NLEB bat from logging and construction operations.

In January 2016, the FWS finalized its rule on the northern long-eared bat, which prohibits timber harvest within 150 feet of “known, occupied maternity roost trees from June 1 to July 31” and prohibits logging within a quarter mile of a known hibernacula (winter den) year-round.  As of June 2015, the state had identified 25 known hibernacula and 163 roost trees in Minnesota. While Lake County was identified as having two roost trees and one hibernacula, Cook County was found to have neither.

Learn more about gulls at Sugarloaf Cove

Wed, 03/16/2016 - 9:57pm

You may know them as sea gulls, but did you know that there are many species of gulls and that the North Shore and Duluth are a great place to look for them?

Join gull fanatic Clinton Nienhaus at Sugarloaf Cove on March 19 at 10 a.m. to discover the amazing diversity of gulls found along the North Shore.

The North Shore is host to many species of overwintering gulls including Iceland, glaucous, Thayer’s, great black-backed, and herring gulls. But you can also find the less common lesser black-backed and ring-billed gulls or something really rare!

Iceland, glaucous, and Thayer’s gulls are high Arctic breeders and great and lesser black-backed gulls visit from the east coast. But, how do you know who is who?

Join Nienhaus as he talks about these amazing birds and gives you some great identification tips.

For more information, call Sugarloaf Cove at (218) 525-0001.


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

Community health planning and comedy come together

Tue, 03/15/2016 - 11:39am

What happens when we bring together community members and elected officials, add dinner from the Pie Place, a panel of local experts, and an improv comedy theater company? Find out at “What the Health?! How Do We Plan for Community Vitality?” This entertaining, free event, presented by the Sawtooth Mountain Clinic, will be held at the Arrowhead Center for the Arts in Grand Marais, 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. on Wednesday, March 23. The Theater of Public Policy and local experts will explore the relationships between health and community planning. They and attendees will ask, “How can we create a community in which everyone has a chance to live a long, healthy life?

“We thought it would be fun to create an event where people can explore the idea of community planning and health in conversations over dinner and through an improv comedy show,” said Kristin Wharton, coordinator of the Moving Matters Project at Sawtooth Mountain Clinic. “And it’s March, so we are all feeling a little cabin fever! The Theater of Public Policy fits the bill to keep it lighthearted and entertaining while delving into real issues and solutions.”

Local government and community groups have a lot of influence over the factors that create a healthy community, whether or not it is always apparent. In the communities around us, factors such as housing, transportation, and land use can have a significant impact on our health. Wharton said “What the Health?!” is an opportunity to explore the ways that we can use existing tools to promote the safety, health, and welfare of our community: through city ordinance, county plan, tribal food program, school initiatives, or other means.