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News and other information from Cook County

Care Partners receives funding for support of the elderly

Tue, 05/31/2016 - 10:33am

Care Partners of Cook County, now in its second year as an independent nonprofit organization, has received multiple grants to carry out its work of supporting those who are aging, have serious illness, or are at end-of-life in Cook County.

Funding includes $10,000 from the Lloyd K. Johnson Foundation, $8,000 from the North Shore Health Care Foundation, $3,500 from Operation Round-Up, and $2,500 from the Cook County Community Fund of the Duluth Superior Area Foundation. Funds will support general operating needs as well as a new Chore Services program and volunteer recruitment for the Senior Rides program.

Care Partners Board President Jayne Johnson said, “This is a critical year in establishing and stabilizing Care Partners of Cook County as an independent nonprofit in the community.”

Care Partners has provided services to seniors since 2010 as a program of the North Shore Health Care Foundation, in collaboration with the North Shore Hospital and Care Center, and Sawtooth Mountain Clinic. However, in July 2015, the organization was incorporated as an independent nonprofit and received its 501(c)(3) status.

“It’s an important time to provide stronger support for programs and services,” Johnson said. “Staff did an excellent job of maintaining program services and development during our transition, but need more support this year to sustain their efforts.”

A key initiative for Care Partners this year is a new Chore Service program. Executive Director Kay Grindland said, “The county’s In-Home Support Service provides chore services for regular clients. Our goal is to meet the need for short term assistance by recruiting volunteers, volunteer groups like churches and youth groups, and local vendors.”

Toward that end, Kelly Holtzman has been hired as a Chore Coordinator and is busy recruiting volunteers.

Sheriff promotes a safe graduation weekend

Tue, 05/31/2016 - 9:22am

The summer season has started in Cook County, and that means a lot more people walking and driving around. WTIP’s Jay Andersen spoke with Sheriff Pat Eliasen about traffic, graduation and a couple of recent burglaries.


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Construction begins on Sawbill Trail in Tofte

Mon, 05/30/2016 - 9:44pm

The $2.5 million paving project on CSAH 2 (Sawbill Trail) began May 17, and is expected to be completed in mid August, the Cook County Highway Department has announced.

Northland Constructors of Duluth will be the contractor for the 8.44-mile project, which runs from Britton Peak to the Honeymoon Trail (FR 164).  The project includes repair or replacement of culverts, repair of existing subgrade, and placement of new bituminous pavement. Alignments and profiles will not be corrected as part of this project.

According to County Engineer David Betts, traffic will periodically be restricted to one lane during construction. He urged motorists to plan accordingly and to drive with caution in all work zones.


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

Cook County bike race considered a success

Mon, 05/30/2016 - 12:25pm

The La Grand Du Nord Bike Race took place in Cook County and Grand Marais on Saturday during the holiday weekend. Nearly 200 participants entered the race, which included both 50-mile and 100-mile routes.WTIP's Joe Friedrichs spoke with local resident John Praxmarer, who finished in 10th place overall in the 100 mile race, about the event. 


Memorial Day event at Cook County Courthouse draws large crowd

Mon, 05/30/2016 - 11:49am

An event was held at the Cook County Courthouse on Monday morning, May 30 in honor of Memorial Day. WTIP's Joe Friedrichs has this report. 


Remembering with honor today

Mon, 05/30/2016 - 10:06am

Community members are invited to gather on the Cook County courthouse lawn at 11 a.m. for a special ceremony conducted by American Legion Post 413. The American Legion Auxiliary is hosting a luncheon following the ceremony at Grandma Ray’s (formerly the American Legion). The cost is $10 for non-veterans, $5 for children under 12. Veterans are free.


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





Future of Dollar General along North Shore remains in question

Mon, 05/30/2016 - 9:29am

Where just six months ago it appeared likely there could be two Dollar General stores between Silver Bay and Grand Marais, there are now uncertainties if any will be built. WTIP’s Joe Friedrichs reports on this story. 


Community invited to join Care Center residents to enjoy classic country with Portage

Fri, 05/27/2016 - 4:40pm

The band Portage will play their classic country music at the North Shore Care Center on Saturday, May 28 at 6:30 p.m. Families, friends, and community members are always welcome to join in the fun.

For more information about volunteer opportunities at North Shore Care Center or to check out the May calendar of events, please contact the Activity Department at 387-3518 or our website:


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

Election filing period for county seats closing Tuesday, May 31

Fri, 05/27/2016 - 4:38pm

The filing period for a number of local government boards opened May 17 and will close on May 31, 2016. Although there will be a number of seats on the ballots, as of Thursday, May 26, only three candidates had filed—the two incumbent county commissioners Heidi Doo-Kirk and Garry Gamble and a challenger, Myron Bursheim.

Gamble represents Commissioner District 2 known as east Grand Marais. Bursheim has filed to run for that district. 

Doo-Kirk represents District 4, which includes Maple Hill and the Gunflint Trail.

The Soil & Water Conservation District has three supervisor seats up for election, currently held by Donald Goodell (District 1); Joan Farnam Morrison (District 3); and Jerry Hiniker (District 5). As of yesterday afternoon, none of the incumbents had filed for re-election.

Asked if citizens can choose not to file for election and run a write-in campaign, County Auditor Braidy Powers, who oversees elections, said that is not an option.

Powers told the News-Herald that write-ins are not counted in a primary election. Powers said, “There aren’t even spaces printed on the ballots and no oval to fill in.  If anyone writes a name on a primary ballot in any open space the ballot is considered rejected.”

If multiple candidates do file for any of the county seats, they will face off in a primary election on August 9, 2016. General elections will take place on November 8, 2016.

The candidate filing fee for county commissioner is $50. For Soil & Water Conservation Districts, the filing fee is $20.

For information on how to file for office, contact Cook County Auditor Braidy Powers at (218) 387-3640 or email

The city of Grand Marais, School District 166 and North Shore Hospital do not have primary elections, so filing dates for those boards is later, from August 2 to August 16.

Memorial Day weekend brings chance of showers and thunderstorms

Fri, 05/27/2016 - 10:53am

Unsettled weather over the weekend with a chance of showers and thunderstorms. But looking ahead to next week, the temperatures should be above normal. WTIP volunteer LeAnn Zunker spoke with National Weather Service meteorologist, Mike Stewart, on North Shore Morning.

(Photo by Thomas Bresson via Flickr)


Some of the Chamber's priorities in bonding bill are on hold

Fri, 05/27/2016 - 10:53am

With the legislative bonding bill in limbo, some of the Cook County Chamber’s initiatives are stalled, but a few items managed to get through the session. WTIP’s Jay Andersen spoke with Judy Erickson, the Chamber’s spokesperson in St. Paul.


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WTIP Weekend News Roundup for May 28

Fri, 05/27/2016 - 9:43am

Each week the WTIP news staff compiles a review of news from the previous five days. The Iron Range waits for the Governor’s action, The U.S. Sends fire help to Canada, St. Louis County opens its roads to ATVs…all this and more in the week’s news.


Sale of Gunflint Lodge nears completion

Thu, 05/26/2016 - 1:55pm

The sale of Gunflint Lodge is likely to be complete by mid-June, according to county officials and staff at the lodge. WTIP’s Joe Friedrichs reports on this story. 


Counselor puts hair on the line for Food Shelf

Thu, 05/26/2016 - 1:33pm

Cook County Schools/ISD 166 Counselor Kris Hoffman was considering a new haircut for the summer season—and decided to let Sawtooth Mountain Elementary School students determine what his new look will be. Hoffman put his head on the line in a Food Drive from now until May 27. The original goal has been met but communitiy members have upped the stakes.

Originally Hoffman promised that if Sawtooth Elementary School collected 500 canned and non-perishable items for the Cook County Food Shelf, he would shave his head on stage at the Wednesday, June 1 talent show at the Arrowhead Center for the Arts. The hair is going! Students not only met the goal, they have now collected 613 items.

The class that collects the most for the Food Shelf will also win a party, courtesy of Hoffman and his advisory council.

The ante has been upped. School faculty and community members are trying to raise 2,000 items (or cash donations) for the Food Shelf. If that goal is reached, Hoffman will not only shave his head, but will shave off his goatee and will have his shoulders waxed at a local spa!

Donations can be sent to school with students or dropped off with Hoffman at ISD 166. Items to donate should be boxed or canned food; no bags that can be punctured or food that can spoil.

Hoffman said, “Please help spread the word, I’d love to get these kids a great going-away present for the summer!”

For more information about the Cook County Food Shelf or to volunteer with the Food Shelf, contact Bill Lenz (218) 387-9860.


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



Take a Kid Fishing event on June 11

Thu, 05/26/2016 - 1:23pm

Interested in teaching your kid how to fish and enjoy the many lakes in Cook County?  Interested in introducing them to a life-long activity that can connect them with their local environment, encouraging stewardship and appreciation of one of Minnesota’s wonderful resources . . . the lake?

Then join the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, the Cook County Soil and Water Conservation District and the United States Forest Service for a day of fishing on June 11 at the Kimball Lake Campground from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. There will also be natural resource professionals demonstrating fly-fishing casting and tying, presenting aquatic invasive species information and more.  Space is limited so call 218-387-1750 or email for reservations no later than May 27.

What to Bring:  A child 5-12 years of age accompanied by an adult.  Make sure they are dressed to be near water – jacket, hat, sunglasses, sturdy shoes, insect repellant, and life jacket if you have one. Some life jackets and fishing rods will be available, but due to limited supply bring your own if you can.

Directions to the Campground:  Travel 12 miles north on the Gunflint Trail (CC 12), turn right on the Trout Lake Road (FR 140) and travel 2 miles to the Kimball Lake Campground entrance.  The entrance is on the right.  Parking is limited so either carpool or park along the side of the main road into the campground.

Lunch and water will be provided! 

This event is being sponsored by the Clean Water Land and Legacy Amendment, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, Cook County Soil and Water Conservation District, United States Forest Service, Solbakken Resort and Buck’s Hardware Hank.


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