Around Cook County

News and other information from Cook County

Apply now for help to create your Great Place in Cook County

Thu, 03/03/2016 - 4:31am

Over the last two years, a transformation has been taking place in Cook County. Twenty-nine Great Place projects have been created by local artists, business owners, and nonprofits.

The Cook County of Chamber of Commerce and the Moving Matters project of the Sawtooth Mountain Clinic, with new support this year from the Minnesota Power Foundation, announce the third year of the Great Place Project, which invites applications for $250 to $1,250 for low-cost, high-impact projects to make a place great.

A Great Place is one that is inviting, beautiful and catches the eye. A Great Place encourages people to slow down and spend time there. A Great Place reflects the unique character and identity of the community. Past projects have ranged from public art to benches to Little Free Libraries.

For the 2016 round of funding, the theme is “Playability.” Projects that enhance or create a place that welcomes people with a playfulness or whimsy, especially for children, will be favored. In addition, this year projects that have significant visual impact and will inspire physical activity are sought. Projects that entice children and families to run and play and laugh, for example, will score high on the review, as will projects that create beauty with sufficient “pop” that they cause people to stop for a longer look.

The application is available online at or paper copies are available at the Cook County Chamber of Commerce (15 N. Broadway, Grand Marais). Deadline for applications is March 31. For more information, contact the Chamber at or (218) 387-2079.


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


Business art skills coming to Art Colony

Wed, 03/02/2016 - 1:00pm

Springboard for the Arts is coming to Grand Marais to present some artist service classes, including everything from pricing your artwork to career planning.

Classes included in the presentation are Career Planning & Time Management for Artists, Recordkeeping for Artists, Pricing for Artists, and Social Media Basics for Artists.

Classes will be held at the Art Colony on March 5 and 6, and there is a $15 fee for each session.

Call the Art Colony at (218) 387-2737 to register or for more information.


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

Bill Ratner, author of "Parenting for the Digital Age," to speak in Grand Marais Tuesday, March 8

Wed, 03/02/2016 - 10:59am

If you’ve ever wondered about the effect of technology and digital media on children, there will be a presentation on the topic by author and voiceover professional Bill Ratner at the Arrowhead Center for the Arts in Grand Marais on Tuesday, March 8, at 6:30 pm. WTIP's Sherrie Lindskog learns more in this interview.

Bill is also going to be at the Grand Marais Public Library on Wednesday, March 9, at 9 am.  For more information about these events, visit the North Shore Health Care Foundation's website.

Listen to the Story

Party faithful make caucus choices

Wed, 03/02/2016 - 9:14am

Yesterday was caucus day in Minnesota. Democrats and Republicans met to propose resolutions for their conventions, select delegates and hold preferential presidential polls.

Republicans met at St. John’s Hall and had the largest slate of candidates to choose from: Senators Marco Rubio, and Ted Cruz, businessman Donald Trump with John Kasich and Ben Carson far behind in the pack.

Cook County Republicans chose Rubio, Wednesday -- 40 votes to Ted Cruz’s 27. Ben Carson was very close in third place with 25 votes, Donald Trump polled just 17 votes.

The DFL race was between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders. Caucus goers spread out around the county by precincts in four separate locations…Hovland, Grand Marais, Gunflint Trail and at Birch Grove Community Center.

Cook County Democrats chose Bernie Sanders with 279 votes to Hillary Clinton’s 183. By precinct, only caucus attendees in Lutsen and Schroeder picked Clinton over Sanders, the remaining 11 went to Sanders.

State-wide Sen. Marco Rubio and Bernie Sanders were the winners. Rubio polled 37% of the GOP vote, Sen. Ted Cruz was second with 29% and Donald Trump had 21% of the vote. Our 8th Congressional District, however went to Cruz, with Rubio third behind Trump. The Rubio votes were largely from the Metro districts and south. Sanders pulled in 60% of the DFL vote to Clinton’s 40% and led in all of Minnesota’s Congressional Districts.

Minnesota bucked the national trend where Trump won seven states, Cruz won four and Minnesota was the only win for Rubio. Clinton swept seven states and Sanders took his home state of Vermont, Minnesota, Oklahoma and Colorado.


Cook County Robotics team to face the "Stronghold"

Tue, 03/01/2016 - 11:53am

The new industrial arts area at Cook County High School is the perfect place for the members of the school’s Robotics team—Ice Storm—to work on this year’s project.

The team received their box of parts and they have had three weeks to assemble a robot that can traverse varied terrain and launch a cannonball into a tower in an obstacle course dubbed “Stronghold.”

Students have been working full speed, not just at assembling the robot. In addition to computer design and turning wrenches, students had to find sponsors, design T-shirts and develop strategy for the competition.

Good luck to Team Ice Storm as they head to completion at the Duluth Entertainment Center on March 3-5.


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

Funding the 'bridges' between Cook County and state Capitol

Tue, 03/01/2016 - 9:56am

There are more than a dozen bridges in Cook County listed as needing repair in 2016. WTIP’s Joe Friedrichs has this story on our local bridges. 


Make your voice heard at local caucuses Tuesday, March 1

Mon, 02/29/2016 - 9:03pm

Political caucuses are not only where you can make your voice heard about governmental issues, these gatherings are also your first—and only until November 8, 2016—chance to choose who you want to be the next president of the United States.

The count of the presidential preference ballots cast at caucuses across the state are taken to county caucuses and then to the state convention to determine which candidates Minnesotans support in the upcoming presidential election. Also to be considered is who will be on the ballot for our member of the U.S. House of Representatives and State senator. Delegates for county and state conventions will also be selected.

Although both the Democratic-Farm-Labor (DFL) and the Republican (GOP) parties will be convening on March 1 and conducting business in much the same format, there are differences. The Republicans will be hosting one gathering for all precincts. The DFL is holding caucuses at four different locations, with a few of the 12 precincts at each location. If you are not sure what precinct is yours, the Minnesota Secretary of State has created a Precinct Caucus Finder. Find it on the Secretary of State website at

In order to participate in a caucus, Minnesotans must be eligible to vote in the November general election, live in the precinct, and generally agree with the principles of the political party hosting the caucus. Citizens who are 17, but will turn 18 by the November 8, 2016 general election may participate in caucuses.

Cook County Republican Caucus

March 1, 7 – 9 p.m. – registration beings at 6 p.m.

St. John's Catholic Chuch

All precincts


Cook County DFL Caucuses

March 1, 7 p.m. – registration starts at 6:30 p.m.

Precincts 1 - 3, Grand Portage, Hovland, Colvill - Hovland Town Hall

More thawing as the week goes on

Mon, 02/29/2016 - 11:13am

Looks like some chilly weather at the front of the week, but warming up considerably as the week progresses. WTIP’s Jay Andersen spoke with National Weather Service meteorologist Amanda Graning.


The role of Cook County Search & Rescue

Mon, 02/29/2016 - 9:28am

The Cook County Search and Rescue team is a valuable asset to local law enforcement and for the safety of those who could encounter dangerous situations while traveling through the remote areas along the North Shore. WTIP’s Joe Friedrichs brings us this story about the local Search and Rescue operations. 


Lake Superior streams: How cold is cold enough?

Mon, 02/29/2016 - 7:43am

A species of fish along the North Shore is being used to help understand possible warming trends for Lake Superior streams and rivers. WTIP’s Joe Friedrichs has this report. 


Gene's Foods offers "Family Game Night" drawing

Sun, 02/28/2016 - 8:07pm

In a high-tech world, there is still fun to be had in simpler ways, such as with a “Family Game Night.” Gene’s Foods in Grand Marais is offering its 6th annual family game night contest with a drawing to give some lucky winners brand new games to bring the family together.

There was a drawing on February 27 and another on March 5, with two winners in each category—ages 3-5, 6-8 and 9-up. Winners will get to pick a brand new board game. There are new games like Wink, Q-bitz Extreme, Konexi, Stare! Jr., Peanuts Flying Aces, The Cat in the Hat I Can Do That, Gravity Maze, just to name a few.

In addition to the game, winners also receive pop and popcorn—an instant family game night!

No purchase is necessary and you can enter each time you visit the store. Stop by today and enter. Your family could be a winner!


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



Girl Scouts offer a celebration for Dads and Daughters

Sat, 02/27/2016 - 11:56am

Girl Scout Troop 4110, assisted by other some other scouts and leaders, is hosting the annual Father Daughter Dance on Tuesday, March 1 from 6:30 – 8 p.m. at the Oddz & Endz building (formerly the Howl’n Wolf).

The dance floor will be cleared for dancing to the live music by the Cook County Community Band and there will be treats made by Rebecca Thompson. Keepsake photos will be taken.

Girls can attend with their father or another significant adult (grandfather, uncle, brother -- or even mom!) The cost is $25 per adult and girl (or girls, if someone has more than one daughter!) Open to all ages and the entire community.


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

Fishing licenses expire Monday, Feb. 29

Sat, 02/27/2016 - 11:50am

Minnesota fishing, hunting and trapping licenses for 2015 expire Monday, Feb. 29, but licenses for 2016 are now available wherever hunting and fishing licenses are sold.

2016 fishing licenses become effective Tuesday, March 1. 
New licenses are required for 2015 hunting and fishing seasons that continue past Monday, Feb. 29.

Anglers who purchased the new three-year individual angling license in 2013 when it first became available must renew their license this year.

Anglers can help maintain and enhance Minnesota’s famed walleye fishing by adding the $5 walleye stamp validation to their licenses. The stamp is not required to fish for or keep walleye.

Ice shelter permits for 2015 remain effective through Saturday, April 30.


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

WTIP Weekend News Roundup for February 27

Sat, 02/27/2016 - 11:27am

Each week the WTIP news staff compiles a review of news from the previous five days. Mining issues were again in the news this week. Rapid transit plans were expanded upon for the Duluth to Metro run. County unemployment drops and the commissioners weigh in on Dollar General stores…all this and more in the week’s news.


"Portage" to perform at the North Shore Care Center on February 27

Fri, 02/26/2016 - 4:01pm

The band Portage will play their classic country music at the North Shore Care Center on February 27 at 6:30 p.m. Families, friends, and community members are always welcome to join in the fun.

Additional live music in February featured Myron Bursheim on Sundays, Al Fuller on Tuesdays, Susan Scherer on Wednesdays, and occasionally Harris Mills on Fridays.  Activities Director Belinda Hudler said, “We thank everyone who contributes their musical talent at the Care Center. It lifts our spirits, and brings joy to all of us during these long months of winter.”

For more information about volunteering or about any of the activities going on, please contact the Activity Department at 218-387-3518 or visit the website: There are volunteer opportunities for all ages at the North Shore Care Center. 


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