Around Cook County

News and other information from Cook County

Climate change and tourism workshops, March 15 - 16

Mon, 03/14/2016 - 12:45pm

Will warmer summers, shorter winters and possible changes in the types of plants, animals and birds found in the Northland affect visitors coming to Cook County?

And will an increase in risk of heat waves and wild fires throughout the region slow tourism to the North Shore?

These were some of the questions posed to Arrowhead visitors during the winter and summer of 2015 by researchers from the University of Minnesota, Carleton College and North Carolina State University.

Part of the data collected in tourist interviews centered on what type of activities they engaged in, how much money they spent here, and what their future plans might look like if the affects of climate change continue.

“We’ve combined the results of our tourist survey with past visitation and economic data to assess the potential economic impact of future tourism behavior on the North Shore,” said Mae Davenport, PH.D, associate professor, Department of Forestry Resources director, and Center for Changing Landscapes, University of Minnesota.

Using computers and complex formulas, a team of scientists from the University of Minnesota created future climate models for the North Shore region using variables such as heat index, snow depth, and wind chill.

All of these findings will be presented in two workshops. The first will be held on March 15 from 5-8 p.m. at Lutsen Resort and the second will be at Grand Superior Lodge in Two Harbors on March 16 from 5-8 p.m.

Space is limited and by invitation only. RSVPs are required.

The workshops are a culmination of the research, which was funded by Minnesota Sea Grant.


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

Cliffs to resume production at idled Northshore Mining

Mon, 03/14/2016 - 10:12am

SILVER BAY, Minn. (AP) — Cliffs Natural Resources says it will restart production at Northshore Mining by May 15.

Northshore's taconite mine in Babbitt and processing plant in Silver Bay employ around 540 people. The company announced the temporary shutdown of the operations in November.

In its announcement of the reopening Monday, Cliffs cites increasing orders for taconite pellets, which steelmakers use in traditional blast furnace mills. The Cleveland-based company also says that, when it restarts operations at Northshore, it will also produce higher-grade iron pellets destined for more modern electric arc furnace steel mills.

Cliffs CEO Lourenco Goncalves says unfairly traded steel imports is starting are subside, so domestic demand for pellets is approaching more normal levels.

Cliffs-operated Eveleth Taconite remains closed, as does United States Steel's Keetac plant in Keewatin.

Some rain, then some measurable snow, then colder weather

Mon, 03/14/2016 - 9:37am

The weather will be a bit more like what we’re used to in March: rain and accumulating snow as well as slightly cooler temperatures.  WTIP’s Jay Andersen spoke with National Weather Service meteorologist Carol Christenson.


Growth management opens discussion for Cook County and Grand Marais

Mon, 03/14/2016 - 8:27am

As Cook County and Grand Marais seek to expand their populations and diversify their economies in the coming years, both are trying to figure out how they can do so in a way that works well for everyone. WTIP’s Joe Friedrichs brings us this story. 


North Shore Federal Credit Union to match donations to Food Shelf programs

Sun, 03/13/2016 - 12:46pm

With the new North Shore Hunger Hero initiative, North Shore Federal Credit Union (NSFCU) is asking 1,000 people to donate $1 a month or more with the goal of doubling the funding of anti-hunger programs in Cook and Lake counties. North Shore Federal Credit Union will match donations up to $5,000 during March (National Food Shelf Month) and other select periods throughout the year.

“Many people don’t know that hunger is a problem right here in Cook and Lake counties,” said Mark Summers, NSFCU president. “Our members have a history of supporting important programs, so we thought we’d call upon them and the broader community to band together and take a bite out of hunger.”

North Shore Federal Credit Union has promoted the cause of hunger relief for years as a primary sponsor of the Backpack Food Program, which provides kids in need in the Lake Superior and Cook County school systems food to take home each weekend. NSFCU has also provided seed money for Ruby’s Pantry, which has been a great success in Silver Bay and Grand Marais.

To become a North Shore Hunger Hero, stop into any North Shore Federal Credit Union branch and ask a Member Service representative for a North Shore Hunger Hero form. Once you designate a donation amount, NSFCU will handle the rest. To kick off the program, NSFCU will match donations up to $5,000 total during the month of March. Other matching opportunities will occur during each Member Appreciation Week, and during the annual Holiday Helper campaign, now called the North Shore Holiday Hero program.


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



Preschool parents asked for input

Sun, 03/13/2016 - 12:42pm

As the 2015-16 school year winds down, Cook County Schools – ISD 166 staff and community members are working hard to create a plan for preschool for the next school year that meets space and budget constraints and parental concerns.

On Monday, March 7, about 25 people—members of the Sawtooth Elementary preschool Parent Advisory Committee (PAC) and of the ISD 166 Early Childhood Coalition—heard more about potential options, which could include a limit to the number of children who could attend preschool at ISD 166. Other options for preschool outside of the Cook County Schools facility were discussed.

No decisions were made, but Superintendent Beth Schwarz said she hopes to have a plan in place to present at the March 17 school board meeting. The school board will be making a final determination at the April 7 meeting.

Cook County parents of preschool aged children are encouraged to complete the survey. Find it on the Cook County Schools website at


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