Around Cook County

News and other information from Cook County

ISD166 school board endorses Indigenous People’s Day

Mon, 10/05/2015 - 11:54am

At their October 1st meeting the Cook County Schools ISD166 board voted for proclaiming October 12 Indigenous People’s Day.

According to Superintendent Beth Schwarz, 22 percent of the students at ISD166 are Native American.

She said that while the second Monday in October is technically a Federal holiday – Columbus Day – and the school can do nothing about changing that, “unfortunately the true history of Columbus has not been taught for many years.”

Citing evidence of the genocide of indigenous people as well as slave trading, she said there are a lot of issues with having a day memorializing someone who was not the hero he has been made out to be.

“We chose to make a proclamation -- very strong proclamation. We did state that we recognize the contributions of our American Indian friends and stated that we certainly hope that both the county and the city at some time follow suit.”

She added  that research indicates perhaps changing that date would make sense, and “given the fact we have an American Indian population and a reservation bordering part of our county, it certainly, on their request, was something we felt worth honoring.”



Pleasant fall weather continues

Mon, 10/05/2015 - 11:54am

Cloudy but nice for the next day or two, some rain mid-week and then clear as the weekend approaches. WTIP’s Jay Andersen spoke with National Weather Service meteorologist Carol Christenson.


LSProject: 50 Years on Mic Mac Lake

Mon, 10/05/2015 - 10:44am

Mic Mac Lake is a remote lake within Tettegouche State Park. Along its shore are a group of log buildings that used to be known as the “Tettegouche Camp.”  For 50 years this camp was the property of a wealthy businessman named Clement Quinn. WTIP's Martha Marnocha took a walking tour of the Camp with Park Naturalist Kurt Mead to learn more about the history of this special place.

For more photos of Clement Quinn and Teddy, the Moose, view photo slideshow.



County approves culvert replacement at Swamper Lake on the Gunflint

Mon, 10/05/2015 - 8:17am

The culverts on the Gunflint Trail by the scenic Swamper Lake outlet are failing and the county has authorized Highway Engineer David Betts to proceed with the project this fall. Some traffic delays can be expected in this area where no detour is possible.
Engineer Betts brought the need for the culvert replacements to the county board’s attention on August 25. At that time Betts told the board that the road is collapsing a bit at that spot. It has been patched but the culvert is “pretty much rusted away.”
The board authorized Betts to seek quotes and unfortunately when the Cook County News-Herald talked to him on September 21, he said the quotes came back “very, very, high.”
Betts talked to the two contractors that had expressed interest and was able to get quotes closer to the hoped-for $100,000. The lowest quote came from KGM Contractors, Inc. at $129,930, which was accepted.
Work should begin on October 19.
Motorists can expect significant delays for about two weeks with one traffic lane closed while the other is being worked on with a few longer delays when work moves from one side of the road to another.
The carry-down access to Swamper Lake may also be closed temporarily for material storage.
And finally, because of the lateness in getting started on the project, the paving may not be completed until spring. However, Betts said that would not be the worst thing to happen, as it would give the road time to settle before paving.

Deer Hunters banquet -- a fun fundraiser to send youths to Forkhorn Camp

Sun, 10/04/2015 - 10:01pm

For years the Arrowhead Chapter of the Minnesota Deer Hunters Association (MDHA) has helped send Cook County youths to “Forkhorn Camp.” The youths that have attended have greatly enjoyed the adventure and the local MDHA chapter hopes to continue sending kids in the future. To that end, the Arrowhead Chapter is hosting its annual banquet at the Cook County Community Center on October 10. This year the banquet is more family-friendly than ever.

MDHA representative Donna Lunke said everyone with a love for the outdoors is invited to attend. “They don’t have to be a hunter,” she said.

The local youths who have attended Forkhorn Camp at Laurentian Environmental Center in Britt, Minnesota, learned about hunting and got hands on experience in a wide variety of outdoor activities, starting with all important basic firearms safety. Additionally, campers learn about woodsmanship, ethical hunting, wilderness survival, wildlife biology, hunting techniques and much more. A favorite activity for many kids was archery.

The event will include a prime rib dinner prepared by local guest chefs Jason Gesch, Pete Johnson and Michele Silence, in cooperation with Upper Lakes Foods chef Patty Clark. The Cook County High School Band and the Cook County Curling Club are also assisting with the event to also raise a little money for their organizations.

However, there will be much more than a fabulous meal and the chance to visit with other outdoors enthusiasts. There will be raffles as usual, but new this year will be games, including some inspired by the reality show Big Brother, such as a “gronk-pong” game. There will be a “fish pond” for kids.

Last year, the Arrowhead Chapter in Cook County offered $2,625 and six scholarships for area youth. That is why the banquet is such an important fundraiser.

Grand Marais area fisheries continues survey work

Sun, 10/04/2015 - 9:57pm

Fisheries staff from the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources Grand Marais area office will conduct surveys and assessments on several Cook County lakes and streams during the next few months.

The following lakes will be assessed in October:

* October 5 – survey Carrot and Leo lakes.

* October 12 – disease testing of lake trout in Mountain Lake.

* October 19 – survey Esther Lake.

These survey plans are tentative. Lakes and streams may be added or dropped and timing may change. Questions can be addressed to the DNR’s Grand Marais area fisheries office at 1356 Highway 61 E., Grand Marais, MN 55604. Questions also can be submitted
by calling 218-387-3056 or emailing

Final reports on 2015 surveys will be available in the spring of 2016, but preliminary results for many lakes should be available in the fall of 2015. Final lake survey results will be available online at or from the Grand Marais area fisheries office. Contact the office if interested in stream survey results or preliminary lake survey results.

Fisheries surveys are performed on a regular basis to monitor changes in fish populations and to determine if management strategies have been effective. Survey methods and frequencies vary based on the types of information needed for ongoing management evaluations in individual lakes and streams. Large lakes with heavy use are surveyed more frequently than small, remote lakes. Stocked lakes are also sampled more often to better assess stocking success. Large trout streams are surveyed more frequently than small trout streams or warm-water streams. Most streams are surveyed using backpack electrofishing gear, while most lakes are surveyed using gill nets and trap nets.