Around Cook County

News and other information from Cook County

Grand Marais Public Utilities Commission selects scholarship winners

Sat, 04/23/2016 - 10:15pm

After carefully reading the four high school senior essays submitted to the Grand Marais PUC essay contest on April 6, the three Grand Marais Public Utilities Commission (PUC) board members, Karl Hansen, Tim Kennedy and George Wilkes, agreed that Bethany Derscheid’s essay was the best.

Derscheid will receive $500 for her well-crafted piece that explained why the Grand Marais PUC’s service to the public is important to people’s lives. As the winner of the local contest Derscheid will move on to compete in the regional contest.

Lily Gruber-Schulz placed second and will be awarded $300 while  Madison Roy placed third and will receive $200.


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


WTIP Weekend News Roundup for April 23

Sat, 04/23/2016 - 10:47am

Each week the WTIP news staff compiles a review of news from the previous five days. The Interior Secretary warns about development near the wilderness. County Board members get information disclosure request and wolves are in trouble on Isle Royale…all this and more in the week’s news.


Townships Association again offers scholarships

Fri, 04/22/2016 - 4:57pm

The Minnesota Association of Townships (MAT) will again offer a township scholarship program for Minnesota high school juniors. Up to six $1,000 scholarships will be awarded.

The Minnesota Association of Townships Scholarship Program is designed to heighten awareness among young people about Minnesota's grassroots township government. The program encourages every high school in the state of Minnesota to offer this opportunity for juniors to participate in this scholarship program.

To enter, students must complete an application form and submit it along with a written essay discussing this year's topic, which is: Throughout its history the United States has adopted policies which took advantage of major technological advances that led to prosperity as a nation. In the 19th century it was the development of canals and a national railroad system. In the 20th century it was rural electrification and the national highway system. Today, high speed broadband Internet access is as vital as phones, electricity and roads. Those without this access, particularly people in rural areas, are left stranded on the wrong side of the digital divide. Describe ways in which broadband Internet access improves the lives of rural residents. What challenges exist in providing broadband Internet in rural areas? And what policies should governments at all levels, (federal, state, and local) adopt to ensure that regardless of geographic location all Americans have equal access to broadband Internet?

Essays must be between 450 and 500 words, and must be typed with double spacing. Applicants should not name themselves, their school, their town or city, or their local officials in the essay.

Young artists encouraged to apply for Eric Thomas Emerging Artist Award

Fri, 04/22/2016 - 4:28pm

The Grand Marais Art Colony and Leah Thomas are pleased to announce the second year of the Eric Thomas Emerging Artist Award, in memory of Leah’s brother Eric (1956 - 2013). This annual scholarship provides full tuition and cost of materials for a young Cook County artist to attend a Grand Marais Art Colony class of their choice.

Cook County high school students who are completing their sophomore or junior year, or in the equivalent home school program, are eligible to apply.  The winning scholarship recipient will demonstrate clear artistic interest, originality, and motivation.

"This is a wonderful opportunity for students to experience art-making from a new art instructor in a situation other than high school. Students can take something totally new to them or improve on skills already acquired.  Last year’s recipient, Isabel Wahlers, had the opportunity to strengthen her drawing skills by taking the class Drawing Through History with instructor Jeff Niesen,” said high school Art Teacher Mary MacDonald.

Applications are now available and must be submitted by April 23.  More information and applications are available from the Art Colony or Mary MacDonald. The scholarship will be presented at the spring ISD 166 award ceremony.

In addition to this new scholarship, the Art Colony offers youth and financial need-based scholarships available so that everyone in Cook County has the opportunity to access artistic education.

Contributions may be made to this scholarship fund by contacting the Art Colony at 218-387-2737 or


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

Local youths lead group picking up trash on Lake Superior shores

Fri, 04/22/2016 - 1:14pm

Earth Day is on April 22 this year, and in recognition of that a group led by local youths in the community went out to pick up trash on the shores of Lake Superior in Grand Marais. WTIP’s Joe Friedrichs has this story about the trash pickup. 


Bear hunt applications available until May 6

Thu, 04/21/2016 - 11:54am

Applications for Minnesota bear hunting licenses are being accepted now through May 6 wherever Minnesota hunting and fishing license are sold, online at and by telephone at 888-665-4236.

A total of 3,850 licenses are available in 13 permit areas. Bear licenses cost $44 for residents and $230 for nonresidents, and there is a $5 application fee. The season is open from Thursday, Sept. 1, through Sunday, Oct. 16.

Notification to lottery winners will be made by June 16. The deadline to purchase licenses awarded by lottery will be Monday, Aug. 1. Any remaining unpurchased licenses will be available over the counter starting at noon on Friday, Aug. 5.

An unlimited number of bear licenses will be sold over-the-counter for no-quota areas in east-central and far northwestern Minnesota. No-quota licenses are valid only in a no-quota area. Hunters with a no-quota license can harvest one bear.

Bear license numbers in the quota area have increased from 3,700 last year to 3,850 this year. The increase is the result of increasing permits in areas 45 and 51 where managers have been having increasing bear conflicts. Increasing permits may help address some of those bear conflict issues. In all other areas, bear permit numbers have remained about the same for the last three years in an effort to allow bear population numbers to gradually increase.

Complete information on the fall bear hunt is available on the DNR website at



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


School District 166 offers Industrial Tech tours

Thu, 04/21/2016 - 11:51am

Community members who are curious about what the new Industrial Technology area at Cook County Schools - ISD 166 are encouraged to contact the school to take a look at the spacious new space.

The ground was broken for the new shop area on June 1, 2015 and an open house was held on November 20, 2015 to introduce the new Industrial Tech area to the public. Acting Industrial Arts Instructor Mitch Dorr would like more community members to see the state-of-the-art Industrial Tech capabilities at Cook County Schools.

The expanded space includes garage doors that allow students to being in project vehicles. There are welding booths, grinders, a rebar cutter and more. There is a wide array of woodworking tools. There is a completely separate area for computer design and 3-D printers.

Dorr or his students are available to give tours. If you would like to explore the new Industrial Arts center, contact Dorr at (218) 387-2273.


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

Sen. Tom Bakk: input to the county board on mining resolution was non-threatening

Thu, 04/21/2016 - 9:51am

Senate Majority Leader Tom Bakk is embroiled in a controversy over a mining resolution discussed and not acted upon by the county board.  WTIP’s Jay Andersen spoke with the District 3 Senator about political solidarity in the Arrowhead as well as what’s left to accomplish in the four weeks remaining of the session in St. Paul.



"What's Left" exhibit at Hibbing Community College through April 29

Thu, 04/21/2016 - 12:59am

Hibbing Community College is proud to present the exhibition What’s Left: Lives Touched by Suicide for the month of April.  This multimedia exhibit intends to create a proactive community dialogue about suicide and mental illness with a goal of reducing the stigma surrounding them.  The exhibit is in the main entrance of the “C” building at the college until April 29.  Admission is free. 

Suicide and mental illness are major health problems that affect everyone. The topic is often viewed as taboo, and family members left behind can feel stigmatized and unable to talk openly about their experience and grief. What’s Left provides a space for participating artists and the broader community to reflect on the impact of suicide and mental illness and explore the use of artistic expression in the process of grieving, healing, and expressing hope.

The project originated with Grand Rapids, Minnesota, resident John Bauer who lost his daughter Megan—a resident of Cook County for a short time—to suicide in 2013. Bauer’s experience in the aftermath of his family’s tragedy is what sparked the idea for an art exhibit as a way to encourage community conversation.

“Whether on the phone or on the street, most people just didn’t know what to say to me,” said Bauer.  “How could they if they haven’t been through something so horrific? To develop a vocabulary for talking about suicide, we have to be able to talk about mental illness as well. Not in whispers or disrespectful laughter. We need a culture shift where we all take responsibility for addressing the stigma associated with suicide and mental illness. That burden should not be on me and my family alone, nor should it fall to other families who have come before or after us.”

Commissioners to turn over all correspondence regarding controversial resolution

Wed, 04/20/2016 - 11:08am

A public-information request has been made from a member of the Minnesota Senate Republican Caucus for all of the Cook County Commissioners to turn over any emails, text messages, and social media content pertaining to Commissioners Frank Moe’s resolution regarding copper-nickel mining.  WTIP's Joe Friedrichs has this report. 


Familiar faces bring changes to Camp Menogyn

Tue, 04/19/2016 - 12:25pm

YMCA Camp Menogyn up the Gunflint Trail has some changes to the management staff. Local musher Matthew Schmidt will be taking over as the new site manager at the camp, replacing 20-year Menogyn veteran Steve Anderson. WTIP's Joe Friedrichs has this story about the upcoming changes at Menogyn. 


LSProject: Water levels tell a story in Lake Superior

Tue, 04/19/2016 - 8:55am

Lake Superior is up two inches in April from where it was in 2015. What does this mean on bigger scope and why are water levels important in Lake Superior? WTIP’s Joe Friedrichs finds out in this segment of the Lake Superior Project. 


Open House on Lake Superior trout management plan in Grand Marais April 19

Mon, 04/18/2016 - 12:18pm

A healthy recovery staged by wild lake trout in Lake Superior means these fish no longer need to be stocked in the lake, according to an updated management plan that covers the Minnesota waters of Lake Superior. The public can now comment on the plan until May 8.

“The successful lake trout recovery is a highlight of the plan,” said Cory Goldsworthy, Lake Superior fisheries supervisor with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. “Extensive public input informs this plan. It covers the years 2016 to 2025 and outlines management goals for sportfish populations, as well as steps to reach these goals.”

Three public open houses to gather input and answer questions are scheduled, including an April 19 session at the Cook County Community Center in Grand Marais from 6 to 8 p.m.

Comments may be submitted at or by contacting Goldsworthy at 218-302-3268 or

Management actions recommended include:

* Discontinue lake trout stocking in Lake Superior waters near Duluth because wild fish populations have reached rehabilitation criteria recommended in the Lake Trout Restoration Plan for Lake Superior.

* Expand the zone where steelhead are maintained solely through natural reproduction and evaluate catch rates in the absence of supplemental stocking.

* Reconfigure kamloops stocking methods to employ direct stocking upstream in the Lester River.

* Increase commercial fishing opportunities for lake trout.

“The plan combines fisheries science with extensive public input from the 26-member Lake Superior Citizen’s Advisory Group,” Goldsworthy said. “The people who served on the group should be commended for their commitment to this project.”

Superior National at Lutsen preparing for opening

Mon, 04/18/2016 - 12:15pm

In a recent update on conditions at Superior National at Lutsen (SNL) Grounds Superintendent Mike Davies quipped, “The good news is it’s almost spring.”

Davies said he has seen signs of some good grass, including on the new River 9 holes.

At the Tuesday, April 12 Cook County/Grand Marais Economic Development Authority (EDA), he gave the EDA board a projected opening date of May 5, but cautioned that the date had been moved several times already. He said the first week of May is typical for SNL.

The EDA owns the golf course.

EDA bookkeeper Paul Goettl went over the draft budget that was presented to the EDA board by Treasurer Scott Harrison at the last meeting.

Goettl said the budget is based on 11,000 rounds of golf, up from what was budgeted in 2015 (10,500), but slightly down from the 2015 actual (unaudited) of 11,032. Goettl said now that River 9 is open, it is hoped more rounds will be played. But weather is always a factor.

Mark Sandbo asked Mike Davies if enough had been budgeted for maintenance of the new holes. Davies said yes, it is a modest budget but is sufficient for now. He pointed out that the line item for fertilizer and chemicals was up quite a bit because of the need to get the new holes growing. Likewise, Goettl said the cost of electricity will be higher because of the need for more irrigation of the new grass.

The proposed budget had a projected net income at the end of 2016 of  $57,273. A unanimous motion passed to approve the budget as presented.


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



Bent Paddle beer ban continues to stir issues in Silver Bay

Mon, 04/18/2016 - 10:47am

The issue of Bent Paddle Beer being removed from the city-owned liquor store in Silver Bay continues to stir controversy. This time, it comes in the form of a new fire truck. WTIP's Joe Friedrichs reports on this issue.