Around Cook County

News and other information from Cook County

Tuesday night means Trivia at Grandma Ray's

Mon, 06/06/2016 - 11:29am

On Tuesday nights in Grand Marais friends and family gather at Grandma Ray’s (formerly the American Legion) for a Trivia Contest hosted by “Big B” and his sidekick Kristi. Anyone who wants to join the fun is welcome at 7 p.m. at Grandma Ray’s on 1st Avenue in Grand Marais. 

To make this lively event a bit more interesting, the Cook County News-Herald has agreed to publish the weekly "winners" when they are available.

Grandma Ray’s May 31 Trivia Night top teams and their prizes are:

1st        Broke Down Hippies $50     

2nd       Candy Bar Crew         $25  

3rd        Table 8            $10

4th        The Guppies   T-shirt

Last     Croftville         a Butterfingers candy bar


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

North Shore Forest Collaborative hosts workshop June 10

Mon, 06/06/2016 - 11:26am

The North Shore Forest Collaborative (NSFC) is hosting a free workshop and spring meeting on June 10 at the Two Harbors Community Center.  The Landowner Workshop will be held from 12:30 p.m. to about 3:30 p.m. and will be preceded by a potluck lunch.  The purpose of the workshop is to help landowners along the Lake Superior North Shore manage and restore their lands, including providing assistance with tree planting and controlling invasive species on their property. 

“A large percentage of the lands along the North Shore and within three miles of Lake Superior are privately owned, and many landowners are concerned with the dying birch and other trees on their lands” said NSFC Coordinator Duane Lula. “This workshop is an opportunity for those landowners to better understand their property and receive help on ways to restore their forestland as well as how to manage their land to meet their future objectives.”

The featured speaker at the landowner meeting at 12:30 p.m. will be Brian Schwingle, tree and insect disease specialist with the Minnesota DNR. 
Brian will present information about tree insects and diseases relevant to the North Shore, including spruce budworm, birch and white pine health, the emerald ash borer and forest tent caterpillar. He will be available for questions following the presentation.

The morning meeting, which begins at 9:30 a.m., is designed for agencies, organizations and individuals to meet and discuss ways to better coordinate the restoration of the North Shore forest, but all are welcome to attend both the morning meeting and afternoon workshop.


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

High pressure system moving our way

Mon, 06/06/2016 - 9:50am

On again off again rain, but spells of warm temps is what we can expect this week for weather. WTIP’s Jay Andersen spoke with National Weather Service Meteorologist Geoff Grochocinski (Jeff Grow-cho-sin-ski).


Grand Portage wildlife researchers discuss 2016 moose study

Mon, 06/06/2016 - 8:40am

Dr. Seth Moore is Director of Biology and Environment with the Grand Portage Band of Lake Superior Chippewa. Tiffany Wolf is a wildlife epidemiologist with the University of Minnesota. They make up part of the team researching moose on the Grand Portage Reservation. 

This interview between Moore, Wolf and WTIP’s Joe Friedrichs looks at the most recent work done studying moose on the Grand Portage reservation. 


Council reviews quote for public utilities garage

Sun, 06/05/2016 - 3:24pm

The Grand Marais City Council received a quote from Morton Buildings for the public utilities garage on May 25, proposing a rough budget of $1.5-$1.7 million. The total was a little less than the cost originally put forward by the project’s architect, LHB, which was $1.85 million.

 “If you want, what I will do is get back with LHB and start getting some firmer cost estimates from them about doing the design work for those streets, water and sewer and about doing the architectural work for the structure,” City Administrator Mike Roth said to the council.

He added, “It is time for us to move forward on the path I think of either getting our architects working on a detailed design or going on to some other kind of design and build process.”

Mayor Jay Arrowsmith DeCoux said he was comfortable moving forward with LHB. The next step will be for Roth to bring in some firmer quotes for the council to sign off on.


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


Tofte gets legislative assistance to become housing authority for housing project

Sun, 06/05/2016 - 3:23pm

With the Minnesota Legislature’s recent passage of the Economic Omnibus Jobs and Development Budget bill, Birch Grove Village is closer to becoming a reality.

Folded into that bill was language that gives the township of Tofte special housing authority powers over the housing that will be built behind the Birch Grove Community Center.

Tofte township supervisors held a special meeting on Tuesday, May 31 and passed a resolution accepting the special housing authority powers granted to them by the legislature. That resolution will now be sent to the Minnesota Secretary of State to sign so they can restart the estimated $1.9 million project.

Before the project was put on hold last year while legislative issues were worked out, the township contracted with Dynamic Homes to build 12 twin patio homes with the goal to have them ready to rent in late fall of 2015.

Once built, the homes will be 900-square feet and renters can choose between a two-bedroom, one-bath unit or a one bedroom, one bath wheelchair accessible home. Plans call for the houses to come with new appliances: washer/dryer and dishwasher and a gas furnace. There will be parking, garages and a storage area.

There will be an exercise area for pets and people and the Birch Grove Community Center and Community School will just be a short walk away.

One thing that will change as the project moves forward is the tagline “The most livable place at 55+ stay healthy, get around & enjoy life.”

At the request of the Cook County/Grand Marais Economic Development Authority, the board agreed to open the housing up for everyone and ended its push to make it available for seniors 55+ only.

WTIP Weekend News Roundup for June 4

Sat, 06/04/2016 - 10:39am

Each week the WTIP news staff compiles a review of news from the previous five days. Gypsy moth spraying begins. Taconite plants reopen. Audit looks at deer management in the state. Dollar General calls it quits and Minnesota moose may go on the endangered list…all this and more in the week’s news.


Chik-Wauk Museum and Nature Center open with new exhibits

Fri, 06/03/2016 - 12:53pm

Chik-Wauk Museum and Nature Center is now open for the 2016 season, with some new exhibits added for its seventh summer.

Inside the Nature Center building are six different stations to give information to visitors about the nature that is found along the Gunflint Trail. Stop in to meet the Nature Center’s program director, Jacqueline Mallinson.

The temporary exhibit this summer is called "Heard but not Seen,” and features two parts – both about birds.

"Heard but not Seen" focuses on eight different species of the birds singing in the forest surrounding Chik-Wauk. Each bird is pictured in the panel manufactured by Split Rock Studios. Several ways to learn each bird song is included, a mnemonic and a song recording. This exhibit is designed to move to the Nature Center in 2017.

The second part is contained in the cabinet which faces out the window toward the bay. The window view includes the floating loon nest platform. The cabinet contains samples of the manufactured platform, a loon nest replica, and of course, information about loons. Visitors will also be able to listen to different loon calls.

Chik-Wauk Museum is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily; the Nature Center is open between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. daily. The center, located at 28 Moose Pond Drive, is the first and only museum representing the history of the Gunflint Trail.

For more information call the center at (218) 388-9915.


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

School board opts for two measures on November ballot

Fri, 06/03/2016 - 11:21am

The Cook County School board will have two measures on the November ballot for Cook County voters to decide on funding ISD 166.

WTIP’s Joe Friedrichs has this report. 


Watch for emergency vehicles

Thu, 06/02/2016 - 3:57pm

After a recent emergency call, a member of the Cook County Ambulance expressed frustration to the Cook County Sheriff’s Office about the number of vehicles that did not pull over when the ambulance was returning to North Shore Hospital with lights and sirens. Asked about this, Sheriff Pat Eliasen said no action was taken other than making the incident a matter of record, but he asked drivers to watch for emergency vehicles.

However, Sheriff Eliasen said he would like add a “gentle reminder” to drivers to watch for the ambulance, fire trucks or law enforcement vehicles. Eliasen said, “Due to increased summer traffic motorists need to be aware of emergency vehicles and pull over to the safest part of the roadway when they meet or when they are overtaken by emergency vehicles.”

Minnesota State Patrol spokesperson Sgt. Neil Dickenson added, “Remain stopped until all emergency vehicles have passed.”


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

The North Shore's ginger...bread man

Thu, 06/02/2016 - 2:58pm

Local baker Caleb Mattison visited the WTIP’s station recently to share his thoughts on sourdough, the Saturday Market in Grand Marais and where the name for his business came from. 


Wet weekend ahead

Thu, 06/02/2016 - 10:18am

If you plan to put in your garden this weekend, you’ll have to dodge the raindrops. WTIP’s Jay Andersen spoke with National Weather Service Meteorologist Carol Christenson about a soggy few days ahead.


Tick Talk with Amy Marie Schmidt

Wed, 06/01/2016 - 10:25am

Summertime is tick time and we have two varieties here. WTIP’s Jay Andersen spoke with nurse Amy Marie Schmidt about wood ticks and deer ticks.


DNR conducts lake and stream surveys

Wed, 06/01/2016 - 10:00am

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.

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.

June 6 - Continue Brule River, survey Talus, Missing Link and Ram lakes.

June 13 - Recapture Splake in Thrasher Lake, continue Brule River, survey John Lake

June 20 - Survey Crooked, Owl and South lakes.

June 27 - Survey Olga, Moore, Hand, Iron, and Little Iron lakes.

These survey plans are tentative. Lakes and streams may be added or dropped and timing may change. Questions and general information about area lakes and streams 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 218-387-6021 (note new number) or emailing


Non-compete clause could keep Dollar General out of Silver Bay

Wed, 06/01/2016 - 7:30am

Dollar General made a request of Silver Bay city officials to include a non-compete clause with regard to a potential store along Highway 61. The Silver Bay City Council voted not to include the clause and the future of the Dollar General in Silver Bay is now in question.

WTIP’s Joe Friedrichs has this report.