Around Cook County

News and other information from Cook County

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

Elders invited to get-together at Grand Portage Museum Feb. 28

Fri, 02/26/2016 - 3:58pm

Participants in the Grand Portage Elder Nutrition Program (ENP) are excited about an upcoming afternoon get-together at the Grand Portage Museum on Sunday, February 28, 2016.  This event is hosted by the museum Director MaryAnn Gagnon and the ENP.

All Elders will have the opportunity to have their pictures and slides scanned while they visit, share memories, nibble on deserts and view the donation from the Wojtysiak family.

The event will start at 1:00 p.m. Call Patty Winchell Dahl at ENP for transportation at 218-475-2655.

Winchell Dahl said, “This will be a fun event for all. Hope to see you all there!”


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

Lutsen Fire Chief Paul Goettl resigns

Thu, 02/25/2016 - 11:59am

Following the clerk and treasurer’s report at the Lutsen town meeting on February 16, Lutsen Fire Chief Paul Goettl announced that he was resigning his position as fire chief.

Goettl read from a letter he had prepared. “This has been and continues to be a tough decision for me. The position requires a great deal of time, devotion, and passion, all of which has slipped away from me.”

Goettl will continue to serve as a firefighter and said he hopes that his prior experience will be a valuable resource for the new fire chief. Goettl also reported that, following his resignation, Supervisor Larry McNeally was elected fire chief.

After Goettl’s report, Lutsen Clerk Sharon Hexum-Platzer read a letter from a firefighter, Stephen Gray, who had been absent from the fire department’s meeting. He and another firefighter had been attending a state-required training at that time and, as a result, were unable to vote on both the new fire chief and the other officers who were elected.

Gray said the department as a whole should vote for the next chief and expressed concern regarding having to choose either to attend the required training or go to the meeting where new officers are being elected.

After some discussion by the town board, it was agreed that the rules and regulations had been observed at the fire department’s meeting. Supervisor Andrew Beavers acknowledged that the situation for the two absent firefighters was frustrating, but he reiterated that the rules had been followed and there were no grounds for a revote.

Beavers added that the discussion gives the opportunity to review the rules and regulations for the Lutsen Fire Department, suggesting that the board revisit the rules for proxy voting.

McNeally will assume his position as the new fire chief the second Monday of April.

County supports "Safe and Secure Courthouse Initiative"

Thu, 02/25/2016 - 11:51am

County Attorney Molly Hicken asked the county board to support funding the “Safe and Secure Courthouse Initiative,” which has been brought forward by the Statewide Courthouse Security Workgroup. Hicken is a member of this workgroup. She explained that the group is asking the legislature to fund the initiative, which would provide $20 million to help improve courthouse safety and security across the state.

At the February 16 county board meeting, Hicken said there are still security improvements or updates that could be made to the Cook County courthouse. She said she didn’t think any of the current commissioners were seated at the time of the December 11 courthouse shooting, but said, “It certainly doesn’t feel that long ago for those of us who were involved in it…It’s a real situation. We are under threat, especially those of us who work upstairs, but certainly in other offices in the courthouse. There is just an increase in violent acts against government workers in general.”

Commissioners agreed to advocate for this legislation at their upcoming Association for Minnesota Counties meeting. Commissioner Jan Sivertson added that she would like to see any funding received used not just for equipment, but also for any necessary training.


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

Good weekend to get out and play in the snow

Thu, 02/25/2016 - 11:27am

Looks like a pretty nice weekend for skiers and snowmobilers and the rest of Cook County winter lovers. Comfortable temperatures and a little measurable snow. WTIP’s Jay Andersen spoke with National Weather Service meteorologist Kevin Huyck.