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WTIP Weekend News Roundup for March 12

Sat, 03/12/2016 - 11:34am

Each week the WTIP news staff compiles a review of news from the previous five days. White nose syndrome strikes close to home. The city adjusts some zoning issues. The Gov. says “no” to copper mine exploration and the Chamber sets some bonding goals…all this and more in the week’s news.


Hearing delayed again in Bigby shooting case

Fri, 03/11/2016 - 3:46pm

Kirk Lee Bigby, the Finland, Minnesota, resident charged with second-degree murder in the death of a Twin Cites man as the result of a shooting in the parking lot of Bluefin Bay Resort late last year was back in court Friday, March 11.

This was Bigby’s third court appearance in Cook County since the shooting took place in the early morning of Dec. 9. He was arrested for shooting and killing 35-year old Marcus Lee Roberts, a resident of Bloomington. Friday’s courtroom proceedings in the Bigby case lasted approximately five minutes.

Friday’s activity was what is referred to in the legal process as an omnibus hearing. This is typically where evidence is presented in the case and a trial date is set if the accused continues to plead not guilty. And while 61-year-old Bigby continues to plead self-defense in his case, the only action taken Wednesday was to delay this hearing until May 27 at 10:30 a.m. 

Duluth-based Judge Eric Hylden agreed to postpone the hearing until more of the DNA evidence is available in the case. Both Cook County Attorney Molly Hicken and Public Defender Brent Olson agreed forensics in the case are still being processed. An autopsy on Roberts was conducted at the St. Louis County Medical Examiner's office in December.

Again present during Bigby’s hearing Friday were approximately 18 family members and friends of Roberts. Many of these individuals were also in the courtroom for Bigby’s second appearance, which took place Jan. 13.

According to the original criminal complaint filed against Bigby, there was no altercation leading up to the shooting at Bluefin. Witnesses say they saw the victim walk up to Bigby and that is when he allegedly pulled out a gun and shot Roberts. Roberts was a blackjack dealer hired to work the resort's employee holiday party.

Alison Scott at the Arts Center Saturday

Fri, 03/11/2016 - 1:20pm

The North Shore Music Association will host Alison Scott at 7:30 p.m. March 12 at the Arrowhead Center for the Arts.

Scott sings timeless soul that transcends style and fashion. Youa Vang of Minneapolis' City Pages writes, "All artists hold a secret: the source of their creativity. Alison Scott hides hers under a controlled demeanor, but onstage comes alive as a soulful musician that shares original and astonishing personal music." Laura Bethel of Maverick Magazine raves, "Deep, raw, and very, very real. Alison Scott's new record is devilishly appealing, sultry and sexy."

Working with multi-platinum guitarist/producer Kevin Bowe (Paul Westerberg, Etta James, Jonny Lang), drummer Peter Anderson (Polara, Honeydogs), and bass player Justin Rieken (Diamondhead, Mick Sterling and the Irresistibles, Cate Fierro), Scott has become one of the most popular live acts in Minneapolis; she has sold out the Dakota Jazz Club over a dozen shows in a row and is now filling 500-seat theaters. Her releases have sold over 15,000 units and counting. Her 6th album, Stone Cold Love, released in August 2015, accompanied a sold-out weekend at The Dakota Jazz Club.

For more information contact the Music Association at (218) 387-1272.


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

Dog Days of Winter CANCELLED

Thu, 03/10/2016 - 12:33pm

The Dog Days of Winter (DDW) events planned for Trail Center on Poplar Lake on Sunday, March 13 has been CANCELLED!

The event was intended to celebrate the waning of winter with family-friendly outdoor events, however the fast arrival of spring and melting ice has caused the cancellation of dog sled and skijoring races.


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


County cuts funds for home health care

Thu, 03/10/2016 - 12:32pm


In an era when public money is getting harder and harder to come by, any cuts to a budget hurt, and it was against this backdrop that Cook County North Shore Hospital and Care Center (CCNSHCC) Administrator Kimber Wraalstad told the hospital board at its February 18 meeting that the county had cut $15,000 from its home health care funds.

Wraalstad said the county recently sent CCNSHCC the annual purchase of service contract from Cook County Public Health and Human Services (PHHS) and it was a reduction of 37.5 percent from past years.

Typical assistance provided under this contract is for skilled nursing, home rehabilitative and home health aide services.

“This amount [$25,000] is a $15,000 reduction from the $40,000 allowed in 2015,” said Wraalstad.

Hospital Board Member Tom Spence questioned why the cut was made. Wraalstad responded, “Several years ago it was the intent for the Cook County Public Health Board to ultimately eliminate this contract.

“In 2013, after further discussion and analysis, the Public Health Board reconsidered their intention and in 2014 and 2015 continued to fond this program at $40,000 per year. With budget constraints and the thought that more county residents are covered by some type of health insurance, it was the decision of the Public Health Board to approve the Public Health and Human Services budget including a $25,000 allocation for the home health care program.”

Spence asked for clarification, restating that the county decided that since more people were covered under health insurance, they didn’t have to contribute as much to this fund?

“Yes,” said Wraaslstad, adding that insurance plans rarely cover these types of visits.

“North Shore Home Care bills this sliding fee program only if no other payer is appropriate and it is used as the payer of last resort,” She said.

Spring-like weather to continue

Thu, 03/10/2016 - 11:48am

It’s beginning to feel a lot like spring…and more on the way into next week. WTIP’s Jay Andersen spoke with National Weather Service meteorologist Carol Christenson.