Around Cook County

News and other information from Cook County

'By Way of Water: Our History with Lake Superior' opens July 29

Mon, 07/28/2014 - 9:00am
Cook County Historical Society has a new exhibit at the museum:  “By Way of Water: Our History with Lake Superior” opens today at 8 South Broadway in Grand Marais. Before a highway made the North Shore accessible to automobiles, people came to Cook County by boat. The exhibit shares the story of how the lake shaped the people and communities of this region.

The Museum is open Tuesdays through Saturdays 11 to 4.  More information at 387-2883. 

In the exhibit you'll learn about: Grand Marais Harbor and East Bay as ideal locations for settlement, the docks that steamships visited regularly, the shipwrecks America and Stranger, the United States Coast Guard, and the people and boats that passed through Cook County. Featured in the exhibit are the Fresnel Lens from the Grand Marais Lighthouse; the wheel from the S.S. America; multimedia stories about Isle Royale, heroic fishermen, and the lighthouse keeper’s family; and wonderful local art depicting a time when life depended on the Big Lake.  


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Weekend News Roundup for July 26

Sat, 07/26/2014 - 9:15am

Each week the WTIP news department puts together a roundup of the weeks top news stories. A proposed mine bridge poses challenges for MnDOT, the state’s wolf season has been set as well as the deer season – bucks only --…all this and more in this week’s news.


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County Attorney found guilty in sexual misconduct case

Fri, 07/25/2014 - 2:22pm

After three full days of testimony, a jury of nine men and three women has returned a verdict of guilty in the sexual misconduct trial of Cook County Attorney Tim Scannell. Scannell was charged with two counts of fourth-degree criminal sexual conduct for an alleged inappropriate relationship with a 17-year-old girl.

In order for a conviction, the jury had to find that Scannell was in a position of authority over the girl during the time the acts occurred.  The girl’s parents said Scannell had been a longtime family friend, advising her on college choices, acting as tennis and soccer coach, as well as academic advisor and job counselor.

Judge Shaun Floerke set sentencing for September 26 following a pre-sentence investigation.

Sentencing guidelines for fourth-degree criminal sexual conduct call for a stayed sentence of 18 to 24 months for an offender without a criminal history.

Visit the Bally Blacksmith Tent, Saturday 10-2

Fri, 07/25/2014 - 1:27pm

Not only are renovations under way on the Bally Blacksmith Shop in Grand Marais, but the renovations and history are being documented.  WTIP volunteer Randy Eastlund spoke with Leah Thomas and Michael McHugh of the Cook County Historical Society.

The Cook County Historical Society hosts the Bally Blacksmith Tent most Saturdays from 10am to 2pm.  Everyone is welcome to learn about the renovation of the old blacksmith shop, identify mystery artifacts, share stories and enjoy coffee and cider.  The tent is behind the Bally Blacksmith Shop on the corner of Broadway and 1st St.  More information from the Historical Society at 387-2883.


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Spaghetti Dinner Fundraiser for the Cook County Senior Center, July 25

Fri, 07/25/2014 - 9:22am

During the North Shore Dragon Boat Festival, the Senior Center will be hosting a spaghetti dinner as a fundraiser. The dinner will be July 25th from 5 to 7 p.m. WTIP spoke to Warren Anderson and Kristen Anderson of the Senior Center about the event.


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Jury deliberating Scannell sexual misconduct case

Fri, 07/25/2014 - 3:32am

The case of Cook County Attorney Tim Scannell who is accused of sexual misconduct with a teenage girl has gone to the jury.

WTIP’s Martha Marnocha reports the jury deliberated for over three hours before going home about 8 p.m. last night. The jury is not sequestered and will likely reconvene at 8:30 this morning.

Scannell is charged with two counts of fourth-degree criminal sexual conduct for an alleged inappropriate relationship with a 17-year-old girl. Because the age of consent in Minnesota is typically 16, the jury was asked to decide whether Scannell was in a “position of authority” over the girl at the time of the acts.

Prosecuting attorney Tom Heffelfinger argued Scannell abused a position of authority when he kissed and allegedly touched the girl during drives they took in 2012. He questioned Scannell for nearly four hours.

The Duluth News Tribune reports in closing, Heffelfinger told jurors that either Scannell or the girl lied on the witness stand. He asked them to consider the credibility of each and consider who would benefit from lying. He concluded it would be Scannell.

Defense attorney Joe Tamburino said Scannell was never directly given — or charged with — any parental responsibilities over the girl, making the acts distasteful and immoral but not illegal.

He argued that state statute defines an authority figure as a person “charged with any rights, duties and responsibilities of a parent.” He said Scannell was not “charged” with the care of the girl at the time of the acts, and any positions of authority he may have held ended before the acts.