Around Cook County

News and other information from Cook County

Election signs not allowed in road right of way

Tue, 07/22/2014 - 10:01am

Hoping they would be noticed, local politicians have been busy putting their “Vote for me” signs up in the right-of-way near homes and road entrances. And it’s worked!

Unfortunately the County’s Auditor’s office received a complaint about illegally placed signs, and the matter was turned over to the Cook County Attorney’s office.

Acting Cook County Attorney Molly Hicken recently sent letters to the candidates telling them to remove signs that have been mistakenly placed in the right-of-way.

In an email to the paper, Hicken cited the county statute concerning where signs can—or cannot—be placed.

 “All candidates are required to abide by chapter 211B, Fair Campaign Practices, in general, and were provided with these statutes in the 2014 Campaign Manual distributed to candidates by the County Auditor.

“While other laws and rules may also may be applicable, two that people certainly need to know about as they relate to campaign signs are the Cook County Sign Ordinance (available at under “Doing Business”) and Minnesota Statutes section 160.2715 (Right-of-Way Use, Misdemeanors).

Hicken said signs placed within the right of way for Highway 61 or within the right of way for any other public road or highway are placed in violation of the Cook County Sign Ordinance and Minnesota statutes.

Erecting or maintaining a sign in violation of county ordinance is a petty misdemeanor and violation of the state law is a misdemeanor.

Higher Ed offers Guest Lecture Series on Grand Marais and the American Fur Company

Tue, 07/22/2014 - 10:00am

The next installment of the Guest Lecture Series, “Most of everything you think about early Grand Marais is well -- wrong: the American Fur Company in the 1820s,” will be presented at 7 p.m. July 22 at Cook County Higher Ed.

The presenter will be Tim Cochrane, superintendent of the Grand Portage National Monument. He is also a researcher and writer who particularly enjoys re-discovering unknown or forgotten historical topics on the North Shore and Isle Royale.

Cochrane is currently searching for hard to find information on the American Fur Company's trading operation at Grand Marais in the 1820s and their

attempts at trade with Ojibwe, such as with the leader or ogimaa L'Espagnol. He enjoys the frequent surprises that inevitably happen when finding and synthesizing a record from the often fragile sources –most often journals and letters. He has published a book, “Minong: The Good Place – Ojibwe and Isle Royale.”

The Guest Lecture series is offered to the community free, although donations are appreciated. The series is sponsored by the Grand Marais State Bank, the Lake Superior Trading Post, Drury Lane Books, George F. Maruska Ltd., Mike's Holiday, White Pine North, Como Oil & Propane, Sawbill Outfitters, Beth's Fudge and Gifts, and Johnson's Foods.

The lectures are held at Cook County Higher Education's North Shore Campus, 300 W. 3rd St., Grand Marais.

For more information contact Cook County Higher Education at


Jury selected in Scannell trial

Tue, 07/22/2014 - 8:33am

Ten men and four women were selected Monday in Duluth to decide Cook County Attorney Tim Scannell’s sexual misconduct case.
The panel, which includes two alternates, was chosen from a group of more than 40 potential jurors following an entire day of questioning.

According to WTIPs Martha Marnocha, at the St. Louis County courthouse, attorneys will first place some rulings on the record before making opening statements to the jury beginning at 8:30 this morning.

The prosecution is scheduled to call its first witnesses after opening statements. The case is expected to conclude by the end of the week.

The Duluth News Tribune reports Scannell, 48, is charged with two felony counts of fourth-degree criminal sexual conduct over a physical relationship he had with a 17-year-old girl in August 2012. He is accused of kissing and touching the girl sexually — allegations he has essentially conceded — but the case hinges whether he was in a “position of authority” over the girl at the time.

Seven of Scannell’s family members, including his wife and two sons, were in the courtroom gallery Monday, seated immediately behind the defense table.


The Grand Marais Public Library subscribes to Minnesota Grantmakers Online

Mon, 07/21/2014 - 12:10pm

The Grand Marais Public Library recently became a subscriber to Minnesota Grantmakers Online, a program that gives library patrons access to information on grantmakers in Minnesota. In order to learn more, WTIP spoke with Kaitlin Ostlie, the operations and finace manager assistant with the Minnesota Council on Foundations.

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Weather could get nasty before it gets better

Mon, 07/21/2014 - 11:00am

Unseasonably hot with a potential for thunderstorms and high winds along the shore. WTIPs Jay Andersen spoke with National Weather Service meteorologist Geoff Grochocinski.

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Registration open for 38th annual Fisherman's Picnic Tennis Tournament

Mon, 07/21/2014 - 11:00am

Tennis anyone?  Lee Bergstrom, president of the Cook County Tennis Association, invites everyone to join in this year's tournament.  WTIP volunteer Marnie McMillan spoke with Lee and David Bergstrom.

2014 Fisherman’s Picnic Tennis Tournament
July 31-August 3rd.
Seniors: Thursday through Friday
Juniors and Adults – Friday through Sunday.
Registration deadline is July 26 for Seniors/Adults and July 27 for Juniors
For online registration, draw information and schedule go to and search for
Adult Tournament # 550014914 / Junior Tournament # 555106914.
For tournament information contact: Bill Thomas at

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