Around Cook County

News and other information from Cook County

Theater Sports postponed -- again!

Thu, 04/03/2014 - 10:54pm

The community will have to wait to catch the energetic and highly-entertaining Theater Sports. Theater Sports was postponed last month when school was cancelled because of the weather and was scheduled to Friday, April 4--another snow day! Stay tuned to find out when this fun event will be held.

The competition can get a little crazy, but for a great cause:  the College Literature class’s annual spring theater trip to the Twin Cities. This year the students will see both Rain and Othello.

Coached by Michael McHugh, Theater Sports is improvisational theater with a competitive sports angle. In a typical match, two teams challenge each other, react to a surprise command, and count on the audience to judge them. In addition to suggesting wacky scenes for the teams to enact, a few brave audience members may wish to take the stage and compete also!

 Theater Sports teams include Thomas Anderson, Jessica Berg-Collman, Joe Borud, Anna Carman, Joey Chmelik, Sarah Deschampe, Cy Fortunato, Jonny Jacobsen, Charlie Lawler, Megan Lehto, Shannon O’Phelan, Breana Peterson, Melanie Stoddard, Abby Sutton, and Seth Warren.

Furlong picked to attend National Youth Leadership Forum

Thu, 04/03/2014 - 1:37pm

Cook County High School sports fans know Richie Furlong as a fearless competitor. A tough kid who competes as hard as he can but plays with great sportsmanship.

A junior at CCHS, Furlong recently received notification that he has been selected to attend the National Youth Leadership Forum in Washington D.C.

“I received a letter nominating me for this week-long program and was happy to accept it,” he said.

The forum will run from July 6 to July 11.

Furlong hopes to someday become a lawyer or work as a crime scene investigator (CSI). Both programs will be covered in Washington. The weeklong classes will include exploring the entire judicial process, from the discovery of the crime, through collecting and analyzing all of the critical evidence and then proceed into the courtroom for a mock trial. 

Visits will also be made to some of Washington D.C.’s top law firms, universities and legal institutions. Students explore the full range that exists in the legal and forensic science fields, not from a classroom setting but from hands-on experience.

Furlong will get to tour campuses at George Mason University and Pepperdine University.

Furlong is a starter in three varsity sports for Cook County High School: football, basketball and baseball. The son of Lisa and Richard Furlong of Grand Marais, Furlong is also a good student.

“I will apply for a scholarship and then I will have to raise some funds to go, but this is a great opportunity for me. I will get a feel for what I will be up against in college and in the future. I can’t wait to go,” Furlong said.

If you would like to help please go to and search Richie’s name and scroll to the form with the donation information

Changes at EDA office in Grand Marais City Hall

Thu, 04/03/2014 - 8:42am

The Cook County - Grand Marais Economic Development Authority (EDA)’s space in Grand Marais City Hall looks a bit different now that Small Business Development representative Pat Campanaro started doing business there on April 1. Campanaro’s role with the EDA was one of the main topics of discussion at the March 11, 2014 EDA meeting.

Campanaro thanked the EDA for the modifications that separate her and the other occupant of the EDA space, Jim Boyd, executive director of the Cook County Chamber. Treasurer Scott Harrison in turn thanked his board colleague Howard Hedstrom for taking the remodeling request to the EDA’s landlord, the city of Grand Marais. The city paid a potion of the cost of renovation, $1,975 of the total $3,950.

Campanaro updated the EDA on her activities and noted that now that the office renovation is complete, the community should be made aware of the integration of Small Business Development Center to the EDA.

She asked if the board wanted to have an open house. The board agreed to hold an open house at 4:30 p.m. after the May EDA meeting on Tuesday, May 13. The open house will allow the public to come meet Campanaro, as well as a chance to talk to the new EDA board members.

Scott Harrison said the contract with the University of Minnesota Small Business Development Center, which will fund Campanaro’s services is nearly complete and should be available for the EDA board to sign at the April EDA meeting.

Change of venue for Cook County Chili Cook Off Saturday, April 5

Wed, 04/02/2014 - 12:49pm

How do you like your chili? Do you prefer a bowl of traditional tomato and hot peppers? Or do you like it on the wild side, made with venison and grouse? Do you like a flavorful white sauce or a chili with a hint of chocolate as the secret ingredient? Whatever you like in a bowl of chili, you are likely to find it at the Fifth Annual International Cook County Chili Cook Off on Saturday, April 5 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Evangelical Free Church, instead of St. John's Catholic Church!

Mark your calendar! You don’t want to miss the chili—or the friendly competition amongst the chili chefs. At press time, 17 cooks had signed up for the event.

The cost is just $7 adults and $4 for children, or for $12 chili fans can receive a souvenir mug and a raffle ticket for a chance at some nice prizes.

Proceeds of the event go toward scholarships for Coldwater Foundation, a nonprofit youth leadership development program with an outdoor focus and the Violence Prevention Center educational programs.

For more information or registration, contact Jamie at (218) 370-0262 or Coldwater Foundation at (218) 370-8864.

County approves purchase of new crew cab truck for highway department

Wed, 04/02/2014 - 12:48pm

County Highway Department Supervisor Russell Klegstad asked the county board for approval to purchase a 2015 GMC Sierra 4WD crew cab truck for $36,476.81 to replace one that was totaled in a rollover accident last summer. The county received $16,313.75 from insurance for the totaled truck that will be used toward the purchase. The truck would be purchased from Nelson Auto Center in Fergus Falls, MN, which is the dealer for state bids. Commissioners approved the purchase unanimously at the March 25 board meeting.

Pinwheels symbolize hope for Child Abuse Prevention Month

Wed, 04/02/2014 - 12:46pm

The commissioners meeting on Tuesday, March 25, 2014 was brightened a bit by an offering of colorful pinwheels. A team of child abuse prevention advocates brought the pinwheels, explaining that the uplifting symbol of childhood represents the community’s efforts to ensure safe and healthy development of children.

Joni Kristenson of Cook County Public Health said it is important to work to prevent child abuse all year long, but noted that April is Child Abuse Prevention Month and extra effort is made to educate the public about the problem. She said pinwheels were chosen to serve as this year’s visual presentation.

Jodi Yuhasey of the Violence Prevention Center passed out the pinwheels and said, “Pinwheels make you smile. They symbolize what childhood should be, a time of hope, health and happiness.”

Kristenson said some communities “plant” pinwheel gardens, but noted that Cook County has too much rock.

Beth Faraone of Cook County Human Services quipped, “And snow!”

Kristenson asked the county board to pass a Child Abuse Prevention Month Proclamation. She shared a draft resolution and the county board agreed to issue the proclamation.

County Administrator Jay Kieft to read the announcement, first saying, “I’m privileged to read this proclamation.”

So, watch for Pinwheels to start popping up around the county in April.