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News and other information from Cook County

Cook County added to state’s burning restrictions list

Tue, 05/14/2013 - 1:24pm

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is placing burning restrictions on four additional counties, including Cook County, in northern Minnesota because receding snow cover has created conditions conducive to wildfire.
The restrictions took effect at 8 a.m., Monday, May 13, for Cook, Koochiching, Lake, and St. Louis counties.
Here are the counties now under burning restrictions: Aitkin, Anoka, Becker, Beltrami, Benton, Carlton, Cass, Chisago, Clearwater, Cook, Crow Wing, Dakota, Douglas, Hennepin, Hubbard, Isanti, Itasca, Kanabec, Kittson, Koochiching, Lake, Lake of the Woods, Mahnomen, Marshall, Mille Lacs, Morrison, Otter Tail, Pennington, Pine, Pope, Ramsey, Roseau, Sherburne, Stearns, St. Louis, Todd, Wadena, Washington, Wright  and the part of Polk County that is south and east of County Road 6 from the Manhomen County line to state Highway 92 east to the Clearwater County line.
Minnesota has had numerous wildfires so far this spring, but most have been small.
While debris burning will be curtailed, the use of campfires, if smaller than 3 feet in diameter and 3 feet in height, are allowed.
Fire conditions may change quickly. If conditions warrant, DNR foresters may restrict local burning on short notice. For more information and maps, and to check fire conditions, see www.dnr.state.mn.us/forestry/fire/firerating_restrictions.html.

Care Partners training begins May 21

Tue, 05/14/2013 - 1:21pm

The gift of friendship can mean a lot for those on the journey of aging or serious illness—just someone to hear their stories, be with them or remind them of their significance.
Care Partners volunteers provide companionship in the client’s home, at the Care Center, or the hospital. Volunteers provide ongoing friendly visits, a compassionate presence at end-of-life, phone check-ins, or caregiver respite—each volunteer finds his own niche.
The 2013 Spring Care Partners volunteer training will be held for three Tuesdays, May 21, 28, and June 4 from 1-4 p.m. Contact Kay Grindland at 387-3788 for more information. Pre-registration is required.

DNR adds burning restrictions for 4 additional counties

Tue, 05/14/2013 - 8:22am

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources is placing burning restrictions on four additional counties in northern Minnesota because receding snow cover has created conditions conducive to wildfire.

The restrictions took effect at 8 a.m., Monday, for Cook, Koochiching, Lake, and St. Louis counties.

Minnesota has had numerous wildfires so far this spring, but most have been small.  While debris burning will be curtailed, the use of campfires, if smaller than 3 feet in diameter and 3 feet in height, are allowed.

 

Spring creeps in slowly

Mon, 05/13/2013 - 11:02am

Looks like the snow squalls may be over and warmer weather is on the way. WTIP’s Jay Andersen spoke with meteorologist Carol Christenson about spring creeping into the Northland.

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"Growing the Arts" panel set for May 13 discussion

Sun, 05/12/2013 - 9:52am

Cook County is awash in artists, artisans and crafts people, joyfully so. It's a good bet we have more creative folk of assorted varieties than any other county in Minnesota.

While most celebrate this fact of North Woods life, few stop to think about what it means in economic terms – households sustained, careers fashioned and jobs created directly and indirectly by the application of art and craft skills. Fewer still have any reason to think deeply about what it could mean for county life if this sector of the economy were further developed.

Four people with extended, first-hand experience in arts and crafts economics will offer their views and visions on “Growing the Cook County Arts and Crafts Economy” at a gathering May 13 from 4-6 p.m. at Cook County Higher Ed. All are welcome, and there is no charge.

Come hear Greg Wright of North House Folk School, Amy Demmer of the Grand Marais Art Colony, Jan Sivertson of Sivertson Gallery and Jay Andersen of WTIP share their perspectives on what arts and crafts mean to the county – and what they could mean if the community united behind a program to grow and sustain them further.

Given Cook County's need for new economic vitality, there are all sorts of good reasons why the arts and crafts sector should be further developed: It builds on what we already do well; it enhances the existing character and culture of Cook County; and it adds another economic arrow to the county quiver, one that is related to tourism but has its own independent center of economic energy.

This is the first in a number of presentations on the projects and plans growing out of work by the Cook County Go Team and supported by the newly formed Cook County Chamber of Commerce.

 

EDA offers informational meeting for building contractors

Sun, 05/12/2013 - 9:46am

The Cook County - Grand Marais Economic Development Authority (EDA) housing program has been working on residential rehab projects for several years now, improving the living conditions of low income homeowners and giving building contractors the opportunity for repair and renovation work. For contractors who would like to learn more about working with the EDA, there is a Building Contractors Informational Meeting at Grand Marais City Hall on Tuesday, May 14 at 6:30 – 7:30 p.m.

If you would like to learn more but are unable to attend the meeting, contact Steve Grabko at (218) 398-2473 or e-mail sgrabko.cfs@gmail.com.

Award-winning Cook County High School Band to perform in concert May 13

Sat, 05/11/2013 - 2:48pm

The Cook County High School Band earned high praises from the judges at the Section 7A State-Section Band Festival in March for their performance of Gustav Holst’s First Suite in Eb. The band’s Jazz Ensemble also performed at the festival, playing Adele’s Skyfall.
The next Cook County High School band performance is Monday, May 13 at 7 p.m. and will feature the music of The Beatles. The community is invited.

Community Center Steering Committee considers name of Cook County YMCA

Sat, 05/11/2013 - 2:46pm

The Cook County Community Center Steering Committee met on Monday, May 6, 2013 with Cook County Family YMCA Project Manager Wade Cole of ORB and architect Dan Miller of JLG Architects. After considerable discussion about elements of the design, there was consideration of the name of the facility.
Steering Committee member and County Commissioner Sue Hakes stated that the facility would still be a community center despite the fact that it is being called the Cook County Family YMCA.  Current Community Center Director Diane Booth said that if the new facility will be a community center, then the current Community Center building would need to be renamed.
Newly hired YMCA Branch Executive Director Emily Marshall said that the YMCA has some facilities that are called Ys and others that are called community centers.
City Councilor Jan Sivertson wondered if the new facility could be called the Cook County Community YMCA.  Some non-traditional families might prefer that the word “family” not be used, she said.
Diane Booth said having the Cook County Community Center, Cook County Community Education, and a Cook County Community YMCA would be hard for people to keep straight.
Executive Director Marshall said she would find out if the name could be changed at this point. There will be discussion of the facility name at the Tuesday, May 14 County Board meeting at 11:35 a.m.

A tour of the construction site was held Friday, May 10 for elected officials and some community members. Future tours are planned for the public and will be announced.

 

Weekend News Roundup for May 11

Sat, 05/11/2013 - 10:17am

The moose herd in Voyageurs National Park is holding steady, so are the wolves in Wisconsin. Enbridge resumes oil shipments. Duluth is seeing an historic steam engine and there’s lots of fishing opener stories…all in this week’s news.

Program: 

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Move it down the Mississippi this May

Fri, 05/10/2013 - 4:12pm

Jazz it up this May by joining your friends and neighbors in the "Move It in May" event. Community members are "moving it"   Highway 61 to the Mississippi Delta and New Orleans. (The community has done the Lake Superior Circle Tour, so everyone is invited to jazz it up to Move It to New Orleans!
New this May will be weekly Thursday brown bag noontime presentations at the Sawtooth Mountain Clinic lower level classroom, beginner and advanced bike safety rodeos, a chat box on the website, a printable tracking form for logging miles for large groups, and....a party!
Join your fellow Movers on May 23 from 4 to 6 p.m. for a New Orleans-style party at the 4H log building. All participants are invited to attend, and there will be prize drawings, blending smoothies on the blender bike, and dancing to sweet jazz tunes. And, you can finally meet your Move It competitors and comrades face-to-face.
Registration is available online now at www.sawtoothmountainclinic.org or for more information, contact Kristin at the Sawtooth Mountain Clinic, 387-2330.

Ellie the Elephant is coming!

Fri, 05/10/2013 - 2:31pm

Ellie the Elephant and the Silly Shades Brigade, which had to be rescheduled because of a snow storm earlier this month, will be appearing at the Grand Marais Public Library on Saturday, May 11 at 10:30 a.m.
Presented by the Duluth Playhouse, this is an original adaptation of the elephant and the blind men fable.  This program is geared toward pre-school age through grade 3 but of course everyone is welcome!
This project was funded in part or in whole with money from Minnesota’s Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund.

Gogebic Taconite applies for mining permit

Fri, 05/10/2013 - 8:14am

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — A mining company has applied for an exploratory license to begin the process of opening an iron ore mine in northern Wisconsin near Lake Superior.

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources says Gogebic Taconite submitted the application on Thursday.

DNR Waste and Materials Management Program director Ann Coakley says a decision on granting the application will be made within 10 business days as required by the new law passed by the Legislature in March.

If Gogebic obtains a state permit it still must receive federal approval for the mine since it would affect federal wetlands. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers says that permit process could take up to four years.

Supporters of the mine say it will create jobs while opponents say it will harm the environment.

Mayor Larry Carlson: Next week is National Nursing Home Week

Thu, 05/09/2013 - 10:47am

Tower replacement, zipline development, bond refunding and a proclamation for National Nursing Home Week WTIP’s Jay Andersen spoke with Grand Marais mayor Larry Carlson.

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Work on Gitchi Gami Bike Trail to resume soon

Thu, 05/09/2013 - 9:54am
Gitchi Gami Bicycle Trail work in Lutsen

With warmer weather comes more bike riding and also work on the Gitchi Gami Bike Trail, which has been slowly making its way up the North Shore.  On April 24, the county board approved a contract with the Arrowhead Regional Development Council (ARDC) to develop strategies for completion of the trail at a cost of $10,000. 
Development of the trail began in the mid-1990s, and a plan to guide its development was adopted in 1999.  About 25 miles have been constructed.  The longest section is from Gooseberry Falls State Park to Beaver Bay, a stretch of 14.6 miles. 
Cook County will provide 1/3 of a $5,000 match ($1,667) for a grant of $5,000 from the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR).  Lake County and the Gitchi Gami Trail Association will provide the rest of the match.
A stretch of trail west of the Lutsen Ski Hill Road will be completed this summer.
The trail will eventually be 86 miles long and will extend from Two Harbors to Grand Marais.  According to Todd Campbell of the Minnesota Department of Transportation, the trail will be completed from Two Harbors to the Lutsen Ski Hill Road by the end of the summer.

Lake Superior Magazine seeks "Best of the Lake" nominees

Thu, 05/09/2013 - 9:52am

For more than two decades, readers of Lake Superior Magazine have shared their favorite spots, sights, restaurants, lodgings and recreation for the Best of the Lake awards.
Nominations for local favorites should be sent to www.LakeSuperior.com/vote13 or by using the pull-out ballot in the April/May issue of the magazine, on newsstands now.
“We know how much our past winners have taken pride in earning their
Best of the Lake award,” says Editor Konnie LeMay. “We’re anxiously waiting to see who and what our winners are for this year.”
Many categories are new, including great outdoors entries like Best Shoreline, Best Strolling Beach, Best Place for a Day Outside and Best On-the-Water Experience. There are also categories for places to eat, to stay overnight and to shop for gifts and smoked fish. Winners will be announced in the August/September issue of Lake Superior Magazine. Each winner receives an award certificate and a special badge for the web.
Ballots for the Best of the Lake 2013 will be accepted through June 1.