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News and other information from Cook County

WTIP Community Radio’s “Home of Our Own” capital campaign ends

Mon, 09/29/2014 - 8:49am

WTIP North Shore Community Radio is pleased to announce that a generous donation has enabled them to pay off the remaining balance owed on their mortgage, ending their $550,000 “Home of Our Own” capital campaign.

WTIP purchased a building on the west end of Grand Marais in 2007 and converted it into studio and office space to house the local radio station.  The new building enabled them to strengthen their programming through increased independence and extra broadcast, office and preparation space; provide more local news and information reports through increased space for volunteers and an extra recording studio; increase community outreach through better visibility and space for volunteers; and house back-up equipment to ensure that WTIP’s signal remains strong in times of power outages.   

A generous donation launched WTIP’s capital campaign and was soon joined by donations from the Lloyd K. Johnson Foundation, the Paul A. Schaap Foundation, and numerous other foundations and individuals. Recently, the same donor made an additional gift to WTIP that covered the remaining balance of their capital campaign. “This generous gift brings WTIP’s “Home of Our Own” capital campaign to a close,” says WTIP’s Executive Director Deb Benedict. “It enables us to now devote all of our funds to programming, services, and equipment maintenance in order to keep our service strong and serving our community of listeners. It also frees us up to focus on our next big project of replacing our aging main broadcast transmitter.”

WTIP wishes to thank everyone who supported their “Home of Our Own” capital campaign, enabling the station to grow and expand to better serve its community of listeners. “We have received tremendous support,” Benedict says. “Thank you.”

Former county attorney sentenced to 30 days jail, community service

Sun, 09/28/2014 - 12:22pm
Tim Scannell.jpg

A St. Louis County jury found Timothy Scannell guilty of two counts of 4th degree criminal sexual conduct on July 25, 2014. On Friday, September 26, Judge Shaun Floerke announced sentencing on the former Cook County Attorney. Scannell was sentenced to 30 days in jail, 300 hours of community service and 10 years of probation. He is to report for incarceration on Tuesday, September 30. He will also have to register as a sex offender for ten years.

An investigation of Scannell’s relationship with a then 17-year-old Cook County girl was launched after her family requested, and received, a restraining order against him on December 4, 2012. The girl’s parents were concerned about her safety and wellbeing. The investigation led to grand jury indictment on the two felony counts in October 2013. Scannell has been free on his own recognizance since the indictment with the condition that he has no contact with the alleged victim or with any of the witnesses in the case.

During the trial, the woman, now 19, testified that she and Scannell saw each other on numerous occasions during the summer of 2012 and that on two dates in August, they kissed and he touched her breasts, stomach and legs. She also said he suggested they have sex and she declined.

Because the age of consent in Minnesota is 16, the jury was asked to decide whether or not Scannell was in a position of authority over the girl at the time of the physical acts. After sentencing, Judge Floerke said he imposed the jail sentence in part because in Scannell's position as Cook County Attorney, he was "held to a higher standard."

After the sentencing, MPR’s Dan Kraker heard from Special Prosecutor Tom Heffelfinger. Heffelfineger said  the victim's family feels it's a fair sentence.

Weekend News Roundup for September 27

Sat, 09/27/2014 - 9:25am

Each week the WTIP news department puts together a roundup of the weeks top news stories. Vandalism, lakes rehabilitation for trout, bears, invasive species and wolves…all figured in this week’s news.

Listen to the Story

Scannell to serve some jail time, probation and community service

Fri, 09/26/2014 - 3:38pm

Former Cook County Attorney Tim Scannell will serve time behind bars for his improper relationship with a teenage girl.

WDIO-TV reports that Judge Shaun Floerke today sentenced Scannell to 30 days jail time, ten years probation, and 300 hours of community service for two felony counts of fourth-degree criminal sexual conduct.  He will also have to register with the sex offender list for ten years.

Following the July trial, defense attorney Joe Tamburino had said Scannell would likely get probation and not time behind bars.

Prosecuting attorney Tom Heffelfinger said Scannell abused a position of authority when he kissed and allegedly sexually touched the then 17-year-old victim in 2012. During the trial, Scannell testified he didn't realize his actions hurt the girl until he saw her testimony.

Scannell was already on medical leave from his position as county attorney when the trial started, and the Cook County Board replaced him following the conviction.

Scannell became a statewide public figure after he was shot multiple times at the Grand Marais courthouse in December 2011 by a man he'd successfully prosecuted.

Community invited to hear "Portage" at North Shore Care Center on September 27

Fri, 09/26/2014 - 2:11pm

As usual, the classic country band Portage will perform for a dance at the North Shore Care Center on the last Saturday of the month on September 27 at 6:30 p.m.

Families, friends, and community members are welcome to attend Care Center music events.

For more information about activity programs or volunteer opportunities at the North Shore Care Center, please contact the Activity Department at (218)387-3518 or visit the website:

Starting today - Crossing Borders Tour includes 21 artists and galleries

Fri, 09/26/2014 - 2:09pm

Betsy Bowen of Grand Marais is just one of the several renowned artists showing in this year’s Crossing Borders Studio Tour from Two Harbors to Grand Portage Sept. 26 through Oct. 5.

The 18th annual event includes 21 participants. The free self-guided tour spans 120 miles along Minnesota’s Scenic Highway 61 and offers a wonderful opportunity to meet artists, and to learn how and why they create their work. It is also an opportunity to acquire work directly from their creators.

Featured in the 2014 Crossing Borders Studio Tour is stone sculpture, Ojibwe artwork, pottery, weaving, glass, print making, wood turning, metal works, jewelry, and leather. Download the schedule and map at or call (218) 663-7008 for more information.