Around Cook County

News and other information from Cook County

Cook County RidgeRiders invites all to the 4th annual Fun Run Feb. 2

Thu, 01/31/2013 - 10:04am

The Cook County Ridge Riders snowmobile club is hosting its 4th annual Fun Run on Saturday, February 2 and hopes to have as big—or bigger—turnout then they had last year.
“Last year we raised close to $6,000 and had 150 riders,” said one of the Fun Run organizers, Andrea Everson.
Registration is between 8-10 a.m. at Devil Track Landing or Hungry Jack Lodge and the entry fee is $20. Entrants can start at either the Devil Track Landing or at Hungry Jack Lodge, said Everson, and travel up or down the trail and end the day at Devil Track Landing.
Participants don’t need to snowmobile, said Everson. “You can travel by car, snowmobile, or, in one instance, one fellow even came in a plane. You can travel anyway you like. And if you want to just come to the party at night, just show up. It doesn’t matter if you participate in the ride.”
Along the way riders will collect a poker card from the businesses they will visit. The first card will be handed out at the Landing, followed by stops at Trail Center Lodge, Windigo Lodge, Gunflint Lodge, Gunflint Pines and Hungry Jack Lodge. The best five cards will be used for your poker hand and the best hand—and worst hand—will win a prize. All hands must be turned in by 5 p.m. at the Landing.
Besides having a good time, riders will be helping to pay for snowmobile trail maintenance and a $250 scholarship that will be given to a Cook County High School graduating senior. Prizes include snowmobile jackets, helmets, and sweatshirts, said Everson.
All told, snowmobilers will cover about 100 miles on trails.
“We are hoping that riders follow the rules and ride safely and responsibly,” Everson said, adding, “and have a great time.”

Celebrate the art of winter!

Thu, 01/31/2013 - 10:02am

The Grand Marais Art Colony invites you to celebrate winter, art and creativity with them this weekend. Starting on Friday, Feb. 1 at 6 p.m. there will be an opening reception at the Art Colony. Winter Arts Festival plein air paintings and photography will be on display. If you miss the reception, you can see the winter works until February 24.
On Saturday, February 2, you are encouraged to tour snow carvings at various locations around Cook County. Take a self guided tour of the snow carvings created as part of the Winter Arts Festival located at: Bearskin Lodge, Grand Marais Art Colony, Harbor Park, Caribou Highlands, Eagle Ridge at Lutsen Mountains, and Bluefin Bay Resort in Tofte.
The carvings on display until February 10—weather permitting.
On Saturday, February 2 from 1 – 4 p.m., community members are invited to gather for Community Ink Day. Participants will be able to print their own valentine. Come into the Art Colony's print studio to learn a new artistic process called monoprinting. All materials and instruction are provided. All ages are welcome. The cost is $5 per person
Also on Saturday, February 2 at 6 p.m., consider taking in Hot Art for Cold Nights at Sivertson Gallery. The gallery kicks off its Fireside Chat series with a Winter Plein Air themed talk.
For more information about these events, contact the Grand Marais Art Colony at (218) 387-2737.
Enjoy the art of winter!

Cook County Invite Nordic Ski Meet moved to Saturday morning

Thu, 01/31/2013 - 9:06am
NordicSkiing_Image from MSHSL.jpg

A weather forecast  for below zero temperatures on Friday, February 1, has caused the Cook County Invite Nordic Ski Meet to be moved to 11 AM, Saturday, February 2, on the 2.5 km course at Pincushion Mountain just north of Grand Marais..

Originally scheduled for Friday,  predictions of frigid weather caused the one-day postponement. Cook County Viking Nordic Coach Mark Summers said in an interview on WTIP's DayBreak Thursday morning that 4 below zero is the cutoff temperature for Nordic meets. He said that forecasters said temperatures could very well be below that cutoff at the original 10 AM, Friday race start time.

The Cook County Invite is scheduled to involve 10 teams including the Vikings, with each team bringing from 40 to 50 skiers from junior high through high school varsity. Summers said that the meet is a tune-up for skiers in their preparation for the Section 7 meet which will be held next week. He said the only team in the Section that might not attend is Grand Rapids, but that was not certain.

The Invite involves both Freestyle (skate-ski) and Classic techniques. The opening round is the Freestyle with the second, or Pursuit, round being Classic in style. The high school boys' and girls' varsities are scheduled to start the Freestyle competition at 11 AM, Saturday. The junior varsity will follow immediately with the junior high Classic race next on the schedule. The varsity boys and girls Pursuit starts at 2 PM.

Summers said that Section 7 is "arguably the best (Nordic) section in the state." He noted that Duluth East and Ely are perennial Section 7 powerhouses.

"Every school in the section has a well-establish program with talented kids," he said.

Minnesota Power to close one of three coal-burning units at Tac Harbor; no layoffs expected

Thu, 01/31/2013 - 4:33am
Taconite Harbor Energy Center.png

Minnesota Power announced Wednesday it will vlose ofne of three coal-fired units at its Taconite Harbor plant on the North Shore in Cook County.

The Duluth News Tribune reported Thursday morning that Minnesota Power will convert its coal-fired power plant in Hoyt Lakes to natural gas as the utility continues a move away from carbon dioxode-creating coal.

Burning coal causes smog, acid rain, global warming and toxic air emissions.

The company said it will retire one of three coal-burning units at Taconite Harbor but keep the other two units burning coal because they already have been upgraded with pollution-control devices for mercury and other emissions.

Al Rudek, vice president of strategy and planning for the utility, said no layoffs are expected at Taconite Harbor or Hoyt Lakes. He told the Duluth newspaper that the company hopes any cuts in the work force would be achieved through attrition.

The company said it would spend $15 million in 2015 to convert the 110-megawatt Laskin coal plant in Hoyt Lakes to cleaner-burning natural gas, which produces much less carbon dioxide and mercury than coal. The plant would be the first gas-fired generator for the Duluth-based utility.

And the company will add $350 million in pollution-control technology at its Boswell 4 unit in Cohasset to meet current and forthcoming pollution regulations, keeping that unit open for the foreseeable future.

The announcement noted the utility’s addition last year of more wind turbines in North Dakota, where it now generates 400 megawatts of wind energy for its northern Minnesota customers.

The moves will push Minnesota Power, which produced 95 percent of its electricity from coal less than a decade ago, to more than 20 percent from non-coal sources, a critical step in the face of expected climate-change legislation to reduce pollution from burning coal.

Dupre has "day at the office" at base camp on Denali

Thu, 01/31/2013 - 4:09am
Denalie_Photo from Wikipedia.jpg

Grand Marais Arctic adventurer Lonnie Dupre had "a day at the office" Wednesday after returning to his base camp at 7,200 feet on Alaska's Denali.

The 51-year-old Dupre returned to the base camp after his unsuccessful third attempt to scale Denali alone in the winter. Had he made it, he would have been the first solo climber to accomplish the challenge. He reached 17,200 feet before life-threatening conditions forced him to turn back. At that point, dangerous weather and snow conditions combined with dwindling food and fuel led Dupre to turn back. Denali is 20,320 feet in altitude.

His support team at One World Endeavors reported Wednesday night that Dupre had "a day at the office if you will. Lonnie spent his first full day at basecamp collecting his thoughts, organizing gear and visiting with his neighbor Masatoshi (Kuriaki) about hundred yards away. Masatoshi, is in the process of making his seventh attempt at summiting Mount Hunter."

The team reported also reported that "weather permitting we should be able to fly into base camp in the next couple of days." The flight will take Dupre off Denali and back to the Alaska community of Talkeetna.

CC/SB boys win Centennial Ski Meet; girls take second

Wed, 01/30/2013 - 12:45pm

The Cook County/Silver Bay boys and girls Alpine Ski Teams took first and second Tuesday in the Centennial Invitational held at Giants Ridge in Biwabik.

The meet featured more than 15 other teams and about 220 skiers from the section. It  is considered a pre-section meet.

The CC/SB boys beat the perennial power Hermantown by 12 points and the North Shore girls fell only a few points short of beating Hermantown. A consistent performance gave the CC/SB the strong team finishes. Both teams took enough of the finishes from number 12 to number 22 to push the boys to the win and the girls to take second.  

The CC/SB boys who finished were: Will Lamb, 12th; Anders Zimmer, 13th; Logan Backstrom, 16th; Colin Berglund, 20th; Kyle Martinson, 22nd; Dexter Yoki, 52nd and Charlie Lawler, 77th.

The CC/SB girls who finished were: Megan Lehto, 12th; Morgan Wyrens Welch, 14th; Signe Larson, 16th; Ava McMillan, 17th; Madysen McKeever, 26th; Alyssa Martinson, 27th and Haley Yoki at 39th.

CC/SB travels to the Duluth Central on Thursday morning at Giants Ridge. Next Tuesday, the boys and girls head back to Giants Ridge for the Sectional meet.

 

Snowarama coming to Grand Portage this weekend

Wed, 01/30/2013 - 10:49am

It’s Snowarama time with the Grand Portage Lodge and Casino and the Grand Portage Trail Riders. The Grand Portage community is hosting the 10th annual Snowarama for Easter Seals Kids on February 1 - 2.
This 10th year of riding the great Grand Portage trails and raising money for Easter Seals Ontario is a weekend filled with fun—and prizes. In celebration of its 10th anniversary, Snowarama is offering 10 prize packages totaling $10,000, ranging from snowmobile gear, $250 in casino cash, a weekend stay at beautiful Hollow Rock Resort and more. For every $100 a rider raises, he or she gets a ticket for the drawing for one of the 10 prizes.
There are only a few more days for riders to register—if you’d like to join the ride, contact Rhonda Harrison at Easter Seals Ontario for more information at (807) 345-7622. If you would like to donate a pledge to a Snowarama rider, visit www.snowarama.org.
Easter Seals Ontario provides funding to families of kids with physical disabilities for costly equipment such as wheelchairs, walkers, braces and communication devices. As children grow, most equipment must be replaced. The generous dollars contributed by thousands of supporters give children with physical disabilities the equipment they need to achieve a greater level of independence and dignity.
And you don’t have to be a participant to join in the fun. Head to Grand Portage Friday, Feb. 1 for Karaoke from 8 p.m. to midnight. On Saturday, dance the night away with the popular Twin Cities band West Side.

Despite extreme cold, DNR launches moose research project

Wed, 01/30/2013 - 6:27am

Despite the recent cold weather, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources wildlife researchers managed to fit high-tech GPS collars on  31 moose to help determine why Minnesota’s moose population continues to decline.

According to Lou Cornicelli, DNR wildlife research manager, the project started last week near Grand Marais during the four-day stretch of extreme cold. He said flight safety guidelines dictate no work can be performed below 20 degrees below zero. So the team’s helicopter was grounded for most of the first three days.

Capture and ground support crews faced daytime wind chills as cold as 54 below zero on Monday, Jan. 21, and air temperatures that didn’t rise above zero until Thursday, Jan. 24.

Erika Butler, DNR wildlife veterinarian said despite the cold conditions, the team was able to collar at least five to six moose a day.

Capturing and collaring adult moose is the first phase of a multiple-year project to attempt to determine why moose are dying at unusually high rates in northeastern Minnesota. The DNR intends to put collars on 100 adult moose in the Grand Marias, Ely and Two Harbors areas. 

 

Dupre rests at base camp; awaits airlift off Denali

Wed, 01/30/2013 - 4:23am
Image from oneworldendeavors.com

Grand Marais adventurer Lonnie Dupre finished the last leg of his unsuccessful journey to reach the summit of Alaska's Denali Monday evening when he returned to his base camp.
 

His team at One World Endeavors reported Tuesday morning that upon arriving at the base camp, he joined Masatoshi Kuriaki who was already encamped.. Known as the “Japanese Caribou," Masatoshi is currently attempting to summit Mount Hunter. OWE said the two adventurers will be neighbors until weather clears up for Dupre's team to fly in and return him to Talkeetna.
 

This was Dupre's third attempt to become the first person to reach the summit alone on  Alaska’s 20,320-foot Denali in the winter. He reached 17,200 feet before life-threatening conditions forced him to turn back. At that point, dangerous weather and snow conditions combined with dwindling food and fuel led Dupre to turn back.
 

Dupre's expedition can be followed in pictures, reports and audio at www.oneworldendeavors.com.

 

Viking boys beat Mesabi East in basketball; Storm lose in hockey at IF

Wed, 01/30/2013 - 4:02am

Colin Everson hit 26 points Tuesday night to lead the Cook County Vikings to a 62-48 home win over the Mesabi East Giants in boys basketball.

And, the North Shore Storm traveled to International Falls for boys hockey and returned Tuesday night with a 6-0 loss.

No report was available Wednesday morning on the Cook County Vikings girls basketball game with Mesabi East.

In taking their win, The Viking boys jumped out to a 32-21 halftime lead. They then held the Giants off in the second half, 30-27.

The other Viking in double-figures was Kale Boomer with 17. Scoring nine points for Cook County was Justin Goldstein while Jonny Jacobsen and Lars Scannell hit five each.

Everson nailed three-three-pointers while Goldstein and Boomer hit two and Scannell one.

Scoring in double-figures for Mesabi East were Neil Seibert with 14 and Joe Radtke with 12.

The win put the Vikings at 10-5 for the season.

In boys hockey, International Falls scored three goals in the first period, two in the second and one in the third to take the 6-0 win from the Storm.

Zach Duresky was in the goal for the Storm and made 29 saves.

The Storm’s record fell to 10-8 with the loss.
 

WDSE looks for recipes for “P” is for Poultry!

Tue, 01/29/2013 - 12:49pm

You can find it in soups, in casseroles, in a sandwich, on the grill, or in a roasting pan!  It’s good for you and it tastes great; it is poultry! From Cornish game hens to turkey, duck, chicken and pheasants…WDSE Cooks wants your VERY favorite recipes for “P” is for Poultry!
Every recipe submitted will become part of the newest WDSE Cooks cookbook, “P” is for Poultry and submitters will receive a gift.  And if we choose your recipe, you could be one of the star cooks of our newest show!  Just get those recipes in by February 1.
Email your recipes to jkellner@wdse.org or mail to WDSE•WRPT 632 Niagara Ct. Duluth, MN 55811-3098. 
Contact Jodi Hagen, Promotion Director, WDSE•WRPT
218 788-2813; email jhagen@wdse.org

Hospital Board considers renovations

Tue, 01/29/2013 - 12:47pm

Hospital board members listened to a dizzy array of numbers and ever changing regulations pertaining to the services offered and operating costs needed to run the Cook County North Shore Hospital and Care Center (CCNSCC) at the January 17 board meeting.  At the end of the meeting the board passed a resolution to move ahead to seek information on the best ways to re-design the hospital and care center to maximize efficiencies in staff and to potentially provide more services that could generate more revenue.
Part of the motion put forward by Hospital Board Member Howard Abrahamson guarantees that all of the current services will remain unchanged as they proceed with plans to seek an architectural firm and ways to fund the project.
Before voting, the board listened to a two-hour presentation by Kimber Wraalstad, hospital administrator, who gave them a financial review of the North Shore Care Center, the hospital, home health and the ambulance services that stretched back to 2006.
In 2011 the hospital generated revenue totaling $1,863,294. This was offset by losses of $127,827 from the ambulance service, a loss of $224,787 by home health care, and a loss of $1,405,106 from the care center resulting in net revenue of $105,574.
While a complete financial audit isn’t finished for 2012, Wraalstad noted that the care center’s losses were $937,000 for 2012, far better then the $1,405,106 loss the care center suffered in 2011.
Wraalstad asked the board if it wanted to continue running the 37-bed care center despite its losing money. All of the board members, Tom Spence, Kay Olson, Justin Mueller and Abrahamson said they strongly supported continuing operation of the care center.
“I’ve heard unbelievable support for the care center,” said Spence.

Minnesota deer harvest declines 4 percent

Tue, 01/29/2013 - 9:33am

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Minnesota's deer harvest declined in 2012 but officials say it was a safe season for people who took to the woods.

Final numbers released Monday show that Minnesota hunters killed nearly 185,000 deer, down 4 percent from 2011.

The decline was expected because the DNR issued fewer permits to take antlerless deer in a move to build up the deer population.

The archery harvest was up 5 percent and the muzzleloader harvest increased 1 percent, but the firearms harvest was down 5 percent from last year.

The DNR says only one hunter fatality and 19 injuries were reported.

Dupre nearing base camp on Denali; expects to fly out later this week

Tue, 01/29/2013 - 3:37am
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One World Endeavors reported Monday night that Grand Marais Arctic adventurer Lonnie Dupre was within two hours of his base camp on Denali and should reach the camp on Tuesday.

"We've just heard that Lonnie is a couple hours away from base camp," said OWE's Stevie Anna Plummer in an Email to WTIP. . "Weather will permit when we can fly in and get him. We're hoping sometime by Friday. Thursday looks promising, but you can never really tell with Alaska weather."

OWE's map of Denali shows that Dupre had gone across the Kahiltna Glacier and that he was near Heartbreak Hill on his descent. His base camp is at 7,200 feet.

He was descending from a camp at 14,200 feet. He retreated there from his camp at 17,200 where temperatures in his snow cave dropped to -35 degrees F and snow conditions did not allow for creation of a safe snow cave,  He  reported the life-threatening conditions and dwindling supplies forced him to cut short his ascent.

Dupre was in his third attempt to become the first person to reach the summit alone Alaska’s 20,320-foot Mount McKinley in the winter.

Dupre's expedition can be followed at www.oneworldendeavors.com.

 

 

Celebrating winter all over Cook County

Mon, 01/28/2013 - 1:59pm

Celebrate Minnesota’s most legendary season with Winter Tracks, a 10-day family-friendly festival from February 1 - 13, 2013 in Cook County featuring the Lutsen Mountains Family Fun Fest, Cook County Ridge Riders Snowmobile Fun Run and Easter Seals 10th annual Grand Portage Snowarama along with a Plein Air Painting Competition, snow sculptures, luminary lit ski trails, guided snowshoe tours, dog sled or horse-drawn sleigh rides, live music and more.
The various events will take place throughout the county including Lutsen/Tofte, Grand Marais, Grand Portage and the Gunflint Trail.
For more information contact the Cook County Visitor’s Bureau at (218) 387-2788 or see http://www.visitcookcounty.com/wintertracks