Around Cook County

News and other information from Cook County

Wolf season part one ends

Mon, 11/19/2012 - 9:17am

The first half of Minnesota's inaugural wolf hunt closed Sunday, Nov. 18, with fewer than 150 wolves killed, according to Department of Natural Resources numbers.

The DNR set a quota for 200 wolves allowed to be culled, with only 147 killed in the 15-day "early season." The northwest zone had 78 wolves killed, followed by the northeast with 61 and the east central zone with eight.

The east central zone was closed Nov. 5 and the northeast was closed Nov. 14 as the regions approached or exceeded individual targets, the DNR said.

A late season, which also has a quota of 200 wolves, will run from Nov. 24 to Jan. 31.

Applicants not selected in this year’s early or late season wolf license lottery can purchase a surplus hunting or trapping license on a first-come, first-served basis beginning at noon today.

GTHS begins restoration of landmark Gunflint Trail signs

Sun, 11/18/2012 - 4:55pm

The Gunflint Trail Historical Society has started work to restore the historic Gunflint Trail entrance signs located in downtown Grand Marais just north of Highway 61.

One of the signs is a voyageur holding a canoe labeled “Gunflint Trail” and the other is a bear driving a motorboat.

They are located at the foot of 2nd Avenue West in front of the Grand Marais Public Library. The walls on which the signs sit are believed to have been built by the Works Progress Administration in 1938.

The GTHS said in a news release that time has taken a toll on the signs. Lettering on the Voyageur's canoe that once was bright red has completely faded. The GTHS says the landmarks need a new coat of paint and other repairs.

Historical society trustee John Schloot is overseeing the restoration. He says, “These signs are a historic piece of Americana, We cannot allow to fall into a total loss. A few bucks today will keep them good for 10-20 years."

The City of Grand Marais owns the signs and the GTHS has received permission from the City Council to undertake repairs. The GTHS will be partnering with the Cook County Historical Society to complete this project. 

With assistance from the Grand Marais Street Department, the signs were removed from their stands this fall. Artist Yarrow Korf will repaint the signs over the winter.  The refurbished signs will be reinstalled in Spring 2013.

The cost of this refurbishment project is approximately $5000. The  GTHS is accepting donations to assist in the cost of the restoration.

Cook County Council on Aging looking for board members

Sun, 11/18/2012 - 4:02pm

There is always something happening at the senior center in
Grand Marais and there are always questions and concerns about senior
living in Cook County that need to be addressed. One entity that works
to meet those needs is the Cook County Council on Aging. The council
is seeking members to join its board of directors.
The council oversees operations at the senior center in Grand Marais
and at the very successful First & Second Thrift Store. They do so by
providing overall leadership and strategic direction to staff. Board
members should have an interest in these enterprises as well as an
understanding of the senior community’s needs. Board members should
have a passion for working with seniors and a willingness to commit
time for board meetings, committee meetings and various special events.
Council meetings are held the first Tuesday of the month at 9 a.m.
Board members also are expected to serve on a committee. New board
members would start after the first of the year.
If you are interested in joining the Cook County Council on Aging
board of directors, stop by the Cook County Senior Center for an
application or e-mail For more information, call
(218) 387-2660. Applications are due by November 28 at 4 p.m.

Think of the Cook County Food Shelf over the holidays

Sun, 11/18/2012 - 4:01pm

Are you thinking about the holidays coming? Thinking about
family and friends gathering? The Cook County Food Shelf is thinking
about the approaching holidays as well. The food shelf volunteers are thinking about the
probable increase in requests for food assistance during the winter
They are thinking about households having to use their small funds for
utilities, warmer clothing and the rising cost of food to put on their
Last year the cost of the food  purchased from Second Harvest
doubled in September and October. Prices went down in November,
December and January, but went up again in February. It took until
June to come down again.
Second Harvest is the most economic source to receive our food
supplies. As of late, our food shelf ordered 138 cases of food items,
but only 43 cases could be delivered. That is because Second Harvest
did not have enough food on hand to fill all requests. The Cook County Foos Shelf get delivery
once a month.
As they try to fill the bags and boxes of food for three days worth, there are sometimes 
shortages. It is only because of  donated monies that the food shelf is able to go shopping locally, filling those voids.
When you see a food shelf collection basket, please consider putting
just one can or package in there. Together we can make a difference.
Financial donations may also be sent to Cook County Food Shelf, P.O.
Box 95, Grand Marais, MN 55604.

Hockey Association to construct warming house and storage building

Sun, 11/18/2012 - 3:50pm

At the Tuesday, November 13 commissioner’s meeting, the board
approved a request by the Cook County Amateur Hockey Association to
attach a 19’ x 16’ equipment storage building to the current Community
Center and to put up a separate 24’ x 36’ warming house between the
community skating rink and the new hockey rink.
The hockey association will pay for the buildings to be built, and the
county board agreed to use funding from the community center budget to
finish the interior of the buildings at a cost not expected to exceed
$50,000. The buildings will be owned by the county.
Skating rink attendants and hockey coaches will have keys to open the
Community Center so the bathrooms will be accessible.
Regarding the fact that buildings with no bathroom facilities will be
put up, Commissioner Fritz Sobanja said, “Here you have a sub-par
situation again. …I understand that’s how government works. It is

County approves contracts for new community center

Sat, 11/17/2012 - 2:50pm

Progress continues toward a new county community center. 
Coming to agreements with Cook County Schools, the Grand Marais City 
Council, and the Duluth YMCA was a rather complicated process, but on
November 13 the county board approved contracts with all three entities.
The school, the city, and the YMCA had all reviewed and made changes 
to contracts the county board had already approved.  Under these 
agreements, the county will be buying the west wing of the school and 
leasing the ground under it, the city will help pay operating losses 
at the new community center, and the YMCA will manage the county’s 
recreation and community center programs.
Four of the five commissioners were ready to sign on the dotted lines, 
but Commissioner Bruce Martinson took issue with the city committing 
to a partnership of only 25 years. Commissioner Fritz Sobanja said he 
could understand the city’s caution, since the city paid for losses at 
the Grand Marais Municipal Pool after the county and the school 
stopped paying the one-third share they each started out paying when 
the pool opened in 1977.
Commissioners Sue Hakes and Jim Johnson indicated they just wanted to 
get the project moving forward. Hakes said with a low-interest bond 
sale to generate cash for construction expenses coming up on November 
27, not moving forward could cost the county money.
After a vote of four ayes and one nay by Commissioner Martinson, the 
contracts were approved and signed.