Around Cook County
The 10th annual Snowarama for Easter Seals was once again a great success, with 77 riders hitting the Grand Portage trails and perhaps more importantly, raising $24,575 to help Easter Seals of Ontario.
The weather was bitter cold as riders set out from Grand Portage Trail Center. But the intrepid riders just bundled up and not only endured the minus 13 degree temperature, they enjoyed it. About half of the riders traveled the long route, heading from Grand Portage to Trail Center or Hungry Jack Lodge on the Gunflint Trail. The rest of the riders stayed closer to the comforts of Grand Portage Lodge and Casino, traveling the beautiful trails right in Grand Portage.
But the real reason for the ride was brought home by the current and former Easter Seal Ambassadors at the event. Terry Douglas of Thunder Bay, mom of Easter Seal Ambassador Kendall Douglas was the evening’s emcee. She thanked everyone for taking part, noting that it is impossible to express enough appreciation to Easter Seals for its work with children with physical disabilities.
The new Cook County Chamber of Commerce invites all county business owners and managers to a “We Love Cook County” pre-Valentine celebration from 5-7 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 12, at Sivertson Gallery in Grand Marais.
“Everyone is welcome,” said host Jan Sivertson. “We'd love to see members of the Greater Grand Marais Chamber and also business folk from other parts of the county who have not previously been active in chamber affairs.”
There will be a New To Medicare Presentation on Monday, February 11, from 10 a.m. – 12 p.m. Attend this session to learn about Medicare parts A through D, Medicare insurance options, supplemental insurance, extra help paying for prescription drugs, Medicare Savings Programs and more. Get your questions answered! This is a free informational presentation, presented by Marjori Bottila of The Senior LinkAge Line® at the Cook County Senior Center. To register and learn more call the Senior LinkAge Line® at 1-800-333-2433
Or call the Cook County Senior Center at 218-387-2660
Individual 30 minute Medicare Counseling appointments will also be available from 1:00-3:00 p.m. Please contact the Senior Center to schedule your appointment. If you are new to Medicare, please make sure you attend the group presentation prior to your appointment.
Each weekend WTIP news produces a round up of the news stories they’ve been following this week. WTIP’s Jay Andersen spoke with Grand Marais explorer Lonnie Dupre about leaving Denali, reported on the DNR’s decision to close the moose season and interviewed Rep. David Dill on mysterious moose mortality.…all in this week’s news.
The Floodwood Polar Bears visited Cook County Friday night and took two varsity basketball wins home with them.
The Wrenshall Wrens visited Silver Bay and left with a boys win over the Mariners. The Mariner girls, however, defeated the Wrens.
Kale Boomer led the Viking boys with 17 points as they fell 40-34 to the Polar Bears in Grand Marais. Colin Everson also hit in double figures with 12. The only other two Vikings to score were Justin Goldstein with three and Lars Scannell with two. Boomer and Everson each had two three-pointers in their totals while Goldstein had one.
The Vikings held the usually high-scoring Floodwood to a three-point margin, 24-21, at the end of the first half. The Polar Bears again outscored the Vikings by three in the second half, 16-13, to secure the win. The loss dropped the Vikes to 10-6 for the season.
Jarred Heggedahl and Riley Bernsdorf had 13 and 10 points respectively for the Polar Bears.
Floodwood stopped Cook County in the girls game, 84-54. Only the score was available from this game. The Vikings fell to 8-13 with the loss.
The Viking boys and girls travel to Wrenshall for basketball on Friday night, February 15.
The Silver Bay Mariners split a varsity double-header with the Wrenshall Wrens in Silver Bay.
Alicia Nopola nailed four three-pointers and scored 36 points to lead the Mariner girls to a 45-34 win over the Wrens.
Silver Bay held a 20-16 first half lead and they outscored Wrenshall 26-18 in the second to take the 12-point win.
Also scoring for Silver Bay was Tara Dow with six while Aubrey Thun and Brandi Nopola had two each. The win upped the Mariners record to 3-14.
Tatum Swanson scored eight for the Wrens.
WTIP is rolling out some program schedule changes starting Monday, Feb. 11. Changes include the addition of a locally-produced music show from 4:00 – 5:00 p.m. Wednesday through Friday, and the move of Swing Session from noon to 6:00 a.m. weekdays and 4:00 p.m. Sundays.
The changes have grown out of responses from the listener survey WTIP held in the fall. “It has been a process,” says WTIP’s Executive Director Deb Benedict. “We took listener feedback and used it to determine how to best serve our listeners as well as accommodate new needs and interests.” All proposed changes were carefully considered and approved by WTIP’s Programming Committee.
As a community radio station, WTIP works hard to be responsive to community needs and interests. Sometimes, being responsive means considering the program schedule and making changes to best serve listener needs. “We have to be responsive,” says Benedict. “We found there was a need for a locally-produced music show and early-morning programming, so we carefully considered options and created a new schedule that we’re confident will serve our listeners’ needs. We’re really excited about it.”
WTIP’s program schedule is a mixture of locally-produced and carefully selected programming that meets the needs and interests of WTIP’s unique and diverse listenership. WTIP has over 75 active volunteers that produce most of the local programming.
Click here to see the new program schedule.
Do you have a child or grandchild aged 0-5? On February 9, the second annual "Winter Wonderland" for young children and their loved ones will be held at Birch Grove from 10 a.m. to noon. There will be activities specially geared toward that age, and resources for their caregivers. Snacks will be provided. Bring your own sandwich or join us for Cross River Cafe's Famous Chili at noon. We invite people of all ages to spend the afternoon enjoying the skating rink, ski trails, snowshoeing and tot-sized sledding hills. At 4:00 p.m., the second round of the Third Annual Boot Hockey Tournament will be held.
The Cook County Community Center Steering Committee will be getting some input from the Grand Marais Park Board at their next meeting. Park Board Member and City Councilor Bill Lenz updated the park board on budget-induced reductions to the Cook County Family YMCA design at their meeting on February 5.
The amount designated for outdoor amenities, including a new softball field, has been limited to $500,000 in order to leave as much money as possible for the YMCA building. “We feel that we have to get the building done,” said Lenz. “At this point, the ball field is kind of up in the air.”
“The ball field is really important to our plans,” said Park Manager Dave Tersteeg. The park’s Master Plan calls for replacing the ball field with full-service RV sites when the county builds a new ball field on its current Community Center property. Lenz said that he has told the steering committee that if a new field is not built, Grand Marais will eventually have one fewer field than it needs.
There is a significant winter storm headed our way beginning Sunday afternoon. WTIP’s Jay Andersen spoke with meteorologist Carol Christenson about a lot of snow and blowing winds.
Leah Utities cut loose for 22 points as the Cook County Vikings beat Duluth Marshall Thursday night, 65-46, in a game played at the high school gym in Grand Marais.
The Vikings hit 28 field goals while holding Marshall to only 18 to take thewin. Marshall held a nine to five edge in the free-throws-made column.
Joining Utities in double-figure scoring were Theresa Morrin with 16 and Breana Peterson with 13. Suzy Burton scored eight and Kaitlynn Linnell added six for the Vikes. Utities and Morrin each had two three-pointers apiece.
Mary Baumgartner led Marshall with 12 points.
In girls hockey, the Silver Bay Area girls team ended its season Thursday night with a 4-0 loss at Proctor-Hermantown in the quarterfinals of the Section 7A hockey playoffs.
And, the season ended for the Cook County High School Nordic Ski Teams as no Vikings qualified for State in the Section 7 meet at Giants Ridge.
In regular season boys hockey, the North Shore Storm overwhelmed Moose Lake Area 8-2 on the Storm's home ice. Both the SBA and Storm teams include skaters from Cook and Lake counties.
The Silver Bay Area girls came into last night's Section 7A game at the eighth seed. Proctor-Hermantown is seeded number one. In taking the win, Proctor-Hermantown scored once each in the first and second period, adding two goals in the third for the win.
Cassie Swanson was in the net for the Mariners and made 29 saves.
The top-ranked Duluth East girls won their third straight Section 7 Nordic ski title on Thursday. East is also the two-time defending state champion. East took the 10.5K girls' meet with 384 points followed by Ely at 377. The Viking girls finished 10th with 132.
The Ely Timberwolves won the boys' 10.5K meet with 384 points followed by Duluth East wtih 371. The Vikings finished ninth with 221 points.
The Elders at the Grand Portage Elderly Nutrition Program are staying busy. There continues to be strong participation in weekly water aerobics, chair exercise and Wisdom Steps programs. These programs are especially important as the weather makes it hard to get outdoors. ENP Director Patty Winchell-Dahl said, “When we keep moving, we have less pain from arthritis, stay strong and are less likely to fall. Keeping active makes us healthier and can contribute to a positive, happier outlook on life.”
Anyone interested in participating with Wisdom Steps, please call Carol Hackett at (218) 475-2655. All types of exercise count towards your goal for Wisdom Steps not just walking. The program is open to adults 50 years of age and older.
The ENP has many opportunities to volunteer. Currently ENP is in need of Elders to listen to the grade school children read twice a week. Anyone with some time, please call Patty at the ENP at 457-2655 or 475-2002.
A recently completed aerial survey of moose in northeastern Minnesota indicates the rate of population decline has accelerated dramatically.
The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources announced Wednesday that the northeast population declined 35 percent from last year. Since 2010, the moose population has declined 52 percent.
In response to the survey results, the DNR will not open a 2013 state moose hunting season or consider opening future seasons unless the population recovers.
“The state’s moose population has been in decline for years but never at the precipitous rate documented this winter,” said Tom Landwehr, DNR commissioner. “This is further and definitive evidence the population is not healthy. It reaffirms the conservation community’s need to better understand why this iconic species of the north is disappearing from our state.”
Landwehr stressed the state’s limited hunts are not the cause of the population decline. “Yet taking this action is reasonable and responsible in light of latest data and an uncertain future,” he said
Based on the aerial survey conducted in January, the new population estimate is 2,760 animals, down from 4,230 in 2012. The population estimate was as high as 8,840 as recently as 2006.
“It’s now prudent to control every source of mortality we can as we seek to understand causes of population decline,’’ said Landwehr.
Starting in January, wildlife researchers began fitting 100 moose in northeastern Minnesota with GPS tracking and data collection collars. This multi-year research project will investigate the causes of adult moose mortality, calf mortality, calf survival, moose use of existing habitat and habitat quality.
To date, 92 collars have been placed on moose in the Grand Marais, Ely and Two Harbors areas.
An encore presentation of the high school one-act comedy We're Not Making This Play Up As We Go - Honest by Bradley Walton will be given Feb. 7 at 7 p.m. at the Arrowhead Center for the Arts.
The cast includes Cy Fortunato, Luke Fenwick, Mikala Schliep, Sam Kern, Sam Deschampe, Seleine Morowitz, Emily Terrill, Melanie Stoddard and Michaela Peterson. Stage manager is Julia Larsen; director is Sue Hennessy.
Admission price? Bring two useable items for the food shelf or $3.
The local AARP tax aide volunteers have been training every Tuesday in January and February. They also attended a mandatory IRS “webinar” on Wednesday, January 23.
All of this training is necessary, explained Pam McDougall, one of the number crunchers at the webinar. “There are always a lot of changes—and we expect even more this year.”
At their Tuesday sessions, the volunteers review tax exercises, update tax prep computers and prepare for the 2012 tax law tests. It seems like a lot of hard work for volunteers, but another volunteer, Chuck Flickinger said, “We enjoy it. It is rewarding to help people through the process.”
The local AARP TaxAides will once again be helping members of the community with their federal and state income taxes, and property tax refunds—free of charge.
People are helped on a first-come first-serve basis. Once tax aides have gotten the information and tax documents, they can tell you when your tax return will be ready, so that you can leave and come back later if you wish.
A TaxAide will check your return for accuracy, after which you will receive a printed copy of your return, which will be e-filed to the government, with your refund arriving in one to four weeks depending upon your choice of direct deposit or mail.
The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources announced today the moose population in Northeastern Minnesota has dropped 35 percent from last year. The agency said it will not hold a season this fall or consider opening future seasons unless the population recovers.
District 3A Rep. David Dill said he fully supports the DNR action, and called the population drop “precipitous.” WTIP’s Jay Andersen spoke with Dill moments after the season announcement was made.