Around Cook County
The third and final stage of an ambitious project to enhance the facilities for the Gunflint Trail Volunteer Fire Department is completed. Fire Hall #3 and the Seagull Lake Community Center will be hosting an open house on Tuesday June 17.
Phase one of the project was the creation of the Schaap Community Center and a Cold Storage facility at Hall #1 at mid-Trail and the bathroom/storage addition to Hall #2 on South Gunflint Lake Road.
The GTVFD mission was to provide multi-use facilities that would serve as a community center, training center and when necessary an Incident Command Post (ICP). Complete with radio communications, cell service and up to 12 independent phone lines the center can be immediately transformed to an ICP in the event of a major fire, search and rescue mission, evacuation or other such incidents. Thus an ICP team can move right in and begin crucial operations without wasting time acquiring needed resources.
The Schaap Community Center, boosted by a generous donation from Paul and Carol Schaap, has been open since May of 2013. So far area property owner associations, community members, the U.S. Forest Service, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, Cook County EMS Department, the GTVFD and numerous other organizations have made use of the center.
The Seagull Lake Community Center will now offer those same opportunities to the end of the Gunflint Trail residents.
The total cost of the three fire hall projects was $850,000 with over $500,000 in donations from a vibrant and generous Gunflint Trail community. That includes the buildings, wells, septic systems, parking lots and emergency generators. Now it’s time to celebrate and give thanks to our friends and neighbors. The Open House Festivities will begin at 4:00 p.m. at 7 Seagull Lake Access Road (right across from the Seagull Creek Fishing Camp).
Each week the WTIP news team puts together a roundup of the week's news. Grand Portage holds elections, Enbridge gets a pipeline go-ahead, tenet caterpillars may not be back with a vengeance and rumble strips are rumbling off in the distance…all this and more in this week’s news.
Jack Stone of Stone Harbor Wilderness Supply told the Grand Marais Park Board on June 3, that he will soon begin stand up paddleboard demonstrations in the Grand Marais harbor.
Stone said the majority of these demonstrations would be directly south and a little west of the Lake Superior Trading Post.
Because he isn’t charging for the demonstrations Stone wasn’t applying for a vendor permit, but he felt he should consult with the park board before beginning this new activity in the harbor. The demonstrations will take place from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. each day with 6-7 paddleboards in the water at any one time.
Plus, on the weekend of July 19-20, he hopes to have a more elaborate demo weekend. Stone said he is hoping to bring in one or more of our stand up paddleboard vendors to help us.
“The hope is to make this an annual event and if it is successful, bring in other retailers and vendors,” said Stone.
WTIP is hosting the AMPERS (Association of Minnesota Public & Educational Radio Stations) annual meeting in Grand Marais June 11 and 12. Approximately 25 radio professionals from AMPERS’ 15 independently licensed community-based public radio stations in Minnesota are attending, said WTIP Station Manager Deb Benedict.
AMPERS is the second largest public radio network in the state of Minnesota and one of the largest public radio networks of its kind in the United States. The stations comprising the AMPERS network are KAXE-FM (Grand Rapids), KBEM-FM (Twin Cities), KBFT-FM (Nett Lake), KFAI-FM (Twin Cities), KKWE-FM (Callaway), KMOJ-FM (Twin Cities), KMSU-FM and KMSK-FM (Mankato/Austin), KOJB (Cass Lake), KQAL-FM (Winona), KSRQ-FM (Thief River Falls), KUMD-FM (Duluth), KUMM-FM (Morris), KUOM-AM & FM (Radio K) (Twin Cities), KVSC-FM (St. Cloud), and WTIP-FM (Grand Marais).
Founded in 1972, AMPERS’ purpose is to strengthen member stations through mutual support and fund-raising, producing and sharing programming, and encouraging growth and advocacy at the state and national levels. AMPERS stations have no affiliation with MPR (Minnesota Public Radio) and receive no financial support from MPR.
The Cook County Invasives Team (CCIT) will be hosting a series of hikes this summer to look at native and non-native plants.
The hikes will be held on June 16 at Cascade River, June 30 at Temperance River, July 7 at George Washington Pines, July 21 at Sweetheart's Bluff, Aug. 4 at Oberg Mountain, and Aug. 18 at Kadunce River.
These hikes are free, and no registration is required. For more information, call Angelique Edgerton at 387-3772.
This local news is provided by the Cook County News-Herald
Long time Grand Marais Liquor Facilities Manager Pat Hennessy worked his last day on the job on Friday May 30, 2014, calling it quits after a career that he began in 1978 as a part time bar tender at the Grand Marais Municipal (Muni) bar, space that has undergone many changes since the Muni closed, but has now been converted into the Grand Marais Public Utility Commission and Cook County/Grand Marais Economic Development Authority offices.
Hennessy is leaving a business that he says, “I tried to run like it was my own. I wanted customers to have a good experience when they came in here. I hope they got that.
This was by far the best job that I have ever had in my life. I really enjoyed my stay here.”
From 1978 to 1982 Pat worked in the Muni, but he left to take a job with the county.
“I came back in 1989 and was the part-time liquor store clerk. In October of 1994 I became the Liquor Store Facilities Manager,” said Hennessey.
Under Pat’s supervision, the Grand Marais Municipal Liquor Store has grown in volume, sales and profitability for the city. Every year the Grand Marais Municipal Liquor Store is the most profitable municipal liquor store in the region.
“It wasn’t too long ago that our sales were under $1 million, but last year we were over $2 million. Part of that I think is because Grand Marais has become more of a destination. More and more people are coming here. It’s a nice town to visit with a lot of amenities. We have nice shops, good restaurants, and good lodging.
“But I would also like to think that we provide good service at the liquor store. As manager I have been fortunate to have real honest, hard working help. There have been a lot of great people working here over the years. They have to be given credit too, for the success,” Hennessy said.