Around Cook County

News and other information from Cook County

Birch Grove hosts fun evening at Papa Charlie's Friday

Thu, 11/20/2014 - 11:02am

The community is invited to the annual Papa Charlie's Fundraiser for Birch Grove Community School on Friday, November 21. This ever-popular event includes a great pasta dinner, a fabulous silent auction and this year, dancing to Cook County's Most Wanted.

The dinner which will be lasagna is from 4 - 8 p.m. It’s a great deal at $11 for adults and $6 for children. The Silent Auction with many great bargains on lodging, gift certificates, gifts and gift baskets is from 4 - 8 p.m. Dancing starts at 5:30 p.m. and goes until 9:30 pm.

Birch Grove Community School Administrator Diane Blanchette said, “Come on out and have a great time while supporting education and programming on the west end of Cook County! We hope to see you there!”

Anyone who would like to donate an item to the Silent Auction or for more information on the school that describes itself as a place “Where Roots Grow Deep and Branches Reach High!" auction can contact the school office at (218) 663-0170.


This local news is provided by the Cook County News-Herald ~

Oshki Ogimaag students conducting food drive

Thu, 11/20/2014 - 10:56am

Grand Portage Elders are supporting the students from Mr. Keith’s class at Oshki Ogimaag Charter School with their food drive. Boxes have been placed throughout Grand Portage and Grand Marais for collecting donations. This project began November 11 and runs through November 25 with donated food being distributed on the 25th between 3:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m.

More information can be had by calling the school at 475-2112. Elder Nutrition Program Director Patty Winchell Dahl said, “This is a wonderful service project for this class. Please contribute when you see the boxes.”



This local news is provided by the Cook County News-Herald ~

Time for Operation Family Christmas

Wed, 11/19/2014 - 4:07pm

It won’t be too long before collection boxes for Operation Family Christmas began showing up in local stores, said one of the Operation Family Christmas organizers Andrea Everson.

“We want to make sure no kid in the county goes without a Christmas present,” Everson said.

Everson is asking for donations of, “new, unwrapped gifts for kids up to 18 years old.”

 But, she added, “If someone doesn’t know what to buy and wants to donate, we will accept checks or gift cards and I will send a receipt. In fact, it might be easier to give a gift card for someone older. They can be harder to shop for.”

Confidentiality is important, said Everson. “No one knows who is getting presents. Parents (or legal guardians) can pick up applications beginning November 13 at the Cook County Law Enforcement Center or at the Violence Prevention Center or through Anna Sandstrom at the school,” she said.

All applicants must be Cook County residents and all applications must be in by December 10.

In cases of divorce, both mother and father can pick up applications. “We don’t want to see one parent giving a present and one parent not being able to give a present,” said Everson.

Operation Family Christmas boxes will be collected on December 16 and distributed on December 21.

Everson is encouraging businesses to take part. “Last year the owners of The Pie Place were a huge, huge, huge help,” she said.

Gifts don’t have to be toys. They can be hats, gloves, shirts, clothes, Everson said. “Some people gave us Sven & Ole or Dairy Queen gift cards. These are great to give to high school kids who might get to leave campus for lunch,” she said.

Medicare open enrollment is now -- help available at Cook County Senior Center

Wed, 11/19/2014 - 4:03pm

Medicare open enrollment began October 15  and runs through December 15, 2014. Marjori Bottila from ARDC and Senior LinkAge Line® will be at the Cook County Senior Center on Thursday, November 20, 12:30 p.m. - 3:30 p.m. and Friday, November 21 from 9:00 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.  Appointments are available for Medicare enrollment review or new-to-Medicare applicants.  Kristen at the Senior Center said Marjori is great at helping people find the coverage that best suits your needs and budget.  She will screen for any help programs that can provide savings on health and prescription costs and help you enroll. Appointments are required.  To schedule your free 30-60 minute appointment, please call or email the Senior Center at 387-2660,


This local news is provided by the Cook County News-Herald ~




Senator Franken shares his views on net neutrality

Wed, 11/19/2014 - 11:48am

Net neutrality is a hot topic nationally, but with all the political clouds swirling around the topic, you have a right to be confused. WTIPs Jay Andersen spoke with Sen. Al Franken with his take on the subject.

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Tofte senior housing project moving ahead, supervisor to supervise

Tue, 11/18/2014 - 9:39pm

At a special meeting held Monday, November 10, 2014, Tofte supervisors hired one of their own to act as project manager for the senior housing development under way.

Tofte supervisor Jeanne Larson will be paid $20 per hour to oversee the work, said Supervisor Paul James.

James explained, “We need someone to stay on top of the project and keep everything moving forward and on time. Someone to make sure the proper permits are filled out and in place and someone to connect with the architects and contractors and keep it all straight.”

Supervisors have been meeting weekly as the physical work is about to begin, said James, saying that as things have sped up it was necessary to put one person in charge.

Dynamic Homes has been hired to build the 12-unit senior housing complex on the 29-acre township-owned property that also includes the Birch Grove Community Center and School.

At the November 10 meeting the board also hired Lamb Construction to do some blasting and McKeever Well Drilling to drill a well for the senior housing, said James.

The bonding firm Ehlers & Associates has also worked with the township to secure and issue tax-exempt general obligation (GO) bonds in the amount of $1,500,000. The bonds won’t be issued until the township needs the money to save on interest costs.

Rents are expected to run from $950 to $1,050 per month with local seniors getting first chance to live in the two-bedroom homes. The first units are expected to be on site and ready for the first tenant next July.


This local news is provided by the Cook County News-Herald ~