Around Cook County

News and other information from Cook County

Oglala Lakota Olympic gold medalist Billy Mills speaks with local students

Fri, 11/16/2012 - 11:32am
Billy Mills at CCHS.jpg

November is National Native American Heritage Month.

Cook County Middle School students celebrated the month this week with a visit from Olympic 10,000-meter gold medalist Bill Mills. Michael McHugh put together this report on the Olympian and his visit to Cook County Middle School.

To hear the report, please click on "Attached file" below.

Attached file
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Michael Monroe celebrates turning 60 with DVD, concerts

Fri, 11/16/2012 - 10:55am

Musician Michael Monroe of rural Grand Marais is turning 60 and living with “chronic happiness syndrome.”  In celebration of this and the release of a DVD, Life of My Time, he will be appearing at 1 p.m. Sunday, November 18 at the Heights Theater in Columbia Heights for a reception, concert and preview of the DVD.
The DVD, funded through an Arrowhead Regional Arts Council fellowship grant, is a retrospective on Monroe’s musical career that includes recent concert footage, performances with his band from the 80s, and reflections on the good fortune he has had in being able to follow his musical passions for over 40 years.
Highlights featured in the DVD include creating music in the U.S. Virgin Islands, finding new inspiration – and a bamboo flute – in India, and recording the soundtrack to National Geographic photographer Jim Brandenburg’s PBS documentary, Chased by the Light.  The DVD also includes a visit with Gunflint Trail luthier David Seaton, who built all of Monroe’s guitars, two of which are made from 200-year-old recycled wood from the bottom of Lake Superior.
Monroe and his business partner/wife, Debra Mueller, moved from the Twin Cities to Cook County in 1994, where for 11 years Monroe used solar power to record his music.  He has been performing concerts in his and Mueller’s log cabin in the woods for the last seven years. 
This season’s log cabin concert series will include Monroe performing with Claudia Schmidt on December 28 and 29 and with Michael Johnson on December 30 and 31.
Monroe has recorded nine CDs and one vinyl album.
For more information, contact Debra Mueller at (612)789-2255 or or visit

Soles4Souls collection at Lake Superior

Fri, 11/16/2012 - 10:53am

East Coast residents have been really suffering with flooded and wind damaged homes, no power and just plain miserable conditions from Hurricane Sandy and associated storms. A local business is doing something to help and we can all join the effort. Eric Humphrey at the Lake Superior Trading Post would like you to donate any new or lightly used pairs of shoes to Soles4Souls, a non-profit organization that collects and distributes shoes to people in need the world over.
Over the last four years the Lake Superior Trading Post has donated hundreds of pairs of shoes to Soles4Souls, a Nashville-based charity. Most of those shoes have gone to people living in Third World countries like Kenya, Thailand, Haiti, Nepal, etc.
Since 2005 Soles4Souls has delivered over 19 million pairs of new and gently worn shoes to people in over 125 countries.
But this year much of the footwear will go to people living in states affected by Hurricane Sandy and the super storm that affected much of the East Coast.
Humphrey, who with his sister Stephanie Anderson and mother Linda Zenk own and operate Lake Superior Trading Post said for every pair of shoes brought in we will donate a new pair (at least 50 pairs) and they will pay for the shipping.
Lake Superior Trading Post will collect shoes from now until December 12.

Christmas trees for Care Partners at Magnetic North Farm

Fri, 11/16/2012 - 10:40am

Care Partners of Cook County helps make life easier for community members struggling with end-of-life or chronic illness issues. The group is also brightening the community with a special holiday event.
Community members are invited to visit Magnetic North Farm, 122 Casper’s Hill Road in Colvill, to cut their own Christmas trees, enjoy cookies and cider and visit the critters that inhabit Magnetic North Farm. The invitation is for November 18, 23 and December 2 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
There will be plenty of help on hand to cut and load trees onto cars. Voluntary donations will be accepted in support of Care Partners. 
For more information, contact Care Partners Program Director Kay Grindland at 387-3788 or email her at

Heidi Doo-Kirk talks about her new commissioner role

Fri, 11/16/2012 - 10:02am

The November elections brought a new face to Cook County’s Fourth Commissioner District. WTIP’s Jay Andersen spoke with commissioner-elect Heidi Doo-Kirk.

Attached file

Poplar River sediment reduction projects completed

Fri, 11/16/2012 - 6:32am

The 2012 construction season saw the completion of two sediment reduction projects by the Poplar River Management Board in collaboration with the Cook County Soil and Water Conservation District.

The Ullr Tightline project is intended to reduce sediment into the Poplar River. The gully was identified as a major contributor of sediment. The selected solution for the gully was an engineered tightline system. (A “tightline” is a pipe that conveys water through a steep or erosion-sensitive area, to eliminate the potential for erosion in that area.)

The tightline will accept all flows from the adjacent County Road 5 and ski runs and send them to the river without degrading the steep slope below the county road. This project is estimated to reduce sediment by 90 tons per year and handle a 100-year rain storm.

The Ullr Tightline was funded 25% by landowners and 75% by a grant from the Great Lakes Commission.

The other project included improvements made along County Road 5 in the heart of Lutsen Mountains.

The improvements include an engineered storm sewer system that will intercept the storm water flows and direct them to either the Brule Tightline or the newly constructed Ullr Tightline

To date more than ten conservation projects have been initiated in the watershed, the projects will eliminate an estimated 835 tons or 42% of the sediment load.