Around Cook County

News and other information from Cook County

Minnesota Democrats make leadership choices

Fri, 11/09/2012 - 9:14am

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Democrats who won legislative majorities in Tuesday's election are picking their top leaders.

The Senate DFL Caucus announced Senator Tom Bakk's election as majority leader Thursday as the caucus met privately at a St. Paul hotel. Bakk, of Cook, led the Democratic minority for the past two years.

House Democrats picked current Minority Leader Paul Thissen (TEE'-sen) of Minneapolis as speaker at a caucus meeting later Thursday. The House DFL also chose Rep. Erin Murphy as majority leader.

Democrats won 39 of the Senate's 67 seats and 73 of the House's 134 seats two years after losing power to Republicans.

Public invited to film premier -- Sled Dogs to Saint Paul

Thu, 11/08/2012 - 11:05am

Sled Dogs to Saint Paul: The Race for Clean Water, a documentary film created by Grand Marais filmmakers Kelly Schoenfelder and Patrick Knight, will premiere Friday, Nov. 9 at Betsy Bowen’s What’s Upstairs in Grand Marais. There will be two showings, at 6:30 and 8 p.m.  There is no charge to attend, and the public is invited.
The film follows the dogsled run of former Minnesota State Representative Frank Moe, who mushed his team of 10 sled dogs from Grand Marais to the Capitol in St. Paul in March, carrying nearly 13,000 petition signatures opposing sulfide metals mining. Moe guides his team through fresh, deep snow, slogs through slush and rain, rudders across muddy farm fields, and finally navigates his sled over busy city streets to deliver the petitions to the governor's office.
As they follow Moe’s journey, the filmmakers take a look at non-ferrous metals mining through the lens of many people who have a stake in the proposed expansion of mining in northeastern Minnesota. Those interviewed include business owners, property owners, legislators, wild ricers, tribal officials, community activists and many of the people who helped Moe along the way. It’s a fast-paced, artfully presented examination of local economics, environmental activism, corporate might, Minnesota's mining legacy and the role that clean water resources play in the future health and wealth of the state known as the Land of 10,000 Lakes.
Moe said, "It's been a pleasure to work with our all-Grand Marais area team to make this film.  Seeing it, it's like being back on the trail for me and an inspiring reminder of why we made the trip in the first place."
For more information, visit Film clips are available on the website.

Fleece to felt family event rescheduled at the Grand Marais Library

Thu, 11/08/2012 - 11:02am

The Grand Marais Library announced today that the event planned for this evening has been rescheduled. The free “fleecy” family event at the Grand Marais Public Library has been postponed to Friday, November 30 at 6:00 p.m. The Duluth Art Institute is bringing fiber art to the far reaches of the Northland.  Join them for Fleece to Felt: Make ‘n Take Your Own Felted Butterfly.
Learn how to transform fluffy, colorful sheep’s wool into a fun, felted butterfly.  All it takes is a little soapy water and a lot of imagination.  It’s a very interactive and accessible art project for all ages.  “Let the metamorphosis begin!” said Patsy Ingebrigtsen,  juvenile and reference librarian at the Grand Marais Library.
The Duluth Art Institute is a non-profit community arts center located in Duluth, Minnesota with a mission to “enrich daily life with dynamic, innovative arts programming that upholds excellence and promotes active community participation.”


Lake Co. votes down ballot issues

Thu, 11/08/2012 - 7:00am

On Tuesday Lake County voters voted down two measures having to do with construction of a $15 million heat and electricity producing public utility project. One of the measures would have issued general obligation bonds to pay for the project. That measure would have increased local property taxes.

Silver Bay voters elected Joanne Johnson as their new Mayor. She defeated incumbent Scott Johnson by 33 votes. In Two Harbors incumbent Mayor Randy Bolen handily won re-election.

Here in Grand Marais voters returned Mayor Larry “Bear” Carlson to office. Garry Gamble is the new District 2 County Commissioner replacing incumbent Fritz Sobanja. Heidi Doo-Kirk won the District 4 commissioner seat over Rick Austin.

Documentary film "Sled Dogs to Saint Paul: The Race for Clean Water" premiers Friday

Wed, 11/07/2012 - 4:47pm

"Sled Dogs to Saint Paul: The Race for Clean Water," a documentary film created by local filmmakers Kelly Schoenfelder and Patrick Knight, will premiere with two showings at 6:30 and 8 PM, Friday, November 9, at Betsy Bowen’s What’s Upstairs in Grand Marais.  The film documents the dogsled run of Cook County musher and former Minnesota State Rep. Frank Moe and his 10 sled dogs as they traveled from Grand Marais to St. Paul carrying about 13,000 petition signatures opposing non-ferrous mining in northeast Minnesota. The event is free and open to the public. Betsy Bowen's What's Upstairs is located at 301 First Ave. West in Grand Marais.


(Click on the link below to hear an interview with the filmmakers and musher Frank Moe.)


Attached file
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Two new county commissioners elected

Wed, 11/07/2012 - 12:37pm

Although the results were in quite early for the presidential race, it was the wee hours of the morning before Cook County residents heard the results of several local races. .

In the Cook County commissioner’s race, incumbent Fritz Sobanja was defeated by challenger Garry Gamble in District 2. In Commissioner District 4, Heidi Doo-Kirk was elected over Rick Austin.
In the city of Grand Marais, incumbent Mayor Larry “Bear” Carlson was reelected, defeating challenger Adam Harju. Uncontested city council members Tim Kennedy and Jan Sivertson were re-elected. There were 13 write-in votes for city council.
In another race with a challenger, North Shore Hospital Board Member Kay Olson was reelected, defeating challenger Lynn Parish.
Neither school board candidate faced an opponent and Ed Bolstad was elected to District 2 and Lorrinda “Sissy” Lunde was elected to District 4.
Cook County voters followed the national trend and reelected President Barack Obama over challenger Mitt Romney.

Cook County voters overwhelmingly chose U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar over challenger Kurt Bills. Senator Tom Bakk won reelection in Minnesota Senate District 3 and Representative David Dill was reelected to his District 3A seat.
In the 8th District race, challenger Rick Nolan beat Representative Chip Cravaack.
Cook County voters followed the statewide trend and voted down both the Voter ID and Marriage amendments. 

Cook County had a great turnout at the polls, with 87 percent of registered voters.  Precinct turnouts ranged from 80 percent in Grand Marais East and West to a high of 93 percent in the Gunflint and Maple Hill precincts.