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News and other information from Cook County

Election 2014 over -- almost

Wed, 11/05/2014 - 3:35am

There was much anticipation in several races in Cook County leading up to the November 4, 2014 election. And unfortunately, in the Commissioner District 1 race, the suspense continues as the two candidates in that district ended election evening in a tie.

Kristin DeArruda Wharton and Frank Moe each garnered 246 votes, finishing in a tie with 49.90 percent of the vote each. There was one write-in vote cast in District 1. Contacted by phone at the courthouse as remaining votes were tallied, Auditor-Treasurer Braidy Powers said a recount is not automatic. However, Powers said he expected one or both of the candidates to request a recount, which will likely be completed on Wednesday, November 5.

In Commissioner District 5, challenger Ginny Storlie of Lutsen received 5 more votes than incumbent Bruce Martinson of Schroeder. The final tally was 303 votes, or 49.92 percent for Storlie to Martinson’s 298, or 49.09 percent. That race had 6 write-in votes.

Rounding out the Commissioner races, in District 3, Grand Marais City Councilor Jan Sivertson ran unopposed for county commissioner and she tallied 263 votes. There were 25 write-in votes cast in District 3.

In the countywide race for Sheriff, Deputy Patrick S. Eliasen earned 1,529 or 53.44 percent of the vote to defeat Interim Sheriff Leif Lunde with 1,324 votes, or 46.28 percent.

For the position of Grand Marais Mayor, incumbent Larry “Bear” Carlson got 211 write-in votes. An additional write-in vote for Bear Carlson would be added to Carlson’s total, Auditor Powers told the Cook County News-Herald.

However, that does not change the outcome of the mayoral election. Jay Arrowsmith DeCoux received 58 percent of the votes with a total of 345 votes, defeating Carlson and the other candidate, Lawrence V. Scully who received 42 votes.

Local races settled on election night -- for the most part

Wed, 11/05/2014 - 2:39am

The turnout for Tuesday’s off-year election was once again a healthy one in Cook County with over 2,590 voters casting ballots.

In the contested District One commissioner race, Kristin DeArruda Wharton and Frank Moe ended up tied at 246 to 246 with one write-in – each receiving 49.90% of the vote.  According to Auditor-Treasurer Braidy Powers, the first step is for one or both of the candidates to request a recount, which will likely be conducted today.

In District Five, Ginny Storlie prevailed over Bruce Martinson  303 votes to 298.

In District Three, city councilor Jan Sivertson ran unopposed for county commissioner and totaled 263 votes.

In the race for Sheriff, Deputy Pat Eliasen defeated Interim Sheriff Leif Lunde 1,529 to 1,324 or 53.44% to 46.28%.

For Grand Marais Mayor, Jay Arrowsmith DeCoux out polled Lawrence Scully with 58% of the vote, 345 to 42. Current Mayor Larry Carlson got 212 write-in votes.

For Grand Marais City Council, four candidates vied for two open seats. The top vote getters were Dave Mills with 304 votes and Anton Moody with 280 votes. Vance Benedix had 195 votes and Reid Dusheck had 183.

For District Three ISD166 school board, two write-in candidates faced off with Chris Goettl winning 104 votes to Jeff Kern’s 69. Jeanne Anderson ran unopposed in the school’s District Five and received 476 votes. Deb White ran unopposed in District One and received 388 votes.

Auditor-Treasurer Braidy Powers and County Recorder Dusty Nelms ran unopposed and were reelected. Assistant County Attorney Molly Hicken ran unopposed for the top prosecutor slot and received 2,435 votes.

In Minnesota House District 3A incumbent Rep. David Dill overcame challenger Eric Johnson. Gov. Mark Dayton won over Jeff Johnson and Sen. Al Franken defeated challenger Mike McFadden.

Violence Prevention Center sponsors "Lunafest" on November 8

Tue, 11/04/2014 - 3:55pm

“Lunafest” – an evening of short films by, for, and about women -- will be presented by the Violence Prevention Center in Grand Marais.  WTIP volunteer Yvonne Mills spoke with Jodi Yuhassey and Marybeth Wilkes of the Violence Prevention Center on North Shore Morning. 
LUNAFEST is November 8th at 7:00 pm at the Arrowhead Center for the Arts.

The Violence Prevention Center presents LUNAFEST for the fourth year in Grand Marais with a selection of eight films that make for an evening of fun, thought, and appreciation for the women in our lives. Both women and men are welcome (films are suitable for ages 11-12 and up). For questions about the show please call (218) 387- 1262 or (218) 387-1237 or email

For more information on the Lunafest films:

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Explore "shared co-working" options at November 6 meeting hosted by Broadband Commission

Mon, 11/03/2014 - 3:27pm

You can learn more about possible options for "co-working space" that would also provide broadband access at a meeting hosted by the Cook County Broadband Commission.  WTIP volunteer Mark Abrahamson spoke with Bob Pranis of the Cook County Broadband Commission on North Shore Morning. 

The meeting to gather input on the need for co-working spaces and broadband access sites is Thursday, November 6, from 5 to 7 pm at the Cook County Courthouse.  More information is available from Bob Pranis at 218-387-2358 or email

(Photo by John Watson on Flickr)

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Care Partner quilt raffle winner announced

Mon, 11/03/2014 - 11:31am

Care Partners’ quilt raffle drawing was held Monday, October 13 at a volunteer meeting. Bob Bazzett of Lutsen was the lucky winner of the quilt. The raffle was a great success with over $2,400 raised to support Care Partners programs.

Care Partners expressed its thanks to Carol Harris for donating the quilt and also to Tom McCann, Jan Johansen and Cameron Norman for donating additional art work prizes. Huge thanks also to Drury Lane Books for displaying the quilt for us and to Buck's Hardware, Crystal's Log Cabin Quilts, Joynes Ben Franklin, Lake Superior Trading Post, Java Moose and Blue Water Cafe in Grand Marais and at Great Gifts in Lutsen for helping to sell tickets

The need for services for our aging population will only increase over the next few years.  Care Partners is laying the groundwork to make sure we can sustain and support the services important to our community.

For more information about opportunities to volunteer with or donate to Care Partners, call 218-387-3788 or email


Visit Cook County for Lake Superior Storm Festival Nov. 7-9

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

Visit Cook County Nov. 7-9 to celebrate the power and beauty of the Big Lake during the second annual Lake Superior Storm Festival.

During the gales of November, visitors will see Lake Superior in its most malevolent season, not to mention, participate in various events and collect prizes all weekend long.

“There’s nothing quite like a November gale—wind howling, icy waves lashing the rocks, a shiver of awe running down your spine,” says Linda Kratt, executive director of Cook County Visitors Bureau. “Whether the lake is stormy or serene, Storm Fest offers plenty of excitement and one last nature's getaway before the holiday anticipation begins.”

The festival commences at 5 p.m. on Friday night at Sven& Ole’s, where visitors can catch a bite to eat while Randy Carlson, surf/kite program coordinator at the University of Minnesota-Duluth, shares the art of stand-up paddle boarding on the Great Lake. 

On Saturday morning and afternoon, follow the modern history of the Henry Steinbrenner, the most recent ship to be lost along Minnesota's famed north shore.

At noon, all those who dare to enter the Wave Dash can compete in a chilly dash into Lake Superior, to raise money for the Lutsen Volunteer Fire Department, qualifying for a fleece beanie hat and other festival memorabilia. Afterward, warm up with cocoa and a roaring fire.

Also during the morning and afternoon, local photographer Paul Sundberg will share images and stories of the North Shore, highlighting wildlife, scenery, and of course, storms.

On Saturday night visitors can gather for themed drinks and specials at Superior Songwriters Shindig, an open mike night featuring the music of the Big Lake at Cascade Lodge Restaurant & Pub.