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News and other information from Cook County

Weekend News Roundup for June 15

Sat, 06/15/2013 - 9:17am

Each week the WTIP news staff puts together a roundup of the news over the past five days. A vehicle rollover claims the life of a Cook County teenager, local fire crew are dispatched to Colorado fire, protesters disrupt mining test site, and another route for Hwy 61 is suggested…all in this week’s news.

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Watch for moose on Gunflint Trail

Fri, 06/14/2013 - 8:57am

With moose sightings getting more and more rare, Mid-Gunflint Trail residents have been delighted to see a moose cow and calves hanging around the Swamper Lake area. However, people were also very concerned, as the baby moose were napping in the road. Calls were made to Cook County Law Enforcement, requesting that temporary caution signs be erected warning motorists to slow down.

It isn’t exactly protocol to erect temporary caution signs, but Sheriff Deputies Julie Collman and Dave Gilmore agreed with citizens that something should be done. The road by Swamper Lake winds past the lake and around the terrain. A vehicle could easily come around the corner too fast and hit one of the little moose.

Deputy Gilmore contacted the Cook County Highway Department and County Highway Supervisor Russ Klegstad also agreed that something should be done. Klegstad checked the highway department’s sign inventory. All that was available was the typical moose crossing sign with a rendering of a big bull moose. Concerned that a sign with an adult moose wouldn’t pull at the heartstrings enough to slow traffic, Klegstad and Gilmore added “BABY MOOSE” to the yellow caution side.

Klegstad made the trip up the Gunflint Trail last week to install the signs. He said he wasn’t exactly sure where the deputies wanted them—until he got out of his truck. “There were moose tracks everywhere!”

Gitchi Gami Bicycle Trail completed between Beaver Bay and Gooseberry State Park

Fri, 06/14/2013 - 8:52am

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and the Gitchi-Gami Trail Association held a ribbon-cutting ceremony in Silver Bay to celebrate the official opening of a new 2.3-mile paved segment of the Gitchi-Gami State Trail on the North Shore of Lake Superior.

From the Rukavina Arena in Silver Bay, the new trail segment runs south across Northshore Mining property and continues to the east end of West Road in Beaver Bay. Continuing south, bicyclists and other trail users can follow the gravel West Road for a half mile to connect with the longest paved section of the trail, the 14.6-mile segment from Beaver Bay to Gooseberry Falls State Park.

“We are thrilled with the progress and use of the trail to date and appreciate the many public- and private-sector partners who have come together to make this trail a reality,” said DNR Parks and Trails Division Director Courtland Nelson. “The Gitchi-Gami State Trail is truly special and is attracting the attention of cyclists from across the country.”


The trail provides scenic views and safe travel for bicyclists, in-line skaters, joggers and walkers along Highway 61, paralleling the North Shore of Lake Superior.



More than 28 miles of the trail are complete in six segments. The Lutsen Phase 1 segment, to be completed in 2013, will add another 1.1 paved miles to the trail.


Teen killed in vehicle rollover on Pike Lake Road

Thu, 06/13/2013 - 2:56pm

One person is dead after a car rollover on the Pike Lake Road in Cook County this morning.

At approximately 5:00 a.m. this morning, the Cook County Sheriff’s Office received a report of a car rollover on the Pike Lake Road approximately a half mile west of the intersection with County Road 44. The accident closed a section of the Pike Lake Road.  

The vehicle was occupied by three teenage boys, ranging in age from 14-18. All three are residents of Cook County.   The vehicle rolled after the driver lost control of the vehicle on a gravel road. One person, a 14 year old male, was ejected from the vehicle and was pronounced dead at the scene. The other two occupants received non-life threatening injuries and were treated at the Cook County North Shore Hospital. 

Responding to the accident were the Cook County Sheriff’s Office, Minnesota State Patrol, Cook County Ambulance, Grand Marais First Responders, and the Grand Marais Volunteer Fire Department. 

The Cook County Sheriff’s Office with assistance from the Minnesota State Patrol is investigating the accident.

Canoe and compass course offered by Community Education

Thu, 06/13/2013 - 10:18am

A two-hour land-based navigation class designed to teach the basics of small craft, canoe and kayak map and compass navigation relevant to traveling on Lake Superior or in the Boundary Water Canoe Area Wilderness (BWCA) will be offered from 6 to 8 p.m. June 20 at the Community Center Log Cabin.
During the class, students will learn about the parts of a compass, how to find north, what deviation is and how to avoid it, variation and declination, taking a bearing, plotting a course, how to read charts and maps, piloting to find your way, ranges, fixes, triangulating and more.
Participants will need to bring a simple baseplate compass which may be purchased at Lake Superior Trading Post. Bryan Hansel will lead the lesson.
To register, call Community Education at (218) 387-2000.
06-15-13 Individual computer training will be offered at the Cook County Senior Center on Mondays, June 17 and 24, 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. at the Senior Center.  Appointments of 30 to 60 minutes are available. Reservations are required.
Instructors will be students from Cook County Middle School and the Incredible Exchange program. There are high-speed Internet and computers for you to use at the Senior Center. Or if you prefer, you are welcome to bring your own laptop or tablet computer. The cost if free, however, donations will be accepted.
Pre-registration is required. To register for a session, please stop in, Monday – Friday, 8 a.m. – 4 p.m. or call the Senior Center at (218) 387-2660.

Two homes destroyed by fire on Devil Track Lake

Thu, 06/13/2013 - 10:16am

Cook County Law Enforcement received an emergency call from Devil Track Landing at about 5 p.m. last night, Wednesday, June 12, 2013 reporting a house fire on Firewood Lane. When Maple Hill and Grand Marais fire departments arrived on the scene the house was fully engulfed and flames were spreading to the soffit of the house next door.
The caller who reported the blaze was Tony Everson, another Devil Track Lake resident. Everson said he had taken his motorcycle out for a drive. He passed Fireweed Lane to go to the Devil Track General Store and saw nothing amiss. When he headed home a few minutes later, he saw flames coming out of the roof of the house. Everson told the Cook County News-Herald, “I was just riding by on my Harley and I saw the flames—they were about 60 feet high!” He went to Devil Track Landing and called 911.

The Maple Hill and Grand Marais Fire Departments responded called for mutual aid. With only a handful of firefighters, Cook County Sheriff Deputies were pressed into service manning hoses until backup from Lutsen, Tofte, Colvill, and Hovland fire departments arrived.  A U.S. Forest Service firefighting crew also responded to assist, batting down spot fires that sprang up around the roaring house fire, endangering yet another home at 221 Fireweed Lane.

As the 223 Fireweed Lane home crumbled, firefighters tried to save 225 Fireweed Lane. Firefighters attacked the fire from inside and out, from the ground and from the roof. As they did at the Bluefin Bay Resort fire, Cook County Ambulance stood by, keeping firefighters hydrated and ensuring they were not overcome by heat or smoke.

Firefighters were eventually able to knock the fire down and when the fire departments were cleared from the scene at around 11 p.m., the house was still standing, but with extensive damage. It is likely the house is a total loss.