Around Cook County

News and other information from Cook County

Two more citizens file for District 1 commissioner seat

Fri, 05/23/2014 - 10:47am

The filing period to run for county offices in 2014 opened on Tuesday, May 20 and all of the county offices that will be on the ballot have at least one candidate except for the Soil & Water Conservation District supervisor district 4.

In Commissioner District 1, at News-Herald press time, three candidates had filed, John W. Bockovich of Hovland, Steve Fleace of Hovland and Frank Moe of Colvill. Today, May 23, two more candidates had filed, Harry Drabik of Hovland and Jerry Hiniker of Colvill.

incumbent Janice Hall of Hovland had not filed.

County Commissioner District 3 Commissioner Sue Hakes has announced that she will not be running fore reelection. Reached by phone, Hakes said the decision not to run was one of the most difficult choices she has ever made.

She said she loves the job, which she said is challenging and rewarding, but in March 2014, Hakes learned that her application for a Bush Foundation Fellowship had been granted. The fellowship will allow her to earn her master’s degree from the University of Minnesota. She will begin classes this August.

She said, “It is with mixed emotions that I have decided not to run for reelection to the county board. The gift of the Bush Fellowship is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and I want to take full advantage of all it has to offer.

Hakes encourages anyone interested in running for the county board to contact her. “If you wonder what it’s like to be a county commissioner in a small community, contact me. I would be happy to share my experiences with you,” she said.

A citizen has come forward to run for that District 3 seat, Jan Sivertson of Grand Marais.

In Commissioner District 5, the West End, incumbent Bruce Martinson was the only candidate that has filed at press time.

News and Updates from the Recycling Center

Fri, 05/23/2014 - 9:34am

There’s a lot happening at the Cook County Recycling Center!  WTIP host Mary Manning spoke with Tim Nelson of Planning and Zoning, and Rick Sturm of the Recycling Center on North Shore Morning about changes and recent events at the Center. 

For information on the Cook County Recycling Center:  218-387-3044

(Photo by Andy Arthur on Flickr)

Listen to the Story

Area writers/illustrators win book awards

Fri, 05/23/2014 - 7:25am

A couple of familiar names from the North Shore are winners in the 26th annual Northeastern Minnesota Book Awards for works published in 2013. The awards were announced last night.

In the General Nonfiction category the winner was “The Pie Place Café Cookbook: Food & Stories Seasoned by the North Shore,” by Kathy Rice. In addition to recipes, the book also includes stories of reveal what makes our region so exceptional.

In Children’s Literature “The Best Part of a Sauna,” written by Sheryl Peterson, and illustrated by Kelly Dupre took home first place. Set in the woods of Northeastern Minnesota, it’s an family story introducing a younger generation to an important Finnish tradition.


Work on "Great Place Race" sites under way around community

Thu, 05/22/2014 - 9:34am

Moving Matters and the Cook County Chamber of Commerce have announced the winners of the “Great Place Race.” Over 25 local businesses, nonprofits, and individuals submitted creative ideas from across Cook County and Grand Portage. A total of $11,930 in grants will be awarded to 16 recipients to help create great places within our communities.

The Great Place Race is a friendly, local competition for mini-grants to use high impact, low cost ideas to create great places in our communities.

Moving Matters Coordinator Kristin DeArruda Wharton said, “A great place is inviting, beautiful, and catches the eye. It reflects the unique character and identity of the community. And a great place encourages people to slow down and spend time there.

“We know that people will be active where they have pleasant and safe places to do so. The Great Place Race is a really fun opportunity to put small seed grants into the hands of local organizations and businesses who are making our community more inviting and fun for people to get out and enjoy,” said DeArruda Wharton.  “Not only will The Great Place Race funding showcase the region's amenities, it will encourage residents to walk and bike more, which will improve health and thereby help to reduce the medical and financial costs associated with inactivity and poor health.”

Student-created art coming soon to the west wall of Johnson's Grocery

Thu, 05/22/2014 - 9:25am

Mosaic artists Karen Neal and Jeanne Wright have been working with Sawtooth Elementary fourth-graders and the Cook County High School fourth period art class since mid-February on a mosaic mural for the west side of the Johnson's Grocery building. 

In order to learn the process, each student created a 6-inch by 6-inch mosaic piece. With ideas from the elementary students, a few members of the high school class designed a mural scene that includes the Grand Marais harbor, a waterfall, an inland lake with a swamp, and woodlands. There are numerous animals in the mural as well.

The design was projected on brown paper and colored by the high school art students, then cut into 4-foot by 4-foot squares. The mural will be 36 feet long and 6-9 feet high.

Each panel was covered with cellophane wrap and a mesh designed for mosaic tiles. 

Twelve teams of students (mixed 4th graders and high-schoolers) are working collaboratively, each on a designated square of the mural. Students are placing the tiles and gluing them to the mesh once the instructors have approved their design. 

After school is out, teams of volunteers will cover sheets of Durock with thinset, then transfer the mesh and tiles to the Durock. Once finished, each panel is expected to weigh about 150 pounds.

The Johnsons are insulating the west wall of their store and covering the surface with a smooth layer of stucco. Once the stucco has cured, the pieces will be taken there, attached to the wall, and grouted.

The project is expected to be on the wall by mid-summer.

This project was made possible by donations from local artists and residents, the Northland Foundation, the ISD 166 Education Foundation, Thrivent, the Lionesses, the Lions, and the Cook County Visitors Bureau. The new Art 'Round Town organization has raised funds and coordinated the many facets of this project.

Senator Franken Supports Water Resources

Wed, 05/21/2014 - 11:33am

Water resources legislation and net neutrality are two topics of interest on Capitol Hill. WTIP’s Jay Andersen spoke Minnesota’s U.S. Senator Al Franken.