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News and other information from Cook County

Nominate an area business for Joel Labovitz Entrepreneurial Success Award

Sat, 01/18/2014 - 12:01pm

Celebrate entrepreneurial leadership and successes in the Twin Ports and Minnesota’s Northeast Region by recognizing entrepreneurs who have followed their dreams and taken on inordinate risks to forge ahead, meeting the challenges of today’s economic reality.

In its 22nd year of celebrating entrepreneurial excellence, the UMD Center for Economic Development has issued the call for nominations. A business may be nominated for an award by a customer, client, employee, vendor or a private citizen who wants to recognize a business owner. Business people and organizations from throughout the region are encouraged to participate in the nomination process by completing the online nomination form.

Award recipients will be announced at the 22nd Annual Joel Labovitz Entrepreneurial Success Awards Luncheon during the U.S. Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Small Business Week on April 23 at the DECC.

To nominate a business visit umdced.com. Nominations deadline is Feb. 28.

Weekend News Roundup for January 18

Sat, 01/18/2014 - 11:02am

Each week the WTIP news staff puts together a roundup of the news over the past five days. A big turn out for a PolyMet informational meeting and a setback for shipping tar sands crude on Lake Superior…all in this week’s news.

Program: 

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Hundreds pack PolyMet meeting at DECC

Fri, 01/17/2014 - 11:34am

Thursday night over 1500 people crowded into the DECC ballroom to hear presentations, and give input and ask questions about the proposed PolyMet copper mining operation at Hoyt Lakes.  WTIPs Jay Andersen spoke with Duluth News Tribune reporter John Myers who attended the meeting.

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Grand Marais considers changes to zoning ordinance to allow "light manufacturing and processing"

Fri, 01/17/2014 - 8:23am

In response to requests that the city of Grand Marais has received in recent months, both the planning commission and city council recommended last week that the Grand Marais zoning ordinance be amended to accommodate growing businesses.

At issue is a request to establish a microbrewery in the downtown C-1 district. There has been a similar past request, as well as a request for a coffee roasting business, but City Administrator Mike Roth noted that such “light manufacturing and processing” enterprises currently best fit in the Commercial-Industrial (C/I) zone with a conditional use permit. That means they’d be limited to the Cedar Grove Business Park, said Roth.

Councilor and planning commissioner Tim Kennedy pointed out that the proposed zoning change isn’t really a big one.

Kennedy said, “This is already occurring,” noting that the Beaver House makes and sells lures, the World’s Best Donuts makes and sells donuts, and the Gunflint Mercantile makes and sells fudge. “There are all kinds of things being made in town…this is nothing we haven’t already seen,” he said.

What the planning commission wants to ensure, Kennedy said, is that retail is the primary use of the property. Roth added that the ordinance already addresses concerns and sets limitations on things such as lights, noise, vibration, odors and landscaping. The city doesn’t really care, for instance, how many gallons of a beverage are sold or what percentage of space is dedicated for retail, but is more concerned with how the business fits in with the neighborhood, said Roth.

DNR offers "Take-A-Kid Fishing Weekend" Jan. 18 - 20

Fri, 01/17/2014 - 8:21am

Minnesotans age 16 or older can try ice fishing or spear fishing without purchasing an angling or spearing license if they take a child younger than 16 fishing during Take-A-Kid Ice Fishing Weekend Saturday, Jan. 18 through Monday, Jan. 20.

“Take-A-Kid Ice Fishing Weekend is a great opportunity for family and friends to get those special kids in their life outdoors enjoying the fun and beauty of a Minnesota winter,” said Roland Sigurdson, DNR aquatic education supervisor. “What better way to celebrate our winter heritage than by passing on the tradition of ice fishing.”

Ice fishing presents some unique challenges, but with basic equipment, a few skills, and good planning, ice fishing can be easy, enjoyable and exciting.

Here are key ice fishing tips from DNR’s MinnAqua program, which provides resources to teach fishing skills, aquatic ecology and conservation stewardship of our lakes and rivers:

 • Dressing in layers is the best way to deal with winter’s icy chill. Layers keep you warm in cold conditions by creating pockets of warm air and helping moisture evaporate.

 • Portable ice shelters can increase the enjoyment of the experience by keeping kids warmer.

 • Plan for a shorter, quality experience that will make a happier memory. Cold, bored kids don’t ask to go again.

Grand Marais Lioness Club hosts monthly dessert social at North Shore Care Center Saturday

Thu, 01/16/2014 - 12:19pm

The Grand Marais Lioness Club will host their monthly social for North Shore Care Center residents with special desserts on Saturday, January 18 at 3 p.m., along with favorite piano tunes by Irene Thompson.