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News and other information from Cook County

County denies request for use of uncommitted 1 percent funds for Cook County Community YMCA

Tue, 09/17/2013 - 10:21am

Cook County Community YMCA Project Manager Wade Cole of ORB Management asked the county board on September 10 for $70,000 of as-yet-uncommitted funds from the county’s 1 percent recreation and infrastructure sales tax budget in order to finish the project.  He cited unexpected costs due to a contract dispute with The Meyer Group and re-design fees paid to JLG Architects after the building was downsized.

Project Manager Cole said they were waiting on prices for 88 separate items, so the exact amount he anticipated needing was not known yet. 

Cole said his company has been advocating for the county’s benefit all along.

Commissioner Sue Hakes said this is a complicated project.

Commissioner Bruce Martinson reminded the board that about $60,000 of the cost of the project was for oversight by the state that the state originally told them would not be needed.  

Some projects can wait, Commissioner Heidi Doo-Kirk said, such as painting the custodial room, a projected cost of $550, or replacing the carpeting in the Jane Mianowski room, a projected cost of $5,000.

Commissioner Hakes made a motion authorizing $70,000 from the 1 percent budget to be put into the contingency fund, and then amended that amount to $35,000.  It failed by a vote of 2-3, with Commissioners Hakes and Martinson voting yes and Commissioners Doo-Kirk, Gamble, and Jan Hall voting no.

Arts Council to hold informational meeting about grants program Sept. 20

Tue, 09/17/2013 - 10:18am

Are you an artist living in the Arrowhead Region, seeking funding to move your career to the next level? Does your regional arts nonprofit need operating support, or funding for a project? If so, plan to attend a meeting of the Arrowhead Regional Arts Council on Sept. 20 from 4 to 6 p.m. at Grand Marais Art Colony.

Samuel Black, assistant director of the Arrowhead Regional Arts Council (ARAC), will discuss important changes to three ARAC grants: Career Development (individual artists); Two-Year Operating (arts nonprofits); and Rural/Community (arts nonprofits).

Included in this discussion will be ARAC’s new grant deadline structure, the new shape of the narrative questions (to reflect criteria), other changes to multiple ARAC programs, and using the Grant Lifecycle Manager (GLM) as an application format. All questions will be answered!

Individual artists are advised that McKnight/ACHF/ARAC Career Development Grants support and assist regional artists from all cultural backgrounds at various stages in their careers. This program encourages artistic development by assisting artists to take advantage of specific opportunities and to nurture artistic creativity through self-generated proposals. This program is also designed to allow artists the time to work to achieve specific career goals by purchasing supplies and materials, participating in advanced study not related to a degree program, or pursuing other activities that will allow them to meet their artistic goals.

Opponents continue quest to eliminate rumble strips

Mon, 09/16/2013 - 1:50pm

East End residents are not happy about the new rumble strips recently installed by the Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) on Highway 61 between Grand Marais and the Canadian border. On September 10, citizens were on hand to speak to the county commissioners personally about the matter during the public comment portion of the county board meeting. 
Citizens were informed that the county board supported their opposition with a letter to Minnesota Transportation Commissioner Charles Zelle written September 4, 2013.
Bob Carter thanked the board for the letter but asked for a resolution decrying the rumble strips.  “For those of us who live there and hear them every day, day and night, they’re intolerable,” he said. 
Carter said people who live as far as two miles from the highway can hear them.  He said he had heard from over 60 people who are bothered by them. 
Commissioner Garry Gamble said when they presented the letter to the transportation commissioner the commissioner listened and seemed responsive. 
Gamble acknowledged that there are a lot of deaths on Highway 61 and said they want to protect public safety but also reduce the noise.
“We’re not opposed to public safety,” said Carter.  He said people who move up here know the highway is there and are prepared for traffic noise.  “There’s a huge difference between the sound of traffic and rumble strips,” he said.
The letter to the transportation commissioner states “While the safety goal is one we support, the Cook County Board of Commissioners and many, many residents along Highway 61 have concerns about the negative impacts resulting from the length and location of these recently installed centerline rumble strips.”

Great fall trips planned

Mon, 09/16/2013 - 1:49pm

There are some great fall trips coming up for the Cook County Senior Center in September with a Grand Portage Casino Express on Tuesday September 24. Transportation is free for those that sign up by registration date and board at the Senior Center.
The senior center is also hosting a Gunflint Lodge Lunch and Fall Color Trip, Monday, September 23 from 10:00 a.m. – 3 p.m. Receive a generous 20% discount off your lunch bill! Roundtrip transportation is just $12, lunch at your own expense. Tour the fall colors on the way back.
Last month the senior center travelled to Duluth and rode the North Shore Scenic Railway. We enjoyed lunch at The Chopsticks Inn and a treat at Culver’s on the way home. It was a very fun and enjoyable trip!
For more information on how to join the fun on these trips or to register, stop in or call the Senior Center at 387-2660.

Gunflint guide’s body recovered

Mon, 09/16/2013 - 5:32am

Divers recovered the body of a longtime Gunflint Lodge fishing guide on Sunday, three days after he was thrown into the waters of an Ontario lake after a boating accident.

According to the Duluth News Tribune, Bruce Kerfoot, co-owner of the lodge said provincial police told him that divers found the body of Dennis Todd, 59, at about 1:30 p.m. in Northern Light Lake in 46 feet of water.

Todd, who had been a guide at Gunflint Lodge for 25 years, had been out fishing on the lake with a new lodge employee on Thursday. The woman told officials that she and Todd were on their way back to the lodge when their boat struck something in the water in Trafalgar Bay. The two were thrown into the water and Todd, who was not wearing a life jacket, did not resurface. The woman, who was wearing a life jacket, was able to swim to an island, signal another angler and then alert authorities.

Northern Light Lake is in Ontario, a short portage from Saganaga Lake near the end of the Gunflint Trail.

A search team using side-scan sonar quickly found Todd’s body Sunday about 50 feet from where the woman thought he went into the water, Kerfoot said. Todd’s body was taken to Thunder Bay for a standard postmortem examination.

 

 

"Moving Matters" kickoff this Thursday

Sun, 09/15/2013 - 10:53am
MovingMatters_logo.jpg

The Sawtooth Mountain Clinic in Grand Marais is launching a new project to promote active living in Cook County called "Moving Matters."   There will be an all-day kickoff event on Thursday, September 19 on the lawn in front of the Grand Marais Public Library.  In case of rain, the event will move to the Cook County Community Center in Grand Marais.

Moving Matters Kickoff

Thursday, September 19

Grand Marais Public Library

  • 10:00-11:30 -  Fun for Young Children and Families: Bouncy House, Outdoor Story Time, and Zumba for Young Children.
  • 12:30-1:30 -  Jim Oberstar: “Active Living As You Age” talk.
  • 1:30-2:30 -  Bike/Walk Tours: Bring your bike or walking shoes!
  • 3:30-4:30 -  After School Fun: Gaga ball, Blender Bike, and more!
  • 4:30-6:00 -  Food and Music: The Stonebridge Singers Drum Group and Food Fundraiser by the Girl Scouts: quesadillas, fresh fruit/veggies, chips, and brownies.

"Moving Matters" is a 3-year, county-wide project to create safe and accessible walking and biking routes for all ages and abilities throughout Cook County.