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News and other information from Cook County

County sets preliminary levy with 7 percent increase

Fri, 10/03/2014 - 3:49pm

The county board has been meeting frequently in recent weeks, looking for ways to lower the initial 27.8 percent increase in county department budget requests. Commissioners met in special session Monday, September 29 and after 2 1/2 hours of wrangling over numbers decided to set a maximum tax levy increase of 7 percent for 2015.

Last year the county board capped any potential levy increase at 2.9 percent. However, they dipped $513,241 into the county’s fund balance to keep it that low.

Commissioner Garry Gamble said it was his guess that the board would have two to three more special sessions to go over all of the county’s department budgets line by line before setting the budget at its December 16 or December 23 meeting.

The commissioners beat the state’s deadline by one day for setting a proposed maximum levy and budget.  Each county must present a proposed county budget and levy by September 30.

Auditor-Treasurer Braidy Powers told the board it must legally set its final budget and levy for the county by the last day of December.

Because of the board’s actions the levy cannot exceed 7 percent, but, as Commissioners Sue Hakes, Bruce Martinson and Gamble noted, they will work to reduce it further.

Fatality in single-vehicle accident on the Gunflint Trail this morning

Fri, 10/03/2014 - 2:49pm

The Cook County Sheriffs Office has announced that a fatal accident occurred on the Gunflint Trail this morning.

The accident happened about a quarter mile south of Lullaby Creek Road. The driver, who was the sole occupant of the vehicle, was pronounced dead at the scene.

Cook County Sheriff Deputies, Gunflint Fire Department, Grand Marais First Responders and Cook County Ambulance responded.

Further information is being withheld at this time pending notification of family members.


This local news is provided by the Cook County News-Herald

A few more MN DNR fisheries surveys scheduled in October

Thu, 10/02/2014 - 12:08pm

Fisheries staff from the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Grand Marais area office will conduct surveys and assessments on several area lakes and streams during the next few months.

 Waters scheduled for surveys or assessments (by week) include

* Oct. 6 - North Shady Lake

* Oct. 13 - Greenwood Lake (lake trout special assessment)

* Oct. 20 - Trout Lake (lake trout special assessment), Thrush Lake

  These survey plans are tentative. Lakes and streams may be added or dropped and timing may change. Questions about these surveys can be addressed to the DNR’s Grand Marais Area Fisheries at 1356 Highway 61 E., Grand Marais, MN 55604. Questions also can be submitted
by calling 218-387-3056.

 Fisheries surveys and assessments are done on a regular basis to monitor changes in fish populations and to determine if management strategies have been effective. Survey frequency varies on each lake and stream based on ongoing management evaluations and angler use. Large lakes with heavy use are surveyed more frequently than small, remote lakes. Lakes stocked regularly are also sampled more frequently to assess stocking success.

"Felting for Families" offered during Family Weekend at North House: October 18

Wed, 10/01/2014 - 3:47pm

As part of North House Folk School's Family & Intergenerational Learning Weekend, instructor Mary Cowen will be offering her class ‘Felting for Families’ on Saturday, October 18 from 9am to 1pm.  WTIP volunteer Mark Abrahamson spoke with Mary about this class on North Shore Morning.


Felting for Families
Instructor: Mary Cowen

Wet felting is the ancient and magical process of turning fluffy, soft wool into strong and beautiful material. In this half-day class, child/adult pairs will work together to make strong and colorful wool bags. Students should come to class ready to have fun and work hard as they lay out colorful dyed wool around a plastic resist to be wet down and rolled back and forth until it becomes felt!
Your finished bag will be about the size of a pencil case, perfect for treasures of all sorts.
Dates: Saturday, Oct 18, 2014

Course Details
Length in days:1/2
Hours: 9am-1pm
Levels:Beginner to Advanced
Age with adult:8+   (Review age guidelines/policy)
This course is part of the Family & Intergenerational Learning Weekend event at North House Folk School


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Walk, run or roll in 2Bright2Bully 5K in Grand Portage Oct. 4

Wed, 10/01/2014 - 12:48pm

In recognition of bullying prevention month in October, Grand Portage Human Services is planning its first-ever 5k walk/run on Oct. 4, starting at 10 a.m. at the Grand Portage Community Building.

Organizer Brittany Deschampe, Youth Prevention Program Coordinator at Grand Portage Human Services said everyone is encouraged to participate. Orange is the national Unite Against Bullying color, so don some orange and come walk, run or roll in the 5k or a one-mile walk to say no to bullying.

Whether online or in person, bullying hurts. However, Deschampe said, people may not even realize their behavior is bullying. “All of us at some point in our lives have said things about another human being and we didn’t realize that we were being a bully,” she said. “These things stay with a person forever. No matter if the comment is small, it still makes a difference.”

She said there are five different types of bullies, with “physical” bullying the most common. A physical bully is a person who uses physical actions to gain power or control over others. According to Deschampe, a “verbal” bully is one who uses words to undermine their targets.

A third type of bully is a “relational aggressor” who uses manipulation to hurt peers or to sabotage a peer’s social standing. “Some people call these bullies “mean girls.” Deschampe said.  “Usually, teen girl cliques use this kind of bullying to gain higher social standing.”

The fourth type is “cyber bullying” which Deschampe says unfortunately is becoming more widespread. “Social networks are everywhere you look,” she says. “Adults, teens, and some younger kids are using sites such as Facebook and Twitter. These sites are very popular for cyber bullying.”

Phone service returned to Gunflint Trail

Tue, 09/30/2014 - 7:43pm

The phone outage that began at about 5 p.m. today is over, according to the Cook County Sheriff’s Office. Everyone in the 388 phone exchange should once again have telephone service. .

During the outage, volunteers from the Gunflint Trail Fire Department were standing by at Gunflint Fire Hall 1.  Anyone who has an emergency was asked to  go to the Gunflint Fire Department at Hall 1 - 7401 Gunflint Trail. 


This local news is provided by the Cook County News-Herald