Around Cook County

News and other information from Cook County

Scannell trial set for July

Fri, 04/18/2014 - 3:49am

A July jury trial has been set for Cook County Attorney Tim Scannell’s sexual misconduct case.

The trial, scheduled for five days, will begin July 21 at the St. Louis County Courthouse in Duluth, according to a report in the Duluth News Tribune.  The parties also will be in court for a final pre-trial conference hearing on July 3.

Scannell is charged with two-counts of fourth-degree criminal sexual conduct for an alleged physical relationship with a 17-year-old girl. Although it’s a Cook County case, the parties agreed to a change of venue last November, moving the trial to Duluth.

Scannell was indicted in October by a grand jury, which heard testimony that he kissed the girl and touched her private parts during two consensual incidents in his family van in August 2012. Scannell has been described as a family friend, coach, mentor and advisor to the girl.

Because the age of consent in Minnesota is 16, the case is expected to hinge on whether Scannell was in a position of authority over the girl at the time of the physical acts.

Sixth Judicial District Chief Judge Shaun Floerke will preside over the trial.


Community Crosswalk and Good Friday Service today, April 18

Thu, 04/17/2014 - 10:47am

Members of all faith communities are invited to take part in the Annual Community Crosswalk and Good Friday Service tomorrow, April 18. The Community Crosswalk procession will begin at St. John's Catholic Church at 6 p.m.

This year’s route will be from St. John’s west to 3rd Avenue, then south to the Highway 61 to the Java Moose parking lot. From there, the cross will be carried along Wisconsin Street through downtown to the Senior Center parking lot. Then, participants will follow the cross up 2nd Avenue to the Evangelical Free Church. Walkers may join the Crosswalk at any point along the way.

The Free Church will host the Community Good Friday Service at 7 p.m. Rev. Dale McIntire of Cornerstone Community Church will speak. All are welcome.

Community Easter celebration at Cook County Community Center April 19

Thu, 04/17/2014 - 10:11am

The community is invited to support the youth program KIDS PLUS by taking part in the festive Easter Event at the Cook County Community Center on Saturday, April 19. You can show your support by buying a raffle ticket, by baking or buying a beautiful cake or taking part in the traditional Easter egg hunt!

The event is a place to show off your culinary skills by bringing an Easter cake to be offered on silent auction to support KIDS PLUS. Cakes can be delivered to the community center on Friday, April 18 or before 9 a.m. on Saturday.

In addition to supporting KIDS PLUS, you could win a prize for most creative, most colorful or best in show!

Raffle tickets are on sale now for the KIDS PLUS Easter Raffle. There are two fabulous prize packages worth over $400. Tickets are $3 and can be found at several locations around the county or from KIDS PLUS board members. The drawing will be held at the Easter Event and you don’t have to be present to win.

Be sure to come down to the community center at 9 a.m. to join the fun! There will be a light lunch, some fun spring activities in the arena, pictures with the Easter Bunny and of course, at 10 a.m. a hunt for candy-filled Easter eggs!

Emergency responders invited to 25th annual Emergency Services Conference

Thu, 04/17/2014 - 10:09am

For 25 years, Cook County has been hosting an emergency services conference in Grand Marais on the last weekend of April. For 25 years, First Responders, firefighters, sheriff deputies, law enforcement dispatchers, Border Patrol agents, EMTs and other medical workers, members of search and rescue and others involved in emergency situations have gathered to learn from one another. Emergency workers from around the region and across the border have participated. They will be gathering once again this year for the 2014 Cook County Emergency Services Conference on April 25- 26.

 Conference Coordinator, Emergency Management Director Jim Wiinanen issued the invitation to this year’s conference, stating, “With most Cook County responder entities migrating to ARMER in the last year to six months, we felt it appropriate to focus on communications. ‘If communications is the key, what does it unlock?’” asked Wiinanen.

 All of the conference information us available online at Anyone with questions may call Wiinanen at (218) 387-3059.

 EMS Director Wiinanen encouraged emergency workers to register soon to help with planning.  A $10 suggested registration is payable at the door when you sign in at the conference.

 Wiinanen added, “ Twenty-five years of Emergency Services Conferences may be a milestone.  But that pales compared to the evolution of emergency service in the county.  I hear that the first ambulance in the county came in 1948 and if you attend the conference you will learn about that vehicle and the changes in emergency service through the years.”


Do You Have an Idea for a Great Place?

Thu, 04/17/2014 - 7:57am
What makes a Great Place? -- A place that is inviting, beautiful, and catches the eye.  A Great Place encourages people to slow down and spend time there. A Great Place reflects the unique character and identity of the community. To help enhance and create these great places, Moving Matters and the Cook County Chamber of Commerce will give out seed grants of $250-$1,000 to folks in Cook County or Grand Portage.

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.

Projects need to be completed by July 31, 2014 and be put in place by the applicant.  The mini-grant can cover the cost of items like planters, plants, paint, signs, chairs, public art, community gardens, bike racks, and much more.
The short, simple application is available online at or paper copies available at the Sawtooth Mountain Clinic front desk.

WTIP volunteer Mark Abrahamson spoke with Kristin DeArruda Wharton of Moving Matters and Jim Boyd of the Chamber of Commerce to learn more.

(Photo by Jeremy Lopez on Flickr)


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"Impressionistic Watercolors" Course Offered At Art Colony

Wed, 04/16/2014 - 1:54pm

An "Impressionistic Watercolors" course will be offered at the Grand Marais Art Colony on May 5, 6 and 7.  The course will be taught by Andy Evansen of Vermillion, Minnesota, who has traveled and painted in many places around the world, including an Art Colony trip to Isle Royale.  WTIP's Veronica Weadock spoke with Andy to learn more. 

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