Around Cook County

News and other information from Cook County

Big lake level lower in Sept.

Wed, 10/03/2012 - 5:59am

The level of Lake Superior went down four inches in September, a month the lake usually drops only one inch

.The International Lake Superior Board of Control reported Tuesday that Lake Superior now sits 15 inches below its long-term average for Oct. 1 and four inches below the level at this time last year.

The Duluth News-Tribune notes that rainfall for the entire Lake Superior basin was well below normal in September, a trend that has continued since July.

"Heebie Jeebies" at Grand Marais Public Library Wednesday

Tue, 10/02/2012 - 6:01pm

The Arrowhead Library System (ALS) invites children of all 
ages to listen, laugh, sing, shout, and dance along with award-winning 
musician Glen Everhart performing his Heebie Jeebie’s Family Comedy 
Music Show.  This high-energy, interactive 45-minute show is suitable 
for all ages.
Songs include I’ve Got The Heebie Jeebies, Camp Ishy-fishy-stinky-
socky-skeeter-slappy-toad-a-hoppy-burpa-lotta-woodsa-tickle-ee, Young 
People Of The World, The 4 Headed 3 Legged 2 Armed 1 Eyed Monster, The 
Littlest Worm, and many more.
The Heebie Jeebie’s Family Comedy Music Show will take place Oct. 3 at 
the Grand Marais Public Library at 1 p.m.; Silver Bay Public Library 
at 4 p.m.; and Two Harbors Public Library at 6:00 p.m.
After growing up in St. Paul, Everhart graduated from St. Cloud State 
University, receiving his B.A. degree in music education. He taught 
public school full- and part-time for seven years, has been a full-
time professional entertainer since 1987, and has won The Great 
American Song Contest with the song “Young People of the World.”
Everhart is perhaps better known throughout northern Minnesota 
partnered with Ted Fyder as part of the acoustic duo “Fyder and 
Everhart” by way of their still popular “Goin’ Up North” CD.Admission 
to the event is free thanks to sponsorship by the Arrowhead Library 
System and funding by money from Minnesota’s Arts and Cultural 
Heritage Fund.

CenturyLink workers authorize strike

Tue, 10/02/2012 - 8:58am

DENVER (AP) — CenturyLink workers in 13 states in the West and Midwest are authorizing a strike, if union leaders and the telecommunications company
can't reach a contract agreement.

Workers in Minnesota are among those in the 13 states.  CenturyLink serves Cook County.

The Communications Workers of America said yesterday that more than 88 percent of those voting backed the action.

A CWA spokesman said the union opposes a proposed increase in health care premiums and wants to bring more jobs back to the U.S.

Gunflint Trail Fire Department begins fire hall expansions with help from community donations

Mon, 10/01/2012 - 11:45am

As summer came to an end, the Gunflint Trail Fire Department started seeing activity on its fire hall expansion projects. Fire Department spokesperson Michael Valentini also announced some great news. He said Paul and Carol Schaap, property owners on Clearwater Lake, have stepped forward and committed $250,000 to the project. “Needless to say, we are overwhelmed with the generosity and support,” said Valentini.
The Schaaps have had a cabin on Clearwater Lake since 1974, dividing their time between there and Grosse Pointe Park, Michigan. The News-Herald reached Paul Schaap there and asked if he had anything to say to others who may be thinking of donating to the project. Schaap said, “We recognize the importance of their work, not just the fire response, but the medical aspect of it. When you are up the Gunflint Trail, you’re a long way from everything. It’s critical to have these services.”
The announcement about the donation from the Schaaps came at the start of the Gunflint Trail Fire Department’s fund drive campaign. Barbara Graham, of Gunflint Lake, started the community fire department off with a $20,000 contribution. Valentini said the fire department also received $15,000 from an anonymous donor and numerous other contributions. “To reach our goal we still need to raise another $100,000 so we can't rest on our laurels,” he added.
As fundraising continues, work is underway for renovation of the fire stations and community space.
Schaap said another reason his family supported the project is because of the community center piece. He said it will be good for the community to have a place to hold meetings.

Highway 61/London Road lane restrictions in Duluth begin Oct. 1

Mon, 10/01/2012 - 8:04am

DULUTH, Minn. - Motorists traveling on Highway 61/London Road near the Lester River Bridge in Duluth will encounter daytime lane closures today and tomorrow.
The work requiring the lane closures is expected to be completed in two days; however it is possible the work and lane closures may extend into Wednesday.

Flaggers will control traffic. Both lanes will reopen each evening at dusk. Crews will be working beneath the bridge using bridge access equipment mounted to a truck parked on top of the bridge.

This project will complete the Lester River Bridge rehabilitation project that began in 2010. The project, which included approach grading and new pavement, was done to help maintain and preserve the historic bridge.

DNR moves into temporary office at School District 166

Sun, 09/30/2012 - 9:52am

As the Grand Marais Public Library did while its building was 
being reconstructed, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources 
Grand Marais office will be leasing space at School District 166 
during its upcoming renovation. As of today, DNR staff was moving into 
the west end of the school building.
DNR Northeast Region Facilities Manager Roger Erickson said requests 
for bids also went out last week and it is hoped that reconstruction 
of the DNR building on Highway 61 at the east end of Grand Marais will 
start October 1, with asbestos abatement. The rest of the work will 
begin as soon as the DNR has a contract with the successful bidder, 
likely in mid-October.
A state architect did the design work and consultants were hired for 
the electrical and mechanical schematics. It is anticipated that the 
work will be done in June 2013. The estimated cost of the renovation 
is $600,000.
Erickson said when the project is finished, it will be “an all new 
office.” The project will include an approximately 28-foot addition 
where there used to be a modular trailer.
The modular trailer, which had been in use for 14 years, was removed 
in 2008 because it had been deemed unsuitable for habitation. The 
trailer was intended to be a temporary solution to the lack of office 
There were several attempts to get a new building in the interim, so 
it is nice to see this happening for those DNR folks.
Erickson said the renovated space would be opened up to include a 
couple of offices, workstations and a dispatch area. “It will 
definitely make it more efficient for our staff and will make it