Around Cook County

News and other information from Cook County

Moose researchers report five deaths in first month of study

Fri, 03/08/2013 - 11:16am

So far five of the 111 radio-collared moose have died in the 
first month of an intensive six-year study being conducted by wildlife 
specialists to determine what is causing the high moose mortality rate 
in Northeastern Minnesota.
“To date we have had five mortalities,” said Erika Butler, D.V.M. 
Wildlife Veterinarian of the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources 
(DNR), which is working with a number of partners on the project.
But of these mortalities, Butler said, “Four of these are considered 
capture-related as they occurred within two weeks of capture. This is 
a mortality rate of 3.6 percent, which is within the expected range, 
especially given the poor condition of many of these animals. “The 
fifth was actually outside our window for capture-related mortalities 
and was a wolf kill,” Butler said.
Although moose have been radio-collared in the past, these new collars 
are outfitted with GPS tracking devises and will send researchers six 
locations of each moose each day, as well as the ambient outside air 
temperature. If a moose doesn’t move for six hours researchers will 
text its location every 30 minutes for the next six hours so DNR staff 
can track the animal.
The goal is to locate moose that have died within 24 hours so they can 
be brought back and studied to determine what caused their death. If 
the moose is too big or too far away to retrieve a necropsy will be 
conducted in the field.
While moose have all but disappeared in northwestern Minnesota, 
northeastern Minnesota has been the last stand for these magnificent 
creatures in the Land of 10,000 Lakes.

Back to the '80s with Mush for a Cure

Thu, 03/07/2013 - 9:58pm

It’s time to paint the town red…no pink!...again. The 2013 
Mush for a Cure will be held Friday and Saturday, March 8-9 on the 
Gunflint Trail. Shake your cabin fever and come out for fun at this 
amazing fundraiser for the National Breast Cancer Foundation.
There will be delicious pasta and dancing at Windigo Lodge on Friday 
night. The theme is back to the 80s, so find those parachute pants or 
leggings, pouf up your hair and get ready to party like a pop star—in 
pink, of course!
Part of the hilarity will be The Bald, The Brave and The Beautiful 
event. Three Cook County businessmen have put their heads on the line. 
There is a competition to see which man can raise the most money to 
fight breast cancer. If enough money is raised, all three will have 
their head shaved—in front of the partying crowd. Taking part in the 
crazy spring fever event is Bruce Kerfoot of Gunflint Lodge who is in 
the lead at this time with $1,550 in donations. Forrest Parson o
Hungry Jack is close behind with $1,485 and Scott Harrison of Lutsen 
Resort was not far behind with $1,055 in pledges.
If you’d like to push the men over the line to baldness, consider 
donating today. You can do it quickly and easily on-line at www.mushforacure.com
  - click on “Donate” and look for the name of whom you want to see 
shaved.
Or you can select your favorite musher to donate to. At press time, 
MFAC has already raised almost $20,000. Organizers are hoping to top 

Melting snowpack won’t help drought; spring floods predicted

Thu, 03/07/2013 - 10:18am

Melting winter snowfall won’t do much to alleviate the extremely dry soil conditions across Minnesota, even if some areas experience spring flooding, according to the state climatologist. 

Roughly 70 percent of Minnesota is in extreme drought or severe drought. All of the snow that has fallen over the winter by and large remains on top of the landscape, a landscape that is largely frozen.

Cook County along the Canadian border is considered abnormally dry, the rest of the county is in a moderate drought condition.

The National Weather Service, which produces flood outlooks, has called for a high risk of flooding in the southern reaches of the Red River Valley.

Ventriloquist to perform at library March 8

Thu, 03/07/2013 - 10:05am

Come see James Wedgwood and his amazing comic ventriloquism at 6 p.m. March 8 at the Grand Marais Public Library.
Like a one-man variety show, James makes virtually everything talk, from wooden “associates” to purses, bottles, and even audience members – yes, they open their mouths and James provides the surprising words! A game show, singing (without moving his lips) and much more are all part of the fun. With outrageous characters and hilarious audience participation, this is a performance unlike any other and one you will not want to miss.
The show is free and appropriate for all ages, and is funded with money from Minnesota’s Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund.

Tofte proactive in protecting its Post Office

Thu, 03/07/2013 - 10:03am

The future of the Tofte Post Office – and other small offices like it – is uncertain.  At the February 14, 2013 Tofte Township Board meeting, former postmaster Skip Lamb expressed concern over how the U.S. Postal Service might try to trim its budget and asked the Tofte board for help.
“I don’t want anybody not to get their mail,” Lamb said.  The ability to receive goods, services, and supplies like medicine through the mail is crucial for isolated communities, he said.
Starting in March, the post office will only be open six hours a day instead of eight.  “I would like to see Tofte take a stand on it,” Lamb said, “because I think legislatively there are still a lot of things pending.  It would be nice if you would see what you could do to help the situation out.”
“I think you’re right, Skip. I think we need to be proactive,” said Board Chair Paul James.  “This is a national crisis that they can’t keep the post office open.”  He said that with so much communication being done by email these days, it’s no wonder the post office is having problems.
U.S. Senator Al Franken is in support of keeping rural postal services intact, Lamb said.  County Commissioner Bruce Martinson said U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar often brings her family to stay at Bluefin and thought she would be supportive of keeping services at the Tofte Post Office. 
If Lutsen had to pick between having a post office either in Tofte or Schroeder, and if Schroeder had to pick between having a post office either in Tofte or Lutsen, Supervisor Jim King said, they would probably pick Tofte.  “When you’re the center of the universe,” he said, “there are certain obligations that you just have to put up with!”
“Isn’t that Grand Marais?” James said.

Historical Society storytelling event Saturday at ACA

Wed, 03/06/2013 - 3:03pm
Hungry Jack Lodge 1937 - photo by William F. Roleff
The Cook County Historical Society is presenting "Stories You’ve Never Heard & Good Ones to Hear Again," Saturday, March 9th at 3:00 p.m. at the Arrowhead Center for the Arts in Grand Marias.
 
Grand Portage Ojibwe elder Billy Blackwell will share his knowledge of local history and co-host the event with Cook County Historical Society Director Carrie McHugh. 

(Click here to hear an interview with Billy Blackwell and Carrie McHugh.)

This two hour event will feature a panel of guest speakers, including Tim Cochrane on the Early History of the Region, Victor Aubid on Ojibwe Migrations, Milt Powell on Saganaga Lake and Blackstone, Alta McQuatters on the Lutsen Area & White Sky, Sue Kerfoot will share Gunflint Lake Stories, Chester Lindskog on A Changing County, and Gene Erickson with Fantastic Facts & Figures.

There will also be a display of historically-themed original art by:  Alice Powell, Jan Attridge, David Hahn, and Heidi Sobanja.
 
The event will last about 2 hours and snacks will be served afterwards.   More information is available from Historical Society director Carrie McHugh at 387-2883, or by email - history@boreal.org.

(Photo courtesy the Minnesota Historical Society)