Around Cook County

News and other information from Cook County

New Findings Show Poplar River Sediment Reduced by 35%

Tue, 02/19/2013 - 12:07pm

Lutsen, MN – The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) provided updated data trends on sediment in the Poplar River to the Poplar River Management Board in February. MPCA has estimated that total suspended solid (sediment) loads have been reduced by about 35% since 2006. 

The sediment loads from 2002 to 2006 was about 1,000 tons per year, while the average load for the years 2009 through 2011 was about 660 tons per year.

Tom Rider, President of the Poplar River Management Board said the report was good news.  “We have worked since 2005 identifying the most significant sources of sediment and implementing best management practices and conservation projects.”

The MPCA analysis suggests continued decrease in sediment loading should be expected from projects implemented in 2012 and planned for 2013. This includes the Ullr Tightline project that was completed in November of 2012 with estimated sediment reductions of 90 tons/year.

 

Grand Marais Park Board continues planning for Community Connection

Mon, 02/18/2013 - 3:47pm

The snow may be piled up all over Grand Marais, but that didn’t stop the Grand Marais Park Board from discussing plans for the Community Connections walkway into the Grand Marais Recreation Area at its February 5 meeting.
North House Folk School Executive Director Greg Wright was on hand to discuss plans that timber frame designer and instructor Peter Henrikson had drawn up for a pedestrian bridge on the Community Connections walkway.  The Community Connections project will lead pedestrians from the highway down into the northeast section of the park next to North House.  Wright had designs for a covered bridge and an uncovered bridge. 
Wright said North House never uses treated lumber and recommended that they use large tamarack beams from International Falls if the bridge were uncovered because tamarack is more resistant to rotting from moisture.  A covered bridge would lengthen the life of the bridge because it would provide more protection from moisture.
“The covered is more expensive, but the covered is more beautiful,” said Bill Lenz. 
The board talked about how a covered timber frame bridge would look and how it would affect views of the lake.  “I don’t see it as an obstruction as much as an invitation,” said Sally Berg. 
Park Manager Dave Tersteeg, who formerly worked in the landscaping field, said he sees the bridge as a piece of landscape furniture.  Board Chair Walt Mianowski said it would blend in well with the architecture of the North House.  Berg said it would enhance the area like an architectural feature in a Chinese garden.

World Championship Joke Telling Contest at Sven & Ole's Feb. 20

Mon, 02/18/2013 - 3:46pm

You didn’t know it, but you have training your whole life. Anytime you told a Sven & Ole joke at home or school or to your dog, you were sharpening your skills. And now it’s time to show the world just how good you have become at delivering a punch line.
On February 20 the first world championship Sven & Ole joke-telling competition will be held at Sven & Oles pizzeria at 7 p.m. Competitors should get there a little bit before 7 p.m. to warm up their gums and loosen their tongues.
First prize is a $50 gift certificate and the right to call yourself a World Champion. A $25 gift certificate will be given to the contestant judged to have the best Scandinavian accent.
All participants will get a prize of some sort.
There is a strong rumor that two young Norwegian journalists will be on hand to take pictures and use some of the film for their interactive documentary project. At least that’s what Sven said. Ole couldn’t be reached because he was busy cutting lutefisk into heart shapes to give to Lena for Valentine’s Day.
Uffdah, won’t she be happy?

It's Girl Scout cookie time!

Sun, 02/17/2013 - 7:39pm

Have you been wishing for those one-of-a-kind cookies that 
you can only purchase at a certain time of the year? Have you been 
thinking of Thin Mints? Craving Caramel Delights? Longing for 
Lemonades? Well, you are in luck because Cook County Girl Scouts have 
cookies and they are selling!
Cook County Girl Scouts now offer direct sales, which means you don’t 
have to order your cookies and wait weeks to get them. The cookies are
here in Cook County, so most of the time when you buy, you receive 
your cookies immediately if they are in stock.
So find your favorite Girl Scout and buy cookies for yourself, your 
relatives, and your friends.  Cookies are a great way to say “Thank 
you” or “I’m thinking of you!”
And whether you enjoy them all yourselves or whether you share, buying 
cookies from a Girl Scout is more than just handing over money for a 
treat. For the girls, selling cookies teaches goal setting, decision-
making, money management, people skills and business ethics. All 
things essential to leadership, to success and to life.
For nearly 100 years, Girl Scouts have been selling cookies, earning 
money to help support their troops’ activities and to contribute to 
their communities. And Cook County Girl Scouts are happy to carry on 
the tradition.
So, look for your favorite scout to buy some Peanut Butter Patties, 
Thanks-A-Lots or, new this year, Mango Cremes.
 

Lutsen prepared for activities in renovated fire hall

Sun, 02/17/2013 - 7:22pm

There were a few finishing touches to be done on the newly 
renovated Lutsen Town Hall, so Lutsen supervisors convened the 
Tuesday, January 15, 2013 meeting one last time in town’s old meeting 
space. Along with usual monthly business, the town board talked about 
parking and considered rental prices and policies for the new town 
hall space.
It was noted that with more space for people, more space for vehicles 
is needed. Treasurer John Groth said a citizen had asked if the ball 
field fence could be removed and parking extended to the east. The 
cost to extend the parking lot would be $21,000 for an area 80’x90.’ 
To add an additional space of 24’x50’ for overflow would be $27,000. 
It was agreed to discuss this at the upcoming annual meeting, on March
12.
Supervisor Ginny Storlie shared a draft rental policy, but said she 
had heard from current users of the hall, asking if their rate could 
stay the same. The board agreed to give the group that currently meets 
at the hall the same rate for a year, to be reconsidered after that. 
Otherwise, the town board is considering charging $50 for a group of 
25-50 people or $100 for 51- 100 people.
The next town meeting will be held in the newly expanded town hall 
space on February 19 at 7 p.m. Prior to the regular monthly meeting, 
the town board will hold its annual board of audit at 5:30 p.m. and 
then a budget meeting at 6 p.m.
 

Volunteers at First & Second Thrift store earn money for local nonprofits

Sat, 02/16/2013 - 10:20pm

On Wednesday, February 13, the Cook County 
Senior Center was filled with excited representatives from area 
nonprofits. It was time for twice-yearly distribution of profits from 
the First & Second Thrift Store in Grand Marais, which is always a fun
event. Throughout the year, volunteers staff the thrift store and the 
donation center, accumulating hours to be credited toward their 
designated organization. No one is sure just what they’ve “earned” 
until the numbers are tallied and announced at the gathering.  It’s 
always a pleasant surprise for the volunteers and the nonprofit 
organizations to see just how much has been raised.
At the gathering this week, 25 different organizations received a 
portion of the $20,044.75 made at the thrift store from July 1, 2012 
to December 31, 2012. In all 68 volunteers worked a total of 1822.25 
hours! The payout amount for this period was $11 per hour. The payout 
varies depending on store profits and expenses, but since the store 
opened in 2007, local nonprofits have received $$198,214.98.
First & Second is located in the Cobblestone building next to 
Pumphouse Fitness. The store is open Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and 
Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and on Wednesdays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
The warehouse for accepting donations of clean, lightly used items is 
located on the south side of the garage behind the Cook County Senior 
Center. The donation center is open Wednesday and Saturday from 9 a.m. 
to 1 p.m.
  If you are interested in volunteering at the thrift store and 
raising some money for your favorite local nonprofit, contact Thrift