Around Cook County

News and other information from Cook County

Locals shine at area speedway

Tue, 08/28/2012 - 2:50pm

Every Sunday since May, Esten Nelson and Craig Horak, both of Grand Marais, have been racing at one of three venues: Proctor Speedway, AMSOIL Raceway in Superior or ABC Raceway in Ashland.
And at Proctor Speedway on August 19, Esten Nelson racing in car No. 77, came out on top in the Pure Stock point series. For winning Nelson received a trophy, a nice racing jacket, and a check—he doesn’t how much the check is for yet though.
Horak had one of his best nights of the season, steadily working his way to the front and taking first place in his 26H Station Wagon.
The cars are equipped with 305 V8 engines. The track at Proctor is a 3/8ths of a mile long, banked, oval dirt track. Racers get up to 65 miles an hour on the straight-aways.
At Superior’s AMSOIL track, “We hit about 75 miles an hour on the straight-aways,” Horak said.

Ruffed grouse numbers stay stable

Tue, 08/28/2012 - 9:25am

Ruffed grouse hunter numbers have remained unchanged for two years at 93,000. The familiar northland bird remains Minnesota’s most popular small game species according to the Department of Natural Resources.

Last year’s grouse harvest was 401,000 birds – down slightly from the 10-year peak of 465,000 achieved in 2010 – but still one of the three highest annual harvests in those ten years.

Grouse populations tend to fluctuate in 10-year cycles and this cycle’s decline has already started. This year’s season opens September 15. Minnesota has better grouse hunting than almost any other state.

State Supreme Court rejects challenge to photo ID amendment

Mon, 08/27/2012 - 2:52pm

     ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) - The Minnesota Supreme Court has rejected
a legal challenge to a proposed constitutional amendment that would
require voters to show photo ID at the polls.

The high court on Monday rejected a lawsuit from left-leaning
groups who argued that lawmakers had failed to give voters the full
scope of the changes that would result from the amendment.

The ruling means the voter ID amendment will remain on the ballot.

In a separate decision, the court also threw out ballot titles
written by Secretary of State Mark Ritchie for the photo ID
amendment and another amendment to ban gay marriage. Republicans
had argued that Ritchie overstepped his authority and was trying to
influence voters to reject both amendments.

Co-op members hope to save mosaic mural at Cook County Whole Foods Co-op

Mon, 08/27/2012 - 8:58am

County Whole Foods Co-op held an informational meeting on 
August 21 to share building plans, financial needs and to explain the 
owner-loan program and more. One co-op member again brought up the 
mosaic tile mural of the four seasons created by local elementary 
school students and asked if a separate campaign could be launched to 
pay for the cost of preserving the mural.  It’s still not certain how 
much it would cost to save the mural, but Co-op Board Member Barb 
Lavigne said the co-op hopes to save as much of the mural as they can.
Local businesspeople Jill Terrill, Stephen Hoglund, and Jan Sivertson 
have offered to take the mural or portions thereof for display at 
their downtown buildings.
LaVigne said the co-op would welcome help from the community to figure 
out how the mural could be saved.  At the very least, high resolution 
photos of the mural will be taken and displayed prominently with good 
lighting on an inside wall in the new building.
Retired Cook County teacher Ann Mershon received 50 responses in one 
day after posting a notice on the local internet bulletin board Boreal 
Access regarding interest in saving the mural.  “We need to 
investigate all the options, and I’m hoping we can find a solution,” 
she told the Cook County News-Herald.  “It’s clear that many community 
members feel the mosaic is a beautiful and meaningful statement and 
should be preserved.”
Demolition of the old building is expected to begin in October, and 
plans are for the new building to be completed sometime next spring.
Those interested in helping save the mural are asked to contact Ann 

Judge set to consider blocking Wis. wolf hunt

Mon, 08/27/2012 - 8:32am

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — A Dane County judge is expected to consider this week whether to halt Wisconsin's new wolf hunt before it starts.

According to the Duluth News-Tribune, a coalition of humane societies filed a lawsuit earlier this month seeking an injunction blocking the hunt. The coalition argues the state Department of Natural Resources failed to include any provisions to protect hunting dogs from being killed or maimed by wolves they're tracking.

Judge Peter C. Anderson is set to hear motions in the case today and hold an injunction hearing Wednesday.

The hunt is set to begin Oct. 15 and run through the end of February. In Minnesota over 4,000 wolf hunt applications have been made for the season that opens with the November firearms deer season.

Tofte Township continues planning for senior housing project

Sun, 08/26/2012 - 11:13am

The Tofte Town Board has been quite busy with its pursuit of housing 
for senior citizens recently. Steve Greisert, of Community Partners 
Research, Inc. (CPR) came before the Tofte town board on Thursday, 
August 9 with results of an analysis for rental housing demand for 
seniors in the Tofte area. He presented lots of interesting community 
Also on August 9, the Tofte board agreed to hire Dick Grabko of 
Community Fundraising Solutions (CFS) to write grants to find funding 
for infrastructure costs for the senior housing project. Those costs 
are expected to run around $350,000 and pay for the road, electric, 
phone, water and sewer to be installed.
And then the board and citizens gathered at the Tofte Town hall on 
Tuesday, August 21 to hear about the proposed senior housing project 
adjacent to the Birch Grove Community Center in Tofte.
Project Architect Jody Anderson of DSGW, an architectural firm in 
Duluth, presented preliminary drawings of where the cottages and road 
might be located.
Anderson said the buildings would sit on the ridgeline and have views 
of Lake Superior. They would be 50 to 100 feet apart, but staggered so
“people won’t look out of their windows into their neighbor’s house,” 
she said.
The preliminary plan for the proposed houses would be about 1,000 square feet and have a one-
car attached garage.
More meetings will be scheduled in the near future to get input from 
potential renters on just what they need and want, said Township 
Supervisor Paul James.
“Things are changing daily,” James said, adding, “There’s a lot of