Around Cook County

News and other information from Cook County

BWCAW fire burns near Ely

Mon, 09/03/2012 - 9:17am

Crews were battling a wildfire in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness northwest of Ely on Sunday evening.

Jean Goad, a spokeswoman for the Minnesota Interagency Fire Center in Grand Rapids, said the fire is in the Superior National Forest about 11 miles north of Eagles Nest Lake — in the Cummings Lake area. It was estimated at about 50 acres on Sunday evening.

According to the Duluth News-Tribune, the fire, about 12 miles northwest of Ely and 15 miles northeast of Tower, was first reported Sunday afternoon.

Five aircraft were taking part in battling the flames, including two Minnesota Department of Natural Resources CL-215 water-scooping planes and a U.S. Forest Service Beaver aircraft. Ground crews were on their way to the remote site.

No structures had burned or were immediately threatened. Fire danger remains high across the Northland after an extended period of warm, dry weather.

Weekend News Roundup for September 1

Sat, 09/01/2012 - 10:02am

Each weekend WTIP news produces a round up of the news stories they’ve been following this week. Holiday road construction, Asian carp, high fire danger and ruffed grouse…all in this week’s news.


Attached file

Higher Ed offers talk -- Terrorism 2012:The nature of the threat

Fri, 08/31/2012 - 12:03pm

Dealing effectively with the threat posed by terrorism is the 
defining issue confronting the American military, the Department of 
Homeland Security and, to a significant degree, local law enforcement. 
The nature of that threat continues to evolve, requiring flexible, 
adaptive responses to keep the American people safe.
To provide a better understanding of the danger terrorism poses, Cook 
County Higher Education presents a two-hour lecture, Terrorism 2012: 
The nature of the threat by a visiting expert.
Tom Maertens, in addition to being an avid North Shore fisherman, is a 
career Foreign Service officer who served in the White House as 
National Security Council director for nonproliferation and homeland 
security in the administrations of Presidents Bill Clinton and George 
W. Bush. At the time of the 9/11 attacks, he was serving as deputy 
coordinator for counterterrorism at the U.S. State Department.
During his Foreign Service career, in addition to Washington, D.C., 
Maertens also served in Russia after the breakup, Ethiopia, Austria, 
Colombia and Panama. He retired in 2002 and returned to Mankato, his 
hometown. Maertens serves on the graduate faculty at Minnesota State 
University Mankato.
On Wednesday, Sept. 5, Maertens will inaugurate a new series of 
occasional “Visiting Professor” lectures at Higher Education's North 
Shore Campus with his talk on terrorism. Maertens will speak from 5 to 
7 p.m. Cost to attend the lecture is $15, payable at the door. To 
register for the terrorism talk, call Higher Ed at 387-3411 or email

Cook County Steering Committee and architect fine tune aquatics area details

Fri, 08/31/2012 - 12:00pm

The Cook County Community Center Steering Committee met with 
its architect and representatives of ORB Management once again on 
Friday, August 24 to fine tune details before seeking bids on the 
project that was estimated at $6,166,710 at the end of July.
There was considerable discussion regarding the proposed aquatics 
center and some debate over the depth of the pool and the amenities 
that could be included.
At previous steering committee meetings, the group talked about the 
feasibility of having a diving board, something removed from the Grand 
Marais Municipal Pool at the end of 2008, and a water slide. Wade Cole 
of ORB and Architect Dan Miller of JLG Architects shared ideas on how 
to get the most out of the aquatics area.
Miller reported that the geotechnical information from soil borings in 
the proposed aquatics area had been received. He said the soil borings 
show ledge rock at 8-foot depths in the tentative mechanical area at 
the back of the pool area and at the back end of the pool itself. He 
said the soil boring at the front end, west corner of the pool showed 
ledge rock at 12 feet. To have a diving board, a depth of 12 feet 6 
inches is needed.
Steering Committee Member and County Commissioner Sue Hakes urged her 
fellow committee members to do what it takes to get enough depth for a 
diving board. “God forbid we want that five or 10 years from now and 
they say, ‘we can’t because these idiots didn’t make it deep enough,’” 
she said.
The committee also discussed different types of water slides and 
Steering Committee Member Jan Sivertson, a newly appointed 

Anishinaabe Way: John & Patrick Pierre

Fri, 08/31/2012 - 9:32am

Brothers John and Patrick Pierre have served as Grand Portage Royalty for the last three and four years. WTIP producer Staci Drouillard recently met with them on the Grand Portage Reservation at the annual Rendezvous and Pow Wow.  The day before the interview John and Patrick had passed along their banners to the new, incoming Royalty. In this edition of Anishinaabe Way, Staci speaks with them about their responsibilities as Tiny Tot Brave and Jr. Brave, their travels and any advice they might have for the next young tribal representatives.

Attached file

Lutsen Fire Department to consider seeking insurance reimbursement for auto accident calls

Thu, 08/30/2012 - 3:03pm

At the Tuesday, August 21 township meeting, Firefighter Larry McNeally asked the Lutsen Town Board to consider charging for services when the Lutsen Fire Department and First Responders respond to an automobile accident. He said vehicle insurance will pay for fire and EMS services. McNeally said he had heard of reimbursements of approximately $400 per call.
Treasurer John Groth said the township had actually received calls from insurance companies, asking when they would be billed.
Supervisor Joe Buttweiler said it is an idea whose time has come, however, he said it should be researched to see what other townships are charging and what insurance companies are paying. “We should research and if we do this, we should implement it at the beginning of the year,” said Buttweiler.
Fire Chief Paul  Goettl said his department would research this and get back to the board.